The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions.
Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman
From now on I'll refer to this as Vegan Subs to make the typing easier! I cooked from this book last week to get a good overall picture of a number of recipes, and I must say that everything I made was delicious. Would I have changed anything? yes, of course, to suit my tastes more - which you will see as we go through the recipes I made in a minute, but overall I was impressed with the total yumminess of the dishes I made. Would I recommend the book? Yes, for beginner and more experienced vegans alike. I think everyone could learn something, and find a recipe to enjoy.
The book is divided into chapters by which animal product's substitution is being discussed, and illustrated by the recipes. I like this layout and think it reads well and each chapter is complete and concise. I like how the use of the animal product is introduced, and that a table is included showing common substitutions. I especially like how a sample recipe is veganised - to be honest I would have liked to have seen more of these, especially in the Egg chapter (as eggs have so many uses in tradition baking and cooking) and the Meat chapter (different meats best suiting different subs and flavorings etc) but understand space constraints may not have made more of the sample substitution recipes possible. However, and this would be my one and only gripe with the layout, I would have liked to have seen a larger, more clearly laid out section at the end of the book listing the recipes by "meal" - in a more traditional manner - all the Breakfast Recipes listed with page references, then all the Entree recipes with page references, then Baking.... and so on (this information is available, but it is in the index. I think a clearer appendix would have suited better)
The photos are gorgeous, seriously drool worthy, and drawings are cute - appropriate and neither too many or too few. The recipes are easy to read, and follow. I only had one recipe where I thought the instructions were a little confusing, but not so much that I couldn't figure it out (and I am glad I did!).
Now, on to the recipes I made. I didn't take photos of all of them because I am a little forgetful when faced with food I just want to eat - right now! I'm going to run through these in the page order they appear.
P52 - Nacho Queso.
Super simple, and so tasty. I made a half batch and by the time I got it to table I think I'd "tasted" about 1/4 of that! Will make this one again for sure, and not just for over nachos.
P72 - Spinach and Mushroom Tofu Scramble.
Very tasty, enjoyed by us all, though as written a little salty for me. When I make again I will adjust to my taste.
P117 - Taco Meat
This is the one I found a little confusing - there are both soy- and gluten- free versions and I feel the instructions need subheadings for each. I made the soy version which was super quick, very tasty, and easy to adjust the spice level to taste.
P131 - Smoky Potato Wedges
I made a double batch as I knew we would love them, and I should have made even more. This is one that will join our "what to do with potatoes" rotation! (In photo with the Tofu Scramble above)
P177 - Curry Tofu and Arugula Salad
I was a little worried this would be too bitter, with the curry powder and arugula, but I shouldn't have. It was lovely. Simple to make and very tasty.
P178 - Quinoa and Lentil Pilaf
Not quite what I was expecting from it being called a "pilaf" but really good. Super simple, and tasty. Made a lovely lunch and I can see myself making this again and changing up the additions.
P184 - Southwestern Polenta
Comfort food completely! Oh my. This was perfect. Top with lashing of the Nacho Queso for more heaven. Takes a little longer to make but not overly so.
P189 - Amaretti Cookies
I needed a little more water than stated to get mine to hold together and actually form cookies. That can happen. These were lovely, light and tasty, and appreciated by everyone who I shared with.
P193 - Tofu Creme Brulee
Creme Brulee is my cheese. The one thing I really miss being able to eat. Before being vegan I used to check restaurant menus to see if they had a Creme Brulee as dessert and then order as to leave room if they did. I liked the dish, ate it all up, and would happily eat it again.
Now, as to the giveaway part. Would you like to win a copy of Vegan Subs? (of course you would!)
This is being sponsored by the books' publisher and their requirement is that the winning entry be sent to an address in the US. I am sorry too everyone elsewhere (like me) but as they are shipping the book, they get to decide where it will be sent.
All you need to do to enter is comment on this post before 6pm (PT) Sunday 22nd January, and I will blog the winner next Monday.