Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Baconish - Cookbook Review & Giveaway!

special breakfast was usually french toast or crepes
non-vegan bacon has been censored

When I was a little girl, my mom used to make us bacon sometimes. I always liked the smell of it, but actually I didn't really like to eat it that much. But indeed I did eat it, and do you know why? Because my brother loved bacon and I refused to allow him the joy of also eating my portion. Ha ha. I went vegetarian at age 14, so I guess he got the last laugh. 

All of this is to say that bacon isn't something I've been missing all my life. So discovering vegan varieties of bacon has been a lot of fun for me. I'm free from any burden of needing vegan bacon to resemble the "real thing" and I'm also free to enjoy vegan bacon in all of its own smoky glory. 

Baconish is a new vegan cookbook from Leinana Two Moons - who blogs over at Vegan Good Things. It is dedicated entirely to vegan bacon recipes! 


Carrot Bacon 

The whole first chapter of the book is comprised of vegan recipes for bacon, and there are 10 different varieties: carrot bacon, eggplant bacon, chickpea bacon, tempeh bacon, tofu bacon, mushroom bacon, and on and on! I tried two of the bacons for this review (carrot and seitan) and I am eager to try more -- next up I am hoping to try the tempeh and coconut bacons. 

The Carrot Bacon was soooo snackalicious. I made a big batch, and Leinana suggests keeping an eye on it in the oven because it might burn at the end. Indeed, I was busy doing other things in the kitchen, and lost about 2/3 of my batch due to burnage. Ooops! Next time I'll keep an eagle eye on it -- especially since now I know how yummy it is. I made this carrot bacon to go with the White Bean and Bacon Soup (below) - but Mr. VE&T had such a hard time controlling ourselves. We just wanted to eat it all off the cooking sheet. It's lightly sweet and smoky, and a little chewy. My pal Kittee also made the carrot bacon and she finished hers in the dehydrator which seems like a rad idea, if only I had a dehydrator. 


White Bean and Bacon Soup

After the first chapter full of various vegan bacon recipes, the rest of the chapters in the book are filled with recipes that incorporate the bacons. There are chapters on Breakfast, Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, Sides, Main Dishes, and even Sweets and Such. There are some pretty tempting-looking desserts that incorporate vegan bacon!  

This White Bean & Bacon Soup was the first dinner I made from Baconish. It calls for Seitan Bacon in the soup (you can see the chunks in the soup) and for Carrot Bacon as a garnish on top. We both really loved this soup. It was hearty and chock full of delicious spices, two cans worth of white beans,  and just the right amount of smokiness. I'll definitely make this soup again - it's especially perfect for cold nights when you need a real warmer-upper!

warm soup on a cold night
complete with snuggly pets, cozy socks, and the sofa


Seitan Bacon

Whoa. This biz is tasty! I made a batch of the Seitan Bacon for the White Bean Soup. But the soup only used up about 5 slices of bacon, so I used the rest for all sorts of yummy eats. It has actually been quite a while since I made any home made seitan. I wonder why? I really like seitan, and making this recipe reminded me that it's fun and easy to make at home. I hadn't ever tried seitan bacon before, and I really liked this recipe. Smoky and peppery (look at all that pepper on the outside!), and very nicely seasoned. I still have a little bit left in the freezer for some future enjoyment.


Seitan Bacon BLT

Well there's one thing that you just gotta do when you have a bunch of extra seitan bacon staring at you -- make a BLT, of course! I had some nice whole grain bread, lots of perfect avocado, lettuce and tomatoes, and some pan-fried slices of seitan bacon. It was so delicious! We've been having such volatile spring time weather this year - one day it will be so cold and wintry that you want something like that white bean soup, and then just a couple days later, it's hot and sunny and you're sitting out in the backyard enjoying your first BLT of the season. Ahhh. I like it all, so I'm happy either way.

blt on a hot day!
complete with glass of water and inquisitive kitty


Tofu Quiche with Broccoli, Seitan Bacon, and Chao Cheese

I also used some of the seitan bacon in a delicious tofu quiche - I used Somer's recipe and added in sundried tomatoes, seitan bacon, lots of chopped up broccoli florets, and a few slices of chao cheese. It was so rich and delicious! After I made this, I realized that Baconish actually has two quiche recipes of its own: Quiche Lorraine and Bacon-Spinach Quiche. I pretty much love tofu quiche, so I am eager to try these recipes soon! 


