Vegan Mofo Day 12: Post #9. Betty’s Sandwiches Destroy the Kitchenicon

Okay, so I have a vegan cookbook problem.

As evidenced by:

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Some of my friends have long been asking me to share my cookbook library’s contents here, with reviews and stuff. As you can see, that’s a bit of an overwhelming task. Maybe after MoFo I will continue to write posts about a cookbook from the collection on a semi regular routine. Many of these books are somewhat irrelevant to me now that I’ve gone gluten free, although I will try to adapt them at some point once I find a good gluten free flour blend and figure out my idea for gluten free seitan…

Anyways, today’s MoFo prompt is to write about our favorite vegan cookbook. As you can see, it is a bit hard for me to pick just one. So, I’ve decided to highlight 5 of them.

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They are:

Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes

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I used to love sandwiches before I went gluten free (now I can’t seem to enjoy bread without gluten in it really), so this was the perfect fit for me at the time. To me, sandwiches were a specific food group. Even now that I don’t eat sandwiches (sobs!) there are still some favorite recipes in here that I can make without needing bread. These include the Chickpea Bacon from the Peanut Butter Banana Bacon Sandwiches and the Shh-ocolate Spread (part of a panini), that is basically a healthier, nut free nutella. There are also symbols in the book that signify when something is “potentially gluten free,” among other things. In my mind though they mostly require bread, which makes it a bit of a challenge. Before going gluten free, I made the Sushi Soy Wraps, Retro KFC-Style sandwiches (their recipe for no cluck cutlets are amazing!), From Russia with Love, Chazwhich, and brioche bread. It has a great beef-style seitan recipe, and two recipes for making alternatives to Tofurky slices at home! This cookbook contains all the vegan sandwiches of your dreams, basically.

Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater

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I have to say, that when I got this cookbook, I was on a big health kick, and was groaning when I saw some of these recipes. However, Natalie Slater is a girl after my own heart, having created some of them most ridiculously amazing and inventive recipes which include a falafel waffle (which I didn’t have luck with unfortunately in my waffle maker, bummer!), nacho cupcakes (sounds gross but was soooo good),  and a green bean casserole pizza (my favorite, and her green bean casserole alone is the best vegan version of this holiday staple food I have tried). It’s a beautifully designed, colorful, fun cookbook. Natalie also puts the dessert recipes first, which I think we can all appreciate in some way or another. Without this book I wouldn’t have found out that Chick-o-Sticks are basically vegan Butterfingers that you can find at Dollar stores. I also bought a twinkie pan because of this, which was a worthy investment. Not sure what to do with your cans of green jackfruit? There are two really amazing recipes that use this versatile vegan ingredient: You Don’t Know Jack Hash, and Cannibal Corpse Crockpot (which is basically pulled jackfruit tangy bbq), which is used in the BBQ salad, which is the perfect combination of health foods and tasty stuff like ranch dressing. If you’re looking for fun, kid friendly recipes with names that make you chuckle, get this book!

Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli

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Chef Chloe is my favorite vegan celebrity chef, hands down. I always say she can do no wrong, although I do disagree with the amount of salt most of her recipes call for. In her first cookbook of three (she’s also written a dessert book and Chloe’s Vegan Italian–which I have and is also amazing and packed with even more recipes than you’d expect in a book of that size), there is something for everyone. I especially loved the Jalapeno Cornbread Poppers with Whipped Maple Butter, Easy Peasy Pasta Salad, Double Drive Through Burgers, LA-Style Chimichurri Tacos, Moo Shu Vegetables with Homemade Chinese Pancakes, Avocado Pesto Pasta, Indian Buffet Trio, Pineapple Not-So-Fried Rice, Southern Skillet Black-eyed Peas with Quick Buttery Biscuits, and Tempeh Piccata. Many of these recipes are easily adapted to a gluten free vegan diet. I have to remember to try making the Chinese Takeout Chow Mein very soon, as I’ve been craving a dish like this for awhile! I love the section on The Basics, which includes an amazing homemade version of Sour Cream which I once taught a group of non vegan kids at a camp how to make and they enjoyed it! I can’t wait until I can make the trek to NYC to eat at her newly opened restaurant!

Betty Goes Vegan by Annie and Dan Shannon

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This is probably the most ultimate vegan cookbook I own (Sorry Veganomicon! I’ll get to the reasons why I love you after I talk about this one). There are 500 recipes in it! The categories cover every kind of food you may ever crave to be veganized. The dinners have the most comprehensive section, which include meaty dishes ranging from chicken wings, Vegan Venison, Jalapeno Corn Dogs, and more. My favorite casserole is the Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie, which I think I can improvise and make gluten free still (I don’t really recommend this book if you are strictly gluten free, but since I recently went gluten free, I still have a great appreciation for it as a vegan in general.) The section for Baked Treats could be its own cookbook in itself! They include both savory and sweet items. I haven’t tried many of them at all, but they sound amazing. I always forget there is an appetizer and snack chapter, because it’s in the back of the book, but this section includes two different recipes for Faux Fondue! It even has a Kale Chip Party Mix and instructions on how to make your own potato chips. I love the holiday section, which includes some unique gourmet ways to spice up that Tofurky instead of eating it as is from the box. The recipe I have made the most of any recipe is the Baked Chicken and Easy Waffles. It was often my big reward for surviving hectic exam periods at school.  My only gripe with this book is that so many of the recipes require (and no good substitutes have yet to be found on my end) a Gardein Product that I can no longer find in stores anywhere near me, which is the Chick’n Scallopini. Overall, this book is like the bible of delicious, easy and fun vegan recipes.

Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

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Though this book is known as the “Ultimate Vegan Cookbook” I would slightly disagree. It’s definitely the first really comprehensive and large vegan cookbook of it’s kind, so credit is deserved there. But in terms of cookbooks that have been released afterwards, I find this one a bit more catered to people who are experienced vegan cooks or who want to challenge themselves and make really nice, fancy, refined dishes. Thankfully, I really like this aspect of the book! My all time favorite recipe, Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream, is housed here. I also love the Lemony Roasted Potatoes, Spicy Peanut and Eggplant Soup, and Smlove Pie. Looking at this cookbook, I am reminded that although I tout it as one of my favorites, I haven’t gotten too adventurous with it as of late. This book was also one of my first vegan cookbooks I ever owned when I first went vegan 7 years ago. It led me to do what I now realize was some pretty brave things as a baby chef who didn’t know how to cook for herself and suddenly needed to now that it was harder and more expensive to find prepared vegan foods to eat. I tried making seitan from scratch without even really knowing what it was at the time because of this book. It’s great for someone who wants a lot of really nice, quality recipes that will impress people all in one book!

So check out these cookbooks if you haven’t already!

And don’t forget to like my facebook page for updates and follow me on Instagram over @laurahasheart. My twitter is also @laurahasheart. 

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Cooking week in review-more from Betty Goes Vegan

This week I was somewhat lazy. With school in full swing I typically make two meals that will last me a while and fill in the rest with salads and other easy foods. I usually cook once on the weekend and another time during the week.

This week I made some scrumptious recipes from the cookbook Betty Goes Vegan!

Vegan Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza

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I used the recipe for the whole wheat crust that was in the book, as well. This was so good! I was skeptical of putting tofurky onto the pizza, but it got crisp in some places, and remained chewy in others, and was the perfect texture addition for this recipe. The red peppers and tomato added another wonderful dimension. There is no sauce on the pizza, but it’s fine with just the tomatoes. The choices of herbs (especially the fresh oregano) were wonderful, and completed the experience, along with the daiya cheese I used. It was so good, and quite impressive for a pizza. I defrosted the Gardein chicken first before putting it on, but was not sure if that was required since it did not say that in the recipe.

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The next thing I made was the New England Chowder from the book as well.

It uses oyster mushrooms instead of clams. It came out really thick, more like a stew with very little broth. I’m not sure if I maybe did something wrong? I might have had really big potatoes that screwed it up? I’m not really sure but either way it was delicious, especially when served with oyster crackers mixed in!

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That is all for now. I am hoping to rework/veganize an amazing recipe I have been craving for awhile this weekend. We shall see how it goes. I will post about it whenever it is finished!

My favorite new cookbook! Betty Goes Vegan by Annie and Dan Shannon!

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Me with my favorite new cookbook

First of all, I have been so busy with finals that I have not had time to write any entries until now. However I managed to finish everything for this semester tonight! I have taken all my exams, and as of 6:30 pm finished the last of 3 or so papers I had to write.Go me!

In honor of this momentous feat, I treated myself to cooking an amazing sounding dinner from my newest cookbook in the collection. Betty Goes Vegan by Annie and Dan Shannon, which happens to be VEGAN CHICK’N AND WAFFLES!! (on page 38, it’s actually titled “Baked Vegan Chicken and Easy Waffles.”

It was as amazing as it should be, as perfect as I had hoped. It blew me away. It was pretty much in my stomach faster than I would have liked, that’s how good it was.

You’ll need a waffle iron for this recipe though…and access to Gardein Chick’n Scallopini…but if you have the recipe and these two things, I HIGHLY recommend you try it.

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I mean, how can you resist it now?

I give this particular recipe 5 good bananas! But if I could I’d seriously give it 10 good ones!…

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I’ll probably be writing more about this cookbook in the future. I love it so far! I love the sheer volume of recipes (500), the ease in which every recipe I’ve made so far has come together, and the minimal use of utensils and dishes because I hardly have to do any dishes after I make these recipes. Which is rare, but I also tend to pick really complex recipes. The recipes are very simple but make it appear and taste like they are very complex. I love that about it.

The only criticism I would say I is that it relies too much on actual brand name foods and ingredients. I cannot find the creole seasoning it recommends anywhere near me. Luckily Gardein products are readily available for me. I do however wish there were base faux meat recipes for every recipe that needs fake meats, because it would be healthier (less processed and with better ingredients) but then again it would have been quite difficult to make 500 recipes and perfect the fake meat recipes for so many of them too. It would also detract from the simplicity of making all these recipes if you had to make the faux meats from scratch. So, I’m somewhat torn…

But yeah. I think despite the criticism I mentioned above, I’d still give this cookbook overall 5 good bananas!

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Yay!