Veganmofo 2009 – The Vegan Gourmet

When I was in Denver, Colorado a few years ago, my brother in law had bought me a copy of Candle Cafe. As I already had it he took me to the bookshop to exchange it. I’d never seen so many vegan cookbooks in one shop before but since my suitcase was already full of dried chillies and liquid smoke, I needed to pick a small one! I’d never heard of or seen anything about this book before, and didn’t have too much time, but a quick flick made me think it looked quite interesting.

Here I sit, 2 years later, flicking through it, thinking that some of the dishes look interesting, yet only having made one thing from it!! The dish I made was alright, but coming back to the recipe later it had absolutely no salt in it at all and was just a bit odd. I think that put me off a bit.

There aren’t any pictures, and the chapters are quite straightforward – appetizers, salads, soups and stews, side dish vegetables, pasta dishes, grain dishes, sautes and stir fries, entrees from the oven, morning meals and sandwiches and wraps. There aren’t many strange ingredients, and the recipes look interesting yet not too difficult.

Some things I’ve ticked to try in future are:

Spicy chilli beans with tempeh and dried peaches
Curried spinach with tomatoes and pureed chickpeas
Potato, courgette and olive stew with garlic, jalapenos and tomatoes
Fettucine with courgettes, roasted peppers, almonds and mint
Lasagnette with spicy greens, aduki beans and shiitake mushrooms
Corn and potato cakes with Southwest seasonings
Oven braised tempeh and new potatoes with mustard and sauerkraut

Any recommendations?


Veganmofo 2009 – Vegan Recipes

Try as hard as I might, I can’t find anything positive to say about this book. I was criticised from an author earlier on in my Mofo book reviews but I thought I was actually not too critical about that book. With this one, honestly I have nothing nice to say.

I should like it because it’s it’s a nice A4 slim book with lots of pictures. But there are aren’t any recipes in it at all which I’m inspired to cook. When I opened it I immediately recognised the layout, font etc of all the cheap recipe book series we find in the UK in cheap bookshops. You can spot them a mile off. I’ve thrown away at least 2 of the vegetarian books with this layout and publisher. The thing that REALLY annoys me about this book is the recipe for wholemeal sunflower bread. The picture is so obviously lifted from another book, that it shows the bread being served with a great big chunk of obviously dairy cheese, but because they’re too cheap to use a diffeent picture, the note says “serve this bread with a hunk of vegan cheese”! Ha!! I know vegan cheese is getting better but honestly would anyone ever cut off a chunk and serve it with freshly baked bread? Well, maybe I’m out of touch but I certainly wouldn’t and I don’t think many vegans would. I think this book is just cheaply cashing in; its a mix of recipes from other books and it clearly hasn’t been edited properly.

One to avoid. Have I got this wrong? Am I missing some gems from this book? Please do let me know!