Friday, January 12, 2018

Vegan Richa's Everyday Cookbook: Review & Giveaway

I'm a bit delinquent in this long-overdue book review... but what it lacks in promptness, it will make up for in sheer enthusiasm!! By now, you've all probably hear about Vegan Richa's newest cookbook "Vegan Richa's Everyday Kitchen." What a fun and special book this is! 


There are so many great things about this book. First of all, and I think this is so cool, many chapters of the book are built around the idea of different sauces as a starting point: like Peanut Butter & Coconut, Sweet & Sour, Masala & Saag, Buffalo & Firecracker. Each time a sauce recipe is featured it has a cute little graphic up top that says "Awesome Sauce!" Ha ha, so cute. Then, for each sauce that's featured, several variations are suggested, and recipes to put your delicious sauce to use. This book is infinitely creative, and really encourages your own creativity - with variations, substitutions, gluten-free options, soy-free options, and on and on. It's really cool!

There are all sorts of diverse recipes, and not just the same recipes over and over that you've already made 100x. In addition to the chapters devoted to different "awesome sauces," there are also chapters devoted to burgers, deep dish pizzas and casseroles, breakfast ideas, and sweet desserts! Indian recipes, Chinese recipes, tacos, pizzas, so much to explore!!

Gobi Manchurian!!!

Crunchy Baked Cauliflower with Manchurian Sauce 
I think my blood stream is probably made up almost entirely of roasted cauliflower. I love it so much, and I eat it all. the. time. So, I'm kinda like a pro. And I have to say, I really loved this way of preparing cauliflower - as promised, it was seriously super crunchy!! The breading mixture was lightly seasoned, and honestly these little stinkers were so yummy all on their own that I had to stop myself from eating them all before I added the sauce.

There are so many great suggested sauces to go along with these crunchy cauliflowers: Kung Pao, Buffalo, Sweet and Sour sauce... but I had my eyes set firmly on Manchurian Sauce. For some reason, I'd been having fond Gobi Manchurian memories from my time in India and I was absolutely fixated on that plan of action. I made a beeline for this recipe as soon as I received my review copy in the mail. It was soooo good! In case you don't know, Manchurian sauce is an Indo-Chinese sauce (there is an excellent subset of Indo-Chinese cuisine in India - a playful and delicious mash up of flavors!) -- it's an incredibly flavor-packed sauce with a good kick to it as well. The relative neutrality of the breading and of the cauliflower itself was a great vehicle for this spicy, spiced power sauce! 

Tikka Masala Chickpeas with Tikka Masala Sauce

Variations variations every where! This is such a fun book for cooks who like recipes (like me!), and for cooks who like to tinker and change things around. I love to have a recipe, but I also love "permission" to switch, experiment, and swap. I think this book might even help me learn how to be more fluid and experimental in the kitchen!

This meal uses the Tikka Masala Sauce, which is a variation on the Makhani Sauce -- with a little extra touch of tomato sauce and unsweetened yogurt. The sauce is rich with a myriad of spices, fresh ginger and fresh garlic. Creamy and rich and SUPER good. I also used the suggested variation to add a couple cups of extra veggies, because I love veggies forever!

Smoky Crisped Lentils over Creamy Greens

Oh man, we loved this dinner so much!! This night we had a friend spontaneously drop in to stay the night, and he had been out kayaking all night, and he was hungry. I was a little nervous to have a brand new recipe on deck, rather than a tried and true favorite to offer him. I needn't had worried!! This was a hit with all three of us. The recipe gives you two sauce choices for the greens, and I chose the Creamy White Masala Sauce. This is a lovely creamy sauce, spiced with Indian spices, and it was a great compliment to the greens. 

Star of the Show Alert! Smoky Crisped Lentils are the best thing ever!!! Oh man, I just really want to eat these tasty little lentils all the time from now on. I've already made them a couple more times to nibble on and to sprinkle on my salad. 

I took a cue from the photo in the book, and served it all alongside some roasted cauliflower. A good choice!

