Disclosure: I received Farm to Table Asian Secrets Vegan and Vegetarian Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season to review. All opinions are my own.
I am not a vegetarian and neither is anyone in my family, but we’re trying to eat less meat for a healthier lifestyle. Two documentaries, Food Choices and Forks Over Knives, influenced us. Both looked at the impact that food choices, such as animal-based and processed foods, have on our health, other living creatures, and the earth. As such, it was perfect timing when I had the opportunity to review Farm to Table Asian Secrets: Vegan & Vegetarian Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season by Pat Tanumihardja [Tuttle Publishing].
My family is taking small steps towards making changes in our diet. We enjoy the freshness and flavors of Asian cuisine, so Farm to Table Asian Secrets provides an ideal blending of our healthy eating goals and tastes. The farm to table concept embraces seasonal cuisine which leads to fresher produce and peak flavors. At the same time, it leaves a smaller carbon footprint while supporting local farmers.
Farm to Table Asian Secrets is for home cooks who wish to utilize seasonal produce and transform it into tantalizing vegan and vegetarian dishes their families will love. The recipes reflect East and Southeast Asian cuisine, and there’s no need for special equipment. Readers should be able to obtain most ingredients from their local grocery store as nowadays retailers tend to carry Asian sauces, herbs, and spices.
The book includes a great primer that covers equipment and utensils, cooking tips and techniques, meal planning, and pantry stocking. Farm to Table Asian Secrets starts with a Basic Recipes section before moving into seasonal ones.
Gorgeous, colorful, and vibrant photographs accompany the vegan and vegetarian recipes. Each chapter provides a range of healthy choices and menu ideas using produce at its seasonal peak. Many recipes include helpful tips such as steps home cooks can do ahead of time.
Highlights of Starters & Snacks, Family-Style Dishes and All-in-One Dishes include:
- SPRING – Vegetable Soup with Rhubarb; Asparagus in Coconut Cream Sauce; “Everyday” Pad Thai
- SUMMER – Fresh Fruit with Sweet, Spicy, Sour Dip; Thai Basil Zucchini; Eggplant “Meatball” Vietnamese Sandwich
- FALL – Butternut Squash Pot Stickers; Adobo Ratatouille; Stir-Fried Vegetables Wrapped in “Pancakes”
- WINTER – Korean-Style Buffalo Broccoli; Kung Pao Potatoes; Easy Miso Ramen
As for Asian secrets, Tanumihardja pulls from her heritage as well as cooking experience to reveal them to readers. She talks about one of her secrets here: “Harmonizing the contrasting flavors of ingredients like palm sugar (sweet), soy sauce (salty), tamarind juice (sour), and child paste (spicy) elevates a vegetable dish from ordinary to oh-so delicious.”
Farm to Table Asian Secrets Vegan and Vegetarian Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season releases on March 28, 2017. It is available for pre-order on Amazon (Paperback $15.95 and Kindle $14.99).
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Patricia Tanumihardja is an experienced food writer who specializes in profiling chefs and artisanal food producers. She was born in Indonesia and lived in Singapore before moving to the U.S. Growing up in several different food cultures, she learned to appreciate a wide variety of foods and flavors, and learned to cook as soon as she could tell the difference between garlic and ginger. As a writer, she sees the world through a multicultural lens and enjoys covering topics relating to food history and food culture. She contributes to Edible Seattle, Seattle, Sunset, and Saveur, among other publications. Her debut cookbook was The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook: Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens. Pat writes the “Pickles and Tea” food blog in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center which showcases contemporary Asian food culture in America. (smithsonianapa.org/picklesandtea).