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Posted July 20, 2013
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Sriracha has become the latest darling of the culinary world...this addictive blend of chiles, vinegar and garlic is giving traditional hot sauce a run for its money on tables across the country. Hot on the heels of The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 "Rooster Sauce" Recipes that Pack a Punch, Veggie-Lover's Sriracha Cookbook has 50 vegan "rooster sauce" recipes from drinks and snacks to soups, salads, main dishes, breakfast ideas and desserts. You'll find something to please every palate; there's a healthy dash of the international, from Middle Eastern muhammara and hummus to the Mediterranean, Latin America, Caribbean, and Asia (pho sure!).
One of the greatest features is that yes, this is a vegan cookbook, but each recipe comes with suggestions to adapt recipes for (lacto-ovo) vegetarians as well as gluten-free diets. It's a much-appreciated gesture; I do make vegan dishes from time to time, but I love that the substitutions are right there, so I don't have to mentally convert ground flaxseed and water to egg whites, or ponder how to make gluten-free panko substitutes.
I tried four recipes: the Sriracha caponata (page 27), zippy zucchini zuppa with asparagus and cannellini beans (page 36), the Sriracha broccoli slaw (page 47), and the maple-Sriracha roasted Brussels sprouts with cranberry wild rice (page 87). Next up is the warm Dijon-Sriracha potato salad with toasted hazelnuts, spicy tabbouleh-stuffed dolmas, and the super simple peanut butter and Sriracha cookies w/ chocolate chips!For my recipe testing, I used two readily-available brands of Sriracha, the ubiquitous Huy Fong, Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, 17 Ounce Bottle and the new Trader Joe's Sriracha sauce. The cranberry wild rice is going to be my new Thanksgiving standby; it is an addictive blend of toothsome wild rice, cranberries, chopped pecans, and rosemary topped with caramelized Brussels sprouts (the rice minus the Brussels sprouts would make a great filling for halved acorn squash as a vegan holiday entrée). It also makes a stunning centerpiece if you take the time to arrange the Brussels sprouts in rows across the rice (I had uploaded a photo as an example, but Amazon recently disabled this feature). The broccoli slaw was a snap to throw together using bagged broccoli slaw from Trader Joe's; lacking fresh ginger, I threw in some slivered crystallized ginger, and the spicy bite complemented the slaw nicely. The zippy zucchini zuppa was exactly that; I loved the addition of asparagus late in the cooking, as it gave a lovely crunch and color to the soup. The caponata was the first time I'd tried making my own at home, and I loved the combination of sweet (from raisins) and tart (cider vinegar, tomato puree, Kalamata olives).The 50 recipes in "Veggie-Lover's Sriracha Cookbook" offer tasty and quick ways to add more fresh veggies into your diet with a splash of Sriracha. This is comfort food at its best, from Sriracha-cauliflower mac n' cheeze and banh xeo (Vietnamese "crepes" filled with savory fillings) to curried kale and squash risotto, to some snappy tipples like watermelon-Sriracha sangria and mango-Sriracha margaritas that are a perfect way to beat the summer heat. Best of all, Randy's recipes inspired me to start creating my own vegetarian Sriracha-spiked creations!
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