By Devra Gartenstein
The Book Publishing Company
This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 100 bloggers are reviewing 100 great books printed in an environmentally friendly way. Our goal is to encourage publishers to get greener and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books. This campaign is organized by Eco-Libris, a a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books. A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.
Here’s the blurb from the publisher:
Cooking with seasonal produce is a delicious way to be ecologically responsible. Ripe, local produce has more flavor and nutritional value, uses fewer resources to store and deliver, and is more economical to buy than produce that has been shipped long distances. You can rest assured that you are supporting your local economy with every bite. Local Bounty reintroduces the world of seasonal produce: leafy greens in the spring; tomatoes, peppers, and summer squash during the summer and fall; and root vegetables and winter squash during the cooler months. The bounty of the garden is transformed into wonderful meals that will truly nourish and satisfy with a minimum of fuss to prepare. Real food, real taste.
The Short of It:
A wonderful collection of vegan recipes that capture the essence of the season.
The Rest of It:
Local Bounty is a tasty collection of recipes. Its main focus is using locally grown produce to produce vegan meals that are both simple and tasty. I’m not a vegan but I am considering a vegan diet as some of my recent health issues seem to respond positively to a plant-based diet. The other plus is that a vegan diet is environmentally sustainable. Buying local mean less fossil fuel is needed to transport produce and the practice of buying local keeps our local farmers in business.
The cookbook itself is divided up by season. Each section begins with a listing of all the seasonal fruits and veggies for that season. Since we are in Fall, I decided to try the recipe for Caribbean Pumpkin-Coconut soup. The soup was deceptively simple. I actually doubted how good it would taste when I prepared it as it seemed almost too simple for it to be good. The end product was a smooth, creamy soup with a hint of spice. I can’t really explain it but the soup had a pure, clean flavor. That’s what is so special about these recipes. There aren’t a lot of ingredients because the produce takes center stage and because of this, you can really taste each ingredient. This soup was so good that I plan to make it as a first course for Thanksgiving.
Here is a picture of the finished product:
Caribbean Pumpkin-Coconut Soup (Printed with permission)
Yield: 6 servings
2 pounds kabocha pumpkin or winter squash
2 quarts unsalted vegetable stock or water
2 leeks, cut in half lengthwise, cleaned well, and chopped
2 chiles (mild or hot), diced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 bunch collard greens (4-6 leaves), cut into thin strips
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 half teaspoon ground allspice
Cut the pumpkin in half top to bottom and remove the seeds. Cut the halves into chunks that will fit in your vegetable steamer and steam them for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are very soft.
Bring the stock to a boil in medium soup pot. Add the leeks, chiles, ginger, garlic, and salt. Cook on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. Add the collard greens and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Scoop out the squash pulp, place it in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Add a small amount of the stock, as needed, to facilitate processing. Combine the blended squash with the rest of the soup. Stir in the coconut milk, lime juice, thyme, and allspice. Taste and add additional salt, if needed. Cook for about 5 minutes longer, until heated through and serve.
Recipe notes from Ti:
I used 2 whole chiles (jalapenos) and it had a nice kick. If you cannot do spice, seed the chiles beforehand. I also did not have anything on hand but lowfat coconut milk but it was still thick and rich. You might be tempted to skip the collard greens but they added a nice texture surprise. Oh, and another great thing is that this soup freezes well.
Logo design: Susan Newman
The Book Publishing Co. is a member of Green Press Initiative. The book is printed on paper with postconsumer recylced content, and processed without chlorine, which saved the following natural resources:
- 68 trees
- 3,293 pounds of solid waste
- 24,956 gallons of water
- 5,102 pounds of greenhouse gasses
- 48 million BTU of total energy
For more information, click here to visit Green Press Initiative.
To see a listing of all the books that will be reviewed, along with a list of all the blogs that are participating, click here.