Monday, 5 March 2012

Book Review - The Sexy Vegan Cookbook

This book is environmentally friendly! Printed on 100% recycled paper with soy based ink. Nice job New World Library! Publish more vegan books, please.

There are photos, but not glossy colour ones - these are black and white, and unfortunately some are not of dishes in the book just random food items, and the author. I don't need the photos but for those of you that do, this may be a consideration. I like how it is printed in two colours, and I think the purposeful messy splashes on the pages makes you feel OK about adding your own mess to the pages, I like that and think its quite cute.

The premise of the "sexy vegan" is a little bit in your face at times, and a little cringe making. I think that going with a focus on the subtitle "Extraordinary food from an ordinary dude" would have been better (at least for me), rather than trying to be a little risque and coming across as dorky and trying too hard. Because, describing the food as "extraordinary" isn't too far off, and I'd hate for folks to be put off enjoying some tasty eats because of the focus on trying to give us "sexy". Many of the stories in the chapter headers etc gave me a giggle, but some didn't for the reason noted above. I'd have liked to have seen a little more info about the actual dishes; tastes, textures, methods, described in more detail in the recipe headers - but maybe that is because that is what my editors have conditioned me to want in a recipe header!

The chapter layout and content makes sense. Though I'd have preferred that sub recipes and sauces etc which are used in only one recipe be with that recipe instead of on a page by themselves in a section at the back - just to avoid the page turning and place loosing.

On to the recipes I made - in page number order as usual.

Page 34 - Pretend Canadian Bacon

Oh, yum. Smoky and salty, and a hint of sweetness from the maple. I could have eaten the lot in one go. I shared, but it was a close thing.

Page 46 - Sexy's Scramble
(Above) A complete meal of a tofu scramble and really good. I used the optional sauce and this made everything moist and lovely. Impressive and simple.

Page 56 - The Almond Brothers Breakfast Bar

I'd have added some cinnamon or pie spice, or a touch of vanilla or almond extract. I liked how it wasn't too sweet, and how it was packed with nuts and seeds. Nice, but I would tweak.

Page 64 - Cauliflower and Roasted Fennel Soup

Reminds me of a recipe I have! Enjoyed this one as I love roasted fennel. Smooth and creamy with layers of flavor.

Page 70 - Kale and White Bean Soup

Another one I have a similar recipe for. Simple, homey and comfort food like.

Page 71 - Peanut Butternut Squash Soup

Genius. Make this soup. Make it now.

Page 86 - The Beet Down

OK. Its a salad with roasted beets. Nice but nothing super duper.

Page 92 - Southwest Slaw

Spicy and sour with a salty kick (or maybe I didn't rinse the cabbage well enough) - this was lovely.

Page 96 - Chickpea Party

Super easy to make. Would be nice as part of a salad buffet so you can just have a little. Makes loads.

Page 116 - Black Bean Burgers

Recommended. I loved these. Made them without the bun and enjoyed immensely. Only note would be that if you make only 4 burgers they will be HUGE. I made 6 and they were plenty big enough. Photo with the slaw above.

Page 152 - Shepherd's Pie

The "meat" part was a bit grey but otherwise this was really tasty, really filling, and super comfort food.

Page 194 - The Crazy Shit and Vinegar

Nice idea. I have loads in my fridge so can see it being added to everything! like...

Page 197 - Kajillion Island Dressing

Simple, tasty. Good on the Burgers (above).

Page 200 - The Tomato Killer

Easy sauce, and tasty too. Would be more awesome in summer when the tomatoes are local and super fresh.

Page 202 - Fauxlognese Sauce

Another genius. This time for the method of making the tofu crumbles - hands off and easy but so yummy.

Page 204 - Peanut Sauce

Nice. Little mild, and a bit too creamy for my preference.

Page 222 - Nilla

Icecream that is. The only recipe I tried that I didn't really like. My kids didn't like it much either. It tasted a little too tofu-y and once frozen wasn't quite sweet enough.

Overall the recipes in this book are awesome. Overlook the whole "sexy"ness of it and you're onto a winner.

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