Now the official bit is done lets chat about the book itself. I reviewed The Sexy Vegan's first book here and I think I like this one better. Not that the food wasn't spectacular in the first book (it was and continues to be so) but this book has less of a cringe inducing trying-too-hard-to be-sexy-clever tone to it. Like the first book this one was also printed on post-consumer recycled paper and I must commend the publishers on this step - it does mean the pages aren't super shiny, and the photos (there are lots actually) are not in colour, but as those things are less important to me than the substance of the recipes then I'm fine with that. If you like your cookbooks to be super high-gloss then maybe this one won't catch your eye (but you should give it a look for the awesome food!).
The book is laid out a little differently than your standard cookbook - it is by menu rather than recipe type, as the menus are meant to be made and served together to a theme (I didn't do this but more on that later) as part of a happy hour type event, and they all serve 4 people so there's no need to guess about that either. Each recipe "chapter" has 3 or 4 recipes and a shopping / pantry list for the menu so you can easily ensure you have everything if you're making everything in the theme. The only exception is the beverages which have their own chapter. Each "chapter" intro comes complete with beverage recommendations, tips for making the most of your time and other hints - nicely done with no OTT sexy-ness. I think this layout works and is logical for the type of book it is, and if you are like me and choose not to make complete menus then it is still easy enough to work with as the index is pretty good.
Because I am GF I found I wasn't easily able to make complete menus so I mixed and matched dishes from the menus, and found the dishes worked as stand alone meals quite nicely - I did find that the serving sizes were thrown off by my doing that but it was expected.
The recipes I made -
From Menu 4,
Page 44 - Spiced Nuts
A little sweet, warmly spiced rather than hot spiced, these were very tasty and easy to make.
From Menu 5,
Page 51 - Tofu-Citrus Dippers
A little disappointing as the tofu remained a little bland - I was expecting more of a citrus/jalapeno blast but it was subtle.
Page 53 - Citrus Soba
Loved these noodles. Loved them to bits and will make them by themselves again. The citrus here was more pronounced and the sesame hints really made them so good.
From Menu 7,
Page 68 - Fresh Corn and Jalapeno Salad
I've made something similar before but not with raw corn. This was a delight - really refreshing and light but easy to make. Recipe at the end.
From Menu 8,
Page 78 - Roasted Chana
Simple and very tasty. Meant to be eaten cool but I couldn't wait. Not too spiced.
From Menu 12,
Page 113 - Sunflower Seed Spread
A little hummus like but with sunflower seeds. Nice spread, tasty and filling. I ate as a dip with raw vegetables instead of crackers and it went down a treat.
From Menu 13,
Page 123 - Baked Sweet Potato "Fries" with Adobo Dipping Sauce
Will make these again too as everyone liked them. The sauce wasn't too spicy - but you could easily make it more so. Little more time consuming but worth it.
From Menu 15,
Page 139 - Sexy Peanut Sauce
Nice and simple variation on this sauce. Super easy to make, I served with Spinach and Broccoli which was a good choice.
From Menu 16,
Page 150 - White Barbecue Sauce
I served with some barbecued vege to dip (asparagus and zucchini) and it was good - tangy and more-ish.
From Menu 20,
Page 183 - Maple-Chipotle Roasted Veggies
Super yummy way to roast veggies, and I'm sure I will make again, maybe even upping the chipotle next time, or changing up the vege.
For sure - especially if you entertain and like to have menus all sorted for you, but even if you don't and choose to pick and choose like I did you'll find tempting recipes in this book.
So, here is the recipe I have to share -
This Fresh Corn and Jalapeño recipe is from the Papadilla, Don’t Preach Happy Hour Menu that also includes recipes for Braised Scallion Papadillas and Nectarines with Mole-ish Stuff on Them.
Fresh Corn and Jalapeño Salad
2 ears raw corn, kernels cut from the cob
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
6 braised scallions, sliced, reserved from the Braised Scallion Papadillas (see recipe, page 66)
1 roasted jalapeño pepper, diced, reserved from the Braised Scallion Papadillas (recipe, page 66)
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
In a large bowl, toss the corn with the bell pepper, scallions, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, lime juice, and oil.
Excerpted with permission from The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home ©2013 by Brian Patton. Published with permission of New World Library http://www.newworldlibrary.com