With a huge daily list of blogs I read, Tastespotting, and Pinterest, I have pretty much unlimited access to recipes online. Sometimes I feel like I never need a cookbook again. But I think there’s something special about cookbooks – the hundred of hours of work that goes into them, the vigorous recipe testing, the author’s passion… these are things that you don’t always get with online recipes.
So to encourage myself to use my cookbooks more often, and try out new ones, I’ve decided to start doing cookbook review posts.
First up is Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. This book is sometimes referred to as the “vegan cooking bible” and I can see why – it is packed with recipes! But before the recipes there are some informational sections to help the reader get started on cooking the recipes:
- Stocking the Veganomicon pantry
- Kitchen equipment
- Cooking and prepping terminology
- Lower fat cooking
- How to cook a vegetable, grain, and beans
Some of this is pretty basic and can be skipped over if you have cooking experience, but I found the cooking guides to be pretty helpful since I can never remember things like water to grain ratios and how to cook beans from scratch!
What I liked about the cookbook:
- It contains a lot of recipes
- It has a variety of recipes, from salads to soups to sauces to desserts
- The authors’ personalities really shine through
- There is an index at the back that separates recipes into soy free, low fat, ready in under 45 minutes, and grocery store friendly recipes
What I didn’t like about the cookbook:
- There aren’t pictures for every recipe
- It sometimes uses obscure ingredients like vital wheat gluten, agar powder, and arrowroot powder
- The recipes may not appeal to everyone, especially people who are wary of eating vegan foods
Recipes I tried:
1. Cheater baked beans
These are a faster version of baked beans made using canned beans and natural ingredients like tomato sauce and molasses. I absolutely love baked beans (I have my own version posted here), but I was a bit disappointed by these. The baked bean flavour was a bit off (probably because the flavours don’t have the usual 3-4 hours to develop) and I found them too sweet.
2. Silken mayo dressing
This is a multifunctional recipe that can be used as a vegan mayo or jazzed up to create other dressings like thousand island dressing or aioli. It’s thinner than real mayo and slightly sweeter, but it still made a decent substitution for mayo on my sandwiches.
3. Lentil salad
I loved this one! It’s made with French lentils, tomatoes, red onion, carrots and radishes with a Dijon balsamic dressing, which gives it fantastic flavour. I’ll definitely make this one again to use for weekday lunches.
4. Applesauce oat bran muffins
These turned out really nice and moist. And I liked the unique spiced flavour that the cardamom added. Even my mom liked them – she couldn’t believe they were vegan!
Overall I think this is a great cookbook for someone starting a vegan diet, especially someone who needs some cooking pointers. I liked most of the recipes I tried and will probably cook from it again!
Have you ever tried a recipe from this cookbook?
Do you find that the explosion of blogs and internet recipe resources means you don’t cook from cookbooks as often?