The ‘Clean’ Cookbook Mario Batali Loves (that’s secretly vegan)

I’ll concede that Mario Batali has a little more street cred than I do when it comes to cooking, so I’ll give him the first crack at describing the book I’m cooking from this month.  Ready?

Clean Food is the most exciting book based on fresh produce and simple recipes I have used in years. –Mario Batali

What else is there to say?  Just as with his food, Mario gets right to the point and hits hard without a bunch of fluff.

But there’s more to Mario’s testimonial than meats meets the eye.  Mario’s cooking style is classic Italian; he places the utmost importance on high-quality, fresh, organic ingredients.  But in the Italian tradition, he isn’t afraid to throw in a cow’s stomach, a baby lamb, a calf’s stomach, or a rabbit or two.

Does Mario realize it’s vegan?

It’s easy to miss.  In what I’ve read of Terry Walters’ Clean Food so far, not once have I come across the word “vegan.”  Not even “vegetarian.” And that’s by design.

When I asked Terry about it, she told me that she’s not into labels.  She set out to create a resource for cooking food that’s extremely healthy for both its users and the environment.  Clean Food is about eating seasonally, organically, and close to the source.  That it happens to be vegan is just a bonus.

And even more of a bonus, for us no-meat athletes: Terry is an endurance athlete with several marathons and centuries (100-mile bike rides) to her name.  So you know her food’s gonna measure up, nutritionally-speaking.

And the taste?  Well, I’ll be posting several recipes from my month of eating clean.  Beyond that, I guess you’ll just have to trust that Mario guy.

You can learn more about Terry and Clean Food at her website, the Clean Food Facebook page, or by following @TerryWalters on Twitter.

Millet Black Bean Patties with Corn

Here’s my favorite recipe of those from Clean Food I’ve tried so far.  It yields a bunch of these delicious little patties—each recipe makes about 10 of them, so Erin and I froze a lot for when the new baby is crying or doing whatever else it is that babies must do to keep their parents so busy.

The patties are great with salsa, as Terry suggests, but also work well with traditional burger or sandwich toppings.  Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Clean Food, copyright 2009, Terry Walters, Sterling Publishing, Co, Inc.

  • 1 cup millet
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Grapeseed oil for frying
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • Freshly ground black pepper or hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal

Preparing Millet:

Rinse millet, place in saute pan over medium heat and toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously.  When millet begins to take on a nutty aroma, add water, cover, reduce heat to low and cook until all water is absorbed (about 25 minutes).  Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Preparing Patties

In large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, saute onion in grapeseed oil until soft (about 3 minutes).  Add salt, chile powder, paprika and cumin and stir to combine.  Add black beans and corn and remove from heat.  Add cooked millet and mash together.  Season to taste with pepper, then stir in cornmeal a little at a time until batter is stiff.

Preheat large skillet over medium heat (Terry uses cast-iron to yield a nice crispy crust) and add 2 tablespoons of oil.  Scoop and form mixture into 2-inch balls.  Working in batches and adding more oil as needed, place balls in skillet and press down to form patties.  Repeat until skillet is full.  Fry 3-4 minutes per side.  Place cooked patties on a baking sheet, cover with foil to keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.
Note: To reheat leftovers, wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

Makes 10 hearty patties.



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  1. These looks so good! I wonder if you could do them up on the grill? I have been wanting Veganomican forever! So I’d choose that cookbook if I won.
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Nut & Fruit Granola Bars, CSN Preview =-.

  2. Mm that recipe sounds really good. I’ll have to make it next week.

    I’ve been wanting Veganomicon for a really long time!

  3. Marianne says:

    Funny, I was just checking out Clean Food today at the bookstore but was trying to save $$$ so didn’t buy it but it is on my list!! Have to go pick up some millet soon.
    Well since I already have Veganomicon which I love…I would like to check out The Complete Vegan Kitchen.

  4. I’m with Erica, Veganomion definitely seems to be the highest recommended. I’m definitely interested in Clean Food though, I’ll have to see if I can find it at my library… So excited to see more recipes this month!
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..A meal well done… =-.

  5. I’d have to choose Vegan with a Vengeance because I was immediately attracted to the “no exotic ingredients”. I hate healthy recipes that require things I would never ever buy or can hardly pronounce. I’m a simple girl.

    And that recipe looks great! Definitely on my “to try” list.
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..A Food Confession =-.

