on August 29, 2011
I have all of Bryanna's other cookbooks and use them often, so I was excited to hear that she had another one out. Her recipes are always dependable and I like the way she explains why ingredients and techniques work the way they do. I have a lot of post-it notes stuck to recipes in this book that I intend to try. They all sound so good!
So far I have made:
1. Yeasted oven pancake with apples. This is a yummy and easy brunch dish.
2. Italian pear tart with corn flour pastry. Delicious and impressive-looking, but quite easy to make. The low fat corn flour pastry was a recipe I will use with many other fillings.
3. Light seitan cutlets. These are worth the price of the book all by themselves. Very tender texture, and no worry about the liquid coming to a boil because they are baked. The recipe makes 16, and I now have 12 in the freezer for use in future meals.
4. Focaccia. I made both variations, one with olive oil and herbs, and one with grapes and a sprinkling of sugar. We couldn't decide which was best and loved them both.
5. Vegan salmon. It is pink from some tomato juice and seafoody from some dulce flakes. There is nori wrapped around it before baking, and that comes out looking like salmon skin. It wouldn't fool anyone into thinking it is real salmon, but it would satisfy any craving I ever have for salmon. Even my picky eater non-vegan husband is eating this spread on crackers.
6. Rich and fluffy vegan bread. This is half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour, but it rose light and high. My husband normally resists any bread that is not all white flour, but he ate this with no complaint.
7. Easy homemade spaetzle. These are sort of a drop noodle. My Polish grandmother used to make something like them, and making them brought back memories of her standing at the stove making them, The book says the recipe is from Germany, Austria and Hungary, but I think it should include Poland as well.
Also, Bryanna's oil substitute for salad dressings has been in her other cookbooks and her web site, and is repeated here. It really works to make fat free dressings.
There are some ingredients that a average kitchen might not have, but are normal for a vegan kitchen: nutritional yeast, tofu, miso, vital wheat gluten, etc.
I would not recommend this as someone's ONLY vegan cookbook because it is not a basic book. (Try her "20 Minutes to Dinner" book for that.) But it is a wonderful resource for someone who wants new ideas and innovative techniques. Great job, Bryanna!
on August 12, 2011
I've been waiting for this cookbook to be out of the press for a long time (too long, I think.... :-) ). When I became a vegetarian and trying to be a vegan, I pursued and searched for great recipes in the Internet. Hence, I found Bryanna Clark Grogan and fell in love with her recipes. I don't want to be a novice cook who can cook only a basic vegan shepherd pie or chili, I want to create delicious vegan dishes that people go oooh and aaah about them. I want to be able to make vegan wellington, vegan mushroom pate, coulibiac, cog au vin, tiramisu, etc.
Although cooking an extensive vegan recipe can consume time, if I plan it well and make things ahead of time, putting it together is easy breezy. The result is usually well worth it.
I was her vegan feast newsletter subscriber and this book is the golden result of her collections of vegan feast newsletters' recipes. Hence, I have tried so many recipes printed in this cookbook. I am amazed with how much knowledge Bryanna put into her cooking and recipes. She is so informative about vegan cooking techniques, vegan ingredients and substitutions, and sources where to get them. If you want to know all about vegan cooking and be an expert in it, this book and her website can be a vegan encyclopedia that you will keep going back for more.
The recipes are a collection of 50 different countries. They are re-makes and veganized recipes. Some examples are Palestinian Ma'aluba; Seitan Wellington; Russian Coulibiac; France Coq Au Vin; Saigon(Vietnamese) crepes, banh mi, and fresh smoked tofu and mango salad roll; Indonesian Tahu Goreng; Thai Pineapple Fried Rice; Indian Dosa and dhokla; African Bobotie; Peruvian Causa, anticuchos, lomo saltado, and alfajores; Italian Tiramisu, etc. Are they authentic in taste? I would say they are pretty close. I am not so sure because I have never tried the real anticuchos (not that I want to try it). It really doesn't matter since they are all delicious (being veganized by Bryanna) without knowing how the origin of the dish taste. They are so delicious so it really doesn't matter to me. If you notice that I named the dishes using their ethnic names, this is because I learned about those dishes from Bryanna. It was a great fun learning from her!
The book is also so organized and easy to find recipes and information. I like the page 240 which list the Countries and the page numbers where I can find recipes from each country/origin. I like the way the recipes are divided into The Common Pot, Common Bowl, Comfort Foods, Beans, Soy and Seitan, Side Dishes, and Sweet.
I am going to treasure this book and won't let anyone to borrow it in case I won't see it again. They can buy their own copy. :-)
on September 18, 2011
Bryanna Clark Grogan has been my favourite vegan cookbook writer since I bought her first book "Nonna's Italian Kitchen" some ten years ago. Since then I have purchased all her other cookbooks as well as her Vegan Feast Newsletter. "World Vegan Feast" gathers the very best of these recipes, celebrating the cuisine of over 50 countries, vegan-style! There are many favourites of mine: the Greek lasagna, Saigon subs (Vietnam), savory layed tortilla pie (Mexico), Seitan Wellington (UK), Peruvian-style cabbage salad with crispy tofu, vegan soufflé omelet (France) ... too numerous to mention here.
