The Vegetarian Reset
75 Low-Carb, Plant-Forward Recipes
from Around the World
Two Recipes Included in this review: Pav Bhaji & Vegan Zucchini Bread
Review by Bobbie Kitto
Edited & Published by Linda Kissam
When I first received this book, I was expecting a book that was full of things I hadn’t heard of, and even more things I was not interested in ever tasting.
I was prepared for the introduction to tell me I was forever doomed to eat food that looked weird and tasted even weirder or I was going to die a horrible starvation death.
I got none of that. What I had in my hand was a cooking guide I could indulge what my taste buds longed for, like bread, salads, soups, eggs, smoothies, and even desserts from several regions in the world… but presented in a more healthful way.
How about a Shepherd’s pie (pg110), a classic English dish or would perhaps a French Onion soup (pg. 120)? Craving something from India? Try the Unda Kathi Roll (pg130). Yearning for Mexican food? Check out the Huevos Rancheros (pg. 134). For more examples and to see the author demonstrate two of her recipes on how to create tasteful vegetarian foods go watch Vasudha Viswanath demonstrate her recipes for Zucchini Bread (pg. 14) and Pav Bhaji (spicy vegetable mash with a dinner roll) (pg. 23) on YouTube.
This book is divided up into nine sections and is structured like a restaurant’s menu. The first chapter showcases several bread selections. Next a choice of rice. Pasta and noodles are next in line. Then the delectable salad course.
A selection of soups and lentils follows the salad course. Eggs and small plates follow next. Following eggs and small plates comes a section that contains everyone’s favorite —- smoothies. Here readers can find selections such as Turmeric-Almond Lassi (a Punjabi yogurt drink that can be salty or sweet) or even a Gazpacho Smoothie. At last, everyone’s favorite – – Dessert. Think Banana Soufflés and PB&J Sandwich Cookies. If cheesecake is more to your liking there is a great recipe for Mango Cheesecake Jars.
Vasudha was raised in India as a vegetarian but now is one by choice. As a little girl she remembers the family members all being foodies and debating what the next meal would include. As a child, she would not go to bed until she knew what was being packed in her lunch box for school the next day.
Being diagnosed as a pre-diabetic prompted her to start researching how to eat healthy. Vasudha has shown us how easily that can be accomplished while still being able to taste the flavors of the world.
I rate this book a 4.5 out of 5 because of the small print which for a lot of people could be an issue. If you need larger print I would buy this book in Kindle form so you could adjust the font size for easier reading.
Try these recipes in your ow kitchen to see and taste for yourself how tasty and foodie oriented this book is.
Originally from the streets of Mumbai, pav bhaji is a crowd-pleaser that consists of a one-pot spicy vegetable mash (bhaji) served with soft dinner rolls (pav), garnished with a squeeze of lemon, chopped onions, cilantro, and often, dollops of butter! In my version, yellow moong dal works wonderfully as a substitute for starchy potato, lending the bhaji a nutty but creamy flavor. Served with toasted zucchini bread, this makes a hearty and delicious meal with no compromises! I often serve the bhaji over bread like a sloppy joe, so you get it all in one dreamy bite.
To Veganize: Sub any neutral-flavored oil for the butter and use Vegan Zucchini Bread
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup/150g diced red onion
1 medium plum or Roma tomato (4 oz/110g), diced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp ground coriander seed
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1⁄4 tsp cayenne
2 cups/200g roughly chopped cauliflower
3⁄4 cup/120g frozen green peas
1 small red bell pepper/capsicum (4 oz/110g), diced
1⁄4 cup/30g yellow moong dal (or split red lentils), soaked for 30 minutes and rinsed
1 tsp salt
2⁄3 cup/160ml water, plus more as needed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
6 slices Zucchini Bread (approximately 2 oz/55g each; page 14)
2 tsp butter
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro/fresh coriander, for garnish
4 lemon wedges, for garnish
Step 1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan (for which you have a lid) over medium-high heat. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the diced onion for garnish and add the rest to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, coriander, paprika, cumin, and cayenne. Mix well and cook until well incorporated and the tomatoes break down and start oozing, 3–4 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water to deglaze the pan if necessary.
