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First off, the food in this book is amazing. Vegan With a Vengeance was super great, but this is the friggin' BOMB!
Aside from the incredible food, the product description doesn't mention that the first part of the book is a great (and funny) read about HOW to cut and prepare different vegetables, how to cook different grains, etc...for someone like me, pretty invaluable stuff. Also cool if you're getting this for your "weird" vegan kid that is just learning to cook. Also,, the icons are a big help (an icon tells you if you can make the meal under 45 min -or way less, another icon tells you if you can find everything at your regular Vons-type market, if there's soy, etc...)
The other review made a comment about the title, which I think is total genius. Then again, I get the HP Lovecraft/Evil Dead reference. What else could you call the "ultimate vegan cookbook" besides the "Veganomicon"??
Not only does this book have great recipes, but it will totally add ideas to your cooking arsenal. After making the "Black Bean Burgers", I am never buying packaged veggie burgers again!
p.s. do yourself a favor and make the "Leek and Bean Cassoulet with Biscuits".
From the moment the book arrives, you'll love it! It's not just because of the beautiful photographs and intriguing recipes - it's because the authors and their style of writing capture you, fascinate you, and make you excited to try each and every recipe that they have created.
I'll admit that I am a fan of both Vegan With a Vengeance and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. But I wanted to review Veganomicon without those two prior books in mind. The fact is, I couldn't. I knew that the recipes would be outstanding; the usual nervousness that comes with serving a guest that new pasta recipe was not present. I have a confidence when making Isa and Terry's recipes, a confidence that sometimes does not exist when trying other recipes out for the first time.
I think that each of these reviews, each Veganomicon recipe photograph on Flickr, on blogs, on the Post Punk Kitchen forums, are a testament that many people, experienced chefs and novices alike, absolutely adore this cookbook. And there's no reason why you wouldn't, either.
My favorites so far have been the Eggplant Rollatini and the Lemon Bars. The Pumpkin Ziti with Sage Bread Crumbs is not far behind; I love the cashew ricotta that is used (there are two ricotta recipes in the book - both delicious!). There is something for everyone here, whether you hate vegetables but love mushrooms, choose seitan over tempeh, want breakfast at all times of day, or want to eat a light lunch of bok choy with shallots.
There are excellent recipes for autumn and fall-time meals. The Thanksgiving spread would be more colorful and delectable if you added in a few of the mix and match sides and appetizers, such as Mashed Spiced Sweet Potatoes, Chestnut-Lentil Pate, and Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Seed Rice Paper Rolls.
Thank you for rocking our worlds, Terry and Isa!
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Mine is by no means a vegan household, but how could I resist a book with this title? By the time I had found the authors' explanation, I was in love with the book: "...a big vegan cookbook needed a big vegan name. (But just to be on the safe side, don't read this cookbook backward at the stroke of midnight.)" So I checked it out of the library a month ago Shhh! I KNOW I need to bring it back!
The clever introduction makes the case that "vegan food = normal food." The authors move on to a saucy explanation of prepping and cooking terms and some ingredient-specific advice, endlessly entertaining and informative. Take polenta: "Polenta has been called many things, each more insulting than the last: cornmeal mush, grits, porridge. But it got a new lease on life in the '90s when foodies started referring to it by its proper name and charging twenty dollars a plate for it." They follow with basic polenta-cooking instructions.
I had planned to browse and move on. I don't like to cook fiddly things -- no ravioli-making for me -- and I never seem to have enough of the right ingredients for vegan cooking. But what a surprise this book was! Even with no tempeh or miso on board, a quick pass through the front of the market gave me all I needed for some of these yummy recipes.
We loved the Israeli Couscous with Pistachios and Apricots (confession: I used regular couscous) and the Herb Scalloped Potatoes. I was planning to make Roasted Eggplant and Spinach Muffuletta Sandwich but we ate the roasted eggplant before I got the olives. My favorite recipe so far: Jalapeno-Onion Skillet Corn Bread.Read more ›
Now let me say first of all, I am a huge fan of the PPK. Their shows and recipes are what made me finally realize I can eat delicious meals without having to rely on meat, and I've been the happier for it. I also love their other two cookbooks.
For some reason though, I can never get Isa's pancake recipes to work though. I tried making the blueberry corn pancakes while at my in laws, and it was basically a giant nightmare (similar thing happened with the recipe from VwaV). Whatever, it may be something with me, I don't know. And I must say, for the most part, the recipes in this cookbook have been really good.
What I'm more annoyed about, however, is a number of glaring editing errors. There are a lot of spelling errors and misprints in the book. I was really looking forward to making the fudgy wudgy blueberry brownies, but for some reason there's mention of applesauce in the recipe instructions while it's nowhere to be found on the ingredient list. I tried looking it up on the PPK site but it's nowhere to be found, so I'm not sure if it's something they forgot to add to the ingredient list, or something they forgot to subtract from the recipe instructions, not to mention I have no clue how much I'd put in it. There have been other incidences like this throughout the cookbook, and it's starting to make me wonder if I should have waited until it went through another edition or something.
Anyway, the recipes really are tasty, I just think they rushed to print it and the recipes themselves I think suffer.