It should be noted that Bryanna uses various meat-subs in some of her recipes - marinated extrafirm tofu or soy curls to replace chicken, homemade seitan (boiled wheat gluten) to replace beef, textured vegetable protein to replace ground meat. While these are somewhat controversal to some vegans who do not wish to eat anything remotely meaty (despite it being completely animal-free and tasty), rest assured that there are plenty of recipes that do not rely on this, and as other readers have commented as well, Bryanna's recipes are so informative and well-written that you will definitely enjoy this book as well.
Any new book from Bryanna Clark Grogan is a must-have, but World Vegan Feast is one to buy without delay. It is a fantastic book which displays the breadth and depth of one of the great vegan cooks of our time. Bryanna's recipes are always reliable, easy to follow, and keyed for the home cook (for example, she often provides easily obtainable substitutions for more unusual ingredients). It was hard to know where to start, but I decided to try some North African recipes - an Egyptian okra dish and a Tunisian salad of potatoes and roasted zucchini. Both were exceptionally good. I've also dug into the bread chapter, very happily. Beyond the high quality of the recipes and the great range of cuisines and cultures represented, this book has other features which make it essential for anyone exploring plant-based cuisine. Bryanna provides commentary and sidebars with very useful information on ingredients and techniques. Do you want to know whether salt really toughens beans if added at the beginning of cooking? Do you wonder how to improve the mouthfeel of an agar jell? Can you not find vegan worcestershire sauce, and need to know how to make it? Would you be helped by a breakdown of egg replacer functions with a discussion of which replacers work best for which functions? Bryanna has you covered. Get the book, and learn from a master.
on January 8, 2012
I have been a fan of Bryanna Clark Grogan since she published her first vegan cookbook - The (Almost) No Fat Cookbook: Everyday Vegetarian Recipes - in 1994. I adopted a vegan diet in 1992 and there were very few quality vegan cookbooks at that time. I was thrilled to learn about the way she was able to come up with innovative ways to feed her family without resorting to dairy and cheese found in most vegetarian cookbooks of that era.
I was happy to see Bryanna go global with this new cookbook. What I like about Bryanna's approach is that she does a great job of setting the stage for both novices and experts alike. She has a helpful discussion about the basic building blocks of a vegan kitchen. Bryanna gives great tips on creating a "Chicken-Style" Broth Powder, a Rich Mushroom Stock, Marinated Tofu Slices, Teriyaki Marinade and Vegan Mayo. I also liked that she put together some fantastic menu planning ideas around special occasions such as Mother's Day Brunch, Christmas Dinner and a Kwaanza Celebration Meal.
Bryanna organizes her cookbook in a logical and helpful fashion. She starts with Brunch Around The World. She has a section of Appetizers, Sandwiches and Wraps. There are wonderful ideas in the soup section such Peruvian Rice and Coriander and Golden Cauliflower and Dal. In her section on Universal Comfort Foods, I am inspired by her Greek Nugget Potato and Kalamata Olive Stew and Jamaican Style Pumpkin Rice. In the Vegetable Mains section, I have tried and like her Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.
Bryanna's strengths and creativity has always revolved around her ideas of how to use soy and seitan as basic building blocks for main dishes. She is adept at translating classic dishes such as Seitan Wellington, Coq Au Vin, Meatloaf and Steak Au Poivre. If you are really trying to impress someone new to vegan cuisine, give her Moroccan Savory Celebration Pie a whirl.
on March 7, 2012
World Vegan Feast is a culmination of Bryanna's in-depth research into the cuisines of over 50 countries with a vegan twist (but don't tell that to your guests because they will never suspect). What sets Bryanna apart from other cookbook authors is her ability to hold the reader's hand and walk us through her recipes. She doesn't assume that we know all the basics, so she provides them in great detail. In all of her books, Bryanna is the queen of "variations on a theme." And World Vegan Feast is no exception. Armed with the information contained in the first 25 pages, the reader will be ready to make any of the dishes in the book. You will learn how to make your own vegan broth, seitan ("wheat meat"), soy-free soy sauce, teriyaki marinade, worcestershire sauce, mayo, parmesan cheese, and even dairy-free sweetened condensed milk! What's all the buzz about umami? Bryanna tells us that it is the "fifth flavor" after sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. She gives the history of umami and explains umami "triggers" and "intensifiers." As in all of her books, Bryanna's tips and suggestions are as valuable as her recipes. Prepare yourself for an unparalleled culinary world tour!
on August 10, 2011
I am so impressed with World Vegan Feast by Bryanna Clark Grogan. As the administrator of a vegan nonprofit group with several vegan Facebook pages, I am always on the look-out for cookbooks to recommend to my members and I can highly recommend this one.
