Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites

I may have recently become a vegetarian, but that doesn't mean I don't crave hearty, satisfying meals. There's nothing worse than being hungry after eating dinner. So, when the kind folks from Dalyn Miller Public Relations asked me if I wanted to review this book:


...I didn't hesitate to say yes.

Priced at $19.99, this cookbook features 200 comfort food recipes that are 100% vegan. With a glossary, pantry recommendations, and cooking/baking tips to boot, this cookbook is perfect for any hungry vegetarian/vegan like myself - or for anyone trying to persuade their friends/significant others/families to eat a satisfying, meat-free diet. With recipes like Peanut Butter Rocky Road Pancakes, Orange Seitan Stew, and Sweet Potato Po' Boys, Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites can make any meatless meal comforting and substantial.

The first recipe I made from the book: Crispy Burritos Con Carne. Originally made with TVP granules, I revised the recipe a tad, but basically stuck to the original. Despite the slight revisions, this dish was fairly quick to make, and served alongside some homemade guacamole, it was downright delicious (and hearty).

Crispy Burritos Con Carne
Yields: 4 burritos
Adapted from Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites
-1 cup crumbled tempeh
-1 tsp. granulated sugar
-1 tsp. ground cumin
-1 tsp. garlic powder
-1 tsp. chili powder
-10 slices jarred jalapenos, finely diced
-1 medium-size yellow onion, finely diced
-1 cup water
-Salt and pepper, to taste
-2 tbsp. olive oil
-1 cup sour cream
-4 whole wheat tortillas
-Vegetable oil, for frying

1.) In a large saute pan, heat up the olive oil. Add the onions, and saute until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Then, add the crumbled tempeh, sugar, spices and jalapeno slices. Pour the water over the mixture, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.
2.) Mix in the sour cream.
3.) Divide the mixture evenly among the four tortillas and roll by first tucking in the ends, then rolling up.
4.) Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet or frying pan over high heat. Place one burrito, seam side down, in the oil and fry for 10 to 20 seconds, until golden and crispy, then flip and repeat on the other side. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess oil. Serve immediately (preferably with homemade guacamole and Skinny Girl Margaritas). 

Although I am terrible at rolling up burritos, the end result was crispy on the outside, and warm and "meaty" on the inside. I also loved how the sour cream (which was non-dairy in the original recipe) made it taste like the filling was coated in melty, gooey cheese. My only gripe: The recipe wasn't spicy enough. Next time, I'll probably add some cayenne or hot sauce to spice it up a bit. 

Could you ever go vegan? Why or why not? Or, if you're already vegan, how do you ensure your meals are hearty and satisfying? 


  1. I used to be a vegetarian for three years but I don't think I could ever go vegan because I enjoy dairy so much!

  2. We're a limited-dairy-and-eggs vegetarian family. I've been a vegetarian my whole life, and my husband, who grew up on meat...lots of meat, is actually lactose intolerant and very open-minded. In fact, he considers himself a vegetarian and finds that when he eats meat he feels sick. To make our meals "hearty," I add beans, hearty vegetables, and healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts) to lots of dishes.

  3. JThompson, thank you for sharing! I love how your husband was open enough to try other diets/foods, even after growing up with eating a lot of meat. I also love avocado - I put it on practically everything! :)

  4. Thank you for sharing this vegan recipe! I have been trying to lose weight for over a year now and my diet consists of leafy greens. This should make a perfect addition to my diet.

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  5. Glad to hear it, Maurice! Hope you enjoy!