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Vegan with a Vengeance : Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock Paperback – October 28, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
To appreciate this quirky vegan cookbook, readers must welcome the author's offhand, rambling style. A chatty Brooklynite who hosts her own public access cooking show, she scatters stories about her mother, her friends and her politics among recipes for goodies like Fresh Corn Fritters and Curried Split Pea Soup. In one anecdote, she writes that her mother liked the scones from "one of those overpriced French cafes in Union Square," prompting the author to create Glazed Orange scones in her mother's honor, and the sweet, rich result rivals the average "overpriced café" model. BBQ Pomegranate Tofu is actually baked, not barbecued, but still the tofu is rich and smoky, terrific over rice or packed into heroes. Even better, the vegan iterations of Spanakopita and Seitan-Portobello Stroganoff so closely approximate the traditional versions that even the pickiest eaters would happily trade one for the other. And although there's no chicken broth in Matzoh Ball Soup, the vegetable stock is hearty enough to cure the fiercest cold. Best of all, and rare in a vegan cookbook, the author provides several appealing dairy-free desserts that are tasty enough to fool most omnivores, yet unique enough to thrill any vegan who just can't face another tofu ice cream bar.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Written by a quirky and edgy Brooklyn born and raised vegan, Isa Moskowitz…Moskowitz gets rave reviewers for her innovative and yummy recipes and her entertaining and upbeat dialogue.”
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Top Customer Reviews
The only things about this book that I'm not crazy about are: 1) There are a couple of typos or inconsistencies that leave you wondering which you're supposed to follow, although I'm sure you can figure it out if I can. 2) For microwave professionals like myself, it can be hard to decide what a "medium onion" or "large russet potato" looks like. Now that vegetables are genetically altered, the classic medium potato looks kind of shrimpy. I like having ingredients listed in standardized measurements. 3) Possibly due to problems related to item 2, I made the falafel (the uncooked falafel tasted rockin!), but it didn't stick together in the cooking oil. So I had this dough that took a couple hours for me to make, and I put it in the oil and it disintegrated. I couldn't eat it! I think I used a genetically altered onion that was bigger than it was supposed to be, so the falafel was too wet. I don't know! But it was tragic. (In related news, the tahini was a-mazing. I think I made it three times in one week, it was so good.)
I'm still giving this book 5 stars because I think a lot of the problems are my own, and it's so good otherwise that it makes up for it. The chocolate pudding is *(#@$(* great! The only thing is that you have to wait for it to chill (can't eat it warm), or it doesn't taste so good.
I've never had a cookbook that I really, actually used before, but this one is already beat up and discolored! There are ingredients all over it! I'm so proud of myself!!! Great book! :D
Now, since there are approximately 26,742 other Amazon reviews that say the same thing, let me explain before you dismiss me entirely. I'm 26 and had been vegetarian since I was 19. From the very beginning, I knew that veganism was the goal I wanted to aim for. I had read the books and had all the pamphlets. I knew "Why Vegan?". But I kept putting it off. After 7 years, it was clear that I had made veganism an unreachable goal in my life. I had blown the concept of vegan sacrifice to insane proportions, falsely inflating the importance of cheese and ice cream to my well being. I understand now that without this book, I might never have made that leap of faith.
When I first came in contact with Isa's food ideas, I was under oath to try one recipe a week for eight weeks. I completed this goal, and went far beyond. In fact in the subsequent months, if I cooked from a recipe it was almost always from VwaV. The food contained within isn't just good vegan food. It's good food period. Ms. Moskowitz has balanced the book very well between the deceptively simple and the "Oh my god, I MADE that!" (well ok, I was a pretty novice cook at the time, but there are some fun challenges). When making these recipes, I found new flavors and discovered a lot of flavor complexity that I hadn't found in any cookbook, veg*n or not.
To touch briefly on the writing of the book and it's format. Basically there is an introductory paragraph before each recipe that can range from a one liner about how good the recipe is to an anecdote about where the recipe came from and memories associated with it. You will also find helpful sidebars scattered throughout, written both by Isa and her helpful cat, Fizzle. There are also about 10 longer 1-2 page essays on various topics with a great focus on community-building. I found this non-recipe writing to be very engaging and gave the recipes extra life beyond the page. Make no mistake though, this cookbook's focus is definitely on the food.
Back to the life-changiness of the book. Well, after completing the 8 week goal, and still using Isa's recipes regularly long since, it finally dawned on me: veganism is EASY and actually fun. That unreachable goal that had haunted me for 7 years had been right there the whole time and my early experience with Vegan With A Vengeance is what finally made me realize that veganism isn't about SACRIFICE. You gain not only a whole new range of flavor but also creativity in the process. No, Isa Chandra Moskowitz didn't make me a vegan, but she showed me how good it can taste.
Oh, in a cookbook review you're supposed to mention some of your favorite recipes so here are the top 3 standouts for me: The Best Pumpkin Muffins truly are the best. Terry's Chili sin Carne Mole is amazing! And as a guy wearing a mohawk and a studded denim vest writing about a punk rock cookbook (don't let the "Post" fool ya, Isa's punk as fork), I'm losing all my punk points by saying this, but the Raspberry Blackout Cake with Ganache-y Frosting is DIVINE.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm new to Vegan, and expected the recipes to be healthy ! There not.Read more