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Foodie Fridays: Bake & Destroy


I’ve had quite a bit of fun in the kitchen lately, at least since receiving a review copy of Bake & Destroy, a new cookbook by vegan foodie blogger Natalie Slater. Before you wince at the v-word, let me assure you that Natalie is hardly a yoga-practicing, Greenpeace-volunteering, hippie type. Tattoo-sporting, wrestling-loving hipster, sure, but her cookbook is very much designed to make foods fun and tasty and simple to prepare all at the same time – all served up with a pretty razor sharp side of wit.

bake and destroy natalie slater

Since receiving a copy, I’ve cooked my way through several of the entrees / snacks and one of the breakfasts, although Natalie’s real specialty is truly her desserts. Here’s a good rule of thumb for you all: if you want to indulge in something sweet, make it yourself. For one, you’ll guarantee you know exactly what you’re munching on. For another, you’ll probably seriously cut back on how many sweets you eat – as straightforward and charming as Natalie’s recipes are, you probably won’t be whipping up French Fry Tacos every night of the week.

Bake & Destroy BBQ Salad

That being said, the book is meant to showcase the chef’s range, and I can definitely say she has some. In general, I found the recipes to be the type of thing I’d consider whipping up for an intimate dinner party with friends – if only to highlight vegan food does NOT have to be boring or tasteless or difficult to make – or I’d just as easily select one of her awesome party foodstuffs and serve it at a bigger fete or potluck. The ingredients are all surprisingly easy peasy to get, and I appreciated Natalie doesn’t rely too much on vegan substitutes (a major pet peeve of mine).

The instructions themselves are also quite straightforward. While some recipes can be a little time-consuming – I made the Samosa Pot Pie over the weekend over the course of about two hours, however there were two periods of downtime in there – altogether the results are worth it. The food I’ve made lately has earned raved reviews from my husband(!) who actually straight up asked me the other day where the hell I was getting these awesome recipes from. As a fair warning, I will say that these probably aren’t the most nutritionally-focused recipes. If you’re switching to vegan food for health reasons (as I was initially motivated to), I would say this is a fun book to throw into the mix when you’re looking for fun spins on classic foods (Indian Buffet Pizza or Mac & Cheeze Sandwiches anyone?) OR if you’re looking for some seriously kick butt party snacks / treats. I made her chocolate coconut whole wheat donuts this weekend, and um, holy yum.

Taco Lasagna

To give you a preview of what you’re in for, I’ve got a complimentary Taco Lasagna recipe to share. It was actually the first recipe I tackled from the book and it was all kinds of delicious. My only recommendation is definitely make it in a lasagne pan – you’ll have too much filling for just a pie pan!

Taco Lasagna

In third grade I used to spend all my Scholastic money on Garfield books. It bummed my mom out, but those books taught me two important life lessons: lasagna is awesome and Mondays suck. I don’t know Garfield’s opinion on Taco Lasagna, but something tells me the layers of mushrooms, corn and spicy Nacho Chee-Zee Sauce would earn this dish a furry orange thumbs-up.

Serves 8

Ingredients

FILLING:

2 teaspoons oil, for pan

12 ounces (53 g) button mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

1 clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 (15-ounce [425 g]) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 ½ (15-ounce [425 g]) cans corn, or 3 ¼ cups (420 g) frozen corn

Nacho Chee-Zee Sauce (page 161)

1 (10- to 12-ounce [280 to 340 g]) jar of your favorite chunky salsa

8 soft flour tortillas

TOPPING:

Sliced black olives

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

Juice from 1 lime

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

Make the filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for about 7 minutes or until browned. Add the garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.

In a medium-size bowl, mix beans, corn and mushrooms with the Nacho Chee-Zee Sauce.

Pour one-third of the salsa into the bottom of a 10-inch (25.5 cm) round or 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) oven-safe dish. Top with a layer of overlapping tortillas, similar to layering in lasagna noodles.

Top with one-third of the bean mixture, then one-quarter of the remaining salsa, and another layer of overlapping tortillas.

Repeat with another third of the bean mixture and more salsa, and top with more tortillas.

Finally, add the last third of the bean mixture and half of the remaining salsa, and top with tortillas.

Pour the remaining salsa on top and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Toss the avocado with the lime juice, then top the baked lasagna with the avocado mixture and olives. Slice and eat!

 

All of you long-time readers know that I primarily (but not exclusively) eat vegan food, hence why most of my cookbook features are on vegan or veg-friendly books. Without gettin’ preachy, I fully believe getting a little more plants into your diet is a swell idea. So with that, if you’re keen on getting your vegan on in a very fun way, I’ve got a copy of Bake & Destroy to give away to one of you! Here’s how to enter:

1) Leave a comment by October 1st with a link back from the Bake & Destroy website with the recipe you’re most keen on trying (doesn’t matter whether it’s in the book – she’s got plenty of nommable options online).

