The Beans, Lentils & Tofu Gourmet
Robert Rose Publishing
Robert Rose Publishing (2000)
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (10/10)
Yes, beans, lentils and tofu can be gourmet! But, it all depends on how you prepare those ingredients and what the presentation looks like. Since I’m a fan of all three I was pleased to be able to review “The Beans, Lentils & Tofu Gourmet.”
For the purpose of this review we are asked to try out three recipes. My first choice was “Tortilla bean salad with creamy salsa dressing.” I love the taste and texture of cold beans and this recipe certainly was approved by my palate. The recipe called for all the classics in a Southwestern salad: lettuce, chickpeas, kidney beans, carrots, bell peppers, and red onions. The fresh chopped coriander added to the flavor. The dressing was creamy and the garlic and chili powder added to the traditional taste.
The second recipe I made was “Bean and sweet potato chili on garlic polenta.” Interesting! The combination of garlic, leeks, red bell peppers, kidney beans and sweet potatoes was a surprise. Season this combination with fennel seeds, chili powder and basil and you’ve got a dish that is different but very tasty. Served on polenta this dish was a hit. Because this recipe serves six, we had leftovers. The flavors mellowed and the dish was even better on the second day.
The third recipe I made was “Lentils with spicy sausage.” A simple recipe yet could be classified as “gourmet” when served as an appetizer. This recipe calls for 4 or 5 cloves of garlic as well as a spicy sausage so expect the slight burn. Although this recipe is in the appetizer section I served it over rice for the main meal. Accompanied with a green salad we enjoyed the warming effect this dish had.
Although there are recipes that include meat, this cookbook would be ideal for vegetarians because of the many dishes that include beans, lentils and tofu. All three give complete protein and are palatable by most people. While perusing the rest of the book I noted that the ingredients can be found in any kitchen pantry and certainly at a local grocery store. Although “gourmet” is in the title, the ingredients aren’t those that can only be found in gourmet stores. “The Beans, Lentils & Tofu Gourmet” is a good cookbook with many good and simple recipes. It’s a keeper.