I don’t think I’ve ever posted a review of a cookbook on my blog, but my new vegan cookbook is so fantastic that I just had to share! And no, I haven’t gone vegan — I love honey and cheese way too much to ever give them up (edited to add: made the commitment to go vegan just a couple of months after writing this post and I’m loving it!!!). But I have gone vegetarian again. I think spring time and all this hot weather has just inspired me to eat lighter — I’m not even craving any poultry or meat at all. I don’t know if this will be a forever lifestyle change, but for now it feels great and I’m sticking with it.
Party Vegan by Robin Robertson is really a great all-purpose cookbook for vegetarians. I say this because some of the vegan ingredients (like tofutti cream cheese or soy mayo) can easily be substituted for the real, regular stuff. Party Vegan of course opens up with a great chapter about party planning, organizing, decorating, etc…. that I skimmed over, but the chapter was informative and the author has a great writing style and “voice” which convey an inspiring you-can-do-it attitude without being annoying. The book’s chapters are divided by occasion/event, but in the back of the book there is an organized list of all the recipes by category like appetizer, soup, pasta, and other typical categories.
I’ve had this cookbook for about a week now and I’ve already made 4 recipes and they’ve come out terrific! Even my “meat and potatoes” hubby has had no complaints (especially since I’m doing all of the cooking!) and hasn’t even bothered to prepare some kind of poultry/meat dish for himself to accompany what I’m serving. That makes me happy since it means he is happy eating what I’m making and is feeling “full” from the meal.
For one dinner (we had leftovers the next night, yay!) I made the spiced pita dippers (we had store bought hummus to go with) and potato-spinach quesadillas. For last night’s dinner I served pineapple and scallion rice with Szechwan green beans and shallots (leftovers tonight, yay!).
If the recipe titles sound ho-hum or boring, trust me they are not! The use herbs and spices, condiments, and other flavorful, fresh ingredients to yield yummy dishes! Actually the majority of her recipes rely on fresh produce and other ingredients — tofu/tempeh/seiten are only in a handful of the recipes and thankfully there are no fake meat products in any of her recipes. However, when appropriate, she does offer suggestions as to when you can substitute canned or frozen items. For example, I used canned pineapple in the rice recipe and frozen corn in the potato-spinach quesadillas. Only just a few recipes call for some hard-to-find ingredients like chickpea flour but a quick goggle search taught me how I could make my own or find an appropriate substitute.
I highly recommend this cookbook! I look forward to making more of the recipes!
I bought my own copy of Party Vegan from Edward Hamilton (love them! it’s just a giant “bargain” book or “overstock” bookseller. all the books are new.) and can be found here for $6.95. All orders ship for a flat fee of $3.50 but once you get on their catalog mailing list, occasionally our order forms offer free s/h!