Sunday, July 30, 2006

Another Cookbook Review!

Lorna Sass' Complete Vegetarian Kitchen

My mom got this book for me about a month ago, and I have to say it's my new favorite! All of the recipes I've tried I've enjoyed very much. Lorna Sass uses a pressure cooker for a lot of the recipes, so most of the recipes are quite quick to make, especially the bean ones. If you don't have a pressure cooker, don't be sad, she also gives directions for standard stovetop. I haven't tried any of the soup recipes, but they all sound really good and I'm getting all excited for autumn when I can make soups every day and not pass out from heat stroke. Curried Yellow Split-Pea Soup with Squash and Raisins anyone? How about Autumn Gold Carrot-Yam Soup or Squash-Aduki-Corn Chowder? These are just some of the recipes in the soup chapter. Moving on......
Her chapter on grains is really cool, and I've got my eye on a lot of the recipes. There are recipes for amaranth, barley, buckwheat, polenta (made in the pressure cooker, can you imagine?), Job's tears, etc. as well as for grain salads. A separate chapter is devoted to rice and risotto, with recipes galore! There's also a chapter just for pasta.
Now on to the bean chapter, where beans rule. I like this chapter because there's a wide variety of recipes, and the ones I tried all had perfect seasonings. There's even a black soybean recipe!
I haven't made anything from the tofu and tempeh chapter yet, but doesn't Deli-Style Tempeh with Saurkraut sound really good?
Also in the book are chapters for vegetable (land and sea); salads, slaws, and sprouts; dressings and sauces; dips and spreads; quick breads, biscuits, muffins, and scones; and desserts. There's also a recipe for making your own tomato paste, isn't that awesome?

I really like the fact that she uses different kinds of flours (millet, barley, brown rice) and that there's no refined sugar in the book, instead she uses maple syrup, barley malt syrup, fruit juices, and fruits (e.g. dates). Also, the title says vegetarian, but all of the recipes are vegan.

Now for some pictures:

Whole Wheat Couscous with Lentils, served with steamed zucchini

Hummus-This is a really good hummus recipe

Creole Brown Rice Casserole, Pat's Spicy Black-Eyed Peas, and (not a recipe from the book) a salad of baby spinach*, cherry tomatoes*, and cilantro vinaigrette

Beans and Not Dogs over Reliably Fluffy Millet, served with some sauteed kale (not from the book)

Quick Chickpea Curry over basmati rice

Carrot Cake with Coconut Icing- so delicious! And want to know something weird? The coconut icing tasted like cream cheese! I thought it was just my taste buds, but mom thought so too.

Here's a piece just waiting to be eaten. For the record, carrot cake has always been my favorite kind of cake.

I also made Hijiki Brown Rice Casserole (substituting arame because I didn't have hijiki), adding seitan like it says in the variation of the recipe, but we ate over at our neighbors that day and I forgot the camera.

Some of the recipes I've got my eye on: Polenta Plus, Lemon-Scented Millet with Kale, Coconut Rice with Lemongrass, White Beans with Parsley Pesto, Aduki Watercress Salad with Horseradish Dressing, Carrots with Olives and Twenty Cloves of Garlic, Roasted Shallot Cream, Sunny Lentil Spread, Chive-Flecked Barley Muffins, and Devil's Food Carob Cake. Actually, I've got my eye on the whole book, but I can't list everything here.

Well, that just about sums up my review. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.


t. said...

Those soups sounds yummie!!!
And you really good at reviewing cookbooks!

jenny said...

That book looks good. I have Lorna Sass's Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure and love it. I think I'll check this one out, too.

KleoPatra said...

I want a pressure cooker!! Thanks for another in-depth review. You should think about being a book reviewer as a career choice...

Dori said...

Great review. I am pretty sure I want to look into this cookbook more. I have another (smaller) pressure cooker, but never used it much because I have a crockpot and use it much more.

AUtumn is my favoitr time of year too. Fresh produce (still) and wonderful soups.

Megan the Vegan said...

I've never heard of this cookbook, but now I am going to keep my eye out for it.

I too am anxious for fall so I can make more soup. I can't beleive I just wished away my summer....I normally wouldn't do that, but the heat this year is killing me.

funwithyourfood said...

coconut icing? I got to get me that recipe. I LOVE coconut icing on brownies or anything chocolately

Freedom said...

Wow, this book does sound like a good one. It always bugs me so much when all vegan books only have vegetarian in the title though - it puts me right off, as I always assume that I'll be dodging eggs, milk and cheese left right and centre, having to make constant substitutions.

tara said...

Oh, I could so go for that carrot cake. That is my favorite favorite cake in the world, and I have yet to try a vegan recipe for it.