Monday, 14 May 2012

Book Review - Quinoa Cuisine

This book is not vegan, it does however have a huge range of recipes which are either vegan or easily veganisable (swapping out honey for agave, or using non dairy milk for instance) so does actually offer quite a lot of choices for a "handy in the kitchen" vegan. I found the wee icons for "vegan" don't always correspond exactly (some recipes which are vegan don't have the icon) so you do need to read the recipes through to check if the recipe is vegan already. I completely skipped the "Meat and Fish" chapter so can't comment on how easily veganisable these recipes would be. All in all, if you're a quinoa fan then there will be lots here to tempt you, and even if you aren't (yet) you may be happily surprised!

There are no pictures in the book, other than the cover, which isn't a biggie for me. The recipes have dietary icons (mentioned above) to make choosing an appropriate one easier. The recipes also have season icons to give you a guide as to when the produce used in them is in season, or when the authors feel they would be best served.

The book starts with a handy "Introduction to Quinoa" reference section, including standard cooking tips, the varieties you can find, nutritional information, and history of the ingredient. I actually lent this book to a (non-vegan) friend whose daughter has recently diagnosed numerous food allergies and she especially appreciated the information as she had never used quinoa before.

The recipes I made, as always in page number order -
Page 18 Quinoa Porridge
I have made quinoa this way before, and as always I'm not convinced its the best way to showcase the ingredient. It was OK but not my favourite in the book.
Page 39 Honey Cinnamon Granola
(made with agave not honey) Nice, though without the big clumps of granola I do like. Very easy to eat, lovely with almond milk.

Page 49 White Bean Dip
The roasted garlic laced dip part is rich, creamy, smooth, and delectable. It is topped with herbed quinoa, which is a little strange, and I am unconvinced it is needed. I would make the dip part again for sure, though without the quinoa topping. (The dip has quinoa flakes in it so the topping is not just there to make it a "quinoa recipe")
Page 51 Hummus
So silky smooth and creamy, this is one luscious hummus. The quinoa flakes lend a really lovely feel to the resultant dip. Worth trying for sure!
Page 66 Green Mango Salad
Refreshing, vibrantly coloured, tasty, this salad is a winner.
Page 69 Tabouleh Salad
I'd have liked a little more herb action, but that is an easy fix - next time I'll just add more. Nice flavour profile.
Page 74 Black Bean, Corn, and Quinoa Salad
I made 2 black bean salads (other one coming later) and this was my number 2 choice. It was a perfectly nice salad, I just liked the other one more.
Page 90 Mushroom Soup
Very smooth. Very Mushroom-y. The blended quinoa added texture and did not detract from the mushroom intensity. A good soup.
Page 148 Balsamic Baked Tofu with Asparaguus Caper Quinoa
A little disjointed, this one didn't do a lot for me I'm afraid.

Page 149 Dal with Kale Quinoa
Lovely. The dal was richly spiced, with a little heat, and counterbalanced by the fresh green of the kale quinoa combination. Filling and hearty but not heavy.

Page 187 Falafel
Bit of a fail for me. Tasted great but the patties fell apart easily. Maybe an hour in the fridge prior to shaping and cooking would have helped.

Page 188 Apple Cherry Trail Bars
I didn't like this one. Recipe worked perfectly fine, just not to my taste preference.

Page 199 Spicy Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
Lovely combination, nice black bean salad, with interest from the additions.


1 comment:

Alexis said...

This one looks great! I just got a big bag of quinoa and have been looking for more recipes.