Friday, July 24, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schinner

What a cool book!

I was so delighted to receive a review copy of Miyoko Schinner's latest title: The Homemade Vegan Pantry. Miyoko is just amazing -- you all know that her yogurt recipe from her last book Artisan Vegan Cheeseabsolutely changed my vegan life. I always have a double batch of that yogurt on hand in my fridge. I've also made and loved many of the cheeses and other recipes from AVC. And Miyoko is also the force behind those beautiful vegan cheeses from Miyoko's Creamery -- we got to sample all of them at the VidaVeganCon, which was such a joy. The boxes are beautiful, and the cheeses are even more amazing. (I've got a post about her cheeses coming up soon) At VVC, I attended a really thought-provoking panel called "The New Vegan Economy" -- a term that Miyoko had coined. Miyoko was one of the speakers on the panel and it was positively inspiring to hear her talk about her vision for changing the world through the highest quality of vegan products. GO, Miyoko!! 

The Homemade Vegan Pantry is an absolutely beautiful book -- it's laid out perfectly, the font is beautiful, the paper quality is great... There aren't pictures for every recipe, but the pictures that are in the book are gorgeous and motivating. The array of recipes inside is staggering and will fill you with waves of DIY enthusiasm. Sauces and condiments, salad dressings, cheeses and yogurt, soup and broth concentrates, loads of seitan recipes, baking mixes, and MORE. In addition to all these amazing pantry staples like Butterless Butter, Homemade Pancake & Biscuit Mix, and Tomato Skin Pesto ~ there are also many recipes throughout the book to put these homemade elements to use. 

I am so stoked to have this book as a reference in my vegan cookbook library. In many cases, I will turn to this book for help making vegan substitutions that are not easily purchased (like Vegan Fish Sauce, Almond Feta, or White Chocolate). Other recipes just seem really fun to try making at home: such as Dijon Mustard, Not-tella Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, or Peppy Unpepperoni. And in plenty of other cases, I'll turn to this book for delicious meal ideas:  Cream of Broccoli Soup Concentrate, Roasted Tomato Risotto, and Unribs. Plus, the joys of the desserts chapter! 

Nineteen veggie burger patties. Long since gone! Time for another batch

The Real Burger
This was the first recipe I tried from The Homemade Vegan Pantry. It had been a while since I'd made homemade veggie burgers, summer was here, and I was in the mood. I didn't really realize that the recipe said it would make 18 patties before I got started ... but I actually got 19 out of it! The recipe came together easily and quickly (especially since I cheated and bought the pre-cooked brown rice from Trader Joes: in direct violation of the homemade ethos of this book). The burgers are packed full with every known vegan source of umami: tomato paste, miso, mushrooms, and so on!


Yummers wants that corn.

I had my parents over for burgers and corn, and we all enjoyed the burgers! Because the patties are already baked in the oven, they just require a simple re-heating in the pan before serving. I simply panfried them with a tiny spritz of oil and a dash of salt and pepper. The patties were quite delicate the day I made them, but I found that they held together much better in the days after. I guess that's often true with seitan-y things (these have wheat gluten in them too), that they firm up after some time in the fridge or freezer.

Fortunately, there were many patties left over, so I froze them, and slowly enjoyed them for easy, tasty, satisfying lunches.


Canadian Yuba "Bacon"
Yowza! This is by far the most exciting and interesting vegan bacon I've ever had -- and I MADE IT! How cool is that?? Once I'd made the yuba (see further below), the rest of this process came together very quickly and easily. I just panfried my marinated yuba strips with a tiny bit of spray oil, and they still came out perfectly. Just like Miyoko says in the recipe, the texture of the yuba really lends itself to a bacon substitute, because it is a little bit thick, a bit chewy, and then the cooked bits had some crunch. This was SO fun to eat. I made it on the 4th of July when my parents came over for dinner... and I just happened to have only 4 veggie burger patties left in my freezer. So...



Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger
I present you with one of the most delicious things EVER. This was a homemade Real Burger patty cooked with a slice of the Tomato Cayenne Chao Cheese from Field Roast, plus the homemade yuba bacon, plus a giant slice of heirloom tomato, caramelized AND raw red onion, crunchy lettuce... and a too-small bun that was just barely up to this monumental task. We all love love love love loved this meal so much that I am already going to have to make more burgers and more yuba bacon. I declare this my official meal of Summer 2015. I was quiet delighted with myself. 


Veggie Burger Fixin's
At Miyoko's suggestion, I also caremelized a huge red onion (in that little white bowl) and that was a great flavor contribution to the burgers. Don't all the burger goodies look beautiful and summery? 



Fresh Yuba (Tofu Skin)
Before I could make that amazing bacon, first I had to make the yuba. I've had store-bought yuba before, and I really love it... but I had no idea it would be so easy to make. It was really fun and weird (and time consuming!). You have to wait patiently while the thin skin forms on top of the barely simmering pan of soymilk (picture #2) This is a good time to read or goof off on instagram or do something else in the kitchen; then you carefully remove each newly formed yuba sheet and pile it on top of the others (picture #3 - wild looking!!). For the bacon, I folded my stack of yuba in half again (picture #4)  for more substantive strips before soaking them in the marinade. 