The book is very well-organized . The real stars of the show are the recipes. Bryanna Clark Grogan has crossed the globe searching for unique offerings from every part of the world. The International Bread Sampler, for example, has a dazzling display of bread recipes but Ms. Grogan holds the novice cook's hand and offers a lot of useful need-to-know information on various flours and how to prepare dough in sidebars. She even includes a luscious recipe for South American Style Hot Chocolate in this section to give us something good to drink when we sample the delicious breads we just made. You know a book is a winner when you find yourself reading every word of every sidebar as eagerly as you read the recipes.
Recipes include Ukrainian Cherry Dumplings, Chocolate Panforte, Indonesian Green Curry on Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Neopolitan Style Pizza, Chai spiced crepes, and much much more. Just reading through this lovely book and its recipes is an armchair trip around the world. Grab your passport and buy your ticket- this book will serve as both- and enter the exciting world of international vegan food.
on September 7, 2011
This book is an incredible new work from a well-respected vegan chef. An amazing labor of love.
- A great mix of vegan versions of traditional dishes from diverse cuisines and innovative new recipes inspired by international flavors.
- Well-tested recipes, with lots of helpful, real-world cooking tips
- Gourmet flavors in "do-able" recipes
- Menu ideas for combining different recipes into crowd-pleasing meals
- Thoughtful layout makes using the book easy
I feel like I could go to dozens of cooking classes and not come away with as much inspiration and substance as I have found in this book. I've read plenty of vegan cookbooks in 20+ happy years of eating vegan, and I have still learned a lot from reading this book. I'm looking forward to cooking my way through it, keeping it, and buying copies to give to friends.
on October 11, 2011
Bryanna Clark Grogan, had been teasing me (read: torturing me) by posting tantalizing photos of recipes from her new book, World Vegan Feast on her Facebook page for months. So by the time the book was published and I was able to get my hot little hands on a copy, I was practically foaming at the mouth with anticipation.
I got my palate ready to embark on a journey to delicious with a bounty of delightful dishes from the four corners of the earth. Here is just a small sample of the bounty you'll find within the pages of World Vegan Feast:
Pasta with Cauliflower and Spicy Tomato-Creme Sauce--I adore cauliflower. Like broccoli, I much prefer it cooked, rather than raw. Roasted cauliflower has become a favorite lunch dish, and I'm always looking for recipes that contain this oft-maligned cruciferous vegetable. This delicately flavored dish boasted a creamy sauce that lingered on the tongue after each bite.
Persian Stew with Spinach and Prunes--Give me a good khoresht (Farsi for stew) any day! One of my oldest and dearest friends is from Iran, and Persian cuisine is among my favorites. I never before tasted this particular stew, and it's quite possibly the most delectable I have ever eaten. I mean it was slurpy-lick-the-bowl good. (I never lick the bowl, but this time I just couldn't resist!) I used seitan to make it, but I'll bet it would also be incredible with tempeh.
Ugandan-Style Peanut Butter Stew--I've discovered that I really love stew! I didn't love it when I was a meat-eater, because I never really loved the taste of meat. But I'm crazy about soy curls, and they were perfect in this delightfully peanutty dish! People often ask why vegans would want to eat food that imitates meat. I love the chewy texture of substitutes like tofu, tempeh, and seitan, and the way they soak up the flavors of spices, sauces, and marinades. And I really love how they satisfy the palates of omnivores, who are accustomed to eating a meat-centered diet and would otherwise never believe that a vegan dish could be so satisfying.
Peruvian Purple Corn Pudding--Okay--so there's not really any corn in this pudding. But it's so fruity, sweet, and delicious, you won't miss the corn a bit!
Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Spread--(Gianduia in Italian) is creamy, rich, and fabulously decadent! I loved toasting my own hazelnuts, creating a "butter" with coconut oil, and watching the finished spread get all melty on my toasted English muffin! Eating it felt like the naughtiest thing I have done all year--and I enjoyed it with a huge smile on my face!
World Vegan Feast is your passport to delectable dishes from around the globe. Don't wait another second to get your very own copy, and start cooking like the culinary world traveler that you are (or long to be)!
on August 17, 2011
Bryanna's 'World Vegan Feast' will be a real joy for anyone who loves good food - and not just vegans or those who cannot eat dairy foods (like me).
Try as I might, I cannot find anything at all to criticize about it except that I will have a terrible time deciding which recipes to try first - I want to cook just about all of them!
Gluten free and soy free options are given whenever possible and the recipes are clearly written and detailed. She also includes microwave (as an alternate) instructions whenever appropriate. I especially like this; I do use my microwave to cook quite often.
Bryanna's recipes can be longer to *read* than those of some other cookbook authors, but that's only because she explains everything thoroughly. Her recipes don't take longer to actually *cook*. For those who want nutritional analysis and/or more color photos, Bryanna has put them up on her website (the book does have a reasonable number of color photos, however).
I knew I'd love this book and I've eagerly waited for it - and I was right. It's terrific!
PS - Whatever you do, don't miss the tiramisu recipe! Oh my! Absolutely awesome!