A Beginner’s Guide

By Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

VegginItIndependent Authors International's first cookbook comes from the bestselling author of The Dohmestics and Saving Peace. Here’s a sample recipe:

Clean Out Your Cupboard Soup

I’m going to tell you a secret about soup: you can’t really mess one up. As long as you have a tasty broth as a base, which you can cheat on with bullion cubes, pretty much anything can go into a soup and come out tasting great. When I panic about how much is going unused in our fridge and cupboards, I resort to this soup. Prep time: 10-15 minutes, depending on how many ingredients you’re using Cook time: 1-2 hours, depending on the mode of cooking. Shorter for a stovetop, more for a slow cooker Ingredients
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (more if you like your soups with broth, less if you like them more like stew)
  • Possible items to include: note that all canned vegetables should be rinsed and drained before tossing them into the pot.
  • Black beans or beans of any kind
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Celery or anything that gives a bit of crunch, like chickpeas
  • Cabbage
  • Edamame
  • Mushrooms
  • Leftover rice (either in the soup or on the side)
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic is a staple for nearly every dish and soup is no exception
  • Ginger, if you fancy an Asian flavor
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes, if you like a little kick
Directions Using the broth as a base, rinse, chop, and combine any or all of the ingredients above, including the seasonings. Be sure to monitor how much broth you might want to add, if you like a higher liquid to veggie content in your soup. Cook on low for 3 hours in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 1-2 hours in a slow cooker. Simmer on the stove for 4 hours. Bring to a boil on the stove and then simmer for 2 hours.

About the book

You juggle many roles for a wide range of people. Being a good employee, friend, and sibling are probably high on the priority list. Taking care of yourself, however, often drops off entirely. In my first year as a vegetarian, I realized how interesting food could be both socially and nutritionally. This is a simple cookbook, designed to help you prepare nourishing food as frequently as you check your email. There are 8 recipes, assembled as a starter kit, allowing you to practice until you perfect. In each recipe you’ll find suggestions to tailor to your own palate by adapting spices, flavors, and ingredients. Every recipe can be made gluten-free or vegan friendly by following the substitution suggestions. Whether soups, or salads, substance and sweets, you can mix and match across the four categories to put together a meal to delight your taste buds. From my kitchen to yours, let’s get cooking. A night in never sounded so good. Find it on Amazon.

About the author

Mohana.Family.July2014-LR-72Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005.  Her work has been published in Variety Arabia, Brownbook Middle East, Isola Magazine, AudioFile Magazine, and Society Magazine, as well asExplore Qatar, Woman Today, The Woman, Writers and Artists Yearbook, QatarClick, and Qatar Explorer. She has been a guest on Expat Radio, and was the host for two seasons of the Cover to Cover book show on Qatar Foundation Radio. She was the Associate Editor of Vox, a fashion and lifestyle magazine. In addition to print titles, Mohana has published five e-books including a mom-ior for first time mothers, Mommy But Still Me, a guide for aspiring writers, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies, a short story collection, Coloured and Other Stories, and a novel about women’s friendships, Saving Peace, which was a semi-finalist in the Literary category of the 2012 Kindle Review of Books. Qatar has been a source of inspiration for Mohana’s latest work, including From Dunes to Dior, is a collection of essays related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf. Love Comes Later, her second novel, is a modern day multicultural romance set in Doha and London and was short listed for the New Talent award at the Festival of Romance. She is the creator and co-editor of five books in the Qatar Narratives series, as well as the Qatari Voices anthology which features essays by Qataris on modern life in Doha (Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, 2010). Her research has been published in numerous journals and anthologies. Since she joined the e-book revolution, she dreams in plotlines. Mohana has a PhD from the University of Florida with a focus on gender and postcolonial theory. She was a winner of the She Writes We Love New Novelists competition. Currently she is working on a historical novel set in the East Asian country of Laos in the 1970s. She writes because words can help us understand ourselves and others. Visit Mohanalakshmi’s iAi Author page, and visit her:

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