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Welcome back to Hitting the Books. It's another two-fer, featuring two low-stress meals. First up, a dish from Colleen Patrick-Goudrau's The Vegan Table (available at Lawson-McGhee under 641.5636 PATR).

Sweet browned onions and wilted greens (here spinach, though the recipe calls for chard) are combined with intense Kalamata olives and briny little capers to create one tasty pile of eats. Even better, it's gives great depth of flavor while being friendly to even the newest of cooks. If you can slice an onion and stir, you're in.

The book presents this melange as a side dish, but for you bowl-of-food lovers, it seems just the thing to heap over any creamy starch, like polenta/grits or mashed potatoes. But a note on the recipe says it makes a fabulous pizza topping, so here we are. Definitely recommended.

And just imagine what a little crispy tempeh might do for the whole thing.

Next, another dip into The Vegan Stoner Cookbook. This falafel pie--complete with yogurt-cucumber sauce--was slightly less fun than expected, but it did turn what would've been a dinner of hummus and crudite into something more satisfying, with very little effort. Just add water to falafel mix for the crust, chop your veg and puree the sauce while that bakes, and done.

A note on the recipe suggests tucking pieces of the pie into pita, which is probably how this eats best. Maybe next time. In any event, it's dead simple, and still pretty fun. If you have kids, this would be a great one to get them cooking with. If you're comfortable explaining to them the tomato with the drugs on the cover, anyway.

As always, thanks for reading, and see you next week with a new recipe.

About Hitting the Books: You know that shelf in your house with all the great cookbooks you don't get to nearly as often as you'd like? Yeah, there's one of those over here, too. The Hitting the Books series allows for occasional opportunities to dig into that shelf and highlight some handy cookbooks.