As you know, I am a big fan of Isa Moskowitz and I talk about her a lot on my blog. I posted this report about her book Isa Does It!. I participated in all three of her Vegan/Chopped Challenges and when I entered Fresh Mango Coconut Ice Cream with Strawberry Red Beet Sauce & Toasted Maple Coconut Rice Crunch she wrote “WANT!” on my post. I went to her live cooking demo at the City Winery this year and I even got to talk to her one on one at an event at MooShoes.
I have followed her since the day I became vegan. She is my culinary idol and I basically do whatever she says. I bought Vegan with a Vengeance – which is now officially 10 years old – and read it cover to cover. It is like a memoir meets how-to-be-an-activist meets awesome recipes that are easy to make and not intimidating at all. I loved the book because I got to know Isa through the callouts like “no apology necessary” for your food, how to make your own public access show (which would be like YouTube today), how to have a vegan brunch cafe, the cute little taming your tofu drawings, and stories from her childhood and her punk/post punk life.
I made my first tofu scramble from this book, my first “fronch” toast, and what I like to call the famous banana split pudding brownies which were the first vegan dessert I ever made. And I made a lot more recipes in between.
The new version of the book is gorgeous. It is printed on glossy paper and there are beautiful photographs throughout the entire book although I have to say that I miss the photo of the green thai curry on an old school stovetop! Some recipes have been streamlined and some new ones have been added. It is amazing how a book can be outdated in only 10 years though. The references to the web and the original websites seem quaint. They are outdated and have been omitted from the new book. Also, there is a little less vengeance than the original. Her personal stories are condensed into a couple of paragraphs and what were called “Punk Points,” little extras that offer technique and other info are now “Fizzle says.”
If you don’t have the original, get the new one. You will not be disappointed by the quality of this book. It is easy, delicious vegan cooking from the one and only Isa.
This recipe is still the Fronchiest and toastiest, even though I made a few adjustments. I couldn’t tell you what it is about chickpea flour but this French toast looks and tastes just like the “real” thing. These days, I prefer to use a soft Italian bread as my toast. In the original recipe I used vegetable oil for cooking, but now I always use refined coconut oil. It has such a buttery and rich taste, it takes this already favorite recipe to even new heights. I also ditched the soy creamer in the recipe, opting for more streamlined almond milk. Serve with fresh berries, sliced bananas, and pure maple syrup.
Loaf of day-old Italian bread (enough for 12 [1-inch] slices)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or preferred nondairy milk)
2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
1⁄4 cup chickpea flour
Several tablespoons of refined coconut oil
Slice the bread into 1-inch rounds. Pour the milk into a wide, shallow bowl. Mix in the cornstarch and stir until dissolved. Add the chickpea flour and mix until it is mostly absorbed; some lumps are okay.
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to create a thin layer on the bottom (a tablespoon or two).
Soak the bread slices (as many as will fit into your pan) in the mixture and transfer to the skillet. Cook each side for about 2 minutes; if they are not browned enough when you flip them, heat for 1 or 2 more minutes on each side. They should be golden brown with flecks of dark brown. Serve immediately.
Fizzle says: Really, this works with any bread. It works best if it’s day old, but if you’re using sliced bread from a package, lightly toast it first to prevent sogginess, and you’re all set!
Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Press.