Saturday, August 29, 2015

Complete Guide to (Even More) Vegan Substitutions: Review and Giveaway

Back in the day, when I was a wee vegan, there weren't many vegan cook books out there. I think I was already vegan for a couple years before I bought my first all-vegan cookbook ("How It All Vegan" by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard). I had been a vegetarian since age 14, so I had a number of vegetarian cookbooks with recipes that were vegan or mostly vegan, but I also frequently engaged in the lost of "veganizing" non-vegan recipes.

i had a ponytail back then

Of course it's wonderful to have vegan cookbooks coming out of our ears these days (remember when you felt a moral obligation to buy every vegan cookbook that managed to get published? ha ha). But there's also a part of me that misses the adventure and mystery and reckless abandon of the time when there was all that veganizing going on. 

you can't tell in this picture, but this book is a really great & user-friendly size

Well, now there's a new cookbook that does it all! "The Complete Guide to Even More Vegan Food Substitutions," by Joni Marie Newman and Celine Steen is both an excellent cookbook full of appealing recipes, and a very thorough guide to learning how to make your own veganizing decisions. It's so cool! 

The book is broken into sections based on what is being substituted: Milk Substitutions, Cheese Substitutions, Egg Substitutions in Savory Dishes, Egg Substitutions in Baking, Chicken and Beef Subsittutions, Seafood Substitutions, Bacon Substitutions (a whole chapter!), and also a chapter called "No Mimicking Meat." Plus, there is an extensive "Complete Chart of Vegan Food Substitutions" ~ including all the possible substitutions you could imagine. Again, I must say, it's so cool! 

Mushroom Broth Powder

This homemade broth powder was easy and fun to make, and was called for in several of the dishes I made. It's a quick zip-zip in the food processor, and suddenly you've got a lovely umami blast to add to your other recipes. I love that The Complete Guide to (Even More) Food Substitutions includes so many recipes for kitchen staples like this.  I still have about half of this batch left, and I put it in a spice jar so that it will last until I need to make another batch. 

Cook-Off Chili with Roasted Corn

One of the features that I really like in this book is that every once in a while they'll have a two-page spread, and on the lefthand page is a non-vegan recipe, while on the right is their veganized version of the same recipe. Substitutions that they made are highlighted and clearly explained... all so that you can start to understand the art and science of veganizing recipes.

This is one of the recipes in the book that includes a non-vegan (aka "original") version of the recipe on one page, and then a veganized version on the opposing page... along with the authors' thoughts and ideas on converting the original recipe into a vegan adaptation. It's really interesting to read, even as an experienced vegan.

Let me tell you, this is a really great chili recipe!! I have plenty of chili recipes in my life, but this is one of my new favorites for sure. I absolutely loved the flavors, and the edition of the roasted corn -- which was as easy and very worthwhile addition. My other favorite chili is the one with Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes from Appetite for Reduction, but not everyone is up for Brussels sprouts in their chili, if you know what I mean. I think this is now my favorite "traditional" chili recipe. I'm already looking forward to making it again.


Scallion Kale Pudla

Yum yum yum yum! Lately I've been on a real pudla kick. In case you don't already know about these savory veggie pancakes made with chickpea flour batter... you should check out Kittee's inspirational pudla post from quite a while back. The recipe in this cookbook is a great variation with a slight twist of East Asian flavors, and packed full with scallions and kale, both of which I love. I made this for breakfast a few days in a row and really loved it.


Cauliflower Taco Crumbles

Genius Idea! These little cauliflower crumbles were so easy to prepare and were so tasty. Cauliflower isn't as high-protein as seitan or tofu, but it actually does have a pretty good protein level - and it's also super yummy and healthy and low-cal. This minced cauliflower (I used a food processor) is mixed with a rich array of seasoning and then roasted until just a little chewy. So good!

the crumbles put to use in delicious tacos

As you can see, we had a lovely little taco night with these crumbles, along with some good salsa, some fresh yellow tomatoes, guacamole, and cabbage. Such a great summery dinner.


Sassy Hot Sauce Chickpea Sticks

MmmmMmmm. Imagine Torta di Ceci (aka Farinata) + Polenta + Umami Blast, then cut it into little french fry shapes, and roast it all up... and that's what you've got here. These little babies were rich and dense and somewhat irresistible. I dipped them in some homemade ranch dressing, as per their suggestion, as that was a great idea. I gave some to Mr. VE&T, but then I "accidentally" kept eating his. Oooops!


