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When giving up meat, dairy and animal products, I knew going without cake was something I couldn't do! So I looked for a recipe book which might help, and found Vegan With A Vengeance, which I purchased on Amazon.co.uk for the bargain price of £5.67.
Why was it a bargain? Well because from the very first few pages, I don't feel like I'm weird for my lifestyle choice, and add to that the amzing Muffin recipes, it's a winner for me!
The author is Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a Brooklyn'er. She makes it clear that of you're buying the book, you're already aware of what veganism is all about, so leaves out all the detail, and gets straight on with the business of food. And there is a lot of food crammed into it's 240 pages.
The pages are dull and boring, which is a shame because all the recipes I've tried so far are far from dull and boring. There are no diagrams, and no pictures. Apparently being a vegan cook takes a lot of imagination! But maybe the fact that so many of the ingredients are rich in colour and the food so tasty compensates for the missing pictures. II have to say the more I use it, the less I miss the visual aids. And as I now use it almost daily, it has a ripped page that got stuck to another as a result of some low flying muffin mix, so I'm really glad it wasn't a £20 glossy cookbook!
Isa starts with a brief introduction about herself, which is fun to read, then moves swiftly on to equipment. What's great about this is that when you buy a glossy cook book, you're usually advised to buy this expensive zester, and that top of the range paring knife. Isa's approach to equipment is different, baasically buy decent knives but charity shop for everything else. Why pay a retro store ten times as much for something you can buy cheaply in Age Concern? So there is nothing precious about this book.
The book is divided into sections as follows:
*Muffins and Scones
*Little Meals, Sandwiches and Finger Foods (Great for kids to help)
*Pizzas and Pastas
*The Main Act
*Cookies and Bars
Although Isa presumes one knows veganism, she doesn't assume you know vegan cooking, so everyting is explained in detail. If you've never bought, used or frozen tofu before, that's ok, the book explains it all. Never made Sietan? Again, explained in detail. But my favourite part has to be the pizza dough making. I had used a packet before, but never made my own, and what a great thing to do! My kids made them and the I got my partner in there kneading the dough too. It was great! Every step of making the perfect dough is right there.
Some of my favourite recipes from the book are:
Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins
Curried Split-Pea Soup
Horseradish and Coriander Crusted Tofu
Green Goddess Garlic Pizza
Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Moroccan Tagine with Spring Vegetables
This is a great book for anyone venturing into the world of Veganism, but I think it's equally welcome in anybody's kitchen. If you're not vegan, have no intention of being vegan, this book can give you great ideas for having one of one or two days of healthy eating.