Vegan Planet (and Library Love)

Posted byLori Posted onDecember 17, 2010 Comments15

If you know me, you know I like to shop (for myself). And being that it’s the holiday season (9 days left, to be exact!), then you also know that you need to shop for others, not yourself.

One amazing thing about the library, any library, is that you get to shop for free! Amazing concept. I mean, you walk in, load up on books, books on CD, DVD’s, magazines, and, um, other library stuff, present your official library card, and walk out. End of story. No paying, no hassle. Granted you do have to come back 20-odd days later to give it all back, but initially it’s free.

This is a great place to “shop” if you’re like me and trying NOT to shop for yourself during the holiday season. Just make sure you don’t like the book, since I use the library as a buyer’s guide. I get to browse before I buy. ‘Cause I usually end up buying the book anyway…

In keeping up with the title of this post, Vegan Planet, (and I swear this completely random tangent of how much I love the library is related) brings me to my actual library find this week.

Without having to pay a single dime (um, except for the 25 cents in overdue book fees a few months ago), I got a shit load lot of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks that surged this chili creation, that also got tons of compliments when it was eaten. I swear. Vegan and all. No one even knew… mwahahahaha!

Taken directly out of the cookbook, Vegan Planet, with permission from author, chef, consultant, food and blog writer, and restaurant owner, Robin. If there is one cookbook you should buy, it is this one. All 400 (meat-free, dairy-free, and egg-free) recipes look incredibly delicious.

Black Bean Chili with Cilantro Pesto


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • one 6 oz can tomato paste
  • one 14.5 oz can plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups cooked or two 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup Cilantro Pesto (recipe follows)

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, tomatoes (I included the juice too), chili powder, cumin, water, and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Add the lemon juice and beans and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Just before serving, swirl in the pesto.

Cilantro Pesto


  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Combine cilantro, almonds, garlic, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. With machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.

I, and the family of taste testers (the boyfriend and his parents), gave this recipe a 100% rating. And my boyfriend said, and I quote, “This is one of the top 3 dishes you have ever made.” I’ll go ahead and take that as a compliment… even though this time I actually followed the recipe without deviation. He couldn’t possibly be alluding to my creative recipes not being as tasty, right?

This chili looks simple enough, and to make, it is. But don’t let the easy list of steps and ingredients fool you, it’s delicious and is awesome as a leftover. Not to mention, it’s vegan, and no one would ever know. πŸ˜‰

Thanks, Robin, for allowing me to share this incredible recipe! Now everyone click over to Amazon and buy the book or shop at the library (and then buy the book since I know I can’t live without this one)!

Are you a library shopper?

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15 People reacted on this

  1. I was just at the library today, returning my Glee Christmas CD and several cookbooks. I love the library! I especially love being able to request books and have them waiting for you when you get there. My kids aren’t exactly great at the whole “don’t be loud in the library’ concept, so minimizing my time in the library is awesome for all the other patron’s sake.

    I’m so putting this on my after Christmas menu. I can’t get enough cilantro.
    .-= Michelle@ Housewife in the Raw´s last blog ..Move Over Green Smoothies – it’s Miso Soup time! =-.

  2. That cilantro pesto looks amazing! I love making basil pesto in the summer from my own basil plant, but buying basil in the winter is so expensive. Cilantro would be much more reasonable… Which means more money to spend for Christmas (on me. Ha!)
    .-= Mimi´s last blog ..Cranberries and nuts =-.

  3. During the summer, I love taking books out of the library and even occasionally, if they are awesome enough, I will photocopy the recipes. Shhhh. Don’t tell.

    I love vegan and vegetarian cookbooks…I find the recipes so much more intriguing than the meat-filled ones! This cilantro pesto and chili has me drooling!! I have been in a serious chili mood lately. Definitely need to make this and check out this cookbook!
    .-= Joanne´s last blog ..Risotto with Salmon and Prosciutto =-.

  4. That pesto looks like mashed broccoli! Pretty!

    I never thought of the library as a free “shopping” place. No wonder I love it so much. πŸ™‚

  5. Robin is so awesome and her recipes are great (and easy)! Her recipes work so nicely, that I will forgive her for having a cilantro-rich recipe πŸ™‚
    .-= Alisa Fleming´s last blog ..Grain-Free- Nut-Free Snickerdoodles =-.

  6. I do this once a month – we hit up the library and I load up on new recipes for freeeee! πŸ™‚ (and that pesto looks so good. this recipe is on the list for dinner when we get home)
    .-= Anne´s last blog ..Quick Hummus Recipe =-.

  7. the library and me are like besties πŸ™‚
    the librarians told me they giggle when they see new stuff that i order to have put on hold, cuz it’s like 3 times a week that i order stuff.
    i LOVE the library

    and what a super nice compliment about the chili!!
    .-= Heather (Perspective Is Everything)´s last blog ..Quotes =-.

  8. Black beans and cilantro go so well together – thanks for sharing it and the book plug!

    And I’m totally with you on the library. I have a stack over my head of books right now, from poetry to ecology in the ancient world to raw recipe books (and most of the obscure (and raw) ones are ‘interlibrary loan,’ for which I do have to pay a little but it’s still totally worth it). I definitely ‘browse before I buy.’
    .-= Ela´s last blog ..Lesson of the Day =-.

  9. Now where was this recipe in the middle of the summer when I had cilantro coming out of my ears?

    I shop the library. Big time.
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..When it starts to get cold =-.

  10. I am all over that cilantro pesto…. delicious. I love fresh cilantro!!!

    I used to go to the library but it really has been years since I have been. My grandmother goes all the time to look at cookbooks πŸ™‚ she loves it!!

  11. oh I bet the cilantro pesto made it absolutely perfect. SOmetimes those vegan chilis that heartier than real chili. Love that!
    .-= Lindsay Cotter´s last blog ..Make it or Break it =-.

  12. i love this book!! i bought it a few months back and it’s so much fun! the recipes are fantastic and even my skeptical non-vegan parents enjoyed what i cooked for them. definitely recommend it πŸ™‚
    .-= zoe (and the beatles)´s last blog ..unsettled =-.

  13. Oh my heavens this looks amazing!! I love the pesto. I have wanted to make cilantro pesto for so long but haven’t had a food processor. Not that I do though, bring it on!! I’m totally making this!!

  14. both recipes look so tasty! i hope i get a food processor for xmas so i can make pesto!
    .-= christina´s last blog ..Sweet Potato &amp Lentil Soup- NYE Dresses =-.

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