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4.7 out of 5 stars
Cookin' Crunk: Eating Vegan in the Dirty South
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is really awesome. Last night alone I made 5 separate recipes in about an hour and a half in order to make dinner.

The marinade for Tofu Chicken alone is reason enough to buy this book.

I made the Fried Tofu Chicken Wafflewiches with Maple-Mustard Sauce (on page 64) which required a few other sub recipes, and man, was I impressed! The Savory Sandwich Waffles came out crisp and golden on the outside, while soft and tender on the inside. The Southern Fried Tofu was crispy, and just the right amount of salty, and the Maple-Mustard Sauce, had me lickin' my fingers. (I plan on making a huge batch of that to use as salad dressing in the near future.)

The recipes are simple to follow, straightforward and packed full of flavor. Bianca's love for the South shines through in the food, with lovingly recreated childhood favorites, and new takes on Southern Classics.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I really love this cookbook. It's easy to follow which for me is a must. And I love the idea.. home cookin' but veganized. If I could change anything at all it would be to add more pictures. The photos she does have are fantastic. Also, I follow a semi low carb diet and the nutritional info at the bottom helps me choose what foods I can eat. Eating low carb is difficult when you're a vegan but this book has a TON of options for me. Overall it is a great buy. Hopefully her next book will have more pics :)
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 15, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Bianca Phillips' new book is a fantastic contribution to both vegan and southern cooking. Her recipes are straightforward and pantry-friendly, but with first class results. I have been anxiously awaiting this book ever since the author brought a test version of her pimiento cheese to a vegan gathering last year. I did not realize how much I had missed pimiento cheese, and the Cookin' Crunk version really hits the spot! The Baked Tofu Fish Fry, the Southern Fried Tofu Chicken, and the Country-Fried Tempeh Steak more than live up to their promise. One Sunday, we made a Mandarin Orange Cobbler which was completely amazing and gone before lunch! The Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Celery soups are so good on their own that you may find it difficult to hold part of them back to use in casseroles. Nutritional information accompanies each recipe, and most are surprisingly healthy with no loss in flavor. If your great-aunts and third cousins are coming over for supper, get a copy of this book, and they will be very impressed with your fine cooking!
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have been vegetarian for 13 years. However, I am not a healthy vegetarian. I mostly eat fast food and junk because I don't know how to cook many vegetarian foods like tofu and tempeh and everything comes in "family size" packages which means eating left-overs for a week or throwing food away. This cookbook changes everything. The recipes are easy to prepare and make just enough for a small family or single person to have enough leftovers for lunch the next day. I'm from the south and the only vegetarian in the family. Therefore, family gatherings like holiday meals, usually consist of me eating a veggie burger while the rest of the family enjoys a variety of delicious dishes. This changes all of that. I am happy to prepare several traditional southern meat-free dishes to share with the family or colleagues and introduce them to meat-free alternatives. This book is a staple for anyone's kitchen--meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans alike.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Nutritional information: Yes!!! Every recipe has it, making it easy for dietary planning.
Ease of recipes: the ones I made were simple and requiring few steps, ingredients are easy to get.

Recipes I made this week:

Tempeh Gumbo (p 77), The favors were subtle and tasty. If you are concerned with spicy, these recipes are not hot. My husband didn't realize it was vegan and nearly fell on the floor thinking it was chicken.

Hoppin' John (p 101) this is just down-right awesome. I made it a one-pot meal by adding the rice to the dish.

No-Tel Ro Tel (p 37) makes a large batch. We've been eating all week, on nearly everything... I really need a Vitamix to get smoother textures, but that's me,not the book :-)

BBQ Seitan Ribs (p 96) flavors are great, recipe is good, I need to work on my seitan kneading, I made them and they were a bit tough. Again me, not the recipe.

The recipes I made only got better as leftovers when the favors blend and the seasonings do their thing..
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
My first vegan cookbook! I followed Bianca's blog after I stumbled onto it and realized she's just down the road, in Memphis. I can get down with some Southern food. I've also been in the process of redoing my kitchen into an awesome vegan one, so this cookbook gave me a chance to finally use all this brand new stuff!

I've made a few of the recipes this week. Ground TSP Beef, Basic Cheesy Sauce, Cheesy Burger Mac, Cheesy Twice-Baked Taters, and the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Creme Pies. I screwed up the cheesy sauce by adding mustard by the tablespoon instead of teaspoon. WHOOPS! Everything else has been good. The recipes aren't just easy to follow -- they're fun!

