What is “everyday cooking” to you? Quick, fuss-free meals using ingredients you have on hand? Me too. Hands up if that means making the same six or seven dishes again and again. (Hand up here!) This week I found fresh inspiration in Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes by Dana Shultz of the wildly popular blog, Minimalist Baker. And I think you will too. Each recipe takes 30 minutes or less to prepare, has 10 ingredients or less, or uses one bowl or one pot (that last bit I really like). These are breakfasts, appetizers, mains, desserts and drinks simple and practical to make on the regular and full of flavour and nutritious goodness.
The book opens with a helpful resource section of staple vegan recipes and cooking shortcuts such as how to soak cashews, DIY almond milk, a homemade gluten-free flour blend and how to make cauliflower rice. The instructions are clear and straightforward, with the ingredients all listed in one column and numbered directions in another. It’s a clean layout that’s easy on the eyes and feels as fresh as the photography in the pages that follow.
I flagged a dozen recipes when I first flipped through the book (banana chocolate pecan muffins! roasted chickpea tabbouleh salad! thai quinoa meatballs! fresh-pressed apple cider!) and narrowed it down to four to share with you here. I was impressed with the surprisingly short list of ingredients I needed to pick up (with some cookbooks the list is a mile long) since we really did have most of the ingredients in the house already.
The garlic pineapple stir-fried quinoa (recipe below) came together easily and satisfied my craving for Chinese food. Love the peanutty sauce and the cashews for crunch! I would happily throw this into the rotation to make once a week. Ready in 30 minutes or less, 10 ingredients or less and gluten-free.
The mango coconut lassi would make a delicious breakfast or afternoon snack. A taste of the tropics, tangy and creamy and super fresh. One bowl or pot (in this case, a blender), 30 minutes or less, 10 ingredients or less and gluten-free.
The toasted coconut dark chocolate popcorn is with the desserts, but I made it one afternoon for an after-school snack (it took everything in me to save some for the kids). Love the sweet and slightly salty combo. A touch of fancy for the everyday! 30 minutes or less, 10 ingredients or less and gluten-free.
Oh yeah. That’s the stuff.
And it is the minimalist baker after all, so I tried the chocolate-dunked peanut butter cookies and hello! They’re ah-MAZ-ing! One bowl or pot (yay! one dish to wash!).
I know some of you have been wondering about nutritional information in cookbooks (namely, where did it go?) and those of you who’ve been missing it will be happy to hear it’s listed in the book for each recipe, only in a separate section near the end. I’d rather see it listed with the recipe but I can see where that would push some recipes to run into a second or third page.
I’m happy to have Minimalist Baker Everyday Cooking in my cookbook collection and look forward to trying more recipes. What would you like to make?
Garlic Pineapple Stir-Fried Quinoa
Stir-fried rice is one of my favorite Asian dishes. However, it’s not always the healthiest, so I swapped in quinoa for added protein and nutritional value. I borrowed the cashew and pineapple idea from my college roommate, who made some of the best fried rice. The 5-ingredient sauce melds everything together to create a flavorful, hearty entrée or side dish.
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 10 min. Total time (not incl. cooking the quinoa): 20 min. Serves 4.
1 and 1/4 cups (212g) uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 and 1/2 cups (600ml) water
1 Tbsp (15ml) toasted sesame oil or coconut oil
1 cup (87g) diced green onion
3 cloves garlic (1 and 1/2 Tbsp or 9g), minced
1/2 cup (63g) peas, fresh or frozen
2/3 cup (80g) roasted salted cashews
2/3 cup (110g) diced pineapple
1 Tbsp (15ml) toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup (60ml) soy sauce or tamari
4-5 Tbsp (60-75 ml) maple syrup (or substitute organic brown sugar)
3 cloves garlic (1 and 1/2 Tbsp or 9g), minced
3-4 Tbsp (48-64g) salted natural peanut butter, cashew butter, or almond butter
01 Add the quinoa and water to a large saucepan. Cook over high heat until boiling, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
02 Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
03 Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the sesame oil, green onion, garlic, and 1 Tbsp (15ml) sauce. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add the peas. Cook for another 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium. Add the cooked quinoa and two-thirds of the sauce (reserving the rest for serving). Stir to thoroughly coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
04 Add the cashews and pineapple. Stir to coat. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
05 Serve with the remaining sauce on the side. Chopped green onion or cilantro makes a colourful garnish. Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
To enter to win a copy of Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking, tell me which of the recipes mentioned in this post you’d most like to try.
You can also tweet the following once per day (one entry per tweet), just make sure to comment here with the link to your url.
Quick, simple & delicious! Win a copy of Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking from @trysmallthings CAN 05/27 http://wp.me/p4xBed-1OX
Thanks everybody! I hope this post inspired you to get cooking!
The giveaway is open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) age 18+ and ends at midnight EST on May 27, 2016.
Update May 29, 2016: Congratulations Amber B!
Recipe shared here with permission from the publisher. Penguin Random House Canada sent me Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.