Cookbook Reviews

On this page I will review the cookbooks that I have in my collection. (I will add more titles over time)

Veganomicon

By Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

100% Vegan cookbook

We have had this book in our collection for about seven years. It has a nice division of recipes (appetizers, sides, mains, tofu-beans-seitan, etc) and two dessert chapters! It’s the book that I have most often loaned out to friends. I like the practical considerations (labelled if be made with basic ingredients, if it contains common allergens, and approximate preparation time).

The strength of this cookbook is in the trove of recipes for vegan American-ish comfort food. Casseroles, diner-style breakfasts, mock meats, and cozy pies. Some of the other baked goods, like cakes and cookies, are a little heavy on the oils, and I found them a bit greasy. I haven’t used the appetizers section much; some of the recipes aren’t appealing, and some recipes are pretty common (hummus, sushi, etc). Definitely check out the sandwich (or Sammiches, as they call it) chapter!

Best recipe: Roasted Eggplant and Spinach Muffuletta Sandwich, or Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing.

Recommended audience: Wannabe vegans, basic cooks looking to expand their repertoire, people who want more than “rabbit food”

The All-New Purity Cookbook

No listed Author – originally published by a flour company

Not at all vegan!

If your parents are Canadian, I bet you’ve seen this cookbook at your parents’ or grandparents’ home. This is the revised version of the cookbook my mom learned to cook from, and she bought copies for my sister and I when we moved out.

This cookbook has a little bit of everything, which means that as a vegan, a lot of it I ignore outright. Why am I even bothering to include this book? Years ago, when I first started experimenting in the kitchen, it gave me my “base” recipes that I could veganize: plain muffins, butter cake, frosting, pie crust, and so on. Also, it’s entertaining if you like reading what people 50-60 years ago thought was good food, including gelatine salads and egg casseroles (yuck!)

Best Recipe: Cold water pastry. Already vegan and easy to succeed.

Recommended audience: People who want something historically interesting, or who have a nostalgic kick for mid-century cooking.

Artisan Vegan Cheese

By Miyoko Schinner

100% vegan cookbook

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This cookbook became stained and full of post-it notes very quickly. It’s full of tested recipes to make dairy-free cheezes and spreads. Most are based on cashews, but some use soy yogurt, too (I just use an equivalent volume of pureed medium tofu and it works fine). Remember that you are not going to get an imitation block of Safeway marbled cheese from these recipes, but you are getting the soul of cheese: salty, creamy, umami, tangy cultured, melty. All the things that make you go yum.

It also has instructions on inoculating some cheeses from microorganisms in your own home-grown Rejuvelac, which is a lactobacillus culture started from grains. I have only been successful making Rejuvelac from quinoa, as my staters from wheat and barley moulded. As a formed microbiologist, I’d also recommend that you scald the glass jars you prepare and store the Rejuvelac in to reduce contamination. Also, some of the longer-aged cheeses can take a week or more from raw ingredients to eating.

The nice thing about the recipes is that she posts many alternatives for each one – variations on flavourings, or alternate solidifiers if carageenan or agar-agar isn’t available to you.

Best Recipes: Air-dried Camembert has a great taste and is really impressive, and the Gruyere Fondue, made with a dry white wine.

Recommended audience: People who want to work hard to make something from scratch, and the satisfaction of a culinary challenge. And people who miss something creamy and salty to put on crackers.

Company’s Coming Kids Cooking

Edited by Jean Pare

Not vegan, few recipes in here are

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I don’t get many recipes from here, but wanted to give it a shout out, as I do use it (with modifications) for my banana bread, peanut butter cookie, and rice krispy pinwheel recipes! Also, this book was how I learned to cook in the mid-90s.

The Asian Vegan Kitchen

By Hema Parekh

Photo and review to come

Joy of Cooking

By Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker

Photo and review to come

Complete Book of Home Preserving

By Judy King and Lauren Devine

Photo and review to come

The Vegetarian Time Complete Cookbook

By the editors of Vegetarian Times

Photo and review to come

This Can’t Be Tofu!

By Deborah Madison

Photo and Review to come

Teff Love

By Kittee Berns

Photo and review to come

Vegan a la Mode

By Hannah Kaminsky

Photo and review to come

Canning for a New Generation

By Lianna Krissoff

Photo and review to come

How it all Vegan!

By Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer

Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

By the Moosewood Collective

Photo and review to come

Vegan with a Vengeance

By Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Photo and review to come

125 Best Vegan Recipes

By Maxine Effenson Chuck and Beth Gurney

Photo and review to come

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