Happy Thursday, everyone! Amazingly, this is the very last morning of my current clinical rotation. Putting aside the overall challenges of the DI itself—new schedule, lots of oversight, lack of privacy—my seven weeks at this site have been a wonderful learning experience, with supportive and caring dietitians as teachers. I’m still struggling to wrap my mind around a whole year of this kind of work, but I’m feeling grateful that my first rotation was such a positive learning environment.
I have a few days next week to rest, recharge, spend some quality time with a close friend who’s visiting, and get ready for my next rotation. That one involves a long commute, and it’s at a large hospital, which will mean a quicker pace and faster output than I had in the nursing home. I’m trepidatious, but for now, I’m glad to have a pause.
One of the things I’d love to do next week is to sit down and spend some quality time with my friend Brandi’s beautiful, inviting new cookbook, The Vegan 8. Many of you probably know Brandi as the author of a blog by the same name. Her recipes are vegan, hearty, homey, and feature 8 ingredients or less, which makes them accessible, too.
Brandi and I have gotten to know each other in the last year, and we’ve quickly discovered super similar food sensibilities, starting with our love of carbs and all things comfort food. I love her style of cooking, and I’m so happy to have a new recipe collection to dive into.
In the book, Brandi relays the story of how her husband’s health struggle with gout compelled her to explore a plant-based diet. Now she, her husband, and her daughter enjoy veganism together. Not surprisingly, Brandi’s recipes always feel family-friendly and crowd-pleasing, inviting to everyone. They’re also oil free and largely gluten free, for those who avoid either.
It’s always fun for me when I flip through a new cookbook and have more recipes that I’d like to bookmark and make than not. I got my copy of The Vegan 8 on Tuesday night, and I sank back into the sofa cushions with some post-its, hoping to mark the recipes I’d put on my batch cooking list this fall and winter. I quickly had so many I wanted to make—Orange Vanilla Waffles, Mexican Tahini Chickpeas, a Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Buddha Bowl, Green Split Pea Soup with Coriander, Hungarian Red Lentil Soup, Showstopper Chocolate Cake, and the list goes on—that I stopped with the post-its. This is a cookbook I’ll take my time with, and I don’t doubt that I’ll explore nearly all of the recipes at some point or another.
I so badly wanted to start my exploration of the book with a stew or a main dish, but the last week has been really demanding, and I’ve been trying to outrun a cold. I decided to start with something simple but practical. Brandi’s Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato Dip was a perfect choice: really easy to make, and the perfect solution for a full week of work snacks.
The dip features mashed sweet potato, white beans, bold red curry paste, and coriander, among other seasonings. It’s a breeze to whip up in the food processor, and it yields more than your average batch of hummus, which means that it truly did last me a week. It’s bold, flavorful, and versatile: I’ve now used it as a dip with crudites, crackers, and as a sandwich spread (I paired it with baked tofu slices and roasted bell pepper strips—yum!). It would also be a fabulous appetizer to serve to friends. Here’s the recipe.
How nice to have something this flavorful and nutritious on hand for the snacks that have been keeping me going, week after week! I can’t wait to welcome more of Brandi’s new recipes into my kitchen.
If you’re as eager to explore The Vegan 8 as I am, Brandi and her publisher are generously offering a giveaway copy of the book to one lucky US reader. Enter below to win!
I’ll announce the lucky winner on the widget in 2 weeks. Good luck–and I’ll see you soon, for the weekly roundup.
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My all time favorite – mac and cheeze!
My favorite comfort food is vegan mac and cheese. The dip looks amazing!
This sounds delicious!
My favorite comfort food to eat is my own version of muesli — rolled oats with nuts, dried fruits, cinnamon, chia, and cocoa, with hot water added. But my favorite comfort food to make is muffins, from lentil loaf muffins to ultra gingery gingerbread muffins.
Sweet potato and red curry! I don’t see how this could go wrong
Veggie ramen is my all-time favorite comfort food meal! 🙂
This looks INCREDIBLE. Who needs crackers. I’ll just be over here using my fingers.
My favorite comfort food is soup. (With the obligatory cornbread of course)
Thank you so very much my sweet friend for this wonderful review and taking the time to do it! I know you are so incredibly busy and cannot put into words how much I appreciate you sharing this recipe and your thoughts on the book. SO glad you liked the dip and found different ways to use it. Good luck on everything with your next rotation at the hospital and I hope you get to have some down time, even if it’s just for a bit. Thank you again so much for sharing it means so much to me! xx
I love a good vegan, wood-fired Neapolitan pizza. Comfort food at its finest.
My favorite comfort food used to be a cheesy lasagna, but now that I’m vegan it’s a nice creamy plant based alfredo sauce over pasta with mushrooms.
Does dessert count? Vanilla tapioca pudding is always a first choice.
As basic as it is, a really good bake potato with fun toppings can really hit the spot. Vegan 8’s cookbook sounds amazing! ☺
Looks so yum! My all time favorite comfort food is soup.
This sounds like a great thanksgiving app
This looks delicious! Going to make it this weekend but am going to use some of my beans from my Rancho Gordo stash! Keep up the great work on your blog! Excited to get my hands on the #vegan8 cookbook one way or another!
At the moment, oatmeal with gingerbread spices and blackstrap molasses!
This sounds like an amazing dip, and I can’t wait to try it! Thank you for sharing, Gena and I hope you enjoy your break :). Much love to you!
Cannot wait to try this dip. So many helpful healthy recipes– thanks sooooo much. X