Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dinner with Nava

Several months ago I had dinner with Nava Atlas!

Ok, I'm stretching it some. It would have been lovely to have dinner with Nava, but I settled for the next best thing, making dinner with Nava's recipes.

Some time ago, Nava and I got in touch with each other by e-mail. She offered doing a cookbook exchange - "what a fun idea" I thought! So, I sent her a copy of Vive, and she sent me a copy of The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. But, when I got my package, that sneaky Nava also sent her Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons. I had mentioned to her that I'd heard great things about her soups, so she tucked it in the package as a surprise. What a sweetheart!

Now, I rarely (unfortunately) get to test out recipes from other author's cookbooks. I'm always so busy testing out my own recipes, and working on new cooking articles/projects, that I don't get around to trying all the other splendid recipes by other vegan cookbook authors. But, just after finishing my recipes for ED&BV, I decided to browse through Nava's recipes and choose a couple to make. This night I made Japanese Soba Noodle Soup and Scallion Pancakes, both from Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons.

The soup was very easy and quick to prepare and tasted lovely. Spinach is stirred into the soup during the last few minutes, which kept it bright and vibrant... and conveniently included some greens to the meal! Once the soup was finished, I drizzled toasted sesame oil over our individual portions... I just love that toasted sesame aroma and flavor on finished Asian-inspired meals.

The Scallion Pancakes were a fun addition - and perfect accompaniment to the soup (just as Nava suggests in her book). They were a breeze to make too, and made a large batch (half the batch would have fed our family just fine for the one meal). I omitted the scallions in about half the batter for our girls' pancakes. We served the pancakes with tamari for dipping - which just put me in the happiest place. Dipping in tamari - yum. And the girls were giddy to be eating pancakes for supper... and of course dipping in tamari as well!

This was a simple, comforting, delicious meal. Thank you Nava! Do you know that Nava has published nine vegetarian cookbooks? Holy hannah! And, her 10th cookbook - Vegan Express - will be released in February. (btw, did you know that Susan of FatFree Vegan Kitchen has done the food photography for Vegan Express). Cool, huh? There you have the inside scoop in the vegan cookbook world. :)

Now, if you want to have dinner with me, come to Earthsave Vancouver's Taste of Health. Okay, okay, we won't be having dinner... but, I will have lots of food samples! AND... the first copies of Eat, Drink & Be Vegan will be on sale! I'll be on stage Saturday the 29th, at 12 pm, and signing books after the demo. I'll post a reminder next week.

p.s. sorry my posts haven't been as frequent. I'll catch up again once these back-to-school and activities settle into routine!


VegMomma said...

Oooh....I wonder if I can convince my hubby to go to Vancouver. We're Earthsave members, but don't get to reap many benefits being in Edmonton.
That soup looks yummy! And I would love to try those pancakes! I guess I'll have to add a couple more books to my wishlist. :)

VeggieGirl said...

oh my goodness, that Japanese soba noodle soup looks incredible - Nava Atlas is definitely among the great chefs out there (like yourself)!

oh how I wish I could attend that Taste of Health event!! :0(

maybepigscanfly said...

How cute of you and Nava to do the cookbook exchange. I bet it is difficult to find time to follow recipes that aren't a part of the current project. (That should be a paying and required part of the job!)

Oh how I wish right now that I lived in Canada. I am so jealous of anyone who will get to see you at Taste Health and get their hands on the cookbook! I'm sure it's going to be lots of fun.

Peace, Love and Veganism said...

Isn't it amazing how us bloggers are all connected in neat ways? It's a great circle (ok, a huge circle) of vegan love! :) Also, we're doing a cookbook swap and share at our next monthly veggie meeting! How about that!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

How fun to have the inside scoop! I adore vegetarian soups for all seasons -- such great flavor combos. Dreena, I can't wait for Amazon to mail out the preorders of ED&BV - wish I could go to the Earthsave event & see you! Have fun, and be sure to tell us about it. :)

Anonymous said...

You must try the "chicken" soup recipe from Soups for all Seasons. It's so good. I was just thinking about it today.
By the way, I made the adzuki and rice patties tonight. I substituted the adzuki beans for black beans. They were delish.
The Veggie Vixen

Anonymous said...

I'm there!!!!!


PS Can I bring my copies of TEV and VIVE to have them autographed by the great Dreena?? I feel like I am going to meet a celebrity!!!!

urban vegan said...

I'd love to have dinner with Nava and Dreena. I love her Soups book. Those pancakes look like a tasty addition, especially for a scallion junkie like me.

Carrie™ said...

I'm afraid I won't be able to join you for dinner, but I want a cookbook!! When are they officially going on sale?
The soup sounds great. Now that we'll be moving into fall, soup is a perfect thing. Well, it is always, but more appreciated in the cold weather I think. Good luck at your event!

Dreena said...

Vegmomma, that's some crazy talk coming from Edmonton... esp with little kiddos! Do you get any events in Edmonton - cooking festivals and such?

Thanks veggiegirl... wish I could see you there too! :)

Hiya Teresa, I thought it was a cool idea too - Nava is a sweetie as well. That's kind of you, thanks... it would be awesome to meet you - maybe someday!

Peace, love, that's a terrific idea. We can fall in cooking patterns that get stale if we don't shake things up a bit, so sharing up the cookboks is just what some of us need! Esp if some recipes are marked as ones someone really likes, etc - fun way to try out new recipes. Like that idea a lot.

Vicki, I'll be sure to give you lots of details after the show. And I'd so love to meet you too. :)

Veggie Vixen, I thumbed through her book to check out the recipe as soon as I read that. Very simple looking too - will have to try it - add baked tofu and angel-hair pasta to my list! (and thanks, glad you liked the celebrity patties)

Yay Angie!! Can't wait to meet you. :) Of course you can get your books signed, and really I'm simply 'mom' around here!! :)

Urban Vegan, it's a date! At least sometime, somewhere...!

Carrie, the books JUST arrived at my publisher's office... they'll be hitting stores soon!!!! YEAH!! I'll ask my publisher when they think they'll reach most stores in Canada and the US. I'm so exited!!