The lovely folks at Thomas Allen & Son were kind enough to send me a review copy of a new vegan cookbook — Vicki’s Vegan Kitchen by Vicki Chelf. And so I had a cookbook to curl up with by the fire when we spent a week at the cottage. While we were up there, I used the book to make No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies, which were a total hit with the guys.
And once I got back home, it was time for real food. We came back with a fridge-full of corn, so I thought I’d see if there was a corn recipe in the book, and just my luck there was! Vicki’s Creamy Corn Bake with Red Beans not only called for fresh corn, but EIGHT WHOLE CUPS OF IT!!!! So of course, it was a no brainer.
The recipe was super easy — blitz the corn in a blender, put everything in a bowl, and put it in the oven. The verdict around here (eaten by 2 vegetarians and an omnivore) was that it was delicious, had good flavour, but could be better with a different bean. The kidney beans overpowered the corn a bit — we’d try it again replacing them with maybe split peas, chickpeas, or white kidney beans. I would also be tempted to only blitz half the corn, and leave the rest as kernels. In fact the only reason I didn’t is that I wanted to try Vicki’s recipe as it was printed, and I deviated enough with upping the spices a bit!
But I think the kidney beans are something I appreciated about this recipe, and Vicki’s recipes in general; all of the ingredients are easy to come by at any grocery store. And I remember from living in less-urban spots that feeling of looking at a vegan recipe and thinking: “That’s nice. But I can’t get any of those things here… sighhhhhhhhhh.” So I really appreciate that these recipes are not only approachable, but use easy-to-find ingredients.
I think Vicki’s cookbook would be excellent for new vegans looking for nutritious & delicious meals for everyday. The recipes would be easy to incorporate into your weekly routine, and they seem to be health conscious with a focus on low-fat and low-salt. All of the info you need to start cooking vegan meals is in here — cooking charts for dried beans, how to make your own non-dairy milks (oat, cashew, almond, rice, coconut!), how to make a meal salad, and information on how to build a vegan pantry. I can’t wait to try the Tahini-Umeboshi Dressing, Pearl Buck Radishes, and FINALLY I have an idea for something to do with sunchokes besides roasting them — Sun Chokes with Tomatoes and Herbs.
When I made the corn casserole, I served it with “Cauliflower Things”. They have a real name and a whole recipe that I’ll share soon, but the combo was great! I think the casserole would also be great with some sauteed green veggies (maybe The Best Kale Ever or even Kale Chips for some crunch). However you eat it, enjoy!
Corn & Kidney Bean Casserole
Adapted from Creamy Corn Bake with Red Beans from Vicki’s Vegan Kitchen by Vicki Chelf, Serves 4
- 8 c. corn kernels (cut off the cob)
- 2 c. red kidney beans, cooked (I used canned – rinsed, and drained)
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 c. fresh basil, cut into ribbons (aka. chiffonade)
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a baking dish with coconut oil (or vegetable oil).
Blitz the corn kernels in a blender until you have a creamy consistency.
In a large bowl, combine the creamy corn, cumin, basil, salt & cayenne.
Pour the corn mixture into the greased baking dish.
Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling, and the top is browned.