I missed Friday’s MoFo prompt (may make up for it later), but I had to come back to tell you about my favourite cookbook! You probably know about it already because it’s a vegan classic, and it definitely deserves all the love it gets: my favourite is Veganomicon.
This may be the book that’s taught me the most about cooking. It was one of my first cookbooks when I went vegan back in secondary school, and I’ve cooked from it more than from all my other beloved books. I’ve even used it in my BA thesis! (It was on recipe translation.)
Thankfully, this book was built to last. The pages in mine are stained, and the cover may have accidentally been used as a cutting board (Once. Maybe twice?) – but it’s not even close to falling apart.
The book isn’t picture-heavy (the only photos are inserted in the middle), but I still find myself wanting to try every single recipe when I leaf through it. Isa and Terry’s writing is so entertaining that I’m inspired just reading their descriptions, and I can always find pictures of the final dishes on forums and blogs.
Veganomicon has been so useful to me while learning how to cook. It starts with basic techniques and cooking times for vegetables, grains, and beans. The mix-and-match chapter provides simple ways to flavour those foods and to pair them with vegan proteins like tofu, tempeh, and seitan. But this book definitely doesn’t consist of basic recipes only – it provides full menus with everything from spicy tempeh nori rolls and chestnut-lentil pâté to heart-shaped apple galettes and jelly donut cupcakes. To give you an idea, these are some of the recipes I’ve tried.
My favourites: Walnut-mushroom pate (page 64), Quinoa salad with black beans and mango (page 84), Snobby joes (page 98), Marinated Italian tofu (page 128), Chickpea cutlets (page 133), Pumpkin baked ziti with caramelized onions and sage crumb topping (page 194), Tofu ricotta (page 206), Cashew ricotta (page 206), and Fresh rosemary focaccia (page 220).
Others I’ve loved: Grilled yuca tortillas (page 49), Acorn squash and black bean empanadas (page 55), Samosa stuffed baked potatoes (page 60), Curried carrot dip (page 62), Sun-dried tomato dip (page 62), A hummus recipe (page 67), guacamole (page 69), Chocolate chip brownie waffles (page 74), Blueberry corn pancakes (page 76), Black bean burgers (page 98), Cornmeal-masala roasted Brussels sprouts (page 107), Eggplant-potato moussaka with pine nut cream (page 164), Leek and bean cassoulet with biscuits (page 172), Red lentil-cauliflower curry (page 186), Lasagne marinara with spinach (page 196), Almesan (page 207), Backyard BBQ sauce (page 207), Poppy seed-cornmeal roti (page 221), Carrot-pineapple sunshine muffins (page 226), Chewy chocolate-raspberry cookies (page 234), Fudgy wudgy blueberry brownies (page 242), Lower-fat deep chocolate bundt cake (page 256), and Chocolate ice cream (page 261).
Roasted eggplant and spinach muffuletta sandwich
I’ve posted about recipes from this book before, but I wanted to try another one just for this review. The roasted eggplant and spinach muffuletta (page 100) is a huge sandwich stuffed with spinach, roasted aubergine/eggplant and peppers, and olive and sundried tomato relish. I’ve always wanted to try it but I’ve never had exactly the right ingredients, so this time I decided to just make it with what I had.
I used all green olives instead of half kalamatas and I chopped them by hand instead of using a food processor, I left out the celery seed, and I roasted my own tomatoes and yellow peppers. I also couldn’t find a good round loaf of bread that wasn’t way out of my usual price range, so I made my own – which meant I made two smaller sandwiches instead of a single big one.
What a sandwich. I was planning on serving it with a soup, but once we’d tried a bite of the muffuletta we decided it would make a fine dinner on its own. I still think it would be nice with a lentil soup for a bit more protein, but I was surprised by how filling the sandwich was with just vegetables and olives.
This muffuletta works best if you make it well in advance so the olive relish has plenty of time to soak into the bread. I took mine out a little early so I could take a picture, but I have leftovers steeping in the fridge so I can’t wait to go and eat them.
If you don’t have Veganomicon and you’d like to try a few dishes before buying it, these are recipes from the book (some slightly modified) that are available on the PPK blog.
– Potato latkes
– Seitan piccata
– Eggplant potato moussaka with pine nut cream
– Quinoa salad with black beans and mango
– Chickpea cutlets
Links of the day
Picking a favourite cookbook is hard! I was happy to see fellow MoFo bloggers highlighting some of my other favourites, including Appetite for Reduction (on Vegan Eats & Treats) and Vegan Brunch (on Kelli’s Vegan Kitchen). I also loved seeing recipe recommendations for books I want to use more often, like Authentic Chinese Cuisine (on Dandelion Vegan Blog), Isa Does It (on Vegan Crunk), and Vegan Eats World (on Vegan à Montréal).
And of course I’ve read many reviews of wonderful cookbooks I don’t currently own – but I expect everyone’s added lots of cookbooks to their wishlists after today, so I’m not going to tempt you by linking to more of them. :) Instead, check out Zsu’s round-up of the second week of VeganMoFo!