Monday, 22 October 2012

Book Review - Cookin' Crunk

Biana Philips, who blogs at Vegan Crunk, has put together quite a collection of Southern recipes to share with everyone (dare I say y'all?) - and hits the spot on so many levels. There is something in this book to appeal to everyone - from breakfasts you want to wake up to, all the way through to decadent desserts, and I enjoyed cooking from it, and devouring the results!

The book is cute - laid out well with one recipe per page, with good recipe introductions, and easy to follow directions, but it is the photos of truly Southern scenes which are my favourites at the start of each chapter! There are also photo inserts to give you an idea of some of the recipes. I did find the use of Southern slang terms a little too cute-sy, but it does work within the framework of the theme of the book as a whole so it wasn't necessarily something I would change.

This is a book I would heartily recommend, and will revisit at some stage to make the recipes I marked but didn't make for the purposes of this review. What I did make -
Page 11 - Creamy Tahini Sauce
Something I make is similar so I knew I would like this. Not all that Southern as I would imagine it, maybe southern-fusion? I served over mixed greens.

Page 15 Tofu Chicken
Used later as you will see - a simple way to give a decided chicken-y lean to tofu.

Page 25 Bringin' home the Tempeh Bacon
A little too salty and not enough smoky for my preference, but perfectly good to use as a salty accent in salads and other recipes.

Page 26 Cheesey Tempeh Bacon Grits
I would make these grits without the bacon just to enjoy the grits, they were so very good, rich and heavenly.  I added the optional vegan cheese and was glad I did. But for sure I will make again!

Page 36 Garlicky Black-eyed Pea Hummus
I could not find tinned BEP so I used a tin of that other Southern bean staple, Lima beans, instead. This was a very good hummus, smooth and creamy, and ye, very garlicky but I like that!

Page 50 Southwestern Corn Salad
Good, though a little sweet for me. I would leave the sugar out next time as I find corn quite sweet as it is.

Page 52 Creamy Poppysedd Coleslaw
Nice. Basic type coleslaw, but very good.

Page 53 Broccoli Salad with Spicy Citrus Vinaigrette
Tasty. Spicy though not too much, the broccoli stands up well.

Page 54 Dill Weed Potato Salad
Nice salad - dill does go well in potato salad, and the jalapeno adds a little lift.

Page 55 Eggless Tofu-Olive Salad
Lovely rendition of the tofu egg salad. Really good.

Page 76 Chipotle Chickpea Chili
I have never made chili with tofu in it before. I don't know if I would again, but it was a nice change from the usual. The chipotle was the star, which was good.

Page 84 Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese
Good Mac and Cheese. Reminds me of others I have had before but I did enjoy it a lot.

Page 91 Cornmeal-crusted Tofu Stix
Nice flavour, though a little dry once baked. I would like to try deep frying these as I think that would be nice, if a lot less healthy!

Page 121 Caramelised Brussels Sprouts with Pecans
Oh, my, I could have eaten these all by myself. I love Brussels and these were good - sweet and spicy.

Page 126 Cheesy Twice-baked Taters with Leeks and Dill
I baked the potatoes once and stuffed them one day then did the second bake the next day and they worked great. Nice flavours, and I used the optional vegan cheese.

Page 151 Tipsy Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie
I used a chocolate pecan pie crust (not in the book) for extra chocolate love for this pie. It was awesome! H said it was the best pie I have made for a long time, that is how good it was.

Page 167 Mississippi Mud Cookies
Something between a candy and a cookie these. Tasty and chocolatey but not the texture I was expecting.


Candy Beans said...

I'd really like to try the Caramelised Brussels Sprouts with Pecans. I can't imagine what that's like, but I live in a house of brussels sprouts lovers! said...

Ooooh the mac & cheese, tofu sticks and Mississippi mud cookies look great.