Monday, 4 June 2012

Book Review - Celebrate Vegan

Simple, uncomplicated food, which will suit any occasion. That's pretty much what I found as I was making dishes from this book, and I would certainly recommend having this one on your bookshelf. Non vegans who cook for vegans on occasion would likely find this very handy - any and every occasion is covered!

I like very much that the recipes are listed by category at the back of the book - this makes it easier to find something if you can't remember which holiday a recipe was from (and who can) but know it was a soup, for example.

I also like that every holiday you can think of, and some you may not be familiar with (and some which aren't even holidays) are represented, giving a huge range of different recipes to suit any occasion, or non-occasion, you could think of.

There is lots of good information in the introduction, the recipes themselves are laid out in an easy to follow manner, and one per page which is nice. There are no photos of the food, which for me is no big deal, but I do know that some of you are very fond of books with lots of pictures. I think Dynise does quite a good job of painting a picture with her words in the section and recipe introductions.

On to the recipes I made, in page number order, of course.
Page 6 Tofu with Broccoli and Black Bean Sauce
I make something similar, though what I make is less structured, there are no measurements and I don;t even think I've ever written what I do down. I did enjoy this.

Page 27 Black Bean Burgers
Little on the bland side for me. I would up the spices and cilantro next time. These formed patties nicely, and cooked well on the barbecue. I did have to sub ground up quick cooking oats for the breadcrumbs as I was out.

Page 32 Good Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad
Nice, and very like the old-fashioned salad of yore. A little on the sweet side for me so I'd add a little more vinegar and mustard to balance that next time (or less sugar).

Page 40 Risotto with Leeks and Porcini Mushrooms
Would have been nice to have a cup (or weight) measure for the leeks as I was a little worried I had too much as my leeks were pretty big. It all cooked down smooth and luscious in the end and tasted beautiful. Couldn't resist a little Daiya stirred through to serve.

Page 41 Sicilian Inspired Kale
I cooked my kale 5 minutes less than specified as it seemed to be done at that time. I loved this one and ate the whole thing as lunch!

Page 66 Shamefully Simple Chickpea Chili
Very simple!! Though I did sub regular salsa for the salsa verde as I couldn't find any at my store at the time. Very tasty, made lovely nachos.

Page 71 Tofu Dijon
If I made this again I would cut the tofu into 6 thinner steaks so they could have more surface area to contact the wonderful sauce and breading mix! It is so very flavourful, and good, you want much more of it. The tofu is only a vehicle for the coating! I did again use ground up oatmeal for the breadcrumbs.

Page 101 Cream of Broccoli Soup
The soy creamer I used, as it cooked, made the soup taste too sweet. It needed a little squeeze of lemon juice at the end too lift, brighten and balance the flavours. Otherwise very simple, and good.

Page 125 Golden Millet Pilaf
Nice, little plain, but it is a side dish to be served with more flavoured offerings. Easy to make, though I would maybe add the spinach at the end of the cooking time not at the beginning should I make again, just so it retains a little more vibrancy.

Page 161 Substantial Mix and Match Salad
Seen with the Tofu Dijon in the background! More of a guide than a recipe, but there are lots of ideas for creating your own salad masterpiece.

Page 163 Poppyseed Dressing
On the salad in the photo above. A little too sweet for me so I had to add more lemon juice. Also "1 garlic clove, crushed" is listed twice in the ingredients list and I don;t know if that is a typo. I only added it once.


Deborah said...

that black bean burger looks delish!

-Deborah, said...

that tofu dijon looks out of this world!!! so does the black bean burger! thanks for sharing!