World Vegan Feast: 200 Fabulous Recipes from over 50 Countries Paperback – Aug 5 2011
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About the Author
Bryanna Clark Grogan's culinary career spans over 40 years. In addition to authoring eight popular vegan cookbooks and maintaining her blog, Vegan Feast Kitchen, she is a former newspaper columnist, publisher of the subscription newsletter, The Vegan Feast, contributor to Vegetarian Times magazine, and moderator of the Vegsource New Vegetarian discussion board. Her recipes appear on Dr. Andrew Weil's websites, in Cooking with PETA, and in Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes. She appears in the new vegan cooking DVD, "Everyday Dish" with Julie Hassan and Dreena Burton. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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So far I have made:
1. Yeasted oven pancake with apples. This is a yummy and easy brunch dish.
2. Italian pear tart with corn flour pastry. Delicious and impressive-looking, but quite easy to make. The low fat corn flour pastry was a recipe I will use with many other fillings.
3. Light seitan cutlets. These are worth the price of the book all by themselves. Very tender texture, and no worry about the liquid coming to a boil because they are baked. The recipe makes 16, and I now have 12 in the freezer for use in future meals.
4. Focaccia. I made both variations, one with olive oil and herbs, and one with grapes and a sprinkling of sugar. We couldn't decide which was best and loved them both.
5. Vegan salmon. It is pink from some tomato juice and seafoody from some dulce flakes. There is nori wrapped around it before baking, and that comes out looking like salmon skin. It wouldn't fool anyone into thinking it is real salmon, but it would satisfy any craving I ever have for salmon. Even my picky eater non-vegan husband is eating this spread on crackers.
6. Rich and fluffy vegan bread. This is half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour, but it rose light and high. My husband normally resists any bread that is not all white flour, but he ate this with no complaint.
7. Easy homemade spaetzle. These are sort of a drop noodle. My Polish grandmother used to make something like them, and making them brought back memories of her standing at the stove making them, The book says the recipe is from Germany, Austria and Hungary, but I think it should include Poland as well.
Also, Bryanna's oil substitute for salad dressings has been in her other cookbooks and her web site, and is repeated here. It really works to make fat free dressings.
There are some ingredients that a average kitchen might not have, but are normal for a vegan kitchen: nutritional yeast, tofu, miso, vital wheat gluten, etc.
I would not recommend this as someone's ONLY vegan cookbook because it is not a basic book. (Try her "20 Minutes to Dinner" book for that.) But it is a wonderful resource for someone who wants new ideas and innovative techniques. Great job, Bryanna!
Although cooking an extensive vegan recipe can consume time, if I plan it well and make things ahead of time, putting it together is easy breezy. The result is usually well worth it.
I was her vegan feast newsletter subscriber and this book is the golden result of her collections of vegan feast newsletters' recipes. Hence, I have tried so many recipes printed in this cookbook. I am amazed with how much knowledge Bryanna put into her cooking and recipes. She is so informative about vegan cooking techniques, vegan ingredients and substitutions, and sources where to get them. If you want to know all about vegan cooking and be an expert in it, this book and her website can be a vegan encyclopedia that you will keep going back for more.
The recipes are a collection of 50 different countries. They are re-makes and veganized recipes. Some examples are Palestinian Ma'aluba; Seitan Wellington; Russian Coulibiac; France Coq Au Vin; Saigon(Vietnamese) crepes, banh mi, and fresh smoked tofu and mango salad roll; Indonesian Tahu Goreng; Thai Pineapple Fried Rice; Indian Dosa and dhokla; African Bobotie; Peruvian Causa, anticuchos, lomo saltado, and alfajores; Italian Tiramisu, etc. Are they authentic in taste? I would say they are pretty close. I am not so sure because I have never tried the real anticuchos (not that I want to try it). It really doesn't matter since they are all delicious (being veganized by Bryanna) without knowing how the origin of the dish taste. They are so delicious so it really doesn't matter to me. If you notice that I named the dishes using their ethnic names, this is because I learned about those dishes from Bryanna. It was a great fun learning from her!
The book is also so organized and easy to find recipes and information. I like the page 240 which list the Countries and the page numbers where I can find recipes from each country/origin. I like the way the recipes are divided into The Common Pot, Common Bowl, Comfort Foods, Beans, Soy and Seitan, Side Dishes, and Sweet.
I am going to treasure this book and won't let anyone to borrow it in case I won't see it again. They can buy their own copy. :-)
It should be noted that Bryanna uses various meat-subs in some of her recipes - marinated extrafirm tofu or soy curls to replace chicken, homemade seitan (boiled wheat gluten) to replace beef, textured vegetable protein to replace ground meat. While these are somewhat controversal to some vegans who do not wish to eat anything remotely meaty (despite it being completely animal-free and tasty), rest assured that there are plenty of recipes that do not rely on this, and as other readers have commented as well, Bryanna's recipes are so informative and well-written that you will definitely enjoy this book as well.
I was happy to see Bryanna go global with this new cookbook. What I like about Bryanna's approach is that she does a great job of setting the stage for both novices and experts alike. She has a helpful discussion about the basic building blocks of a vegan kitchen. Bryanna gives great tips on creating a "Chicken-Style" Broth Powder, a Rich Mushroom Stock, Marinated Tofu Slices, Teriyaki Marinade and Vegan Mayo. I also liked that she put together some fantastic menu planning ideas around special occasions such as Mother's Day Brunch, Christmas Dinner and a Kwaanza Celebration Meal.
Bryanna organizes her cookbook in a logical and helpful fashion. She starts with Brunch Around The World. She has a section of Appetizers, Sandwiches and Wraps. There are wonderful ideas in the soup section such Peruvian Rice and Coriander and Golden Cauliflower and Dal. In her section on Universal Comfort Foods, I am inspired by her Greek Nugget Potato and Kalamata Olive Stew and Jamaican Style Pumpkin Rice. In the Vegetable Mains section, I have tried and like her Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.
Bryanna's strengths and creativity has always revolved around her ideas of how to use soy and seitan as basic building blocks for main dishes. She is adept at translating classic dishes such as Seitan Wellington, Coq Au Vin, Meatloaf and Steak Au Poivre. If you are really trying to impress someone new to vegan cuisine, give her Moroccan Savory Celebration Pie a whirl.