vegansaurus!

04/04/2014

Cookbook review: Mayim’s Vegan Table!   »

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I just received Mayim Bialik’s debut vegan cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table, and I absolutely love it. I have had so much fun making the recipes out of this book. They are easy to follow with super accessible ingredients. I got the feeling this book is catered towards people who are new at veganism or feeding picky, young eaters, but I think anyone can enjoy it! While it can be exciting to make challenging recipes with multiple, unusual ingredients, most of the time I want to make quick meals that are big on flavor. In that respect, Mayim’s cookbook definitely delivers! Like, WHOA! 

The first recipe I made was the creamed cornbread, which is pictured above. I never would have thought of using creamed corn. It added a texture to the cornbread that was both soft and incredibly moist! This recipe did call for quite a bit of maple syrup, which I could see some people very much enjoying, but I would definitely cut down on that next time, maybe even adding some jalapeños. But don’t take that as me criticizing: I very much like having recipes in my repertoire that are delicious in their original form, but can also be easily tweaked to suit my own palate!

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The next recipe I made were the brussels sprouts chips. I meant to share these with my dad, but I ended up eating them all in one sitting. Oops! Peeling the layers of brussels sprouts is not much fun, but the result is so spectacular that I don’t mind doing it again! I hadn’t had roasted brussels sprouts chips since I last went to Social Brewery and Kitchen, so this was quite the treat.

imageMayim’s cheese sauce shows up in a few different places in her book, so I decided to give it a whirl, on it’s own. I used Daiya mozzarella, and in place of wheat flour, I substituted rice flour. I was curious if this recipe could hold up gluten-free. Good news: it does! I think many gluten-free substitutes, such as flour, breadcrumbs and pasta, can be used in the same ration without compromising the taste in her recipes. That is just another reason I am loving this book!  

imageI baked the cheese sauce atop enchiladas (my own recipe, not the ones featured in the book). I was very pleased with the consistency of this sauce freshly made as well as baked in the oven! I could see using this sauce not only on the enchiladas and mac’n cheese in the book, but also with burgers and chili cheese dogs! 

Next up, I made the soft pretzels. These were an Instagram favorite, but I have to admit, I already knew that would be the case! image
I knew I had to make the pretzels, both for myself and because if I’m going to do a review, pretzels are going to be the hit. I am super with-it, when it comes to food trends! My first thought was “Oh no, working with bread dough is so tedious.”, but I should have known better! Mayim’s recipe couldn’t have been easier or faster to make. One thing: the recipe says it makes eight, but then only has you form four pretzels. I only made four and they were huge! So next time I will make eight. I brought two over to my sister and her husband, who are both particular about food. They LOVED THESE PRETZELS, and keep demanding more! So, don’t just take it from me that they are incredible. 

imageThe very last recipe I made were the baked zucchini chips! They were fantastic and I ate them all in one sitting. Four zucchini have never disappeared so quickly! I didn’t have any vegan parmesan, and even though the recipe said that ingredient was optional, I wanted a cheesy taste. I diced up some Daiya mozzarella instead, and I thought it worked pretty well. Of course, I then had to dip them in Sriracha, because, what else? 

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So, that’s that! There are so many more recipes I can’t wait to make, including her Matzo ball soup and falafel! The cookbook contains more than 100 recipes, with appetizer, bread, sauce, breakfast, entree and dessert sections. There is also a sweet introduction, leading up to nutritional information for vegans and a few how-tos. If you are in the market for a new cookbook, I think Mayim’s Vegan Table is definitely worth checking out! 

Full Disclosure: The publishing company sent me this book free for review, however, all of the opinions stated in this post are mine. 

01/18/2012

Product Review: Rodelle Chocolate Extract and Vanilla Bean Paste! Plus, Chocolate Cake with Banana Frosting!  »

This is not totally about vegan stuff, but as we vegans are a baking people, I could not refuse a free sample of Rodelle chocolate extract and vanilla bean paste! The great thing about this stuff is it’s organic, which is always nice, plus their facility is wind-powered AND a portion of the profits go toward environmental and reforestation efforts by Trees, Water and People. They also support sustainable farming and fund great programs in Uganda and Madagascar, where they get their vanilla. So you can feel good while you are making yummy food! 

I was very excited to try the chocolate extract, as I didn’t know it existed. I feel like chocolate cakes that just have chocolate cocoa in them are never chocolatey enough! So my hope was that chocolate extract would give it that chocolatey oomph I’ve been looking for. I had never used vanilla paste either; the difference between vanilla paste and vanilla extract is while vanilla extract is made by infusing alcohol with vanilla, vanilla paste is made by scraping vanilla beans into a sugar mixture. So vanilla paste is sweet! This would have been great when I was little and always wanted to eat a bit of vanilla extract because it smelled so good—bad idea! Some people say vanilla paste is great for making vanilla ice cream because you get those little black specs of vanilla. I will have to try that!

I’d been waiting for the right opportunity to try my Rodelle stuff when along came my sis-in-law’s birthday! My brother asked me to get a cake. He wanted me to buy it! Ha! Silly guy. I decided I’d make one, adoy. He wanted something with banana. I looked around and found this recipe for vegan chocolate cake with banana frosting from Sarah Fit; As that sounds super awesome, I decided to go for it. Chocolate cake with banana frosting? DANG, SON!

"A" for Alejandra, my sis-in-law! Not the most beautiful cake I’ve ever made but it sure was tasty!

I substituted chocolate extract for the almond extract and the vanilla paste for the vanilla extract and got to work. So how did the cake turn out? Chocolatey delicious! No joke! I think the chocolate extract really did it’s job. I swear, it had that moist chocolate flavor that I’ve only found in stupid box cake mixes. I love this stuff! I want to use it in everything. Rodelle says you can use it in any recipe that calls for vanilla extract. Of course in this recipe I used both the vanilla paste and chocolate extract so it was a double whammy. I REALLY want to try the chocolate extract in whipped cream—chocolate whipped cream! Genius!

Here’s the interior. Yummy like I said! I have to highly recommend Rodelle and also this super recipe from Sarah Fit. All the omnis liked it. Oh, omnis! You guys are adorbs. 

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