Asopao de Frijoles
We have a winner!!! Mr VE&T loved this dinner so much that he actually said "I'm making out with this." ha ha / ew? Anyhow, we both loved it. It was easy and quick to make, low-cal, and packed with flavor. This recipe is a veganized version of a Puerto Rican stew that is traditionally made with chicken -- instead, this recipe uses black beans. The flavors are abundant and rich, without feeling at all heavy or overdone. I also loved the addition of capers and green olives, for a little special touch... This recipe is definitely going on our re-make list.

Overall Thoughts:
I think this book is totally great as a cookbook: it's chock full of super appealing recipes for meals, and it also contains many recipes for elemental vegan substitutes that you can make yourself: things like broth powder, creamer, yogurt, cream cheese, seitan, bacon, ricotta, vegan butter, etc etc. The layout is clear and easy to use, with one recipe per page, many beautiful pictures, and clear indications of which recipes are soy-free, gluten-free, no-added oil, quick-and-easy, and so on.

I also think this book is super useful as a resource for learning to veganize your own favorite recipes and family recipes from your pregan days, if that exciting world of veganizing recipes is of interest to you.


Giveaway! 
In addition to the copy I was sent to review for this post, the publishers have also offered to send a copy to one winner from the USA or Canada. To enter, please just leave a comment on this blog post -- tell me about something you've successfully veganized, or un-successfully tried to veganize, or just dreamed about veganizing. Maybe this book will help you in your quest! I'll pick a contest winner in one week, using the random number generator. 


37 comments:

  1. Well, I'm now 8 tries into making an angel food cake, and it's still not quite there... Sigh. I'm confident that it will happen one day though. As this book so handily proves, everything can be veganized somehow!

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  2. Omg! I would have to make those chickpea sticks and the mushroom broth powder is genius!

    I once made an awesome Irish soda bread organized with chia egfs and nondairy milk + vinegar for buttermilk.

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  3. I have been trying to veganize the bread sticks from Round Table pizza. Coming close!

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  4. We must have been vegan around the same amount of time because I used to buy EVERY SINGLE vegan cookbook because there were hardly any out there! Now there are so many that I have to be selective. I'd love to veganize a kosher for Passover cake -- don't know if that's possible!

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  5. Ooh! I am all about veganizing. Honestly the one think I still have a way to go with is toast soldiers and soft-boiled eggs--it's such a Brit thing and I haven't like the result from anyones' recommendation--but I am holding out hope!

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  6. I really need to make marshmallow fluff or similar to make S'mores. I can buy them but they are way too expensive.

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  7. I have a lemon bread recipe from Gayle's Bakery in Capitola that I veganized and it always get rave reviews when I make it.

    I'd love to add this book to my collection too! The recipes you wrote about look great AND you also made me want to try the Appetite for Reduction chili so I'm soaking pinto beans right now for dinner tomorrow!

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  8. I'd like to veganize a ricotta cheese cookie recipe I used to make for Xmas.

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  9. Between cookbooks and blogs I've seen recipes for everything that I've thought about trying to veganize. I just need to keep trying out the recipes.

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  10. This sounds like a wonderful companion book to Miyoko's Homemade Vegan Pantry! Since that one rekindled my love of and desire to make everything from scratch, I can see this book really taking it to the next level. Most recent veganization was from Joni's recent blog post - that Arby's beef and cheddar sandwich was pretty amazing once you cut out all the suffering :D

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  11. This sounds like a wonderful companion book to Miyoko's Homemade Vegan Pantry! Since that one rekindled my love of and desire to make everything from scratch, I can see this book really taking it to the next level. Most recent veganization was from Joni's recent blog post - that Arby's beef and cheddar sandwich was pretty amazing once you cut out all the suffering :D

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  12. I just can't believe how many choices are available on the market now for substitutes but I much rather love to make my own. I think right now, the thing I am most happy with making is a cheese sauce out of carrots and potatoes. I don't feel guilty and I put it on almost everything.

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  13. There are so many recipes that I used to love and would be overjoyed to find good ways to veganize. I haven't been brave enough to try yet, maybe this book would help.

