By: Alisha McDarris
Before I found Veganomicon, there was much I didn’t know about vegan cookbooks. I didn’t know they could be so thorough with an intro to the basics of typical vegan ingredients. I didn’t know they could be so basic, offering practical tips on kitchen skills like how to cook a vegetable. I didn’t know they could be so complete with nearly 300 pages of recipes and tips and I didn’t know they could be entertaining.
I was giggling from page one as I found myself actually reading the introduction to the cookbook. The introduction! To a cookbook! But beyond page one there are a plethora of delicious recipes and helpful tips and tricks for everything from homemade sesame dressing to Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream.
There are simple recipes for dips, sauces and sammiches (yes, sammiches) that only take a few minutes to prepare as well as complex casseroles and desserts for your next vegan dinner party. Some, like Diner Home Fries, are more basic than others, but most, like Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip, require a well-stocked vegan pantry. Fortunately, there is a section in the beginning on stocking that pantry with all the essentials.
The authors, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, have put out several other vegan cookbooks, including Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and Vegan with a Vengeance, but they refer to Veganomicon as their master guide with over 250 of their favorite recipes.
Included is their Mac Daddy mac and cheese, the ultimate in saucy comfort food. With the addition of tofu and a stint in the oven after everything has been prepared on the stovetop, it’s a creamy, savory dish perfect for a weeknight dinner.
For breakfast, try the Banana-Nut Waffles, complete with walnuts and curdled soy milk and topped with a generous pour from the nearest bottle of maple syrup.
And for those of us who occasionally crave memorable foods from our childhoods, there is a recipe for a unique veganized Snobby Joe, too.
Even though the authors and chefs published an entire book on cupcakes, there are still plenty of dessert recipes to be had in this one. Everything from Chewy-Chocolate Raspberry Cookies to Strawberry-Rose Water Cobbler with Lemon-Poppy Seed Pastry.
As for pictures illustrating the recipes, there are only a handful of spreads in the center of the book, but because the descriptions of each dish were so mouthwateringly complete, and funny to boot, I found I didn’t miss them.
I also appreciated that there are easy additive and substitution ideas for many recipes. Don’t know what to put inside your Buckwheat Crepes? A list of suggestions follows the recipe. Want more than your basic hummus recipe? Several variations are recommended for your palette’s delight. Don’t have mushrooms on hand but really want to try the Potato-Mushroom Blintzes? The book says spinach works well, too, and instructs on how much to include.
One thing’s for sure, There will be no shortage of answers to the question “What’s for dinner” at my house now that Veganomicon has come to save us from boring evening meals and the same ol’ stir-fries and salad dressings that fill our plates more often than we would like.
Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
Authors: Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero