Allow me to let you all in on a little secret: this post makes me feel like I’ve sort of made it, ever so slightly, in the food blogging world. My favourite inspirations often share reviews of upcoming cookbook releases either by friends or strangers and I think “wow, they must be big for so-and-so to want them to review their new book”. Now, I’m that person doing the review – it feels quite amazing! I put myself forward to get a pre-release copy of Brandi Doming’s The Vegan 8 Cookbook and I was thrilled to be chosen.
I am an avid cookbook reader and hope to share some of my favourites with you here for your inspiration and a little insight into Nourishing Amy behind the scenes. Brandi’s debut book is a new favourite of mine for several reasons; the colourful and beautifully styled photography; the 90 brand-new recipes plus 10 favourites from her blog (thevegan8.com); the key factor that all recipes require 8 ingredients or less (not including salt, pepper and water). Many cookbooks use far too many weird (but wonderful) ingredients, making plant-based cooking appear expensive and difficult, but Brandi’s approach is refreshing and the recipes are ideal for anyone new to vegan cooking or for simple, wholesome and family-friendly week-night meals. While most recipes are gluten-free and nut-free, Brandi offers alternatives where appropriate, making every recipe adaptable.
“We all have busy lives, and when it’s time for a meal it doesn’t need to be complicated. I love proving that you don’t need a ton of time or a long list of ingredients to eat healthy, homemade meals that will satisfy you.” Brandi Doming.
The Vegan 8 Cookbook is easy to use and navigate with key chapters: breakfasts; scrumptious snacks & appetisers; time-crunch lunches; sauces & dressings; easy entrees; comforting soups & stews; sides & dips; crowd-pleasing desserts; and staples. She also offers an insight into her Vegan 8 kitchen with top tips, ingredients and measurement equivalents – it really is so well-thought-through. The only problem I had was which recipes to make first?
After much drooling over the pages, I settled on The Perfect Pasta Salad to start with, although other recipes that have caught my eye are: Orange-Vanilla Waffles, Mexican Tahini Chickpeas, Southwestern Sweet Potato and Black Bean Bowls with Chipotle Cream, Baked Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Donuts…
I chose the Pasta Salad to start with as it’s super quick and is a great satisfying and healthy lunch box option which is great for when I need something vibrant to grab ‘n’ go. I also think it is a recipe that you will all enjoy as there are no strange ingredients and it is quite adaptable i.e. I used green instead of black olives and I also used fresh, tinned corn instead of frozen and it tasted delicious! I also love to add avocado cubes, too. It is simple, good food that satisfies your taste buds and your tummy. The idea to use stock as the main sauce ingredient is genius but the fresh basil makes it feel really special.
I am excited to say the book is out now and have a look here for your copy.
The Perfect Pasta Salad
A quick and simple pasta salad filled with colourful vegetables and a tasty vinaigrette.
- 6 tbsp low-sodium vegetable broth, or stock
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 225g (8oz) fusilli pasta
- 108g (3/4 cup) sliced black olives
- 113g (3/4 cup) frozen sweet corn
- 100g (3/4 cup) halved cherry tomatoes
- 12g (1/2 cup loosely packed) chopped fresh basil
- Combine the broth (or stock), vinegar, oregano and pepper in a small bowl, whisking until combines. Set aside in the fridge to chill.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse in very cold water. This will jump-start chilling the pasta salad. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl. Add the olives, corn, tomatoes, and basil, and stir to combine.
- Pour in the vinaigrette, starting with ¼ cup and increasing until it reaches the flavour you want. Keep in mind that the flavours will relax a bit overnight in the fridge, so you will likely add the remaining vinaigrette the next day if you don’t use it all now. Toss to coat everything well. taste and add salt and more pepper, if desired. The frozen corn does chill the salad nicely right away and it can be eaten immediately, but I (Brandi) prefer to chill the salad in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving with the torn basil.
Let’s connect! I would love to hear what you think of The Perfect Pasta Salad and whether you’ve taken it to work perhaps? Leave your comments below and tag me in your re-creations – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and you can find Brandi at @thevegan8 and use the hashtag #nourishingamy.