The Peanut Butter Oatmeal Creme Pies, hands down, are the best things I have ever made...ever. That includes all of the sweets I made pre-vegan. They are INSANE!! Go. Make them now. You won't regret it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I just received this cookbook today and can hardly wait to cook from it! As I'm a working mom I'm always on the lookout for healthful, easy vegan recipes. The recipes are mostly easy / not time-consuming to make, mostly healthy (whole grain and low-fat, just a few deep fried recipes), and use everyday ingredients. I predict this book will be in regular rotation at my household, as I think my picky family will really like the recipes. Some of the recipes I plan on making include Country Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, Sweet Potato Bread, Eggless Tofu-Olive Salad (basically a tofu "egg" salad but with the addition of green olives, sounds so yummy!)Tofu Chicken, Brown Sugar Baked Tofu Ham with Redeye Gravy, Jalapeno Lime Watermelon Salad, Cornmeal Crusted Tofu Stix...the list goes on and on. And, I also really love the writing. I've never been to the South, but reading this cookbook and Bianca's anecdotes really make me feel like I'm there!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a stellar cookbook full of easy-to-follow recipes that will rock anybody's socks off! Cookin' Crunk truly is a treasure and I will recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy delicious Southern cookin' - vegan or not! Let me tell you about a few of the recipes I've made from this cookbook:

- The Choco-Chocolate Praline Cookies are dangerously delicious and one of my favorite cookies ever. I'm talking scarf-down-a-whole-batch-in-a-day delicious! The sweet, maple-coated pecans really make these cookies special - throw in some gooey chocolate chips and you're in trouble!

- I'm not a big fan of my birthday, but I am a big fan of birthday cupcakes. The Yella' Cake with Fudgy Frosting was a perfect recipe to sweeten up my birthday last February. Instead of making a big cake I made cute little cupcakes. Turmeric gives the cake a lovely yellow color without us having to reach for the artificial yellow #5, and the chocolate frosting is so amazing I could eat it all straight out of the bowl!

- The Cinnamon-Pecan Waffles are just incredible. They are nutty, cinnamony, squares of awesomeness. The batter smells so good when it hits the hot waffle-maker and the scent takes over the whole house. Add some maple syrup on top and your soul will belong to these waffles forever. Yep, these are my favorite waffles.

- The Creole Steamed Sausages are perfect. I am not the most skillful vegan sausage-maker, but even I managed to make these and they were glorious! Spicy and flavorful, just like I like my fauxsages.

- The Southern Tofu Chicken Biscuits are so incredibly tasty! The tofu is beer battered! I don't mind eating a few fried meals every now and then, and these are definitely worth the splurge.

- The Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits are fluffy and perfect. I like to eat mine with a little Earth Balance and a cup of hot lemony tea. I can't say I've tried them with Southern gravy yet.

- The Cheesy Twice Baked Taters with Leeks and Dill are insanely tasty - forget the main dish, just give me extra taters!

- Bianca's Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce is the only barbecue sauce recipe I will ever need. If Cookin' Crunk had only one recipe in the whole book, and it was this barbecue sauce recipe - the book would have still been worth every penny! Store-bought barbecue sauce is for suckers! :)

- I am obsessed with the Whole Wheat Beer Bread! So quick and easy to make! This bread is one of those things that I need to half or even quarter the recipe or I'll eat the whole loaf in a day. Good luck to my husband trying to grab a slice before I hide it all in my belly.

I am uploading pictures of all the recipes mentioned here. Two thumbs up for this cookbook!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2014
Format: Paperback
Though I'm not Southern, nor have I ever lived in the South I am quite partial to Southern cookin' - so I really love and appreciate vegan cook books that focus on this type of cuisine. I love and have followed Bianca Phillips blog `Vegan Crunk' for years, so when she announced that she'd written a cookbook I was pretty excited to check it out. If you know and love her blog you'll love her book too. The book is infused with Bianca's fun personality and is written in her fun and easy style. She writes in a way that's relatable, like you're just having a conversation around the kitchen table. I like that.