 Almond Feta

What fun! I used to be a real feta fan - and since it's been about 15+ years since I've had any feta cheese, I was really eager to try this recipe! It was really easy to make - and the recipe is already posted up online over here at Nava Atlas's blog. I made a half-batch and set my cheese up in a loaf pan rather than an 8x8" dish. I got four good slabs of cheese out of it (as you can see, one of them is already missing from this picture!)

I tasted the feta after a few days in the fridge and found it much too salty - I think maybe because I had made a half batch. So, I poured out about half the brine and added extra water to dilute it. A few days later, I tasted the feta again and it was much more to my liking. My husband tasted it too and suggested using some brine from a jar of capers for extra tang, which was a great idea. That really added some nice flavor to the feta!

 tomato & cucumber salad with feta
I used some of my feta on this beautiful salad, and many other salads like it. I love having a smooth, rich and salty cheese to add to salads like this. And the joy of having made the feta myself and knowing just what's in it!

spanikopita
I also used some of my homemade feta in this glorious spanikopita that I made last weekend with my pal. (That delicious dinner has a separate post coming soon!) The feta was an absolutely lovely contribution to the stupendous filling we made, and I would definitely use it again. I have one and a half pieces of my feta left, and I want to think of something special to do with them. Any suggestions?





Cultured Butterless Butter

I also made a batch of the Butterless Butter - which is made with refined coconut oil and a few other ingredients. There are a few variations offered in the book, and I decided to use some of my homemade yogurt and make the cultured Butterless Butter. It's really nice on toast - though I think next time I will add a little bit more salt, since I like my butter a bit more salty. I also look forward to using this baked goods - both from this book and other books. As you can see, I made it in small silicone cupcake molds. These are really easy to pop out and wash, and also then I have the butter already portioned into more manageable sizes. It put one in the fridge, and all the others in the freezer - awaiting future baking projects!



GIVEAWAY
Great news! Miyoko's publishers at Ten Speed Press are letting me offer a copy of this wonderfully unique book to one lucky reader in the U.S. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment here on this blog post and let me know about some thing that you love to make from scratch at home, or something you've only ever made from scratch once, or something you've always wanted to try making at home but have yet to tackle.

I'll pick a winner one week from today, on Friday July 31st. 

50 comments:

  1. I really want to be able to make sauces (like BBQ) and other condiments from scratch. They would probably be much healthier!

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  2. i have palm oil guilt and an earth balance addiction so i can't wait to try the butter recipe. currently the vegan Parmesan "sprinkle" from yellow rose recipes has been a staple in my fridge at all times for the last 5 years.

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    1. congratulations, princesstofu!!! you won! <3 YAY!! I also have Palm Oil Guilt, which is why the butterless butter was one of the first recipes I tried! Also I have "Yellow Rose Recipes" (high fives, old timer), and I've never made that recipe. I'll give it a go! <3

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  3. Everything looks great! I've never had yuba, and never knew it was something you could make easily at home, so I can't wait to try that. And the feta. :)

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  4. I made a vegan chipotle mayo dressing last week for some lentil and walnut tacos in swiss chard and collard leaves from my garden. It was so yummy! I also love love love making homemade salad dressings....sweet sour balsamic, maples mustard, lemon tahini...they taste so much better than store bought, I don't think I've had store bought dressing in 5 years!

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  5. My favorite thing to make at home is hummus! It's so easy and so good- now I'm a hummus snob ;-)

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  6. I want to try making the butter!! Also, that yuba bacon looks pretty awesome.

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  7. I used to make my own soy milk every week at home. I had a nifty little maker that boiled and blended and it was just too easy. Alas, the little machine bit the dust and the company, as far as I could tell, had gone under, and there was no alternative to be found! I should go back to making it at home the long way, so I can have yuba!!

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  8. I always make my own burgers. I'd like to try that Real Burger.

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  9. I would to try the butterless butter! I have never make homemade mustard, but for a while I was making homemade ketchup!

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  10. What a fun review!! I am especially excited about the homemade yuba. I've spent years looking for fresh yuba after eating it in restaurants in San Francisco. However, I've always come up empty handed. I had no idea I could make it in such a straightforward manner at home. Miyoko has a Midas touch. I'm not surprised this book is stellar. And that burger with yuba bacon? Whoa! What would I give to be one of your neighbors? I think you should make that in November if you have any friends in town. :)

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  11. I'd love to try the yuba, I've made soy milk and tofu, but never yuba. Something I make all the time is almond based Parmesan and lots of cashew cheeses!

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  12. I'm so intrigued by the feta! This book looks amazing.

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  13. I am currently trying to develop the perfect coconut milk yogurt for the cafe I work at- what a long process with many trials. I just got a dehydrator today and some is culturing as I type.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  14. I like making my own butters, like peanut and almond.

