Monday, 31 March 2014

Book Review - Jazzy Vegetarian Classics

I made the recipes from this book the week before Spring Break - and we did go away for the break which is why I didn't get to writing this up until now. We had a fun break - though there was snow on a lot of the passes over the mountains to the BC interior, and we got caught in a good few snowfalls! Anyway - to the book!

This is a substantial hardcover book - filled with lovely photos, including a lot of the author, but the ones she are in is with the food, which remains the focus. Unlike in some other books I have her presence is an addition to not a distraction from what I feel should be the focus (presenting the food!).

All the recipes in the book are in fact vegan - which is a little confusing as while the sub-title references this the actual title does not. Vegans skimming though the book store or online sites may pass this by because of it. I would have done.

The introductory chapter is a good run through ingredients used, herbs and spices, and other kitchen tips. All nice to have. The actual recipe chapters are logical groupings, the recipes are mostly one to a page, use of colour is enough to differentiate the recipes from each other but not overly busy. There are hints and notes on many recipes, and they are simple enough to read and follow. I like the quotes from famous and historically important vegetarians and musicians smattered throughout the book, and the section where jazz music suggestions are given for menus is a cute touch. Not sure I'm too keen on the book having commercial companies as sponsors.

The recipes I made -
Page 47 - Peanut Sauce
Very simple sauce, quite spicy, and tasty.

Page 52 - Caesar Salad Dressing
Didn't like this version of a Caesar dressing. I feel regular tofu is the wrong texture and taste - the dressing was very tofu like in flavour. Would not use this recipe again.

Page 57 - Cashew Parmesan
Nice - though I'd have preferred a little nutritional yeast added for a more cheesy-like finish.

Page 67 - Aioli Dip
Very nice, super mellow garlic flavour which was really good.

Page 111 - Creamy Cauliflower Bisque
Super simple, yet creamy and very tasty. Soup for making you want more soup! Serving size as written is very small so make a double amount.

Page 120 - Caesar Salad
See dressing above - so not the best I've had.

Page 171 - Savory Mushroom Stroganoff
OK but not as rich a creamy as I was expecting.

Page 174 - Oven Baked Two Bean Chili
Genius. Very tasty, very easy, and mostly hands off - perfect for a busy person who does 17 things at once - dinner takes care of itself!

Page 202 - Broccoli with Lemon Sauce
OK - a nice simple way to jazz up your broccoli (excuse the wee pun)

Page 211 - Paprika Roasted Cauliflower
Very nice. Addition of the onion a nice touch and tasty too.

Page 213 - Paprika and Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes
Simple, savoury and tasty. Nice potatoes.

I must admit to have never having heard of Laura Theodore - either as a Jazz singer, TV show host, or vegan chef prior to receiving this book but I may have to have a look at her previous book after this!


1 comment:

Robyn said...

This looks like a great book. I am trying to infuse new and healthier living into my family's lives. In trying to understand a plant-based diet, I have found the book, " Get Balanced, Get Blissed: Nourishment for Body, Mind, and Soul" http://liveblissnow.com/ by author Lynne Goldberg to be extremely beneficial. Thanks for the great book review. I am looking forward to trying out some of the recipes.