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Vegan Secret Supper: Bold & Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen [Paperback]

Merida Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 2013

The art of the convivial, joyful meal shared with friends and family has evolved in recent years. The growing popularity of dinner clubs and themed potlucks attests to our desire for get-togethers at home that are out of the ordinary; as well, temporary pop-ups and secret supper locales (where the address is often kept under wraps) are redefining the notion of the traditional restaurant meal. But where do vegans fit into all this fun for foodies?

Vegan Secret Supper is a collection of imaginative, delectable, animal-free recipes by chef Mérida Anderson of VSS (Vegan Secret Supper), a dining club that she has run in Vancouver, Montreal, and New York. At VSS, Mérida creates amazing vegan dishes that prove that sophisticated, spectacular dinner parties do not require the use of animal products. With her focus on menu-planning and simple, seasonal ingredients, she offers readers all the tools they need to create healthy, sumptuous meals, whether it's a dish for a potluck, a romantic dinner for two, or a celebration for twenty.

Full-colour throughout, the book's recipes include Split Pea Bisque with Minted Cream; Smoke-Blanched Cauliflower on Red Quinoa Tabouli; Walnut and Roasted Yam Croquettes with Ancho Balsamic Beet Reduction; and Dark Chocolate Cake with Avocado Mint Ice Cream. Merida's culinary perspective and delectable menu ideas will inspire you to create your own vegan secret supper club at home.

Frequently Bought Together

Vegan Secret Supper: Bold & Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen + Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle's Plum Bistro + Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking
Price For All Three: CDN$ 54.43

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There is no doubting the creativity of Merida Anderson, author, and host of Vegan Secret Suppers all over the continent - she puts flavours together in a way that makes me a little jealous that I didn't think of first (and I'm pretty creative with combinations!).
Year of the Vegan

Merida Anderson's recipes, and the photos that illustrate them, are elegant and innovative ... This is a cookbook made for weekend dinner parties where you want to show off ("AND it's vegan!" you'll boast). Who wouldn't be impressed by Fennel Portobello Soup with Smoke-Infused Olive Oil or Sherry-Roasted Root Vegetables on Brown Rice Kale Pilaf?
Well+Good NYC

An incredibly helpful book for someone who likes to host dinner parties where every single guest feels honored.
Austin Chronicle

A lovely new book by Mérida Anderson, a young self-trained vegan chef who cooks the most inventive, intricate and delicately flavoured dishes.
Montreal Gazette

This cookbook includes 150 creative recipes with suggestions on how to plate dishes.
Vegetarian Journal

About the Author

Merida Anderson is the author of Vegan Secret Supper (2013). She is an accomplished artist, musician, fashion designer, ceramicist, and vegan chef who runs the blog Anderson has run her supper club VSS (short for Vegan Secret Supper) in various locations for the past five years, in Vancouver, New York, and Montreal, where she currently lives.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, inspiring cookbook Sept. 1 2013
By Carol
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This cookbook is as much a work of art as it is a how-to book of vegan cooking. Though many of the recipes are labour intensive, all exude the author's passion for vegan food that is as bold, breathtaking and delicious as any meal you might find in a gourmet restaurant. I'd highly recommend it to vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters who love and appreciate good food.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and empassioned cookbook May 3 2014
By sd8192
While you can find many 'cashew cheese recipes' online, Merida's version is exalted. This is next level cooking. Not a 'beginner' cookbook, some of the recipes are easier than others, but if you want a vegan cookbook that takes you to restaurant quality - truly inspired food, this is it. Some recipes call for specific, unusual ingredients that I have to decide if I'm motivated enough by the recipe to buy - but I either avoid those recipes or I can skip it or I have managed to sub in something else. She clearly takes her food very seriously and I've tried a few recipes, all of which have worked out well.
pear walnut butter
split pea bisque (she suggested serving with cumin croutons, but I skipped this and she serves with minted coconut cream - but I didn't have coconut cream so I improvised with a cashew cream and mint)
orange vinaigrette
cilantro pesto
crispy flatbread crackers - two versions: balsamic lavender and sweet mustard - but she has 2 other variations to chose from
there are 9 verisions of ice cream - I tried the balsamic marbled coconut ice cream. She says you can do it in a ice cream maker, but there is not a lot of 'batter' for my ice cream maker - too much stuck to the sides. I think a simpler method is the one she describes in the book - I would do that next time

Next up: I want to try the butternut squash & almond gnocchi with sage garlic butter

