Cook the Pantry - Vegan Pantry-to-Plate Recipes in 20 Minutes or Less, from Vegan Heritage Press
The evolutionary follow-up to Vegan Unplugged Cookbook & Survival Guide, advice for managing life in a home without electricity, along with 70 recipes using only pantry ingredients and a single-burner butane stove.
Even though I loved Vegan Unplugged and find it very useful, I never did put together an emergency box, as recommended. I did buy a butane stove, which I also love, but so far I've only used it for cooking videos and camping.
But! Vegan Unplugged recipes apply equally to everyday non-emergency cooking. Many other readers thought so too, and many found Vegan Unplugged helpful for cooking with limited kitchens or ingredients.
With Vegan Unplugged recipes, I grab what's in the cupboard, add or sub fresh ingredients I have on hand, plus home cooked beans and grains I keep in the fridge and freezer. Quick and Easy!
That's exactly what Cook the Pantry does, plus Robin Robertson has added many new recipes.
After reading Cook the Pantry thoroughly, I think it's true that most of the recipes can be made in 20 minutes or less - by most people. With unfamiliar recipes and ingredients, it might take a bit longer.
It took me 30 minutes to make yummy Cheesy Grits and Greens with Smoky Mushrooms - the first time. I'm sure it'll take 20 minutes the next time, now that I've mastered quick cooking grits and I'm familiar with the recipe.
I usually pick recipes that fit with the ingredients I normally have on hand. This time I went outside my comfort zone because I wanted to try grits - believe it or not, I'd never eaten them.
One of the best features of Cook the Pantry is the variety in the recipes. And I admit that I could use more variety in my diet since I tend to repeat the same limited menu with small changes every week.
I think it would be worth expanding my pantry so I can perk up our diet with tasty recipes like White Beans and Greens Soup, Curry-Spiced Pumpkin Bisque, Amazing Technicolor Chickpea Salad, Asian Noodle Slaw, Giardiniera Mac and Cheese, Pecan Pie Balls and more.
Those recipes aren't far out of my usual range, and the grocery budget could stand the few extra ingredients.
Speaking of grocery budgets, the only possible downside to pantry cooking is that it can be more expensive to cook like that. But even with scratch cooking, you need to keep many staples on hand, and replace them as needed.
The trade off with pantry cooking is time saved and a better diet for your money. For the cost of a frozen vegan pizza, you can buy the ingredients for several amazing meals from Cook the Pantry.
Of course, sensible people like you and I will not rush out and buy the entire pantry list in Chapter One of Cook the Pantry. We just get what we need for the recipes we want to try, or those we eat all the time.
A Big Plus for Cook the Pantry is that the recipes ARE actually quick and easy - and healthy, and very tasty.
Since most of us tend to fall back on pizza, sandwiches or frozen entrees if we don't have time and energy to cook, our diets will obviously be much better with a well stocked pantry and this cookbook.
Not that we'll never eat pizza again - but now we have some options.
E.G in Top-Shelf Couscous Pilaf on Pg 110, the fresh ingredients are shredded carrot, optional chopped scallions and fresh herbs. The rest are canned, packaged and frozen, including the couscous. The recipe takes 10 minutes, and if you want to get fancier and healthier, stir in some baby spinach. It beats the heck out of frozen pizza, which takes 12 minutes to reheat.
Cook the Pantry is the perfect cookbook for any one who wants to eat a healthier plant based diet, has little time or energy to cook, but doesn't mind shopping once a week and spending a bit more on ingredients for more nutritious meals. That would be most of us, right?
I highly recommend Cook the Pantry by Robin Robertson!