If you are seriously into veganism, or want to really bounce around on a protein-induced muscle-building exercise high, this is the book for you. Veteran cookery writer Terry Hope Romero (Salad Samurai,
Vegan Eats World) has come up with unusual new recipes to tickle your meatless fancy.
Let's face it: any diet or nutrition regimen can become routine, and then...boring. Veganism has its ups--it is a fine and recommended health intervention for people who have been advised to lower cholesterol by cutting back on red, fatty meats, and for others who just want to avoid eating animals on principle. But some of the good things about meat will come back to haunt even the staunchest vegan. That's what Protein Ninja has come to assist with. With a subtitle like this--"Power Through Your Days with 100 Hearty Plant-Based Recipes That Pack a Protein Punch"--you can feel sure that there's something in this book for you.
Many, though not all, of these recipes are in part produced by using protein powders (and you will quickly learn, there are lots of protein powders these days, not just the old standby, soy). Most of the "bowl" recipes (really more like burgers) have protein powders, whether crushed nuts, beans, leaves or seeds, as a main ingredient. But not all the foods concocted in Romero's book require powders. A main garnish, for example, is "My Best Coconut Bacon", made with coconut flakes, tamari, and "liquid smoke"--the combination, frittered up, makes a topping for other delicacies and lets a vegan fulfill that craving for the wonderfully salty meat garnish bacon bits.
The recipe for "Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Scones" combines white flour and standard baking soda and baking powder with rice protein powder, organic sugar, vegan chocolate, nuts, and canola oil. The author puts it this way: "Do you ever find yourself thinking 'I want orange! No, wait, I want cranberry! Hrngh, maybe I want chocolate!'" I admit, I'm not a vegan but this recipe sounds scrummy.
Romero's way with words is on a par with her way with exotic ingredients. She tells us that Sunny Oat Burgers "break free of an overtly hippie stereotype when paired with citrusy tahini and roasted potatoes bathed in a Moroccan-inspired harissa marinade." The book is worth reading for these bons mot as much as for the recipes themselves. Ms. Romero does not hold back on her enthusiasms; but after all, an author should like what she's writing about, and there's no doubt Romero approaches her subject matter with genuine gusto.
With vivid color photos that make every dish look delectable, a handy, kitchen-y sort of size, and a complete food index, Protein Ninja is a must-have for soy-weary vegans, those who like their protein a goodly distance from the cow, and even those new to the whole vegan ethos.