Monday, 20 February 2012

Book Review - Vegan Junk Food

Vegan Junk Food by Lane Gold

Firstly, this book is small and square, with 2 colour pages. I like having books of differing shapes and sizes on my shelves, so find this one quite cute. There are lovely bright pictures of the food on the cover, and in the picture insert (same ones unfortunately) but they do accurately represent the food in the book (as far as I can tell).

There is not much by way of an introduction, however, what there is discusses the "junk" ingredients used in the recipes. After reading this, and I'm sure the title would have been a hint, you know for sure this is not a whole foods based healthy vegan cook book!

The title is a little of a misnomer though, as the subtitle is "225 sinful snacks that are good for the soul" as while there are lots and lots of decidedly "junky" snack food options, there are also recipes for more meal type dishes, and ones which, while using processed items in some way, are more than just "junk". Don't write the book of entirely, unless you are specifically looking for whole foods based healthy vegan food. I was pleasantly surprised at some of the recipes and would not necessarily consider them "junk" - occasional meals/foods for sure, but not entirely without merit.

The recipes I made, in page number order, and my comments -

P 3 - Red Pepper, Caramelised Onion, and Hash Brown Quiche.

Of course the first recipe up is my least favorite! I think there may be a typo in this one. The instructions ask you to "pour" the mixture after blending and I had to scrape and spread, so maybe a liquid ingredient is missing. (??) The end result was less like a quiche and more like a tofu crusted potato casserole. It was nice enough taste wise, just the texture was disappointing.

P17 - Oatmeal Brulee with Vanilla Cream Sauce

I had this one for dessert, even though it is in the breakfast section. Very sweet - totally yummy, but I would be on a sugar high all morning if I had this for breakfast! Very easy to make.

P37 - Chicken Salad with Walnuts, Apples, and Celery

I had this as a salad, on a bed of greens, though I am sure it would be very nice in a sandwich as specified. I liked this one, though would use less salt next time for my tastes. I can't say if it is like a "real" chicken salad as it is not something I've had for 20 years or so!

P63 - Savory Twice Baked Potatoes

The quantities here were a little off - I used 4 potatoes as specified but only needed 1/2 the rest of the ingredients to get a perfect result (my error as I'd only meant to stuff 2 of the potatoes I baked but did them all and it was perfect). And this was perfect - lovely and savory and more-ish. Not your plain old healthy baked potato, but really good.

P71 - Takeout Orange Tofu

Another one with the quantities a little off. As written this made SO much sauce - far too much for the amount of tofu, and I found it didn't thicken as indicated. But, this was really, really, really good so I am willing to over look the sauce issue and have made a note for myself to make less, and thicken more, next time.

P72 - Takeout Fried Rice

In picture above. Quick, simple, tasty.

P101 - Falafel with Tahini Dip

Enjoyed this one immensely (but if you are a frequent reader you'll know all about my chickpea love affair) though would up the spices a little for my tastes next time. Very easy to make.

P116 - Tofu Satay

I didn't make the dipping sauce just ate this as is over brown rice. Very nice, very flavorful, and hardly junk at all!

P120 - Vegan Sour Cream

Nice handy recipe to have. Tastes pretty much like sour cream.

P123 - Spicy Peanut Sauce

I love all peanut sauce. This one was good, but I would say that as I love all peanut sauce!

P137 - Cheesy and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

See the comment above about chickpea love! Though if you're not a nutritional yeast fan this one may not be for you.

P139 - Cheesy Kale Chips

Ditto here re the nutritional yeast. Simple and tasty.

P141 - Easy Candied Almonds

Though I used mixed nuts being out of almonds.

P157 - Coconut Creme Brulee

Though I would call this one Panacotta as the texture reminds me more of that than creme brulee. I made this one twice. I did share, even though I didn't really want to! Its a very easy recipe and very quick so I can see myself making it very often - far too often perhaps!

There are more recipes in this one which intrigue me so I will revisit -and unless you look for only whole foods based healthy vegan recipes suggest you might like to too.


missmuffcake said...

my boyfriend bought me this book over the weekend. i was wondering what to try out first!

Carla said...

The coconut creme brulee (panacotta like) is divine if you like that sort of dessert!

Sarah said...

I just (as in 7 minutes ago) saw this book for the first time. I was exciting as I assumed it was all junky dessert and bar food. Thanks for the review - but I think this book will go down the 'wish' list to a library lending book!