Black Pepper Tofu

Every time I flipped through this book, the photo of the Black Pepper Tofu caught my eye, so I had to make it! Simple, spicy, and delicious!! Tofu, spices, celery & bell pepper, and lots of black pepper. This is such an easy and satisfying dish to make. I loved how it was spicy, but not too spicy, and the celery provides a good crunch as well as a good balance to the peppery heat.

Spinach-Artichoke Lasagna with Cauliflower Alfredo
(before going in the oven - and a big piece after being baked!)

I am a devout lasagna lover, and I have my own usual favorite recipe - but I am also always in the mood to try a new spin on vegan lasagna. I'm glad I expanded by lasagna horizons because this is a wonderful recipe, and I never would have thought of using artichoke hearts in my lasagna! Very good! Once the sauce was prepared - which was quite easy- the whole lasagna came together very easily. I love that, because I generally think of lasagna so labor-intensive. This was a lot faster than the recipe I usually use, and just as delicious and satisfying. It's also chock full of veggies, which is just how I like it! Why is lasagna so perfect??

Here's a picture I snapped of the Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce that I snapped while preparing the lasagna. This is a thick and lovely sauce made with blanched cauliflower, and a perfect balance of spices. It's so smooth and delicious, and is a perfect component in the lasagna. It adds creaminess and body, without being super fatty or heavy. 

A few more thoughts about this great book:
~ I think this is a really fun book for people who are new to cooking and/or new to veganism, but it's also a really great and creative book for home cooks who aren't at all new to cooking or to veganism. That's pretty rare to find that in a cookbook! The recipes are very clear, the instructions are clear, no surprises!

~ The layout is lovely and easy to use. The recipes are presented one per page, with tons of beautiful pictures. Each recipe includes information about prep time, as well as nutritional breakdown information. Many of the recipes also include suggestions for variations. The font is clear and easy to read.

I still have so many recipes from this book that I want to try:
Massaman Curry Vegetables
Kung Pao Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry
Firecracker Chickpea Salad with Peanut Dressing
Buffalo Chickpea Tacos
Tinga Black Bean Soup
Tempeh Broccoli Wraps with Jalepeno Popper Sauce
Deep Dish Pizza
Samosa Stuffed French Toast
One-hour Cinnamon Rolls
and the list goes on and on!!!!

Great news for you! Two Giveaways! 
Richa and her publishers are letting me offer a copy of Vegan Richa's Everyday Cookbook to one lucky blog reader in the US. AND! for international readers, one lucky winner can win Richa's "Bonus Bundle" ~ featuring 3 recipes from the book, 2 new recipes, and 3 videos of 3 more recipes from the book! 

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment here on this post and tell me about one of your favorite sauces, or anything else nice you feeling like saying! And if you're a non-US reader, let me know, so I enter you in the right giveaway! 


  1. Amey, if I ever wrote a cookbook I'd want you to be the reviewer! Your descriptions are so so enthusiastic and full of good info. You make me want to go out and buy this book but it would be even better if I won it!

    As for sauces, I really love the curry peanut sauce in Isa Does It. That stuff is really good!

  2. I'm currently hooked on the cucumber ranch dressing in Isa Does It. I'm super intrigued by the cauliflower alfredo sauce in Vegan Richa's Everyday cookbook!

  3. Such creative recipes! I'd love to try the Tempeh Broccoli Wraps with Jalepeno Popper Sauce!!

  4. I love cashew cream sauces - from Mexican to Italian food, they add such a wonderful, satisfying creaminess! I also love your blog and the dose of happy I get from reading about your cooking adventures! :)

  5. I love all sauces, but spicy peanut sauce (on anything!!) is my absolute favorite!

  6. Tahini sauce is so easy and versatile and goes great with grain bowls with veggies and tofu.

  7. International _ I like Mediterranean sauces like tahini and shawarma sauce . Guacamole
    My Twitter @va_va33

  8. Tomato sauce is my favorite. Pasta and pizza!

    karengdelaney (at} (yahoo) {dot} com

  9. Right now my favorite sauce is this creamy bechamel sauce.
    ¼ cup flour, 3 tbsp veg broth, 2 cups soy or almond milk, ¼ cup nutritional yeast, ½ tsp onion powder, & ground nutmeg.

