An amazing variety of delicious recipes, from chilis and casseroles to crumbles, crisps, and cookies
Vegan cookbook review
500 Vegan Recipes, by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman, lives up to its subtitle. The introduction offers some information for new vegans, and the first chapter talks about potentially unfamiliar ingredients as well as the symbols used throughout the book denoting recipes that take 30 minutes or less, or are low fat, gluten free, or soy free.
And then there are 19 chapters with a staggering variety of recipes:
- Sweet and savory muffins
- Dips and spreads
- Snacks, appetizers, and finger foods
- Salads and salad dressings
- Soups, chilis, and stews
- Pasta, grains, and potatoes
- Casseroles and savory pies and tarts
- Faux meats
- Main dishes
- Side dishes
- Sauces and condiments
- Sweet and savory quick breads
- Sweet and savory yeast breads
- Cookies and biscuits
- Pies, tarts, crumbles, crisps, and crusts
- Cakes and cupcakes
- Candies and bars
- Puddings, mousses, ice creams, and libations
Every time I pick up a new cookbook, I spend some time looking through all of the recipes, making a list of the ones that I plan to try. During the "interesting recipe finding" stage of this review, I realized it probably would have been easier to write down the recipes that didn’t appeal to me. There were just so many things that I wanted to try right away; here are a few recipes that jumped out at me: Chocolate Orange Marmalade Muffins, Curried Butternut Squash Hummus, Curried Carrot Coconut Soup, Fig Lentil Soup, Whole Wheat Pumpkin Gnocchi, Seitan Bacon Crumbles, Creamy Boiled Leeks, Cranberry Nut Quick Bread, Baked Chocolate Almond Pudding, and Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies.
I also have nothing but good things to say about the index. Cookbooks usually only include a recipe in the index if the word you looked up is in the title of the recipe, but 500 Vegan Recipes has a much better system. If you look up "pecans," for example, you find not only Pecan Date Cake, Pecan Raisin Quick Bread, Pecan Shortbread Cookies, and Pecan Turtles, but also page numbers leading to another 10 or so recipes with pecans, including Energy Bars and Roasted Caramel Tartlets. Since I often start cooking based on the ingredients I have (as opposed to choosing a recipe and then going shopping), this kind of index is invaluable.
Bottom line: this is a terrific cookbook for both new and tried-and-true vegans. There are recipes to match every mood and every cooking style, and there are ideas here to keep you inspired for years to come.
Buy 500 Vegan Recipes, by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman:
Authors’ website: 500 Vegan Recipes