I don't know if you all have noticed, but it is definitely new cookbook season. I was lucky enough to be able to review one of them.
PETA's Vegan College Cookbook arrived on my doorstep about two weeks ago. I read through it (yes, I read cookbooks), and then it was left in the backseat of my husband's car. My initial thoughts were that a lot of the stuff was simple, some of it was plain weird and...all that microwaving??
Then I realized that this cookbook was actually completely perfect for this time of my life. No, I'm not living in a dorm with limited space and cooking utensils, but I am definitely short on time. Anyway, I think I reviewed it with justice, and I was very pleasantly surprised.
First on the list? Legume Va-Va-Voom.
This was a rice based dish with avocado, lentils and peanuts. The cooking time was pretty much just as long as it took to make the rice. I made a half recipe, and I definitely had enough for three servings, which was exactly the yield (it always makes me happy when a recipe's yield matches my yield). This was really good, incredibly filling, and super easy. Plus, it was kind of different, which was why I made it!
Next I made the recipe in the book that jumped out at me the most...I just couldn't get it out of my mind, I had to try it. Called Sham and Cheez, it was, at its heart, a microwaved lump of pancake with fake ham and cheese in it. Wait, keep reading!!!!! Okay, well I don't really like fake cheese. And I don't really like fake ham (or real ham for that matter). The only fake meat that I almost always like is fake sausage patties, so I used two Yves breakfast sausage patties instead of ham, and I used a zucchini instead of cheese. Still, the method was the same, and you had better believe that it was completely delicious...especially with some maple syrup on top, and dipped in some mustard.
This also took all of 5 minutes to make. It really is microwaved (vegan) pancake mix in a bowl, with the ingredients, and then popped out to give you a big fluffy mound of....goodness. Are you getting the impression that I liked this? I mean, I like it now, and I will probably eat it fairly often. But I could totally see myself making this ALL THE TIME if I were still living in a dorm.
At this time you may be noticing the clutter that is all over my photos. I totally just don't have time to clean up, so this gives you an idea of what my life has looked like for the past few weeks.
I wanted to review one more recipe before I made any kind of official decision on how to review this book, and I went for a side, the Limon Spinach. This was super super easy. I made it for my brother and I along with the new Cluckphrey breaded chicken patties from Food for Life (the people who make Ezekiel bread products). I made them parmigiana style, with some Teese that I bought awhile ago and I just have to tell you...I just don't like processed vegan cheese. Any of it. It does melt though.
Anyway, the point is...the spinach was good!
And the final point is, I really like this book! I was very skeptical, a.) because I think the girl on the front looks like a robot, and b.) because a lot of the recipes were stupid easy (think, cut up fruit with vegan yogurt). But really, a lot of the recipes were innovative, and from what I tried, really good!!
Some things to note about this cookbook. I like that they have three separate sections for specific foods that they like: peanut butter, potatoes, and ramen. I haven't had the chance to try anything from those sections yet, but there are definitely a few things on my radar like the : Idaho? No, YOU da ho Potatoes Au Gratin. Another thing I like? Silly recipe names!
One thing I'm not a huge fan of is the number of recipes that rely on fake meat and/or cheese. I understand that they're really convenient, but frankly, I have found very few meat substitutes that I like, and even fewer fake cheese substitutes (as in, none..see above).
Their publication date is officially this Tuesday, May 12th, but I've already seen it at my local Borders!
And, just for fun, some other books that I saw there that I am dying to get my hands on:
Ani's Raw Food Desserts (Okay, I already bought this one, you know how I love Ani)
The Vegan Scoop - an entire book of vegan ice cream recipes
Babycakes: The Cookbook - baking from the famed vegan bakery in NYC
The Vegan Table - by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau of Compassionate Cooks and the Vegetarian Food for Thought podcast (which you should download if you don't already)
...and let's not forget that Isa Chandra Moscowitz's Vegan Brunch book comes out this month too!! Also, did you know that Isa and Terry Hope Romero are coming out with Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar(gotta wait til fall for that one)??? Holy vegan desserts, man.
So hopefully you're anticipating something out there too. I've got far too much on my plate right now, that little things like cookbooks are exactly what I need to keep my mind off of things!