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Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook Hardcover – November 2, 2007
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. While most vegan cookbooks are anemic, underfed volumes-some no-brainer pasta recipes, a few things to do with tofu, maybe some oddball desserts-this slam-bang effort from vegan chefs Moskowitz and Romero (Vegan with a Vengeance) is thorough and robust, making admirable use of every fruit and vegetable under the sun, without once asking readers to make do with fake meat products and egg replacements. Instead, the eccentric authors offer dozens of novel, delicious ways to get excited about eating meat-, dairy- and egg-free. Take Southwestern Corn Pudding, a winning casserole rich with coconut milk and an unexpected dash of maple syrup-a likely MVP at your next Thanksgiving (whether it's centered around turkey or tofu). Almost as addictive are Rustic White Beans and Mushrooms, which get their bite from fresh herbs, and Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions and Spiced Pita Crisps, a transcendent Middle Eastern comfort food. Vegan breakfasts get overdue attention: sitting in front of a hot stack of velvety Blueberry Corn Pancakes and hearty Blue Flannel Hash, who's going to miss the bacon? Best of all is the wide selection of terrific desserts: everything from Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies to decadent Caramel-Apple-Spice Cupcakes boldy fill the space where most eggless, milkless and butterless cookbooks fear to tread.
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"These two very real and very sassy food-obsessed women have put together a cookbook that you wish your mom cooked from when you were growing up. The recipes are seriously delicious and, for the most part, uncomplicated."
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Having said that there are a lot of positives about the book as well. For one it’s a tome, massive, and filled to the brim with tasty recipes for appetizers, soups, salads, dressings, sauces, proteins, one-pot meals, casseroles, grains, vegetable side dishes, and desserts. There’s also a large section in the front of the book that details basic cooking techniques, how to fill your vegan pantry, what utensils and cooking equipment is best and general tips on prepping and cooking various vegetables, grains etc... As I said early most recipes also include an additional hint about an ingredient, a cooking method, or what else can be done with the finished product. I got my copy of Veganomicon in 2010 when I was relatively new to veganism and I did find much of this information very helpful. Moskowitz and Romero also make cooking seem effortless, they have a really easy-going down to earth writing style that I appreciate, and I love their sense of humor. I also really appriciate their emphasis on whole foods rather then processed foods. They include a few recipes for making your own seitan, tofu mayo, and other vegan staples.
Unfortunately though many of the dishes sound delicious I haven’t cooked as many recipes from this book that I’d like. Of the ones I have tried here’s what I thought...
Spicy Tempeh Nori Rolls - Loved it!
Grilled Yuca Tortillas - Loved it!
Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seed Rice Paper Rolls - Loved it
Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes - Loved it
Curried Carrot Dip - Loved it
Walnut Mushroom Pate - Loved it
Mediterranean-Style Cashew-Cucumber Dip - Loved it, this is seriously the best Tzatziki dip I’ve had vegan or otherwise. A definite Go-To recipe for me.
Asparagus Spinach Dip - Loved it
Chocolate Chip Brownie Waffles - Pretty good
Blueberry Corn Pancakes - Loved it
Autumn Root Salad with Warm Maple Fig Dressing - Pretty good
Creamy Asian Pear and Tempeh Salad with Wasabi Dressing - Hated it! Totally inedible.
Maple-Mustard Dressing - Loved it
Snobby Joes - Loved it
Chili Cornmeal Crusted Tofu Po’Boys - Loved it
Sauteed Spinach and Tomatoes - Loved it
Broccoli Polenta - Just okay.
Chili Cornmeal Crusted Tofu - Loved it
Marinated Asian Tofu - Loved it
Chickpea Cutlets - Just okay
Tomato Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans - Pretty Good
Potato and Kale Enchiladas with Roasted Chili Sauce - Loved it
Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Crema - Loved it
Tempeh Shepherdess Pie - Okay
Manzana Chili Verde - Loved it
Leek and Bean Cassoulet with Biscuits - Loved it
Pumpkin Saag - Just okay
Spicy Tempeh and Broccoli Rabe with Rotelle - Loved it
Pasta e Fagioli- Loved it
Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelized onions and Sage Crumb Topping - Pretty good
Green Pea and Lemon Risotto with Roasted Red Peppers - Loved it
Skillet Cornbread - Loved it
Banana Wheat Germ Muffins - Loved it
Carrot Pineapple Sunshine Muffins - Loved it
Pistachio Rosewater Cookies - Loved it
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies - Loved it
Peanut Ginger Sesame Cookies - Loved it
Fudgy Wudgy Blueberry Brownies - AMAZING!
Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake - Loved it
Overall the recipes have been really great, and if the book had a better layout I’d probably be more inclined to use it more frequently. As is this probably wouldn’t be the first book I’d recommend to a newbie vegan, but I think a lot of seasoned vegans would really enjoy this book, especially for it’s creativity - provided of course they don’t hate the layout as much as I do.
I looked at many different cookbooks, but this one seemed to be one of the highly rated/recommended of the bunch. And when I saw that it had a great recipe for black bean burgers I couldn't refuse. We've been using this book constantly ever since. Our copy certainly has gotten it's fair share of pasta sauce splattered on it from the many times we've made spaghetti and bean balls.
This book is great both for beginners and seasoned vegan chefs alike. Most everything in this book can be made with simple ingredients you can find probably already sitting in your kitchen, not too many expensive specialty ingredients are needed... unless you count beans as a specialty ingredient (I swear, I eat other foods besides beans!) and a great deal of the recipes seem to be "accidentally" vegan, that is to say, your average omnivore would scarf down a few plates without even thinking about where he is going to get his precious protein from!
All in all, this is a great book for any compassionate consumer, with plenty of recipes to keep us vegans plump and happy for many years to come!