Mofo: Cookbook Obsession – Review of Vegan Diner

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.

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