Since its release early this year, The Lusty Vegan by Ayinde Howell and Zoe Eisenberg seems to have flown under the radar — and I’m not sure why. It’s a book that’s beautiful to look at, fun to read and has a unique point of view. In addition to recipes, The Lusty Vegan aims to be a vegan dating manifesto — and it’s full of amusing anecdotes from its authors’ failed relationships and advice to bridge dietary differences.
Howell is a professional chef, so his recipes are unique and deliver complex flavors. As a bonus, everything I’ve tried has been surprisingly easy to put together.
Overall, I highly recommend The Lusty Vegan. The only negative is that some recipes in the book call for vegan convenience foods like cream cheese or cheese shreds. Those recipes are mostly in the chapter of recipes designed to be cooked by non-vegans, so the use of transition foods makes sense. For those of us who prefer to avoid processed convenience foods, there are still plenty of recipes to choose from. (Also of note: In keeping with the theme, the book also features some photos of the authors in their undies. Be prepared to get some looks if you read your copy of the bus like I did.)
My husband loves capers and sandwiches, so I had to try the Tempeh Piccata Hoagie first. The sandwich is basically piccata deconstructed. It features lemon herb marinated tempeh topped with a lemon caper mayo. I pre-marinated the tempeh, so the recipe came together in less than fifteen minutes — and it was as tasty as it sounds.
(Tempeh Piccata Hoagie)
The next recipe on my list was the Hearts of Palm Lobster Roll. Here in Boston, lobster rolls are ubiquitous and I was intrigued by the idea of a vegan version. This was another quick and easy recipe with a tasty result. I’ve never had a lobster roll, but my husband tells me that the faux lobster filling was too acidic. I’m not sure if that’s because I didn’t rinse the hearts of palm before cooking them, or if the recipe calls for too much lemon.
The Fried Tofu Sandwich is another 15 minute wonder featuring seasoned tofu topped with pickles and mustard. It’s perfect in its simplicity.
To prove that The Lusty Vegan contains recipes for things other than sandwiches, I decided to next delve into the breakfast chapter (aka “The Morning After”). I tried both the Cloud 9 Pancakes and the Orange Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast. The pancakes were a fail for me. As written, the recipe makes a batter as thick as cookie dough. I had trouble getting the pancakes to spread or cook properly. The french toast, on the other hand, is amazing. It will be on my must make list whenever I have extra cream cheese in my fridge.