Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites is packed full of creative twists on comfort-food recipes like barbeque tacos, orange chipotle “wings” and maple bacon donuts. The book has color photos for many of the recipes, which I always consider a plus.
I’ve had good results with most of the recipes I’ve tried so far. Stand-outs include the Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts (p. 67), which are yeast donuts baked in a muffin tin, and the Brocotato Soup (p.70). The bacon flavored chickpea garnish for the soup is fantastic.
Since many recipes in this book are high in fat, I use the book for a once-in-a-while treat. That made it easy to find recipes that I hadn’t made before, but was anxious to try.
One benefit of being home on maternity leave is that I can (baby willing) make a hot breakfast in the middle of the week. I will confess that all the cooking below was done before the baby was born.
I started with the Coconut Creme Brulee Baked Oatmeal (p. 43). Oatmeal is baked in a coconut-milk based custard and then topped with brown sugar, which is carmelized under the broiler. I baked my oatmeal in individual ramekins, reducing the baking time to 20 minutes. I’m not usually a big oatmeal fan, but I really enjoyed this recipe. The baking technique kept the oats firm and the custard creamy — much better than the oatmeal mush I usually wind up with using the stove.
After making the oatmeal, I had half a can of coconut milk left over. Since I love pina coladas, the Pina Colada French Toast (p. 20) was an obvious choice. Bread is dipped in a coconut-milk batter and then fried. The french toast slices are topped with candied macadamia nuts, pineapple slices and rum syrup. To save time, I skipped candying the nuts, but made all the other components. As a coconut lover, I would have liked the coconut flavor to shine through more. Next time, I’ll probably add some coconut extract. Overall, though, this was another winner.
Finally, I made the Jalapeno Hot Dogs (p. 111). I served them topped with salsa and Nacho Cheese Sauce from the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. Veggie Husband ate 3 dogs, so I think this recipe was a winner.
Update December 31, 2013: The new edition of this book has been renamed Home-Cooked Vegan Comfort Food. The cover is new, but the recipes are the same.