  10. I'm addicted to the onion dip I make with lite silken tofu. It's soooooo good! I love it with veggie dippers, on pasta, potatoes, etc. Sometimes I just eat it by the spoonful, lol! :)

  11. My favorite sauce would have to be alfredo sauce. I love it on everything.

  12. Oh wow, I really want this. I'm drooling over these pics! My fave sauce is a regular ol' tahini, but I need to expand my horizons with this book!

  13. Thank you for the wonderful Review Amey!! <3 <3 <3

  14. Richa rocks!!! That lasagna alone seals the deal on me getting this book one way or the other. As far as sauces go, I am all peanut, all the time.

  15. I've been vegetatarian for 10 years, & I'm daunted by going milk-/cheese-/eggless. But, I just figured out how to season a tofu scramble: just add water to your dry spices & mix! I'd love to learn more from this book!

  16. Buffalo Sauce! I love buffalo "flavored" anything!

  17. I enjoy following Vegan Richa's Instagram account and I find myself frequently emailing myself recipes from her page!! I know I would enjoy cooking and getting creative with the recipes in her new book.

    My favorite sauces are peanut and tikka masala. This week I made a butternut squash pizza sauce that was very tasty too!

  18. These recipes I want to try them all

  19. I like her recipes. I was just on her website yesterday. I'm always making a cheeze sauce that contains oatmeal, nooch, and a roasted red pepper. So good.

  20. The cauliflower and the crispy lentils have especially caught my eye, but what I really love are all the sauces. A creative sauce can truly elevate a meal to something special. I love sauces, from the simplest tahini sauce to more exotic and complicated ones. The book sounds like a compendium of great ideas!

  21. i'm a cauliflower lover also and i would love to try that recipe!

  22. Anonymous1:48 AM

    My favorite sauce is this sweet potato cheese sauce I use when I want Mac and cheese.I definitely eat it by the spoonful when I make it.Always trying to think of more ways to use it.I put on top of rice and veggies and I'm thinking about trying on a veggie burger as well.Julie

  23. Leigh A5:18 AM

    I love veggie filled vegan cheese sauces! So nutritious and creamy :)

  24. Love your reviews! One of my favorite sauces is the “Creamy Tahini Sauce”
    from Cookin’ Crunk. Yummy!

  25. Anonymous7:00 AM

    Tahini and peanut would have to duke it out for my love because I adore each equally. Thanks for the reviews and the giveaway! Those crisped lentils sound so good with tahini - but don’t tell peanut! ;)

  26. One of my favorite sauces is actually carrot ginger salad dressing. Good as a sauce or salad dressing.

  27. My current favorite sauce is the cashew & roasted red pepper pizza mac sauce from Isa Does It. It's great on pasta, but also on pizzas. It is also very good on greens. ceevegnashville at gmail dot com

  28. I love sauces!! I am particularly fond of the tahini sauce in one of isa' s cookbooks, or any nooch-based sauce. Any gravy, does that count as a sauce?

  29. International (PPK fruitbat, hi). There are so many saucy things I adore. Right now I find myself using a mixture of gochujang, soy sauce, lime juice, and zhenjiang vinegar a lot.

  30. Peanut sauce is a perennial favorite around here! Although I must say I've been wanting to try the dish in manchurian sauce that's in Richa's first book ever since I got it, and you've convinced me I really need to get around to it sooner rather than later! I'll have to get her second book, too, because I'd also like to add the sauces it contains to my repertoire… (Please enter me in the international drawing. Thank you!)

  31. omg i have been salivating over this cookbook since it came out. i love the curry peanut sauce in isa does it so much. i love the macaroni and cheese sauce from colleen patrick goudreau. i love the red hot tahini sauce from superfun times...i just love sauce and would love to try the sauces in this book!!

  32. Kung Pao Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry sounds amaazing!


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