Today’s MofFo theme is “make a new vegan friend.” Cookbooks count as friends, right? They provide us with advice (on cooking and lifestyle), comfort us (with food) in tough times and the best ones make us feel like we know the author. Today’s challenge was about making a living, breathing friend you say? I can’t hear you because I’m busy snuggling up with my cookbook collection.
For today’s post, I’ll focus on one of my newest cookbooks: But I Could Never Go Vegan by Kristy Turner. Turner, a former fromagier, writes a popular vegan blog called Keepin’ It Kind. But I Could Never Go Vegan is her first book and what a fun debut. Each chapter is based upon an excuse for eating animal foods such as “But I Hate [Insert Vegetable Here]” and “But I Scream for Ice Cream,” and has recipes that debunk that excuse. The cute concept alone makes the book enjoyable to flip through, but the beautiful pictures and inventive recipes add to the fun. My only quibble is that some of the recipe intros lack color. I would love to know a bit more about Turner’s life and how she came up with the various recipes.
At first glance, Turner’s recipes can seem a bit overwhelming. Many have multiple components or require long cooking times. However, as I actually cooked through the book, I found that there were a good mix of quick and easy recipe and more elaborate ones. Though I’m not sure that this is a great book for a beginner, I do think it has a lot to offer for intermediate and advanced cooks of every persuasion. The recipes are unique, well-thought-out and creative.
Here are a few of the recipes I tried.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream: The first recipe I tried from this book was actually my least favorite. Though there was nothing wrong with this ice cream, the almond extract called for in the recipe over-powered the peanut butter flavor. I like my peanut butter ice cream to taste like peanut butter, so I would not make this recipe again as written. I’m as shocked as you are that ice cream of any kind qualified as a least favorite for me.
BLT Tacos: These were so easy and so tasty. If you marinate the tempeh for the tempeh bacon ahead of time, the whole recipe comes together in less than 15 minutes. Plus BLT as a taco is genius. Everything should be taco-ized.
Sesame Sriracha Tofu Sandwich: I’ll confess that I really don’t like Sriracha, which I think makes me a vegan blasphemer. I do like a good tofu sandwich though, so I made this with chili garlic sauce instead of Sriracha. It’s basically sloppy joe meets Korean barbecue. It was okay, but not my favorite.
Chocolate Stout Chili Fries: This is a solid chili recipe served over oven fries, so it’s not even that unhealthy. I topped mine with the sour cream from the book (good in recipes, but not so great on its own) and some guac.
And saving the best for last, Seitan Phyllo Purses. These are little phyllo pouches stuffed with seitan and gravy and served on top of more gravy. They were as delicious as they sound.