  6. I’d love to try Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

    Can’t wait to hear what you think of this Clean Food Cookbook – it’s been on my list to check out for awhile now 🙂
    .-= Allison (Eat Clean Live Green)´s last blog ..I Didn’t Eat That Butter =-.

  7. I am a cookbook addict, and don’t yet have The Complete Vegan Kitchen – this would be my choice.

    Its great to hear about Clean Food – it is going on my list of new books to get! Thank you!

  8. I’d do the Complete Vegan Kitchen!

    This Clean Food cookbook looks great too!!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..So About Last Night… =-.

  9. Great giveaway! I think I’d try the Joy of Vegan baking. I think baking is what I’m best at, so I’d love to explore vegan baking!
    Also, I just wanted to mention that I really liked your post about ways to start eating less meat. Great topic and great suggestions!

  10. I would choose “The Joy of Vegan Baking.” My friends and I always bake for Fridays at work, and we are also all trying to make the vegan/vegetarian transition.

  11. OK I’m definitely going to have to check out CLEAN FOOD because the recipe you list here doesn’t look intimidating!

    As for the giveaway, the vegan cookbook I’d select would be “The Complete Vegan Kitchen”. I like that it’s recommendation says “Most of these recipes require simple, basic ingredients…”

    Thanks for a great giveaway!
    .-= Shari B.´s last blog ..One for the Ladies… =-.

  12. Yum!

    Everyone seems to be choosing Veganomicon, which I was actually going to go with first because you always post such delicious recipes! But, I think I’d have to go with The Complete Vegan Kitchen. As someone looking to eat more vegetarian/vegan, I think it’d be a nice starting point. Also, using simple and readily available ingredients is always helpful to someone that usually doesn’t get started cooking until about 7:30pm!
    .-= Danielle´s last blog ..Baking Away! =-.

  13. I would love to own Veganomicon! As it is, I take my library’s copy out pretty regularly, but I’d love to have my own! I will also be checking out Clean Food; hope my library has a copy!

  14. I love Clean Food – Terry is fantastic. I’d definitely pick up The Joy of Vegan Baking from Snubbr. I have her other book – Vegan Table – and love it.

  15. The Complete Vegan Kitchen

  16. I think I would have to choose Veganomicon, just because I’ve heard so much about it. But it would be a tough choice between that and the Joy of Vegan Baking, because I love to bake!
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..The best of 2009 =-.

  17. I would love to own Veganomicon. I recently got 1000 Vegan Recipes (after looking through some of your reviews of the recipes), and have been loving it!

  18. Question for you… Did you freeze the patties AFTER you cooked them, or would you freeze them pre-cooked? It sounds like you probably froze them cooked, but I’ve heard several recipes for various “patties” and they suggest freezing before the final cooking. Just curious!
    .-= Jill Will Run´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything: Barefooting =-.

    • Hey Jill,
      This is Matt’s sister, Christine. We made extra patties that we froze uncooked. The ones we ate last night we just threw right into the pan- no refrigerating or freezing required. Yummm!
      Thanks for commenting!

  19. I, too, would go with veganomicon after all I’ve heard about it!
    .-= Evan Thomas´s last blog ..Updates, Updates, And More Updates =-.

  20. I’ve been looking at that cookbook for the longest time, but I haven’t gotten it yet. Now I think you pushed me over the edge.

    I would probably go with Veganomicon since I’m not truly vegan (yet!), but would like a nice base to start. From there I’d definitely choose The JOy of Vegan Baking because we all know I’m really a baker- I just have to actually eat something other than sweets all day unfortunately.
    .-= Jacquie´s last blog ..“weighty matters” part 2 =-.

  21. This recipe looks great, a nice healthier change of pace from the black bean patties I usually make using whole wheat bread crumbs. I’ll have to try it.

    I have been coveting Veganomicon for a long while now. Great idea to incorporate the charity element into this giveaway!
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Race Recap and a Delicious Dessert =-.

  22. I would get Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. After all the recipes you shared last month, it is on my list of cookbooks to buy.

  23. I would choose The Vegan Table. The recipes sound great, it has fabulous reviews on Amazon, and it contains the nutritional info for each recipe which is important to me.

  24. I’m glad you are featuring Clean Food this month. Looks like a great cookbook–can’t wait to try the millet black bean patties.

    From the cookbooks I would choose Vegan with a Vengeance.

  25. vegan with a vengeance looks awesome. would love to snag a copy!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..update =-.

