Vegan Secret Supper: Bold & Elegant Menus from a Rogue Kitchen Paperback – Mar 1 2013
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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 (Year of the Vegan 2013-05-01)
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 (Well+Good NYC 2013-05-13)
An incredibly helpful book for someone who likes to host dinner parties where every single guest feels honored.
―Austin Chronicle (Austin Chronicle 2013-05-22)
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 (Montreal Gazette 2013-06-04)
This cookbook includes 150 creative recipes with suggestions on how to plate dishes.
―Vegetarian Journal (Vegetarian Journal 2013-10-25)
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 vegansecretsupper.com. 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.
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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)
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.
Many (but not all) of the recipes take time to prepare, as just about everything is made from scratch, from pie crusts to cheeses to chutneys. As such, it's not a book that I cook from every day, nor that I would recommend for people brand new to cooking. Yet if you are comfortable in the kitchen; want original, authentic, delicious recipes; or want to impress someone (regardless of their dietary choices) with over-the-top delectable food, this cookbook is absolutely worth it.
Oh, AND it's full of beautiful colour photography. It would make a great gift for the gourmet foodies in your life, vegan and not. Some of my favourite recipes:
- Lentil walnut tourtiere
- Baked eggplant samosas
- Carrot tamarind chutney
- Sweet potato lime creme brulee
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Here are some of the items that I made:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.