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  15. I make my own coconut butter and kombucha
    BeccaMFerguson@hotmail.com

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  16. I really want to try my hand at making Vegan Umami Paste from scratch

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  17. I made a hummingbird cake 4th of July weekend, it was good. My goal is to make baked goods during the holidays and cooking with my son. Thanks

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  18. Oh this book is right up my alley, I love the challenge of making every component of a dish from scratch! I have AVC which is incredible but not being much of a cheese-eater before going vegan, I find it hard to find any reason to make cheeses now, so the poor book doesn't get much love.
    I can't enter the giveaway since I'm not in the US (which is cool as I'm SO buying this book anyway, perhaps in multiple copies as what a great gift this will make!) but I did take you up on trying to find a fun way to use the last of your feta. This caught my eye as something particularly worthy of a last bit of homemade feta: http://joythebaker.com/2013/01/roasted-red-pepper-feta-basil-skillet-scones/ I'd imagine it'd also go well with grilled stone fruits? Let us know what you go for!

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  19. Oh my goodness, I didn't even know making yuba was possible at home. I would love to learn how! Also the cheeses look amazing.

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  20. Steph6:06 AM

    I love to make bread from
    Scratch

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  21. This looks great, thanks. I love to make Spanakopita and Baklava; I'm Greek!

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  22. This book looks amazing. I've been getting into making homemade pesto, with sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts.

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  23. Laura C.7:36 AM

    Feta is something I would absolutely love to eat again. I make most of my burgers from scratch, but the ones in that book look amazing. They would probably be the first thing I would make.

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  24. Jacky8:17 AM

    I've never tried making vegan cheese but would love to try it with some help from Miyoko!

    jackydlt at gmail

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  25. I've made cheese from Miyoko's other book. Now, I have some sauerkraut juice in the fridge to start another batch. I also like making caramelized onions in the slow cooker. I leave the cooker outside all day, then store the onions in little baggies in the freezer. I think Miyoko is a good writer too. I've enjoyed her blog.

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  26. I love to culture my own cashew cheese and then use it for a ton of stuff!!

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  27. i toootally wanna make the vegan butter and the feta!

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  28. We always have homemade vegan cheeses from Miyoko's last book in the fridge to go with our homemade sourdough bread. We recently started making our own vegan butter too. Yum!

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  29. I really enjoy making (and eating!) Miyoko's butter, and I would love to win a copy of this beautiful book. Your photos are amazing, and the one of Yummers looking longingly at your plate is priceless! Thank you for the fabulous giveaway.

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  30. I make all of the seitan we eat at home from scratch--steamed, boiled, baked--in a variety of different flavors and textures. Looking forward to Miyoko's book!

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  31. I would love to learn how to make vegan butter and cheese.

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  32. I've tried a few times to make vegan yogurt at home, but it never fully works. I'd love to get a batch that finally does!

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  33. I have Artisan Vegan Cheese and still need to get around to making my own cultured cheese. Any day now ....

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  34. Wow that's so impressive!! I like projects like these even if I don't get around to them super often. I've always wanted to make my own almond milk but never wanted to buy that many almonds or peel them. I'm not sure if there is a recipe for that in the book, but it's just something I want to do! By the way-- today I was sitting outside at the park near my apartment and saw a sweet little doggy sitting nearby that looked JUST like Dotty and I thought of you. Just thought I'd tell you!

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  35. I want this. I would love to make my own yogurt from scratch.

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  36. I wish I lived you while you were trying all these out! Your photos look great!

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  37. Great post. I wanna make you a too. I like making lots of me made things, but especially fermented and cultured things like kombucha, kraut and injera.

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  38. Jennifer K12:45 PM

    This is an awesome post! I want to make yogurt from scratch. I've had trouble doing it in the past, but I shall persevere

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  39. Over the last couple of years I have really transitioned to making a lot of staple-type foods from scratch. Probably my favorite is flour tortillas! Absolutely no comparison to store bought. Some things, if I run out and don't have the time to make from scratch, I will just buy - but I can't bring myself to buy store bought tortillas after tasting homemade!

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  40. I would love to make the feta cheese and spanikopita from scratch!

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  41. I also have palm oil guilt! I'm a devoted Earth Balance lover (and always will be <3!), but occasionally I would love to make my own butter for funsies, and for guilt-freesies.

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  42. I like to make baked goods from scratch. Cookies and cakes are my specialty, but if it bakes I like to make it!

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  43. I've yet to try my hand at vegan cheeses at home, but I absolutely want to. They always seem so intimidating. I think I really need to start making my own yogurt too. Every time I plan to do it I come up with an excuse not to. No more excuses!

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  44. I make soy yogurt at home often, but I've always felt like I should be making my own mayo instead of buying such large quantities of Vegenaise ^_^;

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  45. I would love to make tofu at home.... granted I don't know if she talks about it in this cookbook. Thought that yuba looks crazy- would love to do that.

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  46. I really want to make coleslaw dressing from scratch!

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  47. I'd like to make vegan cheese! I have Miyoko's book, I just haven't had a chance to do it.

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  48. I would like to learn how to make cheese.

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