Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Book Review - The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen

The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen is the second book I have which is Aryurvedic in focus, though the other (reviewed here) is not vegan. I tried hard not to make comparisons between the two as I read through the introductory sections, though found that difficult. I will try here not to draw comparisons but to speak to this book on its own.

The book starts with 5 chapters of introduction, outlining Ayurveda as a system, terms and theories used, and an introduction to the doshas. The language used is everyday language, and not confusing for the average person. While the explanations are very expansive, well presented and full of information, I didn't come away with a clear sense of where I would fit as far as a dosha goes, so didn't take this into account when choosing the recipes to make.

The recipe chapters are logically grouped, and all offer a range of dishes. There are five colour photo inserts showing a variety of dishes from the surrounding recipe chapters, nice for those who like pictures. The recipes themselves are generally nicely introduced, are well laid out, easy to read and follow, and all come with information on preparation times, yield, and the impact on each of the doshas.

The recipes I made -
Page 51 - Quinoa Pancakes
Simplicity at its tastiest. Seriously easy. I made the Orange-Poppy Seed Variation and would suggest adding a little zest to them as well as the orange flavour got lost a little. Not as light as regular pancakes, but certainly a good start to the day.

Page 52 - Coconut-Mango Smoothie
I had all the ingredients except the mango in my blender, opened it up to find it rotten in the core, so I used frozen blueberries instead. Tasty and filling but not mango!

Page 55 - Morning Cupcakes
Probably my least enjoyed recipe. I think trying to make this into a sweet zucchini and carrot muffin, and loosing all the more savoury elements (caraway seeds and herbs) would have made it more enjoyable for me. Heavy and hearty which was fine, I just didn't enjoy the flavour combination.

Page 61 - Faux French Dressing
I added the optional avocado, which I think made it a little un-french like for me. It was a tasty dressing, I just don't feel the name suited once I had added the avo.

Page 66 - Fresh Red Onion Colelaw
Tasty. Quick and easy to throw together, though take care not to add too much raw onion (as I did) or else it will start to overpower the slaw.

Page 67 - Carrot Raisin Salad
Nice one. A little sweet, but light and easy to eat. Easy to make too.

Page 69 - Vegan Caesar Salad and Dressing Page 70
I didn't make the croutons. Enjoyed this one, but was missing a little hit of brine-y-ness.

Page 79 - Indian Spiced Guacamole
Oh, yum. Its a mouth party, and a challenge to pre-conceptions about guacamole. Not overly spiced, so you can still enjoy the avocado, but lovely for a change.

Page 81 - Garlic Dream Sauce
Nice and garlicky, thick and tasty.

Page 86 - Gado Gado Sauce
Nice change to my regular peanut sauce fix. Thick, but thins once poured onto something hot.

Page 90 - Palmesan Cheese
Nice vegan parm substitute. Easy to make and use.

Page 107 - Mom's Mac and Cheese
Made with GF pasta, of course. Nice variation, though it got very thick in the oven.

Page 132 - Broccoli with Miso Sauce
The sauce was lovely. Not just for broccoli I don't think - even would work as a salad dressing. Thinned a little once tossed with the broccoli.

Page 151 - Indian Chocolate Shake
I overdid the chili powder a little so mine was spicy! Lovely and chocolate-y, thick and filling. Easy to make, and enjoy.

I think this book would be awesome for someone who follows Ayurveda, either as an individual having a good grasp on things, or along side a practitioner. It would make an awesome resource book once you know your dosha and are wanting to achieve specific results through diet.

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