2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around October 2nd to select the winners, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.

3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.

4) Bonus Entry: Pin the Taco Lasagna image you see above to your recipe board on Pinterest and leave a link back to it below to score yourself a bonus entry into the draw 🙂

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Comments
45 Responses to “Foodie Fridays: Bake & Destroy”
  1. Joan G says:

    I want to try the Strawberry Rhubarb Compote – the sweetness of the strawberries and the tartness of the rhubarb make it one of my favourite pie and the same great taste should also be in the compote.

    http://bakeanddestroy.net/2013/06/vegan-strawberry-rhubarb-compote-with-cashew-cream/

  2. mousecat says:

    This recipe sounds really good. I’m going to try it this weekend, I think!
    http://bakeanddestroy.net/2007/08/apple-oatmeal-crisp/

  3. cookie3 says:

    I will be trying this recipe but I’ll be making it into little snack sized appetizers.
    http://bakeanddestroy.net/2013/04/four-ingredient-mouth-party/

  4. Susan says:

    The Bake and Destroy recipe I’m most eager to try is the Taffy Apple Salad Redux.
    http://bakeanddestroy.net/2013/05/taffy-apple-salad-redux/

  5. kittypride says:

    The Vegan Tot Pot pie might be something I could get the kids into 😀 http://bakeanddestroy.net/2013/04/vegan-tot-pot-pie-recipe/

  6. Grace F says:

    I’d love to try Vegan Banana Bread French Toast Cupcakes. Sounds like a yummy treat!
    http://bakeanddestroy.net/2012/07/vegan-banana-bread-french-toast-cupcakes/

  7. Belinda McNabb says:

    My sister in law is vegan and I would so share this with her if I won! I would like to try the ring of fire brownies

    http://bakeanddestroy.net/2013/07/ring-of-fire-brownie-recipe/

  8. i love the name of the book i’m going to try the Taco lasagna recipe

  9. Pamela Tamming says:

    Would like to try vegan cooking

  10. Beth Rosell says:

    The recipe I want to try from Bake & Destroy is Teno’s Snow Day Muffins – http://bakeanddestroy.net/2011/02/tenos-snow-day-muffins/

  11. Beth Rosell says:

    I pinned the Taco Lasagna on Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/pin/304555993522018725/

  12. Kimberley says:

    I would like to try The Taffy Apple Salad redux – http://bakeanddestroy.net/2013/05/taffy-apple-salad-redux/

  13. thomas rusinak says:

    strawberry rhubarb capote sounds delicious!

  14. Marlene J says:

    The recipe you’re most keen on trying Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Compote with Cashew Cream
    http://bakeanddestroy.net/2013/06/vegan-strawberry-rhubarb-compote-with-cashew-cream/

  15. Alison K says:

    The recipe I’m most keen on trying is her, “Bike Messenger Brownies – Espresso-infused Chai” http://bakeanddestroy.net/2010/03/bike-messenger-brownies-a-giveaway/. Ooey-gooey goodness 😉

  16. Sylvia Aitken says:

    My granddaughter has been Vegan for the past 8 years, and feels {and looks} healthier than ever… so this book would be for her to try and expand her cooking skills.

  17. Diane says:

    I’d love to try the Tony’s Snow Day Kale & Potato Stew. http://bakeanddestroy.net/2013/02/tonys-snow-day-kale-potato-stew/

  18. GARRY S says:

    TOT POT PIE

  19. stacey h says:

    i want to try the ‘honey lime donuts’, i’ve never made donuts but i sure do like eating them
    http://bakeanddestroy.net/2010/08/honey-lime-donuts/

  20. stacey h says:

    taco lasagna

  21. Betty S says:

    Would love to try the taco lasagna recipe. many of my friends are vegans and this would help me when they come to dinner, and I know I would like it also

  22. Natalie S says:

    I have been trying to meet my insane cravings for lemon squares, the ultimately tarty, sweetness without falling too far off the vegan wagon. http://bakeanddestroy.net/2007/07/vegan-lemon-cupcakes/ Seems like this just might work!

  23. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    the Sour Cream Drop Biscuits sound really yummy for my tummy: http://bakeanddestroy.net/2007/02/sour-cream-drop-biscuits/

  24. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Bake & Destroy bonus entry! Thankfully I have short hair so this wouldn’t be anything for me. If it really works my daughter might be tempted, it is pricey though.

  25. Wanda Bergman says:

    Would love to try the Vegan Ring of Fire Brownies

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