  26. caroline says:

    all the blogs i read make recipes from veganomicon, so it MUST be good. i would love to win a copy and dive in. yum =]

  27. Always wanted the Veganomicon! Thank you for the giveaway!

  28. I would love Vegan with a Vengeance!

  29. Although I did really enjoy The Joy of Vegan Baking (best chocolate chip cookies, ever. period. – disappointing brownies) – I’d have to choose Veganomicon. I usually borrow my cookbooks from the library, and I have to say that I definitely used Veganomicon more than any other book for my meal planning… and I was forced to return it long before I was bored with it.

    How it all Vegan is also a wonderful cookbook with tons of good info, but not one of the choices.

    So – Veganomicon.
    … and don’t forget to take full advantage of your local library!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Play Fail =-.

  30. valentina says:

    the joy of vegan baking…need to improve my skills!

  31. Veganomicon – heard great things!
    .-= Tay´s last blog ..Happy Easter =-.

  32. Jen Ginsburg says:

    I recently stumbled upon your blog and was inspired. About 3 weeks ago, I made the decision to cut meat out of my diet. I have already been trying recipes off of your blog and bought Veganomicon. I would definitely like to try Vegan with a Vengeance.

  33. I would love Veganomican since I love to tackle intricate recipes!

  34. I recently bought veganomicon and love it! I’d like to try vegan with a vengeance next.

  35. Chris H. says:

    After much debate since they all look so go, I think I will go with Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

  36. I would love Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. Just went veggie 5 weeks ago and love every minute of it. As I prepare for marathon #2, your right, it makes a big difference.

    • Ben, it’s so great to hear others are experiencing the same thing when they switch to vegetarian for training. The more that know and can help spread the message, the better!

  37. I want the Veganomicon cookbook so bad!!!

  38. Hope there’s one in the freezer for Gigi!

  39. I would pick The Complete Vegan Kitchen for the roasted broccoli and those blueberry muffins!

  40. Jessica says:

    The Complete Vegan Kitchen looks great! I’ve had my eye on the Clean Food cookbook for awhile now… I’ll probably be buying it soon.

  41. the complete vegan kitchen sounds great 🙂

  42. You have me very interested in Clean Food, especially after seeing your posted recipe.

    My favorite at Snubbr would be Vegimocan. You posted some amazing recipes from there last month, I just haven’t pulled the trigger on purchasing it yet.

    Right now I am really following The Kind Diet.

  43. That new book looks really cool! I can’t wait to try out those patties.

    So, since I have almost all of the cookbooks on that site (ha ha) I think I would like “The Vegan Table.” I’ve heard it’s great and it’s one that I don’t have yet!
    .-= Aimee (I Tri To Be Me)´s last blog ..Humpastry Day – Whole Wheat Pizza Dough =-.

  44. I really, really want “Veganomicon” (spelled wrong?) after seeing all those amazing recipes you made!! Gimme, gimme!!
    .-= Meredith @ Sweat Every Day´s last blog ..a continuance of epic-ness =-.

  45. I already have Veginomicon (so awesome!), so I would have to choose Isa’s other book: Vegan with a Vengeance. Thanks for putting together this great giveaway.

  46. Ooohh those all look good, and I’m definitely lacking in good vegan cookbooks. I’d probably like to start with Veganomicon. Thanks for the fun giveaway! I have clean food on the way too – can’t wait to try it! 🙂
    .-= Emily M.´s last blog ..Piping and Plating. =-.

  47. I’ve been wanting Clean Food for a while now. I think it’s about time I just bought it. Every recipe or pictures of food I see from that book make me want it more 🙂

    I have no vegan cookbooks 🙁 To start, I would love Veganomicon.

  48. Jessica says:

    my choice is….. “veganomicon”

  49. I’ve been talking about this book since it came out. It is the best cookbook I’ve seen in ages, because it uses high quality ingredients, and emphasis’s seasonal produce. That’s my thing. I should have you test recipes for my upcoming cookbook!

  50. From everything I’ve heard, I’d have to try veganomicon. I’ve heard it called the vegan bible! I also really want to try Clean food now! I’m always curious about the clean eating books because I like simple “clean” recipes but most usually involve a lot of lean meats.

  51. I’ve read the veganomicon. I would like to try something with simpler ingredients. Vegan with a vengeance would be my choice.