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  14. I sometimes think about a vegan lemon meringue pie, but I have not taken the time to try itl

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  15. Those cauliflower taco crumbles made me go "Oooooooooh!" I want to put them in my mouth.

    I veganized Penne with Tomato, Cream, and Five Cheeses - it was totally decadent and totally delicious.

    In our house, we mostly like to try to veganize the junk food we liked in our 20s. Boboli, 7-11 taquitos, Little Caesar's Crazy Bread... or the southern foods I grew up eating in Texas.

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  16. I recently veganized my calzone recipe. I technically have done it before but I had always made it just for me, and used ricotta for everyone else. I finally made a recipe that makes just enough filling and dough for four (or two massive) calzones.

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  17. I have the first Complete Guide to Vegan Substitutions, and it's great! Celine said that this one contains pretty much all new material, so they're totally independent, but I believe it'd still make a wonderful companion to the first one.

    In my pregan days, I made a cake that was pure magic: it was mostly ground hazelnut, maybe a couple tablespoons of flour, and lots of eggs. I've been dreaming of veganizing it for years, but none of the egg subs I knew of would have done the trick without having to completely change the cake. Now, however, I think I may hold the key to that challenge with aquafaba. I'll have to give it a try!

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  18. Yeah, angel food cake is still the goal.

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  19. I've had a lot of fails but a new win was Bierocks! They turned out amazing :D I had a lot of vegetarian books before going Vegan and so a lot of recipes I used to make did had a good deal of dairy or egg and I haven't had the best luck substituting those,Thanks for the chance to win!!

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  20. There are more and more delicious vegan and Plant-Based recipes that represent a Cuisine that is both delicious and nutritious! Chef Nancy has over 20,000 posted on her Pinterest site: https://www.pinterest.com/Gramstein/ #wf4ll.com #wf4hl.com

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  21. I have always been a big baker - specifically cookies around the holidays. All neighbors, friends and family get big cookies trays from me each year. I was nervous that when I went vegan 2 1/2 years ago that I would no longer be able to continue the tradition...NOT TRUE! For the past two years, everyone received vegan cookie trays and some did not even know it. I did use some vegan-specific recipes (from VCIYCJ, etc), but most of them are my tried and true recipes veganized with Earth Balance, flax eggs, and so on!

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  22. Still having trouble with egg-heavy desserts like classic pecan pie. It's difficult to get the texture right. On the other hand, classic pumpkin pie is a breeze!

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  23. I loooove veganizing cheesecakes, it's the best

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  24. I've perfected my gluten free vegan pancakes but for some reason I can't get waffles just right!!

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  25. Still trying to perfect the vegan pizza!

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  26. Baked Alaska is my new vegan mission. My husband loved it but how do I do it without the dairy? Maybe Aquafaba (chickpea water) or coconut milk whip-this book would really come in handy right about now. thanks

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  27. I veganized the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the choc chip package. My friends called them the best cookies ever!

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  28. I love veganizing different nut butters and spreads, instead of using butter and cream products.

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  29. I love making tofu scrambles instead of eggs :)

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  30. My husband made vegan pigs in a blanket and calls it pigs sleeping in a bar.

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  31. I've been able to veganize my favorite chili by replacing meat with bulgar.

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  32. Tofu scrambles are so much better than I remember eggs being! And vegan lasagna is amazing!

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  33. I have veganized puddings with silken tofu

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  34. I'm still trying to find the perfect cheesecake recipe...that doesn't call for five tubs of Tofutti, and that has the right texture and flavour...

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  35. I veganized a beloved family recipe: baked bbq beans. Was as good as I remember eating as a kid. :)

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  36. I've successfully veganized my favorite baked ziti recipe (thanks to cashew/tofu ricotta!), but still working on vegan pizza. I've got the crust down, but still working on the perfect topping combo. :)

    Thanks for the great review and giveaway!!

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  37. Please, please keep safe. Dried mushrooms should always be cooked fully and properly, it even says on the package for some. I think because otherwise people could get sick from substances in them that are deactivated by proper cooking. I'm scared about the mushroom broth. I'm so sorry I didn't say something before. I'm sorry. I just don't want to cause harm. Please, please keep safe.

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