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The Candle Cafe Cookbook: More Than 150 Enlightened Recipes from New York's Renowned Vegan Restaurant Paperback – July 22, 2003
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From the Inside Flap
It's hard enough to satisfy choosy diners at a hot New York restaurantimagine having to do it without using meat, fish, dairy, or eggs! The Candle Cafe has been doing just that for years, offering vegan food that has earned the praise of food critics, celebrities, and countless New Yorkers.
The food at the Candle Cafe expands the horizons of vegan cuisine, proving that the healthiest food can also be the most flavorful and satisfying. From delectable appetizers like Quesadillas stuffed with Portobellos and Red Peppers and Tofu Satay with Coconut-Peanut Sauce to classic dips like Hummus and Babaganoush, veggan cooking never tasted this good. Even the soups are specialSpring Vegetable Minestrone Soup is filled with fresh flavor, and Butternut Squash Soup gets a kick from toasted pumpkin seeds. Hearty, satisfying sandwiches and main courses like Barbecued Tempeh-Chipotle Burgers with Grilled Pineapple, Porcini Mushroom Stroganoff, and Indian Eggplant Curry are infused with delicious flavors from around the world. For dessert, treats like Chocolate Mousse Pie and Lemon-Tofu Cheesecake with Blood Orange Glaze are creamy and indulgent.
With helpful tips on cooking beans and grains, a full glossary of ingredients, and plenty of color photographs, The Candle Cafe Cookbook is a treasure trove of vegan recipes that have been drawing crowds and raves for years.
About the Author
JOY PIERSON is co-owner and recipe developer of the Candle Cafe. A nutrition counselor and regular spokeswoman on vegetarian eating, she has appeared on Good Day New York and Food Network.
BART POTENZA is co-owner of the Candle Cafe. He founded its predecessor, the Healthy Candle, in 1986.
Both authors live in New York.
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I think that most, if not all, of these recipes are the actual recipes the restaurant uses, but I think they mathematically scaled down the recipes and then didn't test them. It's either that, or there are some major typos. I also think that many of the recipes need further instruction for home cooks who might not be familiar with certain techniques or methods of cooking.
I would never give this book to a brand new vegan OR someone who doesn't know much about cooking. For example, as a new vegan I didn't know to steam my tempeh before using it, and there are recipes in here that won't instruct you to do that. And as an experienced cook, I recognized that some recipes called for too much of an ingredient, but again, there might be persons who wouldn't catch that and follow a recipe blindly, rendering their food inedible.
Like I said earlier, I do use this cookbook frequently, but I've learned to follow my gut when something doesn't seem right with the recipe. I would love to see this book republished with some heavy editing, because when I make some tweaks the food turns out amazing.
Many of the recipes are make-overs of non-vegan recipes such as Onion Soup, or a Chipotle Salad with Creamy Chipotle Ranch Dressing which doesn't use any diary products. Everything I've made from the book has turned out well and the ingredients have been easy to find. Several contain tofu or store-bought vegan cheeses. The recipes are easy to follow and are appealing to vegans and non-vegans alike.
These recipes never saw a test kitchen.
I suspect the authors reduced the quanties of ingredients in their heads to allow for smaller quantities than they produce in the resturant. )
Many of the recipes call for ingrediants you will need to hunt for, the instructions are missing steps, the measurements are waaaay off, often prep time is very long, and the result can be a disaster; an expensive one if using organic maple syrup. (I've had two things I just had to toss out.)
Do NOT make "Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie, page 188.
Results can also be heavenly. Phyllo Traingles are outstanding. They take HOURS to make, but you end up with enough triangles for about 3 parties. Non-vegans have no clue they are anything but delicious. (Allow time to practice handling the phyllo dough, if you are new to using it.) I ended up cutting the sheets differently than described, in order to allow the 2 tsp filling to even fit. Lots of wasted phyllo, but still used all the filling and made more triangles than you can imagine. If you are going to make them for a big reception, practice a week ahead on a half recipe to get your method figured out. They freeze very well.
The one recipe worth having in this book is seitan piccata; and I would recommend checking out this cookbook from a local library to copy it for free. If you're looking for a practical but delicious vegetarian cookbook, try one by Deborah Madison ("Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" or "Vegetarian Suppers.") For great vegan recipes (including a really fast homemade seitan recipe) look for "Vegan with a Vengance" by Isa Moskowitz. "Candle Cafe" totally isn't worth the money. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either a friend of the author or someone who hasn't tried making any of these recipes.
cookbook. I made it that same week. Wow, wonderful pairing of ingredients making for a very lively taste-bud delight.