The More-to-Love Elvis Sandwich

The More-to-Love Elvis Sandwich was so fun! I've never really had anything like this before! It calls for peanut butter, bacon, banana slices, and an optional drizzle of sweetener. Such a delicious combination of flavors! I made mine into an open-faced sandwich for a fun breakfast treat, but in the book the recipe calls for two slices of bread, and then to cook it like you would cook a grilled cheese. I loved my open-faced creation, but I also love the idea of cooking it on the griddle (or in my beloved panino press!!) for extra toasty perfection.


Cauliflower Bacon Gratin 

This Cauliflower Bacon Gratin was a big hit! So good. It was warming and filling with lovely savory flavors. The cauliflower wasn't overcooked, so it still had just the right "al dente" crunch, which was perfect with the rich, creamy sauce and the crispy crumb topping. I wanted to make the gratin a little lighter, so when I made it I reduced the cashews in the sauce from 1 cup to 1/2 cup, and I reduced the bacon slices from 8 to 6. Even with those adaptations, the dish was super delicious and satisfying! 

Baconish is a fun and creative book, and we really enjoyed the meals we've made from it so far. There's still SO MUCH more for me to explore. This book is loaded with color photos, it's well-laid-out (you never need to turn the page to continue making a recipe), and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. Those are all traits that I really appreciate in a cookbook! 

Several of the recipes are a bit on the indulgent scale for my tastes - but obviously a vegan bacon book is going to have a lot of Southern flair and some really rich recipes. Even the recipes that I'm not likely to make gave me some good inspiration for lighter variations that I could make myself. And obviously, I still found plenty of amazing recipes to try, and many more to bookmark. I am super impressed with the creativity of this book - both in the variety of vegan bacon ideas, and with all the many ideas for what to do with vegan bacon. I got so many new ideas from this book!

Some of the recipes I have bookmarked to try include:
Butternut Squash Carbonara with Bacon and Sage
Bacon and Cashew Caramel Corn
Bacon-Wrapped Dates
Bacon-Stuffed French Toast
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Shallots
Apple, Bacon, and Cheddar Grilled Cheese
....and more! 

Happily, you don't just have to read about this new book! The publishers of Baconish (Vegan Heritage Press) are letting me offer a giveaway to one lucky reader in the USofA. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post and tell me about your favorite vegan bacon experience... or really just any comment will do! 





34 comments:

  1. This cookbook looks great! I think my favorite vegan bacon experience is making BLTs with tempeh bacon (recipe for tempeh bacon from Vegan with a Vengeance). Even my comni hubby who doesn't like vegan bacon or tempeh enjoyed it.

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  2. I know it's somewhat shameful, but I don't really have any vegan bacon experiences. I had a longstanding fear of liquid smoke which I just managed to conquer last year (with the aid of a recipe in Salad Samurai), but I've yet to try a real bacon-ish project. I think I need this book because my ten-year-old has been pestering me to try my hand at this for awhile now!

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  3. Potato soup with bacon bits!

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  4. i also was never a big bacon fan in my pre-veg days (i was all about sausage) and I've never made any homemade bacon that came out great. but i have to say that the upton's bacon is really really great! especially in a blt with lots of vegan aioli!

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  5. This book is making me salivate! I used to really like crispy bacon. Ugh, so gross. These options are much better! The best vegan bacon I've made was coconut bacon! I could snack on those crispy crunchies all day.

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  6. Such a fun idea!

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  7. Bacon is one of those foods that has always made me a bit nauseous to smell, but I do love a good tempeh bacon. I'd love to try the seitan version it looks amazing!

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  8. Jacky6:18 PM

    I love the shiitake bacon that tops the mac and cheese at By Chloe in NYC! (jackydlt at gmail dot com)

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  9. I've heard of bacon and peanut butter together before and have even made myself a peanut butter and baco bit sandwich at one time or another. Something about the salty and crunchy together is really good. The book looks amazing!

