Julie Hasson’s Vegan Diner veganizes diner classics like biscuits and gravy, burgers and grilled cheese. I almost passed on the book because I already had several “American” style cookbooks, but I changed my mind after reading a number of glowing reviews. I have no regrets. Pretty much every recipe in this book, from mac and cheese to breakfast sausage, has become my favorite version of that food. I won’t bother to list my favorites because I have loved every recipe I’ve tried.
Recently, I made the Not Your Mama’s Pot Roast (p. 117), a seitan roast made in a slow cooker. The roast came out a little lumpy because the vegetables were placed on top of the raw seitan loaf before it cooked, but the flavor and texture were excellent. (Julie has a way with seitan, so I also highly recommend the other seitan roasts in this book). My slow cooker cooked off almost all of the liquid, so I will use more broth the next time I make this recipe – and there will be a next time.
Since our heat wave has finally broken, I also made the Cherry Almond Poppy Seed Muffins (p. 18). I love cherries and almonds, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with this recipe. The muffin were moist with a perfect crumb even though I substituted whole wheat, spelt and barley flour for the white flour. I had my first muffin right out of the oven and thought it wasn’t almondy enough. However, when I let the muffins cool completely, the almond flavor became more pronounced.