I feel that The Inspired Vegan is a very fitting title for Bryant Terry’s latest book. I say this because since buying his previous book titled Vegan Soul Kitchen, I have found Terry’s books incredibly inspiring. He is actually one of my biggest inspirations and one of the reasons I started this blog. His passion inspired me to do something with my passion for creating and sharing delicious tasting, healthy recipes made with whole food, plant based ingredients.
Bryant’s passion for cooking great food, for music, and food justice is quite simply amazing. He is incredibly knowledgeable about food history and current food practices. Not only are his books a great source for delicious creative recipes, they are interesting to read and informative.
The Inspired Vegan is organized by menus, taking the guess work of mixing and matching courses when preparing a multi-course meal for a group of people, which can be a daunting task for some. This doesn’t mean you have to follow his exact menus, but they are great suggestions. Each menu is presented with a back story of what Terry’s inspiration was for the menu and dishes in it. These little introductions are great reads by themselves.
One of the reasons I feel so connected and inspired by Bryant’s work is his love for good music. Like he did in Vegan Soul Kitchen, Terry presents a soundtrack for each recipe. Sharing songs he feels are appropriate for each meal, as well as books and movies. This is done in an incredibly thoughtful way. He shares music of all different genres. I consider myself as someone who knows a lot of music, and I do know a lot of music Terry talks about here, but there is also much to be discovered.
Picking a song at random to share from the book I discovered this. Get down to the groovy sounds of Agua Santa by Ocote Soul Sounds.
Smoky Tomatoes, Roasted Plantains, and Crumbled Tempeh
Note: Recipe from “The Inspired Vegan” by Bryant Terry
3 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
1 large chipotle chile from can, finely chopped
10 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
3 1/4 pounds ripe tomatoes or 1 can whole tomatoes, drained
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable stock
coarse sea salt
250 g tempeh, crumbled (some are gluten-free some are not)
2 ripe plantains, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
In a medium size saucepan over high heat, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the onions and chipotle and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower the heat to low and cook, uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 5 more minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the tomatoes, and puree until smooth. Pour back into the saucepan, add the bay leaves, and stir constantly over medium heat until cooked down to a thick consistency, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vegetable stock and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Add the tempeh and bring to a boil, cover the pot lower the heat to low, and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the stew has thickened somewhat.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the plantains, the remaining tablespoon of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Toss well. Transfer the plantains to a parchment loaned baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
Remove the bay leaves and transfer the roasted plantains to the stew. Add the cilantro and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Serve with rice or quinoa. Bryant Terry suggests serving it with his coconut quinoa recipe, also from The Inspired Vegan.
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