The layout of the book is clean, easy to follow and easy to read. Most recipes are printed on only one page. Each recipe contains nutritional information for those who care about such things, as well as a little introduction that tells you a bit about the recipe and it's history in the South or Bianca's kitchen. My only complaint layout wise is that the book doesn't have very many pictures. However this has everything to do with the publisher - Book Publishing Company - and nothing to do with Bianca - all BPC's books are this way.

But now to the recipes. First it has to be said that if you're looking for health food this is not the book for you. This is a book of veganized southern food, and southern food is naturally unhealthy - that's just a fact. These veganized versions are certainly healthier then their animal-laden counterparts but it still can't be confused with health food. The recipes here call for tofu, tempeh, seitan, faux vegan meat, faux vegan cheese, oil, sugar, salt and flour. If these are ingredients that you avoid then this is probably not the book for you. Personally I don't eat many commercial vegan products - meat, cheese etc... - but once in a while I like these things and I don't see any problem in consuming them occasionally. What I like about Cookin' Crunk is that Bianca does include recipes for home-made seitan sausage, and other seitan products. She also includes recipes for vegan cheese sauces/dips, vegan mayo, and so on. When an author calls for a lot of vegan products in their recipes I'm always appreciative when they also include recipes to make the items yourself. Bianca also calls for whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour in almost all of her recipes that use flour - which is a nice change of pace from most people using regular all-purpose flour. As for oil, sugar and salt, you can always cut down on these if you like, or replace the sugar with an alternative sweetener or replace the oil with a different oil that you prefer. The recipes are forgiving that way, but personally I don't think the use of these things is excessive in this book.

When it comes to difficulty the recipes are fairly simple. They're very straight forward and easy to follow, so if elaborate and `gourmet' is what you're looking for then this is again, probably not the best book for you. I cook a lot of gourmet food but now and then I like to keep things on the simple side and what I love about this book is that even though the recipes are simple the taste, texture and flavor is awesome. Most recipes can be made within 40 minutes which is also something I appreciate because sometimes after a long or busy day all you want to do is relax, you don't want to spend 2 hours in the kitchen just for a meal. I wish I had more time to try more of the recipes but of the ones I have tried this is what I thought...

Creamy Tahini Sauce - Loved it
Memphis-Style BBQ Sauce - OMG AMAZING!
Basic Cheesy Sauce - Loved it
Creole Steamed Sausages - Loved it
Sausage Gravy with Sage - Loved it
Bringin' Home the Tempeh Bacon - Pretty good
Cinnamon Pecan Waffles - Loved it
Brown Sugar Baked Tofu Ham with Redeye Gravy - Loved it
Garlicky Black Eyed Pea Hummus - Loved it
Butter Bean Bruschetta - Loved it
Sweet Potato-Sausage Balls with Cheesy Chili Dipping Sauce - Loved it
Southwestern Corn Salad - Loved it
White Trash Pineapple Salad - Surprisingly Good!
Creamy Poppy Seed Coleslaw - Loved it
Dillweed Potato Salad - Loved it
BBQ `Pulled' Tempeh and Carrot Sandwiches - LOVED IT, AMAZING!
Some Like it Hot TLT - Loved it
Tempeh Gumbo - Alright but not my fave gumbo recipe
Seitan Beef Stew - Loved it
Cauliflower Creole - Loved it
Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese - Pretty Good
Caramelized Cabbage and Onions - Loved it
Spicy Jalapeno Hominy - Loved it
Fried Squash - Loved it
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pecans - Loved it!
Broccoli Casserole - Loved it
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits - Loved it
Jalapeno-Corn Buttermilk Cornbread - Pretty good
Yella' Cake with Fudgy Frosting - Loved it
Vanilla Spice Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream - Loved it

Overall I'd say that this is a great book to give to a newbie vegan or vegetarian. Since most of the recipes are quick and easy it's a great starter for anyone unfamiliar with vegan cooking. It's also a great start for anyone unfamiliar with southern cooking. However I think any seasoned vegan can enjoy this book, it's creativity can inspire anyone especially if you find you've fallen into a rut. Or if you simply want to enjoy some good down-home comfort food without having to spend hours slaving for it. A great addition to the vegan cook book world, and I can't wait for Bianca's next book.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I learned a few things from this book and got some great ideas. However, a lot of the recipes call for the processed "faux" meats and oils that I try to avoid. Still, it is a great book for someone who is making the transition to a "plant-based" diet yet still longs for those down home southern dishes.
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