Book Report: Great Vegan Meals + 3 Recipes!

I love this book. It’s simple, easy, and filled with normal recipes that are appealing, which is the point of the book, to appeal to vegans and omnivores alike. It’s written by an Australian blogger named Amanda Logan, from My Goodness Kitchen, and it has inspired me to believe that perhaps, I too, could write my own cookbook.

I read cookbooks like other people read novels. It’s about the story of the author, the reasons behind the recipes, the methods, and the delicious looking pictures. I know I will like a book when either (a) I have made something similar myself and the recipe in the book gives me a new idea or method or (b) there are exciting recipes ideas I have never thought of which are delicious and inspiring. This book has both.

Amanda Logan is a self-proclaimed “vegan living with carnivores” and was sick of making double meals for her family. So she developed flavorful, plant-based recipes to please everyone, even her little 4 year old. While I live with all vegans, I can relate to the double meal prep, or in my house, sometimes triple prep as no one ever wants to eat the same thing. This book has inspired me to push to get my family all on the same page, or plate!

This book offers 75 recipes, broken down into six chapter: easy eggless breakfasts, plant-powered lunch favorites, carnivore-approved mains, vegetables on the side, these sweet things don’t taste vegan, and awesome basics to up your vegan game.

The recipes really are easy and there is definitely something for everyone in this book. For breakfast, there’s the usual including pancakes, french toast, and scrambled tofu migas, plus a lovely strawberries and no-cream chia pudding.

In the lunch section, I have to say that I love the where’s the egg? sandwich. I make something similar because honestly I can’t get enough of that eggy flavor from kala namak, that sulfuric black salt, that is super satisfying. Amanda’s twist? Sumac and avocado. But there is also a delicious slaw, a po’ boys recipe, and a lovely zoodle dish.

For the mains, how about a porcini mushroom and lentil lasagna, jackfruit tacos, and porcini risotto? The vegetables on the side may be my favorite chapter with a delicious cauli mash, chili fries, and these amazingly delicious vegetable drop fritters. They have an ingredient I would never have thought to add to a quick fritter – cauliflower!

There are lots of sweet things like brownies, doughnuts, and tarts. And the basics are basic but solid entries and ones you and I should have in our recipe rotations.

Overall, I have to say, that this is one of my new favorite cookbooks and I will be cooking my way through it all winter! If you want to get a sense of the recipes, check out the three reprinted below. I think they will want to make you order your own copy!

strawberries & no-cream chia puddings

2 servings

3 tbsp (25 g) white chia seeds
Pinch sea salt
1 cup (237 ml) full-fat coconut milk
3 tbsp (45 ml) maple syrup, divided
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups (150 g) fresh or frozen  strawberries, thawed if using frozen
1 tsp lemon juice
Fresh berries to serve

Combine the chia seeds, salt, coconut milk, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of maple syrup and the vanilla extract in a jar or bowl and place in the refrigerator, covered, overnight or for at least 3 hours.

Place the strawberries, lemon juice and the remaining tablespoon (15 ml) of maple syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Spoon the vanilla chia pudding into two glasses followed by the strawberry purée. Serve with fresh berries.

where’s the egg & lettuce sandwich?

4 servings

1 (14-oz [400-g]) can chickpeas,  drained
½ (14-oz [200-g]) can white beans, drained
3 tbsp (41 g) The Real McCoy  Vegan Mayonnaise (page 148) or  store-bought vegan mayonnaise
¼ tsp sumac
¼ tsp kamal namak (Indian  black salt)
1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
½ ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
Sea salt and pepper
8 slices seeded bread
8 leaves iceberg lettuce

Combine the chickpeas and white beans in a large bowl and, using a fork or potato masher, mash them together, making sure to leave some texture. Stir in the vegan mayonnaise, sumac, kamal namak and lemon juice before folding in the cubed avocado. Season well with salt and pepper. Lay out the bottom slices of the sandwich bread and add the iceberg lettuce followed by a few good spoonfuls of the bean mixture. Top with the remaining bread slices, cut in half and serve.

vegetable drop fritters

8 to 10 servings

½ cup (65 g) chickpea flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp smoked paprika
½ cup (118 ml) dairy-free milk (not coconut)
Handful baby spinach, finely chopped
1 small head cauliflower, chopped into small chunks
⅓ cup (50 g) fresh or frozen peas
2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 ml) sunflower or grapeseed oil

Combine the chickpea flour, baking powder, sea salt, cumin and smoked paprika in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk to make a thick batter and add the spinach, cauliflower and peas. Stir to coat and combine.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until a drop of the batter bubbles. Carefully drop 1 heaping tablespoon (15 g) of the fritter mix into the pan and follow with another 3 fritters. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Fry the fritters on both sides until they are golden and feel firm, around 2 to 3 minutes for each side.

Reprinted with permission from Great Vegan Meals from the Carnivorous Family by Amanda Logan, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018. Photo credit: Amanda Logan.

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