  52. Molly K. says:

    I am a vegetarian with vegan aspirations so I am really excited about this giveaway. I would love to have The Vegan Table to work from…and cook delish vegan recipes for the carnivorous in-laws. Also, motivational tidbits about the author’s philosophy of compassion towards living things is a nice reminder and reinforcement of why we vegetarian/vegans live the way we do – to help animals!

  53. I would love to get Veganomicon, I have been secretly coveting it for sometime, but Vegan with a Vengence is interesting as a beginning vegetarian, I am still culinarily challenged-is that a word?
    .-= Susan Knause´s last blog ..Shadow Boxing…. =-.

  54. I’ve been thinking about getting Clean Food and after reading your post I think I really have to go and pick it up :).
    Veganomicon.. ooooh.. the uber famous book that I still don’t have. I would love to try some recipies of that cookbook..
    .-= Karin´s last blog ..Florence Recap + Vegan Dinner =-.

  55. I already have veganomicon (LOVE!) but would love my own copy of vegan with a vengeance.

    Thanks for hosting this cool giveaway!

  56. Those look awesome! I’ve actually never tried millet, but this is probably a good recipe to try for my first time using it. 😀

  57. i’m all about the complete vegan kitchen! i need to tie up some loose (vegan) ends with a complete book… don’t we all? 🙂
    .-= Crunchy Granola Gal´s last blog ..I Am The Best Artist =-.

  58. I would get the Joy of Vegan Baking. It’s one I don’t have yet.

    Best blog ever 🙂

  59. First of all, those patties look delicious! Can’t wait to try them 🙂

    I’d love to have the Vegan Table — I’m still not sure I ever want to go completely vegan, but I’d love to be able to cook that way more often. And recipes that use simple ingredients and make the transition from vegetarian to vegan simpler sound perfect!! 🙂

    Also — I LOVE that they’re donating $20 to bring clean water to Haiti…every little bit helps. 🙂
    .-= Lauren (Health on the Run)´s last blog ..Tasty Tahini! =-.

  60. Vegan With a Vengence! I have Veganomicon and LOVE it! Thanks.

  61. Brittney says:

    I would love a copy of veganomicon. I love Isa’s recipes and her spunky personality in writing them! thanks for yet another awesome giveaway!

  62. I have Vegan with a Vengeance, so I’d love to get a copy of Veganomicon.

  63. Christina says:

    I’d choose Veganomicon! I’ve made the plantain and pinto stew twice since you’ve posted that recipe =)

  64. I’d love to try Veganomicon. I’ve always heard so much about it!

  65. The Joy of Vegan Baking! I LOVE sweets!

  66. Wow, looks like you’ve gotten tons of responses to the giveaway so far! Well, here’s my two cents: I keep hearing about Veganomicon and how great it is, but I wasn’t convinced until I tried STF’s Almond-Quinoa Muffins the other day. Since they were SO good and the recipe was taken from that book, I decided that all the hype must be true. 🙂 So I guess that’s my long way of saying that I would choose that book. I’m new to veganism and don’t own any vegan-specific cookbooks yet, so I think that would be a good start!

  67. I’ve heard really great things about Veganomicon, so I’d love to get that one!

  68. I’d love The Vegan Table, my husband/sons still eat meat and it sounds like there might be some recipes in there that might tempt them to try something diffferent!

  69. vegan with a vengence!!! i’ve always wanted it!
    – rebekah

  70. All of the recommendations sound awesome but if I had to pick I’d go for the vegan table. I like the part in the recommendation that says she uses it for her non-vegan friends… Maybe I can persuade my meat loving husband to enjoy non meat meals too by being tricky.

  71. I would like to check out The Complete Vegan Kitchen since it is an introduction and covers such an array of dishes. I like that it also has a guide to vegan nutrition. I don’t plan on becoming vegan at this point, but I love the idea of cooking vegan.


  72. The Joy of Vegan Baking is the right answer. Here’s why: cookies reached perfection with the invention of the chocolate chip cookie. There is no cookie under heaven that is better. My wife asks if I think she should try oatmeal raisin or sugar cookies and I respond with a sneer. Even around Christmas, when most people try fancier sweets with fun names like snicker-doodle, scotcheroo, and ginger-snap, I would be fine if they were all chocolate chip instead.

    However, the Joy of Baking Vegan? That might be enough to at least convince me to try something different. But I will not guarantee I will like it…unless it’s vegan chocolate chip.