Step 2. Add the cauliflower, peas, bell pepper, moong dal, salt, and water, and mix. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, adding more water if needed, until the lentils are done, 20–30 minutes.
Step 3. Mash the vegetables and lentils together using a potato masher or pulse a few times with an immersion blender (the bhaji should still have some texture). Add the lemon juice and mix.
Step 4. Toast the bread in a skillet at medium heat using 1/2 teaspoon butter per slice. Serve the bread with bhaji. Garnish with cilantro and serve with the reserved chopped onion and lemon wedges.
This low-carb, gluten-free, protein-rich bread has a mild savory flavor and gorgeous moist texture from the zucchini. It is endlessly versatile—use it for everything from grilled cheese to pav bhaji to croutons and even breadcrumbs! It took me dozens of tries to perfect this recipe, but now it gets rave reviews, every time. I recommend you keep a loaf on standby in the freezer because it features in several recipes in this book, such as the Avocado Toast, Pav Bhaji, Eggs Florentine and French Onion Soup.
This bread is dense and filling, so you will find that you cannot eat as much as you would of regular white or whole-wheat bread. Note that the vegan version will not rise as much as the original, but it tastes just as delicious and works better for croutons and breadcrumbs .
1 medium zucchini (7 oz./200g)
1⁄2 tsp. + 1 pinch salt, plus more to taste
1 cup/120g chickpea flour
1 scant cup/100g blanched almond flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 medium zucchini (7 oz./200g)
1⁄2 tsp. + 1 pinch salt, plus more to taste
1 heaping cup/140g chickpea flour
1 heaping cup/120g blanched almond flour
1 1⁄2 Tbsp. baking powder 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
6 Tbsp. aquafaba (soaking liquid from a can of chickpeas)
Step 1. Grate zucchini using the smaller holes of a box grater. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over zucchini and let sit for 10–15 minutes to draw out moisture.
Step 2. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Lightly grease an 81/2-x-41/2-x-21/2- inch / 201/2-x-11-x-51/2-cm loaf pan.
Step 3. Combine chickpea flour, almond flour, baking powder, flaxseed, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and mix well. Beat eggs lightly in a separate bowl (skip for vegan version).
Step 4. Place zucchini in a thin towel, paper towel, or a nut-milk bag and squeeze over a bowl to get as much moisture out as possible (I usually get at least 1/4 cup zucchini water). Reserve the water for the next step.
Step 5. When oven temp reaches 350°F/180°C, add 1/4 cup zucchini water, beaten egg or aquafaba, and grated zucchini to dry ingredients and stir well with a large spoon or whisk, breaking up any lumps. If the batter is too thick to combine, add a bit more zucchini water 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 4 tablespoons, supplementing with regular water if needed. The batter should be thick, like a lump of wet sand.
Step 6. Transfer batter to prepared pan and tap gently on the counter to settle. Bake for 35–45 minutes (45–55 minutes for the vegan version), or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Step 7. Let cool 15–20 minutes. Loosen around the edges of the pan with a butter knife if necessary. Transfer to a flat surface to slice, and serve just as you would any other bread!
Squeeze zucchini hard to get as much moisture out as possible. This is the key to not ending up with a soggy mess!
Store bread in an airtight container for 3–5 days at room temperature, or up to 3 months in the freezer. Defrost 4–5 hours or overnight at room temperature.
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The Vegetarian Reset: 75 Low-Carb, Plant-Forward Recipes from Around the World
by Vasudha Viswanath and Alexandra Shytsman
Jan 17, 2023
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Note: Roberta (Bobbie) Kitto is a freelance writer based out of Laughlin, NV. Her interests include travel, culinary pursuits and gardening. No fee was paid for this article, but she did receive a copy of the book to review. Her opinions are her own.
To make the best of each recipe, use quality ingredients! Bobbie highly recommends products from Melissa’s Produce, available at many markets.