Friday, October 23, 2009

Review: Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food

I'm really excited about all the great new vegan cookbooks that are coming out. Thanks to a gift certificate that showed up at just the right time, I was able to try one of them out.

Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food by Alicia Simpson delivers exactly what it promises. The recipes come together quickly and without too much mess in the kitchen. The trade-off is that some of the recipes rely on vegan convenience foods such as chik'n patties, tvp, and vegan cheeses. There are a number of new vegan cheeses that actually taste good, including sheese and cheezly. Unfortunately, these are hard to find in most of the U.S. still. And, in general, I'm not comfortable using these highly processed foods in my diet very often.

But that said, those products are in just a small number of recipes. Probably less than 10%. There are still plenty of recipes using whole food ingredients. I can tell that some of these recipes will be going on our list of foods to cook when we just don't feel like cooking.

The first thing I tried was the Fettuccine Alfredo (sauce two). It was incredibly good. Dewey and I have tried a few Alfredo recipes, and I think we've found the one we'll return to. Very occasionally, since this is definitely not health food. [No photo of this one.]

I also tried the Caesar salad dressing (sans croutons so I could have stuffing on the side). Again, Dewey and I both loved this. We've been eating salads with every meal this week.

There's an interesting recipe for tahini coffee that I couldn't resist. I have a weakness for unusual recipes. The coffee part of the recipe name is just referring to the color, NOT the taste. So don't expect coffee. It's sweetened with blackstrap molasses. I have to admit I almost never drink sweetened beverages because of my diabetes, so I wasn't as fond of this as the other recipes. But if you like tahini and molasses, you'll love this drink.

This is red beans and quinoa, a riff on red beans and rice. I really loved this. I'm a sucker for meals in bowls. The beans come together in less than ten minutes, so you can make this meal in the time it takes to make quinoa, usually about 20 minutes.

Other recipes I'm looking forward to trying out are gallo pinto (a bean dish for breakfast!), spicy soba noodles in peanut sauce, and wait for you stew.


dsharp88 said...

Alfredo to me has always been "heart attack on a plate", so I generally pass on those. The salad looks good. Tahini coffee? Um, no. But as for red beans and quinoa, that looks like the big winner for me here. And whatta ya know, I just happen to have leftover creole red beans in the refrigerator right now.

Evelyn said...

I, too, am intrigued by strange recipes, and I've found some good ones that way. (Also some recipes that sounded weird for a reason.) I would probably try tahini coffee if I had that book, too. I might try to check it out of the library anyway. It sounds good.

Anonymous said...

Looks good! I have been craving Alfredo recently for some reason.

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Now I'm intrigued about the tahini coffee! Thanks for the review. I definitely have to check this one out.

margarito said...
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