Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Vegan Eats World - Cookbook Review

Ask any vegan who their favorite cookbook authors are and one of the ones they'll list is Terry Hope Romero. As one of the most prolific writers in the industry, Terry has authored many cookbooks including one of my favorites -- Veganomicon. Well, it seems she is on a cookbook-writing binge as she has come out with a couple just in the last year. Vegan Eats World was published in 2013 and I just got my hands on it for a cookbook review.


Terry writes, "Never mistake a rejection of eating animals as a rejection of really good-tasting food. This book is about just that; we can have it all." Well said, my vegan sister from another mother.  She states tat she now cooks with less oil and more vegetables.  The title of the cookbook is to reflect upon what the world would be like if it were all vegan. So her recipes cross cultural lines as she attempts to create international recipes inspired by Asian, European, African, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cuisine.

In the first thirty pages, she provides a fantastic overview of vegan cooking from illustrated knife techniques to methods of cooking. She also writes about some of the hard-to-find ingredients in her recipes and where to find them. I loved finding out that she prefers using bouillon over packaged broths as I do as well!

One of my favorite parts of this book are that she has all of the recipes labeled with icons to indicate recipes that are good for newer chefs, recipes that use cheaper ingredients, low fat, gluten-free, etc. So, at a glance, you can see if the recipe is for you or not.

The book is quite large with many sections including salads, sandwiches, spreads, soups, dumplings, robust vegetable entrees, rice and one pot meals, desserts, and more.

I tried two recipes from the book. The first one, Flying Massaman Curry, was very good. This peanutty curry was chock full of good-for-you stuff like broccoli, potatoes, and tofu. But, it was really the spice mix that made the curry. I served it over the Emperor's black rice and loved it.

The second one I tried was the Beer-Bathed Seitan Stew and Oven Pommes Frites.  This incredibly hearty stew is made with seitan and mushrooms in a thickened stew flavored with Belgian-style dark beer and served with thyme-spiced french fries. It tasted like a bit too much beer to me, but besides that was very good as well! I loved how thick and hearty it was and how much flavor there was in the broth.

Throughout the book, you are entertained with Terry's humor. I only wish there were more pictures. There are some, but I wish there were more!  The only other thing that I didn't like so much is that the cookbook is written in the style where the recipes just continue column by column so a recipe might begin on the same page another one ends and I'm not a big fan of this continuous-recipe style though it is more environmentally friendly as it saves pages. I prefer to have each recipe on its own page(s).

But, those are just knit-picky things as the book is really great.  Other recipes that caught my eye are the Roasted Beet Salad with Dill Vinaigrette, Sweet and Savory Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos, Black Bean Soup with Roasted Poblanos and Pickled Red Onions, Saucy Berbere Lentils, and Eggplant Parmigiana.

I'll end with one of her awesome quotes: "Meat is just meat, but the true building blocks of cuisines across the planet are the spices, herbs, and grains--from basmati rice to buckwheat, coconut to caraway seeds." It's a new way of thinking about food -- realizing vegetables, herbs, and grains can be the star of the meal.

Full Disclosure: Although the cookbook was provided to me for free to review, that in no way influenced my veracious opinion.

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