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Ever-Green Vietnamese Preview & FAQ
My new vegetable forward, veg-led, plant-based cookbook!
Vietnamese food isn't all about beef pho and meaty banh mi. It's about agriculture. Ever-Green Vietnamese, a jam-packed, stunning cookbook, explores traditions and presents my modern interpretations of traditional Vietnamese plant-based eating and cooking.
125+ plant-filled recipes and flexitarian options for anyone wanting doable, global flavors and wholesome food.
MAKE weeknight meals and weekend wonders
SOURCE ingredients with confidence
GAIN cultural, “insider” perspectives
SUCCEED with detailed instructions
RIFF with practical cooking tips
For most of my life, I ate whatever I wanted but in late 2019, I had a midlife health scare and needed to change my diet. The solution came from doubling down on vegetables, but not giving up animal protein altogether. I revisited many of my favorite Vietnamese dishes to craft new vegetarian, vegan, or low-meat renditions that were extra healthful, satisfying, and flavorful.
In exploring the potential of the plant kingdom in the Vietnamese kitchen, I gained even greater appreciation for how vegetables may star in the enticing, remarkable food of Vietnam, where I was born. I returned to my Viet food roots.
Media Coverage of Ever-Green Vietnamese in print, online, and audio
Bon Appetit, People, Sunset, Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, Food and Wine, Epicurious, Tasting Table, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Eater, Everything Cookbooks, Edible San Francisco, Edible East Bay, Simply Recipes, Edible Monterey Bay, Good Food (KCRW), the Sporkful, Taste Cooking, Mess Hall, Wordloaf, California Table, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Food Issues, Infatuasian, Smithsonian Associates
Recipes at a glance
Over 125 recipes and flexible variations plus 90 photos cover many needs and cravings, such as:
pantry recipes (vegan fish sauce, chile sauce, pickles)
fun snacks (smoky nori wonton. steamed veggie bao)
iconic classics (vegan regional noodle soups, a whole banh mi chapter!)
wholesome hacks (oven-fried imperial rolls, sweet potato-shrimp fritters)
modern street foods (grilled rice paper pizzas, crunchy spicy garlic bread)
easy sweets (no-churn jackfruit lime sorbet, coconut-coffee pops)
A sample of what home cooks have made from the book
What's the dish on the cover?
Bánh cuốn steamed rice noodle rolls that are filled with a vegan mushroomy filling (there's a recipe variation for a pork and shrimp filling too). A cool, new hack, the recipe is fun, tasty, and more importantly, very doable compared to other methods. After trying the rolls, my mom said that my recipe is life changing for her. (That's a major compliment for me.)
Doesn't plant-based mean vegetarian or vegan?
Not necessarily. The term plant-based was coined in the early 2000s but there is no set definition. Some people define plant-based as vegetarian or vegan, but others, such as those at Harvard Medical School and Columbia University, prefer a more flexible definition for omnivores. I agree with the latter because it fits my lifestyle and Vietnamese traditions. Plus, it’s more inclusive! Since rejiggering my diet, losing about 15 pounds, and writing Ever-Green Vietnamese, I know that I can put plants first for the long haul.
Here's a plant-based definition that works for me (and maybe you too):
Unlike vegan eating, a plant-based or, alternatively, plant-focused, diet does not have to exclude animal foods like red meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and dairy. Rather, a plant-based eater may still enjoy animal foods while deliberately building an overall eating pattern that is rich in or primarily made of plants, but not consisting only of plants.
Okay, but how do you deal with fish sauce?
You can use regular or vegan fish sauce. Soy sauce is also used in Viet cooking!
How many recipes are vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, or gluten-free?
Vegans and vegetarians will find delicious new ideas to present to their omnivore or flexitarian family and friends -- and vice versa!
Vegetarian recipes comprise 80 to 85 percent of the book. That’s over 100 vegetarian recipes out of the 125+ recipes and variations. (It’s like a book within a book!)
Most vegetarian recipes are vegan, but not all because because there is no silver bullet egg replacer.
Dairy-free options are always included.
Most recipes are gluten free, but certain ones, like the yeast-leavened steamed and baked bao, are tricky to produce with gluten-free flour. (I know my limits.)
Is Asian market shopping required for this cookbook?
Ever-Green Vietnamese relies mostly upon accessible supermarket and farmer’s market ingredients. Even when I nudge you to shop at an Asian market, I often offer workarounds. There are not far out ingredients involved. The ingredient guide includes brand suggestions (it’s hard to select what to buy!).
What are the 125+ recipes and variations like?
You’ll find recipes and ideas for doable weeknight meals and achievable weekend wonders. All recipes have Vietnamese names, spelled with diacritics (accent marks) for folks to easily connect to the Viet culinary cannon. In recipe margins, look for bonus tips in green! Also check side bars (tan box at the bottom in the sample below). Recipe end Notes are organized to offer pointers on:
ingredient substitutions and sourcing
lifespan for storing and refreshing
timing for advance prep
techniques on equipment
variations for riffing
Ever-Green Vietnamese Bonus Tips & Videos
Some recipes point to the Ever-Green Cookbook Tips page where you’ll find bonus resources and short videos to coach you through potentially tricky moves. There are other extra helpful tidbits, like a DIY Chinese five-spice powder recipe.
Where to buy the book?
Consider local independent bookshops by checking Indiebound.org and my affiliate page at Bookshop.org. If you prefer, head to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, Walmart and many others. A limited number of signed copies are available at:
How can you support Ever-Green Vietnamese?
Organized a cookbook club potluck. Let me know and I will attend virtually.
Leave a positive review at Amazon. People do not write as many reviews now as before so each one is extra meaningful. Thank you!
Should you have other questions, don’t hesitate to ask me via a comment below.
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