It is DAY 18 of "Gluten Free Vegan Recipes with Breville" and we celebrate our Breville Sous Chef® Food Processor Giveaway with one of the most creative food bloggers in the world, the phenomenal Michael Natkin, the genius behind the widely popular and award-winning vegetarian food blog, Herbivoracious.
For several years, Michael was the author of the bi-weekly column “Serious Meatless” on Serious Eats, where he gained a reputation for cutting-edge vegetarian cooking. His blog and his recipes have been mentioned nearly a dozen times in the New York Times Diner’s Journal; been listed for four consecutive years on Saveur’s “Sites We Love”; and his photos are regularly featured on TasteSpotting, FoodGawker, and other sites. I confess, when I met him in Seattle earlier this year at BlogHer Food I was more than a little excited!
Michael began cooking at the age of 18, when he started experimenting with a macrobiotic diet in order to cook for his mother who was dying from breast cancer. Vegetarianism just made sense to him, and he never looked back. You can read more about Michael’s passion for plant-based living here.
July of 2007 turned out to be a huge turning point in Michael’s life, when after 25 years as a software engineer, he made a snap decision to start his food blog, Herbivoracious. Michael says about the name, “I think it captures both the idea of being vegetarian, and my insatiable, voracious appetite for everything related to food. I’m happy to spend every waking minute either looking for beautiful ingredients, reading about cooking, or cooking myself, or eating, so I think the moniker fits!”
You can find incredible recipes on Michael's blog. Some of my favourites include: Zucchini and Chickpea Tagine, Persimmon Carpaccio With Fennel Salad, and the Smoked Pineapple and Tomatillo Salsa. But there are TONS of amazing ideas. I could spend ALL DAY on this website, and still be left wanting MORE. Thankfully, I can now thumb through my well-loved copy of Michael's spectacular debut cookbook, HERBIVORACIOUS: A Vegetarian Cookbook for People Who Love to Eat, where he has created 150 innovative, prevocative recipes that take the reader on a world culinary journey.
With his modern, international style, Michael works with local, and seasonal ingredients, putting his signature spin on ethnic favourites by taking flavour concepts and techniques and applying them in a totally new context. Mexican, Asian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern dishes are served up with bold, authentic flavours and reinvented in spectacular fashion.
Hearty main courses such as Caribbean Lentil-Stuffed Flatbread, Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower, Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans and Tofu, Chickpea and Green Olive Tagine, and Pozole Rojo de Frijol delight the senses; and quick easy Chirashi Sushi, Salad of Persimmon, Parsley and Olives, Brown Butter Cornbread, Mujadara, Vietnamese Vermicelli with Ginger Grapefruit Sauce offer quicker meals.
There is also a myriad of wonderful soups, salads, sauces, condiments, sides, appetizers, desserts, and breakfast recipes. All of the dishes are satisfying, light, beautiful to look at, and packed with interesting flavours. More than half of the recipes are either vegan and gluten free, or can easily be made so with simple substitutions. Michael also shares advice how make vegetarian meals nutrient-dense and protein rich, and offers pantry staple suggestions of seasonings and sauces to make vegetables sing!
This simply yummy herbed rice dish Michael is sharing today is a glorious example of some of the super easy dishes in his book! Now, traditional Arroz Verde recipes direct you to cook your rice with a puree of poblano peppers and herbs. Instead of boiling the herbs, Michael has taken a different approach and omitted the poblanos, and made a pesto-like puree of the fresh raw herbs, garlic, and a little oil that gets stirred through the rice at the end. The result is a delicious clean, summery flavour with a lush green colour. Michael raided his herb garden and used flat-leaf parsley, oregano, and cilantro, and smaller amounts of chives, rosemary, mint and dill. But you can use whatever herbs you have on hand, and because the herbs are pureed, you can use the stems of parsley and cilantro as well as the leaves.
Honestly, I cannot recommend this book or blog more highly. If you want to serve up interesting, mouth-watering vegetarian meals, HERBIVORACIOUS is a MUST BUY! I am not alone in this opinion. It has been listed on the Amazon and NPR Top Ten Lists, featured in the Boston Globe and Chicago Sun-Times, and widely celebrated in the culinary world.
Trust me, take a journey around the world Herbivoracious-Style, and fall in love with the taste sensations of Michael Natkin.
Michael’s next project is to open a small, innovative restaurant in Seattle. I cannot wait for that!
Michael, thankyou for sharing your immense talent and humility as part of this event. You inspire me.