  73. I’m thinking the Complete Vegan Kitchen. I need some recipes to “wow” my neighbors and convince them I’m not slowly starving my husband with goat food. 😉

  74. I would pick either of Isa’s books but I already have them 🙂 I think I would choose The Vegan Table, because in the description, it says it’s a good book for someone who is transitioning from vegetarian to vegan. I have been slowly trying to make that change, and it seems like that would be a good choice for me.

  75. Does the Clean Cookbook count? I’m actually quite intrigued by it… if it doesn’t then I’d have to go Veganomicon.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Good ol’ Italian! =-.

  76. I already own VWAV and V’con, so my next purchase would definitely be the Vegan Table; I’ve checked it out from the library before and absolutely loved it. A great book for entertaining! Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is a great cook and has some delicious recipes.

  77. I’d love Vegan with a vengeance. I think that will be the first Vegan cookbook I buy (I’ve been borrowing from the library).

    In fact, I’m going to check out Clean Food today, based on your recommendation. Thanks!
    .-= Stacey´s last blog .. =-.

  78. I’ve heard good things about “Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook”, so I would choose that one!
    .-= Alicia´s last blog review: Bucci’s Brick Oven =-.

  79. id love to read vegan with a vengence….im a newbie!

  80. I would have to pick the Complete Vegan Kithcen. It seems to have a very good selection of recipes in it.

  81. I just told my boyfriend the other day that I wanted to check out this cook book. His response was, “is it vegetarian?” I didn’t know, and am pleasantly surprised (we are both veggies)! I would love to try veganomicon, too! it seems pretty all-inclusive.

  82. I love Veganomicon–every recipe I’ve made from it has been a smashing success thus far! 🙂

  83. My future SIL is vegan — I would love to have an easy cookbook that I could use to prepare something for her — I would like to have the Vegan Table – thanks for the list, too!

  84. I think “the complete vegan kitchen”

    I can’t wait to try these patties!

  85. I would pick Veganomicon because I have heard/read great things about it : )
    .-= Lindsey Graham´s last blog ..Long Weekend Recap and Whitecaps =-.

  86. Katherine B says:

    I’m trying out vegetarianism right now and moving towards at least a partially vegan diet. Anyway, I’d love Veganomicon as I’ve heard great things about it! Looks like it’s highly recomended on!

  87. Christy Merchant says:

    If I had to pick just one, I’d choose “The Vegan Table.” I LOVE your blog and just might have to pick up “Clean Food” on your recommendation. Thanks for this giveaway opportunity and here’s to being lucky. 😀 -Christy

  88. i really haven’t read any of these books, but they all seem so interesting and i’ve heard a lot about them. i need to read them!! 😀

  89. Vegan with a Vengance for sure. I’m looking for something simpler than Veganomicon. I love everything I’ve tried in Veganomicon but some of it takes longer than I’m willing to commit on some weeknights.

  90. Jenny C. says:

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog… I’d love to get The Complete Vegan Kitchen. I’ll probably pick up Clean Food after reading about it. Thanks!

  91. These were great. They are also great for the kids as our 2 year old ate as much as us and our 10 month old kept eating too(although it takes 30 seconds to get one in his mouth). We just ate them with salsa, but theyre probably good on a bun too.

  92. I realize this post is almost a year old now, but I just found it. I’ve owned this cookbook for months, and I just made the leap to eating vegan a few weeks ago…I did not realize that this cookbook was vegan!When I got the book, I was focused on Clean Eating instead of Vegan Eating and I never even noticed! Thanks for pointing this out! I used it a lot when I first got it, then kinda shelved it for awhile. I can’t wait to get it back out again!

  93. I just made these and they are delicious and easy to make! I didn’t add much cornmeal because the mix was already fairly dry. It also yielded a lot more than 10 patties. I froze half of them shaped as patties (not fried) and fried up the other half. I also used a cast iron skillet and it does give it a crispy crust. To freeze, place patties on a sheet or plate uncovered and place in freeaer to set. Then wrap individually in wax paper followed by plastic and place back in freezer to freeze completely. When ready to use, thaw in frig and fry up as normal. Thanks for posting this recipe, this will be a staple around here.

  94. I just reviewed this recipe on my cooking blog, and it’s a keeper! So crispy and filling, and the kids loved them, too! Thanks for sharing this.

  95. They just fell apart for me 🙁 Is the polenta supposed to be cooked before adding to mix?

  96. Thanks for sharing this. I really haven’t read any of these books, but they all seem so interesting. I need to read them!!

  97. These parties won’t stay together for me at all. I can’t even form balls with them. Any tips?

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