Monday, July 13, 2015

Great Vegan Protein Book: Cookbook Review & Giveaway

The Great Vegan Protein Book ~ by Celine Steen & Tamasin Noyes

A while back, I received a copy of this wonderful book to review... and I've been remiss in not writing up a review sooner - but at least that has given me plenty of time to cook some delicious dinners! So, in exchange for a particularly timely review, I offer you a thorough review. Ha ha. 

I'm sure many of you already have books by Celine and Tami, because they are quite a duo!! I have (and love!) Vegan Finger Foods, Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day, and Whole Grain Vegan Baking... plus still more books that each of them has written individually or with other authors. So... it's no surprise that I also love this newest book.

Cacciatore Chickpea-Smothered Cauliflower Steaks
Oooooh La La! This dinner was absolutely wonderful. First of all, as you can see, it was really beautiful: the huge roasted cauliflower "steaks" provide a foundation for the cacciatore mixture - which is as flavorful as it is colorful. It was actually really easy and pretty quick to make this dinner, but it ended up feeling special and fancy.

As far as protein goes - the chickpeas (and the cauliflower) both provide a good blast of protein, and this was still a low-cal but super satisfying dinner. Supposedly, this recipe makes 4 servings, which would be true if I were the kind of person who also prepared salad and side veggies and stuff like that. But, since I'm only ever going to cook one thing for dinner, we just each had a double serving and that was great. Each serving has 8 grams of protein, so our servings had 16 grams. This is definitely a recipe I'll come back to again and again.

Split Pea Patties & Cashew Raita
(from the Buzzworthy Beans & Legumes Chapter)
These little delights were packed full with Indian spices and tasted sort of like samosa filling and split pea soup ran off and had a cutlet baby. Ha ha. They were toothsome, but not dry... textural, but not too chunky, and perfectly spiced. We also enjoyed them alongside the Cashew Raita (oh look, I made two things for one dinner) - the cooling raita was a natural compliment to the spiced patties. Mr. VE&T was particularly jazzed about these patties - and I always love it when he gets excited about the food I've made.

Each patty had 10 grams of protein. This book provides the grams of protein per serving, but no other nutritional analysis.

Sloppy Joe Scramble Stuffed Spuds
(from the Terrific Tofu & Tempeh chapter)
This recipe makes a very flavorful and rich tofu scramble, spiced with cumin and chili powder and mustard (!!) and packed with veggies... and then has you cram it all into a hollowed out baked potato. So fun and tasty! I made us each a half of a regular potato and half of a roasted sweet potato. They were both good, but I think I preferred the regular white potato. I suppose you could save a little time and just make baked potatoes and the scramble, but then your life would be slightly less joyful.

Each potato half had 12 grams of protein.

High Brow Hash
We have a winner!!! This hash was just exceptionally delicious and super easy and low-stress to prepare. The recipe called for brussels sprouts, but they aren't in season right now (and I am a snob), so I used broccoli instead. No problemo! In fact, I made this recipe again recently for my birthday Brinner celebration and I doubled it and left the seitan out entirely (since we were already having breakfast sausages), and added in asparagus - and still received rave reviews from everyone at the party. I love a recipe that is so solid and unfussy that it can easily be adapted and modified like that. This recipe is already a new favorite. I am in love with it. Each serving had 16 grams of protein.

The Hash calls for the Smoky Sausages, but instead I made the "Put More Protein in Your Sausages" sausages (love that name). The PMPiYS recipe makes two huge sausage loaves, which I cut into chunks and froze. I think I have two chunks left. The sausages are absolutely packed with flavor and protein: vital wheat gluten, chickpea flour, nooch, nut butter, miso, sesame oil, and much much more. Highly recommended as a way to protein blast anything you're making. Each huge sausage has 86 grams of protein!

Reuben Scramble 'Wiches
Well, I'll tell you the truth: Mr VE&T did not like this meal. Is it my fault if this man doesn't like sauerkraut?! I mean, really, that's his cross to bear. On the other hand, I really loved this! It's a totally creative tofu scramble with all the seasonings of a reuben sandwich, and a massive heap of sauerkraut mixed in -- all served over a beautiful toasted slab of rye bread. We are lucky to live just a couple of blocks from a bakery that makes super delicious bread, so I ran down there and got half of a freshly-baked loaf of rye bread for this dinner and it was just perfect. I may have to wait for Mr. VE&T to leave town, but I'll make this again one way or another! Plus I still have a couple pieces of rye bread in the freezer awaiting their delicious fate.

You can be a Protein Pro, too!

Several years ago, I started keeping track of my daily calorie intake and my daily protein intake. Even though vegans always like to joke about that "Where do you get your protein?!" question -- I'm here to tell you that I really wasn't getting enough protein. It turned out that I was eating loads of fruit (so tasty!), but fruit doesn't have much protein. Happily, lots of veggies and grains and beans and other vegan treats are loaded with protein! This book is a big help for days when I feel like I want to bolster my protein intake, and I am really glad to have it in my collection. 

There are chapters devoted to Beans & Legumes; Grains, Nuts & Seeds; Tofu & Tempeh; and Seitan -- and within those chapters there are breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes... some of which are really quick and easy and some of which are a little more involved (but worth the effort!). 
I have many more recipes marked to try out:
Hummus Bisque, Butter Bean Crostini, Eggplant Balela, Gingerbread Quinoa Granola, Quinoa Crunch Blueberry Muffins, Jerk Tempeh Salad, White Chili... and sooo many more. 

