Just days before I was set to start my 21-day Crazy Sexy Diet last month, Joni Newman sent me an email asking if I'd review her and Celine Steen's latest tome — Hearty Meals for Monster Appetites. Of course I would!! But sadly, the cleanse meant waiting three weeks before I could crack it open. After all, the cleanse was about eating smaller meals, not monster ones.
But I knew, as soon as the cleanse was over, I'd be looking for a monster meal in a big way. And boy have I?! I feel like Celine and Joni wrote this book just for me! It's packed with everything I love to eat — five-cheese baked vegan macaroni, a patty melt, fried mac & cheese balls, tator tot casserole, vegan "Haute Pockets,"and maple bacon-freakin'-donuts. I love all of Celine and Joni's work (500 Vegan Recipes, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions, Joni's blog Just the Food, and Celine's Have Cake, Will Travel), but this book takes the banana cream pie cake (yep, that recipe is included in there too).
I plan to cook several dishes from this book over the next few days, but I started with this Waldorf Salad Wrap:
Granted, this isn't the most sinful recipe in the book, but it just sounded really tasty. Romaine, green apples, celery, red onion, pecans, and raisins are mixed with a creamy homemade poppyseed dressing. Not only was the wrap delicious, but I also learned the proper way to roll a super-stuffed, deli-style wrap without making a mess. It's all about the parchment paper, y'all!
On the side, I made my Almond-Miso Soup, a recipe I've been making for ages:
I'd post it here, but I'm saving it for an upcoming piece I'm writing for VegNews.com. So I'll be sure and link to the recipe as soon as it goes up their site.
As for Hearty Meals, expect to see several more posts about this book in the coming days. On my to-make-from-the-book wish list: PB & OM Muffins with Ricemallow Cream, Broccotato Soup with Bacon Chickpeas, BBQ Slaw Tacos, Crispy Pepperoni Bites, Garlic Truffle Fries, and Celine and Joni's best gift to the vegan world, the Double Take (a veganized version of KFC's "Double Down" sandwich featuring chicken as bread).