I own about a dozen vegan cookbooks but this one is unique.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative and Exciting April 13 2013
By Bird of Paradise - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As I just explained to my friend, I bought this book because it's clear that Merida Anderson actually created these recipes and has used and tested them. There are way too many haphazardly put together cookbooks with recipes not created nor tested by the chef. So far I have made the Sweet Potato Lime Creme Brulee - fantastic and easy recipe - a wow! I have also made the smoked coconut, and the balsamic reduction. The book is beautiful and I love the way the recipes are laid out. As Merida said, her food is about slow cooking and whole foods - so some recipes will need time and preparation - but I like to do that on the weekend. It's definitely worth the effort. I hope Merida brings her secret suppers to San Francisco.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!! April 9 2013
By Martha L. Day - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For anyone who loves to cook and wants to throw a fully vegan dinner, that will keep even the most meat eating soul happy, this is a wonderful cookbook; well put together and delicious. I've been cooking my way through the book and it's great. Even for the novice cook these recipes are well put together and easy to follow. I'm excited to throw some dinner parties and listen to the silent enjoyment of food as these delectable morsels walk across their palates. Well done; I hope you have more recipes to share.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful cookbook, thoughtfully delicious food Jan. 12 2014
By morehumanthanhuman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Make no mistake, this isn't a "weeknight" kind of book. It's for making something special and interesting and probably best for people who are already comfortable with more complex recipes (or people who are interested in taking the time to become so). It's a beautiful book and virtually every recipe has plating suggestions. There are multiple well-composed pictures to give you inspiration for menu planning as well. Anderson's recipes are inventive and this cookbook has a lot of options for people who are seeking to limit their intake of processed foods (she also uses very little soy).

Here are some of the items that I made:

Starters --
Pepper Crusted Cashew Cheese Plate with Juniper Tofu & Olive Tapenade: this took a bit of time (you'll be making rejuvelac to make the cashew cheese), but it is well worth the time. This was the first time I'd made my own fermented cheese and it was practically life-changing. This plate, once assembled, is a great light supper or appetizer.

Baked Eggplant Samosas with Assorted Chutneys & Coconut Sour Cream: You'll be making the samosas (including the dough), the chutneys, and the sour cream, so this isn't the sort of dish you're likely to make after work. However, it's really delicious -- the samosas are light and tasty and the coconut sour cream is the only sour cream I've made that I actually like (and I've tried at least half a dozen others). I made the Carrot-Tamarind Chutney with this -- it was very good.

Soups --

Black Bean Soup with Coconut Sour Cream: This dish also called for Pine Nut Parmesan, but I skipped that because I don't have a dehydrator. This was a delicious (and relatively easy) soup that my omnivore husband described as "meaty" (I think it is because of the toasted cumin seeds and chipotle peppers). Very, very good.

Salads --

Winter Greens with Miso Sesame Shiitakes, Radish, Gomashio & Grainy Mustard Emulsion: The night I made this, my husband was making fun of me because he thought this was such a ridiculous way to describe a salad. But I think I had the last laugh when I sat down with this beautiful and satisfying salad. It makes A LOT too. The Miso Sesame mushrooms are probably going into my frequent rotation -- they're savory and tasty. The mustard dressing is simple, but craveable -- I've been making it about once a week since trying this salad for the first time, even when I don't have the time to make the rest of the salad.

Mains --

Brown Rice Risotto with Kidney Beans & Anise-Toasted Sunflower Seeds: As a regular consumer of "regular" risotto, I wasn't sure how I'd feel about brown rice risotto, but this turned out really well. The sweet potatoes and kidney beans make this a creamy and hearty full meal -- I could eat this all the time.

I haven't made a ton from this book yet, but everything I have made has been worth the effort. There are chapters on desserts, ice creams, brunch, and teas/sodas that I haven't even touched yet (I don't have that much of a sweet tooth), but they look great. I highly recommend this cookbook to people wanting to try their hand at more "gourmet" foods or those who want to be inspired by some beautiful photographs and recipes.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such great recipes! Sept. 26 2013
By Julie Roegge - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was excited to get this cookbook and it has really lived up to my high hopes. The book is well written with thoughtful tips (menu pairing and plating ideas) on each page. I've made the rejuvelac cashew cheese, the pine nut parmesan and the coconut cashew cheese. All were delish. In addition just today I made the full recipe for the Roasted Golden Beet and Wild Argula Pesto Pizza with Sesame Shiitakes and Cashew Cheese on a Quinoa Cauliflower Crust. The crust alone is worth the purchase price of the book. Can't wait to make the Beet and Cabbage Soup tomorrow.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A game-changer Feb. 19 2014
By mjshur - Published on
In compiling her extraordinary recipes in VSS, Mérida achieves a unique creative brilliance that few other vegan cookbook authors have exemplified. This cookbook truly epitomizes culinary artistry while embracing a different kind of plant-based cooking that isn't afraid to experiment and fuse together different ethnic flavor palates, textures, seasonal produce, and specialty ingredients while attaining an absolutely stunning presentation—it's a refreshing juxtaposition to classic schemas of vegan food prep. I honestly hope Mérida will publish more books in the future; she's incredibly talented and inspiring.

I will admit this cookbook is not for everyone—if you are looking for relatively quick recipes that do not require multiple steps, utilities, and lesser-known ingredients, you may want to pass. Otherwise, the fruits of your labor will be extremely rewarding. I have made and adapted quite a few recipes thus far, all of which have yielded impressive results. Highly recommended.
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