Huzzah! The folks at Fair Winds Press have allowed me to offer a copy of this wonderful book to a lucky blog reader! This giveaway is open to anyone in the US or Canada. To enter: leave a comment on this blog post and tell me what caught your eye, or about your favorite high-protein snack, or whatever! Please just make sure that your comment includes a way for me to contact you -- if I can't easily find your contact info, I will select a different winner. 

I'll select a winner one week from today on Monday July 20th


  1. All of these look so tasty! Even though I love your drawings, I'm glad you included photos ;-)

  2. That reuben sounds so tasty! I never understand when people don't like sauerkraut ;)

    1. Congrats Stacielynn ~ you're the winner!! I'll send you comment over on your blog too! :) If you can send me your name and mailing address, I'll pass it along to the publisher. :) ameyfm (at) yahoo (dot ) com

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Gingerbread Quinoa Granola sounds amazing. My homemade Christmas gifts this year are a trio of granolas and I'd love to try something more seasonal. :)

  5. Roasted chickpeas are a great high protein snack.

  6. I am really liking the look of those scrambles! My favourite go-to for a protein boost is kitchari; I make a batch a couple of times a week for easy lunches or to use as a base for dinner. So easy and delicious, and the rice and lentils together make a complete protein.

  7. I love tofu scrambles mixed with spinach, mushrooms and olives!

  8. I have quite a few of Celine's books, and I love her recipes! The dishes you've tried from that book sound awesome, although the one I'm most curious about is in the list of dishes you want to try next: I love eggplant and I have never heard of balela, so eggplant balela sounds like a must-try to me!

    Regarding sourkraut, have you ever made it yourself? My husband isn't crazy about the stuff either, but the one time I did make a batch myself, the jar was mysteriouly emptying itself... I had put some ginger in it, which might have been what made the difference: this addition gave the sourkraut a little something-something that truly made it taste amazing, even to the 'kraut-skeptic in the house! It may or may not do the trick for Mr V&T, but I thought I'd share the info, in case you think it might be worth a try. (Worst case scenario: you have the whole jar of tasty gingery sourkraut to yourself!)

  9. mmmmm, that highbrow hash! must make!

  10. My 4 year old grand daughter is always asking me about being vegetarian and why I do that. This week it was about getting protein. I think her mom has the questions but it just gets more interesting when grand daughter asks them. I have been veg for 37 years, so it isn't new to me.

  11. Jerk tempeh salad sounds really intriguing!

  12. I'd love to try the split pea cutlets. My husband doesn't like eating whole legumes, so I am always making cutlets, patties, veggie burgers, etc. with them

  13. Awesome food photography and great review! You had me from the beginning with the Cauliflower Steak and the Hash looks amazing. I love when a recipe is so versatile. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Steph5:16 AM

    The split pea patties look interesting @stephr669

  15. Anonymous5:53 AM

    The High Brow Hash sounds like it would be right up my alley.

  16. I wanna know how big that sausage was! This is a vegan cookbook I've been wanting for awhile since I've been lifting more. I should be paying more attention to my protein intake.

  17. That hash looks amazing!

  18. Aimee B.8:58 AM

    These recipes look & sound amazing! I would love to try the jerk tempeh salad. My daughter is requesting tempeh for her 21st birthday dinner.

  19. Those meals look great! I really need to work on my plating. What caught my eye was the Cacciatore picture. Thanks for the chance to win what looks like a great book!

  20. Oooh, I don't have this one yet, but I love anything by Celine and Tami!! <3 them!! That reuben situation looks fantastic. I LOVE sauerkraut.

  21. Jstew5210:21 AM

    Anything quinoa...

  22. At first, I was thinking, eh, not so sure about this book...but after your review...I am drooling! I'm a sucker for tofu scramble, definitely excited to try those variations!

    wickedliz at hotmail dot com

  23. I love making meals from quinoa and tempeh. I also love black bean burgers.

  24. That stuffed baked potato is right up my alley! I think my little vegan would like that as well. Thanks for the great review!

  25. The Rhuben scramble and chickpea cacciatore both sound amazing!!

  26. Meredith Z8:30 PM

    I am curious about the eggplant balela, as I am a lover of all things eggplant! Mertower at yahoo

  27. I would love a copy of this book! Like you mentioned, I do not get enough protein on a daily basis(although I would never admit that to a non-vegan!). Since I have realized this I have tried to incorporate more protein-rich foods in my diet, but I do often fall short. This book looks perfect for me. I love a reuben - so that scramble in particular looks amazing to me!

  28. Anonymous3:26 PM

    I'd love to try the Sloppy Joe spuds!

  29. tempeh is my favorite high protein snack!

  30. Edamame is my favorite high protein snack!!

  31. Jacky8:04 AM

    I have to try that reuben scramble!

    jackydlt at gmail dot com

  32. I always worry about my husband's protein intake so I's love to try everything from this book!! chickpeas and cauliflowers are our favorites so the chickpea cacciatore with cauliflower steaks sound delish!!! kimberley . jolly @ gmail . com


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