Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Vegan Cooking for Carnivores – a book review

We have such a wonderful library system in Anchorage. We have our main library and several small branches. The Loussac Library was part of several projects built during "Project 80s." It's four stories, with meeting rooms on the first floor, books on the 2nd and 3rd floors and the 4th floor is the media collection. There is a huge collection of cookbooks and I love to browse through them.

A new addition to their collection is Vegan Cooking for Carnivores – Over 125 Recipes So Tasty You Won't Miss the Meat (hey! have they been reading the intro to my blog?!) by Roberto Martin. He is the personal chef for Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Roberto is not a vegan but still got the job, and they seem pretty happy with his cooking. He has compiled a book of recipes that even non-cooks can make. Lots of instructions, pictures and tasty recipes. I was struck by his "keep the techniques, change the ingredients." He says in order to cook meatless, first identify the technique that exists in a recipe and categorize the ingredients of the recipe in terms of proteins, acids, liquids, and fats. Then substitute the non-vegan ingredients, such as soy milk for cows milk, or soy proteins for meat. He really simplifies the whole process. As Portia says, "Instead of making vegan food, he made food vegan."

Chapters include:
The Pantry and Some Basics
Appetizers and Snacks
Pizza, Pasta, and Pasta Sauces
Condiments, Sauces, and Dressings

Some recipes I'd like to try:
Tofu Benedict with Chipotle Cream
Avocado Reuben
Roasted Corn Dodgers
Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce
Beluga Lentil Caviar on Blini
Spicy Noodle Salad
Quinoa & Cranberry Salad
Grilled Apple and Pear Salad with Organge Citrus Dressing
Barley and Kale Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
Blackened Tofu Caesar Salad
Chopped Asian Salad
Almond Pesto Pizza
Tal's Fresh Pasta
Homemade Ravioli with Tofu Burrata & Mushrooms
Arrabbiata Sauce
Puttanesca Sauce
Faux Pho
Chiles Rellenos with Creamy Barley and Vegetables
Baby Bok Choy with Crispy Tofu and Sprouted Brown Rice
Corn Pudding
The Perfect Scratch Margarita (yes!)
Fresh Tomato Mary
Vegan La Bete Noire - the Black Beast (a rich, dense, chocolate cake)
Basic Cheesecake

I didn't list any recipes that used any of the mock meats such as Gardein Chick'n Scallopini because I'm just not into those types of recipes at this time in my life.

This is a very accessible vegan cookbook, highly recommended for people who are "vegan-curious" or new vegans unsure of what to eat. I found lots of interesting recipes even for someone who doesn't "miss the meat."

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