Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Deb Roussou's 350 Best Vegan Recipes and a Giveaway ~ Reviewed

350 Best Vegan Recipes
Deb Roussou
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Robert Rose (March 8, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0778802949


Delicious, innovative and easy-to-prepare recipes for everyone in search of meal-planning options to fit the vegan lifestyle.

These tempting vegan options include a wide and varied range of tantalizing meal ideas -- from amazing appetizers and salads to hearty soups, incredibly satisfying main courses and decadent desserts. This outstanding cookbook contains so much more than just incredible vegan offerings (that are also guaranteed to appeal to non-vegans and non-vegetarians) -- it also includes comprehensive and useful information on everything from stocking a vegan pantry to helpful kitchen tools and equipment.

And what really sets this book apart from other vegan cookbooks is the "Vegan from Scratch" chapter which provides information on making everything from Vegan Bouillon to Soy Cream Cheese and Smokey Maple Tofu Bacon Slices. These recipes really bring a wholly authentic vegan lifestyle into the home kitchen!

My Review

If you are new to Vegan eating, investigating it, or are trying to add delicious meatless meals to your life, this packed-with-recipes cookbook is a great resource to have on hand.

I'd love to tell you that I cook from my brain and pure creativity and never need cookbooks to get the juices flowing, but that would be a lie. Not saying I can't get on a roll and go all out. But when I'm tired, or bored, or just can't muster creative, I like me a good cookbook.

I also would love to tell you that I love internet recipes. Honestly, with a few strokes of a few keys one can really find a whole lot of what they need on the web. But, I hate cooking from recipes on my computer. There is something about a book that I can write down tweaks or suggestions for next time in the margins. I even like an occasional splatter mark in my cookbooks. (Not to be confused with spatter for those like me, who love police fiction. I do not want spatter in my cookbooks, thankyouverymuch.)

I have made a handful of recipes from 350 Best Vegan Recipes. Each of them was delicious.

My first recipe was Serrano and Roasted Pepper Cornbread. Yum. I had some leftover Spanish rice that needed a little something to make it star in another meal. With a handful of seitan bits and the cornbread layered over the top and baked with the cornbread instructions, yum, this bad boy is a keeper.

Next up was Almond Bear Claw Muffins served to breakfast guests.  Absolutely delicious. I used almond butter instead of the paste that is called for and the recipe worked well. And won raves. 

Another muffin recipe was equally delicious. Raspberry Streusel Muffins.

The Cremini and Kalamata Olivada -- YUM.

I don't think I can tell you what i still want to make from this cookbook. It would probably take less time and space to tell you what doesn't appeal to me.

Recipes on my radar include:

Trendy and creative sounding Horseradish Mustard and Panko-Encrusted Tofu and Northwest Passage Cedar-Planked Tofu. Down home fun comfort food... County Fair Corn Chip Pie. With recipes like these book covers most aspects of Vegan entertaining.

Raw and just veggie lovers will find a section that contains recipes like: Cauliflower and Zucchini Slaw, Hearts of Palm and Mushroom Salad with Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette, Grilled Artichokes with Jalapeno Mignonette Sauce, Sauteed Slivered Brussels Sprouts Over Wild Rice Cakes and Lemon Cucumber Tabbouleh. All together now, "Yum." 

The dessert section offers up a Cranberry Walnut Cake with Caramel Sauce, Jade Green Tea Pound Cake and Figgy Pudding with Brandy Hard Sauce.

A dozen or so pages contain cocktail recipes, too.

I also appreciated the resources. Like the salad dressing recipes, spice blends and basic Vegan recipe versions to replace expensive Vegan processed items. You can use this resource to make your own dairy free versions of mayonnaise, ricotta, smear, sour cream, tempehacon bits, caramel and divine chocolate sauces, vegetable broth and seitan.

Not every recipe in the book is unique, there are several basics or standard items you'll find in nearly every Vegan focused cookbook.  The recipes I tried are delicious and easy to follow.  If you are looking for why to go Vegan, or what one is, that information in not in here. However there are some resources for new Vegans like a very simple pantry list, useful kitchen tools, vocabulary, and suggested menu/party list. Most recipes can be made with commonly found-in-Vegan-household ingredients. If you are looking for some tasty Vegan recipes and like the idea that you can buy a book with 350 recipes instead of 175, then you might want to look a little bit closer at adding it to your bookshelf. It's a keeper and I will continue to cook from it.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

NOTE: Visit my blog for a chance to win a copy of 350 Best Vegan Recipes through July 21st and follow the directions. This offer is available through the publisher and available to residents of the US and Canada.  There is also a recipe from the cookbook.

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