    I like how the fox is staring down the bowl of soup in one of your photos. :)

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  10. My partner doesn't generally like veg bacon, but I sold him on the tofu bacon from Vegan Vittles, and then we discovered he can't have soy. I'm SO excited at the thought of trying some of these bacons! We love bacon, but we eat almost no meat now, so I'm working on veganizing all our favorite things.

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  11. I love making sandwiches with bacon. I definitely don't miss the grease from regular bacon at all. These recipes look great and would love to try them.

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  12. I love making sandwiches with bacon. I definitely don't miss the grease from regular bacon at all. These recipes look great and would love to try them.

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  13. That Seitan Bacon looks amazing!!!!!

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  14. I just had my first vegan bacon this weekend at a restaurant; it was coconut bacon on a vegan cob salad and it was crunchy and chewy at the same time and amazing! It definitely inspired me to go home and try my hand at making my own. How fortuitous to learn that there's a whole cookbook dedicated to vegan bacon.

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  15. I don't really have much by way of vegan bacon experience. I made coconut bacon once and that turned out pretty well from what I remember. I would absolutely LOVE to give some of these recipes a try though. They look fantastic!

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  16. I have only had prepackaged tempeh bacon but I love seitan, and I now desperately want a seitan blt. I also want to make a maple 'bacon' donut at some point. ceevegnashville ~at~ gmail ~dot~ com

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  17. One of my favorite baconish dishes: sauteed collard greens (maybe from vwav?), polenta slices cooked on the griddle and tempeh bacon. Such a good combo that I made it almost weekly for at least a year. I need to revive that one!!

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  18. i have never had vegan bacon before. As another commenter mentioned the liquid smoke is put offish for me. this books sounds like a great way to get out of mind set.

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  19. What a fun cookbook! I love quiche too and adding seitan bacon sounds like a fantastic idea. You BLT looks amazing too and I'd certainly be willing to give carrot bacon a whirl!

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  20. Anonymous10:21 PM

    Only veg bacon, comes in so many colours, flavours and textures, yeah! ec925 -at- usa -dot- net

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  21. The dehydrated eggplant bacon on the Yum Universe blog is one of my favorites

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  22. My favorite vegan bacon memory is definitely when I bought the packaged ones from the supermarket and cooked it at home, and my whole fam was amazed that vegan bacon exists ^_^ I'm glad you featured the carrot bacon. That and coconut bacon are my top to try making

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  23. That carrot bacon looks incredible! WANT!

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  24. Such a good idea for a cookbook - I'm going to go track it down for the carrot bacon alone!

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  25. i love turning plant life into bacon!

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  26. Wow, this cookbook sounds so good! My favorite vegan bacon experience is the classic tempeh bacon, made with a marinade featuring liquid smoke. So good. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

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  27. I just got some of The Herbivorous Butcher's maple glazed bacon on my last trip to Minnesota, and I think it's the best I've tried so far! But I'm intrigued by the idea of making my own, so I am very interested in this cookbook. :)

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  28. I'm intrigued with the other type of bacons - carrot, eggplant and mushroom! Be still my heart!

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  29. My favorite bacon experience by far, is the tempeh bacon from Vegan with a Vengeance! Soo good!

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  30. My favorite so far is shiitake mushroom 'bacon'

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  31. Thank you for this amazing review!!! I actually like the carrot bacon a little charred, just like you have it there. And your seitan bacon loaf looks AHHMAZING! And that quiche!! I'm so thrilled that you are enjoying the book and I hope you try many more recipes! :)

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  32. I reeeeeeeally want to make the coconut bacon!! Buying it in the stores is expensive! Also, the carrot bacon is really intriguing!! I have been a wimp and haven't made much bacon myself at home, I usually default to tempeh bacon found in stores - but I want to change that!

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  33. Cauliflower Bacon Gratin sounds like my dream in a dish!

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  34. I enjoy shiitake bacon, also looking for some new ideas! Thanks for the Baconish review and giveaway..carrot bacon, eggplant bacon, chickpea bacon, tempeh bacon, tofu bacon, mushroom bacon and seitan bacon all sound great!

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