Sunday, 9 October 2011

I Bought A Book: The Complete Guide To Vegan Food Substitution

I bought two books to kick start MoFo both by Celine Steen and Jonie Marie Newman and both because the contents page contained fabulousness. Both haven't disappointed me so far. The one I'm reviewing this week is The Complete Guide To Vegan Food Substitutions. We'll come to the other one next week.

So vegan food substituting? Cool! The substituting guides are broken up into dairy (including cheese recipes), eggs, meat (with the fab Beef and Broccoli Bowl) and animal by-products. There is also a section on gluten, soy, sugar and fat free cooking. The guides are great, they get you to think about what the purpose of an animal product is in a dish and use that to tell you how to switch it out. There are also incredible recipes which, of course, I've been trying out.

The first thing I made was from the soy free section it was listed as 'naturally soy free' and I had all the ingredients on hand. Potato Chutney Over Rice. I made a bit of a substitution of my own, I didn't have walnuts so I tossed in some slithered almonds which is, admittedly, a different taste but they are sweet and crunchy and I didn't want to go shopping again. For my rice I used a mix of brown and wild which was really great. It's a really comforting dish especially as - forgive me if you have no idea what I'm talking about here - it tastes like that sweet curry you can sometimes get from a chippy.

best served in a bowl 
Then I went on to something a bit more junky. Time to play in the meat substitute section a bit and fill a longing left over from my childhood. Pepperoni Pizza Topping! I've heard it said by other vegetarians and it's definitely true of me but when I say I miss meat, I don't really miss meat. It's more the seasoning, the sauces that hit the craving spot. Especially it's true for peperoni. If it tastes salty, greasy, spicy in just the right way I'll be happy. Very happy.
More pizza lumps than rolls...
Two versions are offered here one is TVP based the other wheat gluten based. As it's much easier for me to pick up a bag of TVP I went for that. I also had to substitute smoked paprika for the regular because liquid smoke is practically unknow here. If anyone knows of a good, cheap supply I'll love you forever. I used the peperoni in some Pizza Rolls following Vegan Dad's method. Using the original Vegan With a Vengeance dough because I only had plain flour about the place. Mine aren't very pretty. Next time I will be a good girl and let the dough rest. For all their lumpy bumps they taste fantastic. Like I said: very happy. 
Autumn: in a bun
The third recipe I tried out was the Butternut Lentil Burgers. Butternuts are starting to appear in the veg box and in shops so it's an absolutely perfect time to make this burger. I served mine on a slightly too large bun with chilli relish, and a helping of slightly too carmalized onions. Yeah, I wasn't paying attention and burned them. The burger is lovely, chewy, slightly sweet with a great depth of flavour. I love these recipes.

Word of warning, as usual, my fellow Brits may not be able to get hold of some ingredients without specialist shopping and the brand name replacement recommended (but not relied upon in any of the recipes) aren't always available here. The only thing I didn't like was the sugar replacements used throughout the book but I can deal with that easily enough. Even with all that in mind I don't hesitate to recommend this book: The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions: Veganize It! Foolproof Methods for Transforming Any Dish into a Delicious New Vegan Favorite

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