Monday, 25 February 2013

Book Review - Virgin Vegan

A handy sized introduction to being vegan for the average person. Linda Long has compiled lots of information, and brought together a bunch of recipes to set vegan newbies on a good path.

The book is hard cover, printed on shiny, easy to clean, paper, with lots of photos of the recipes on the pages where the recipes occur. I know lots of folks need the visual when cooking so this will appeal to them, and will help new vegans visualise the finished dish, especially good for those unfamiliar with the ingredients.

The introductory sections cover everything from ordering in restaurants to prep-ing vegetables at home, vitamins to ingredients to avoid, though because these is so much touched on some of these segments are quite short and sweet and a new vegan may need to do more searching if they have more questions. They are worth reading, even for a more seasoned vegan.

In the recipe sections, the recipes are logically organised into chapters, and give a good selection in each chapter, so there is something likely to appeal to all tastes in each one. The recipes are easy to follow, and on the whole simple, with nothing too challenging for a new vegan. A lot of the recipes in this book (most of them) are contributed, coming from as wide range of sources - I did try to make recipes which were contributed as well as ones which are the authors. My only nitpicking in the recipe chapters would be that there is not a lot of space for the recipes (due to the handy size of the book) and they often require page turning to follow a recipe, or ingredients list.

The recipes I made -
Page 55 Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette
I had to add a little sweetener as I found this dressing as written a little too sour and bitter. It may be just me.

Page 55 "Sea Czar" Dressing
Loved this caesar version - nice hint of brine from the dulse, and good hit of garlic and lemon. Pictured on the salad.

Page 42 Re Lentil Soup with Nut Cream
Luscious and smooth, this simple lentil soup is great comfort food. Easy to make and hittig the spot on a cool evening.

Page 75 Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas
Oh yum, this was lovely. I will make over and over for sure - nice balance of the sweet, the spicy and the earthy.

Page 84 Heather Mills' Sesame Soba Noodles with Peanut Dressing
Not the prettiest looking dish, but very tasty. Lovely sauce, though very rich and filling. I would add some steamed broccoli to it next time to have some veggie goodness there too.

Page 90 Picnic Potato Salad
I ran out of vegan mayo so made the silken tofu variation and had to add more mustard, some lemon juice and some vinegar as well as a little oil to get it not tasting so much of plain tofu. It was very tasty, and easy to personalise but I would recommend the mayo option!

Page 93 Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Croutons
Though no croutons for me. Tasty and simple way to make sprouts, though I think I had small ones. Going by the cooking times indicated would have given me sprout mush so I had to adjust. Photo above with the Sweet Potato and Chickpeas.

Page 119 Vegetable Cakes
I found these a little delicate when cooking - had to be gentle with them to stop them from falling apart. Tasty though.

Page 128 Nava's Baked Macaroni and "Cheese"
Super simple and easy - will end up tasting like whichever vegan cheese you choose so be sure to chose one you like.

Page 148 Pecan Pie
Not overly sweet, which is lovely. Really lovely and adored by everyone I shared it with.


Kendy P said...

i bought this book a few weeks ago. i like that the recipes are easy to do and fun!

Valeria said...

This is cool!