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Vegan Bowls, Zsu Dever (Vegan Heritage Press, 2015)

Vegan Bowls by Zsu Dever - review by

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About the author…

Zsu Dever has a prior vegan cookbook in her repertoire (Everyday Vegan Eats), published by the same publishing company.   She comes from a long line of restauranteurs and culinary professionals.  She also publishes the blog Zsu’s Vegan Pantry (see  She is currently working on a third cookbook about aquafaba (bean water), the new sensation in the vegan cooking world that is used for meringues and other fine concoctions,

About the book…

The byline underneath the title of this cookbook states “perfect flavor harmony in cozy one-bowl meals”.  Dever promises us vegan bowls that are fulfilling in all these ways and that are easy to prepare.  We found her promises to be true.  In this book, Dever explains that the goal is that each bowl be perfect unto itself – not only in terms of protein, starch and vegetables, but also for texture, aroma, color, flavor combinations and taste.  She delivers all that and more.  Many of the recipes have options for preparing them gluten and soy free.  This book features recipes that are full of interesting combinations of herbs and spices that create wonderful flavors.  It also features tantalizing photographs of many of the recipes.  She includes a chart and instructions on how to build your own bowls with combinations that include Asian, European and Latin American flavors.

About the recipes…

The recipes we tried included Sweet and Spicy Eggplant-Zucchini Bowl, Sin Carne Guisada Bowl, Roman Style Tempeh Bowl, Irish Stew Bowl, Mushroom Carbonara Bowl, and Puttanesca Bowl with Kale.  Each dish offered a unique blend of flavors and textures.  We have marked many more to try in the future!

We are sharing the recipe for Mushroom Carbonara Bowl below for you to sample.  You will love the richness and flavor of this dish!

Justina Walls (2015)

Mushroom Carbonara Bowl – Vegan Bowls, p 66

  • 10 oz. linguine
  • 12 oz. shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed and sliced very thin
  • 2 T reduced sodium tamari
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika


  • 2/3 cup raw cashew pieces
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 T white miso


  • ¼ cup white wine or vermouth
  • 6 cups baby spinach (about 6 oz.)
  • ½ cup reserved pasta cooking water
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, rinsed to thaw
  • 4 scallions, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • Indian black salt (optional)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the linguine and cook until 1 minute shy of al dente.  Drain reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.  Put pasta in pan and set aside.

Mushrooms:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spread the mushroom pieces in a single layer in either a baking sheet with raised sides.  Place the tray in the oven and base until the mushrooms shrink considerably, about 6-8 minutes. Combine the paprika, tamari and oil, in a small bowl, mixing well.  Add the paprika mixture to the mushrooms and stir well.  Continue to bake until almost crisp, about 15 minutes, stirring mid-way through.

Sauce:  Cover cashews with enough water to cover in a small sauce pan.  Bring the pan to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the cashews and put in blender.  Add the garlic and white miso.  Blend until smooth.

Assembly:  Heat the pasta over medium heat.  Add the wine and the sauce, stirring well.  Cook until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.  Add the spinach, ½ cup of reserved cooking water and peas.  Stir well and cook until the spinach melts.  Add more pasta water, a little at a time if the sauce is to thick.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with green onions, mushrooms and lots of black pepper.

Vegan Bowls: Mushroom Carbonara Bowl

Mushroom Carbonara Bowl from Vegan Bowls by Zsu Dever