Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Complete Guide to EVEN MORE Vegan Food Substitutions

If you're vegan, you've heard the questions a million times.
  • How do you get your protein?
  • How do you live without cheese?
  • How do you bake without eggs?
  • Is there life after bacon?
We all have standard rote answers to these questions. But next time someone asks me any of the above, I think I'll skip the speech and just hand them a copy of The Complete Guide to Even More Vegan Food Substitutions by Joni Marie Newman and Celine Steen.

This is the follow-up to the dynamic cookbook-writing duo's 2010 book, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions. I have that book, too, and it's definitely become a staple on my cookbook shelf. But after cooking a few dishes (and drooling over others) from this sequel, I dare say it's "even more" better!

Like the 2010 book, each chapter of the new book contains recipes for a group of vegan foods that can be subbed out for a group of non-vegan foods. For example, there's a Milk Substitutions chapter, and there's one on cheese, one on eggs in savory applications and one on eggs in sweets. There's a chapter on subbing for seafood (vegan bacon-seared king oyster "scallops" made with king oyster mushrooms!). And of course, there's a chapter on bacon. 

Oh, where to start? Well, when I went vegan in 2004, I think savory breakfast eggs were the hardest thing for me to give up. So I flipped through the Egg Substitutions in Savory Dishes chapter and found the perfect thing — Egg-in-a-Hole!! But veganized!

My mama used to make this dish for me as a kid. You'd take a piece of toast, cut a hole in the center, and fry an egg in it in a skillet. It was such fun it eat. And Joni and Celine's substitution recipe was genius. The white is made from silken tofu and spices and thickened with agar. It seriously cooks up just like an egg white. The yolk is made with black salt, nooch, and xanthan gum, and it stays a little runny just like an egg yolk should. At first reading, the preparation seemed a little difficult, but honestly, in practice, this came together in minutes. I was able to make these every morning before work for breakfast.

I also wanted to try something for dinner. And at the time that I was picking out recipes from this book, my oven was broken (Paul fixed it!). So my options were limited to stovetop recipes. I'm going through a bit of a food-in-a-jar phase right now. Maybe that's what summer does to me. Anyway, I settled on the BBQ Kale Parfait.

There are layers of dinosaur kale, brown rice, barbecue jackfruit, and creamy coleslaw. The recipes for the jackfruit and the slaw are separate recipes in the book. I made up four jars like this for my lunches for last week, and it was so convenient to just grab a jar and head to work. I typically spend at least 10 to 15 minutes every night or morning packing my work lunches. 

And it was delicious! At work, I'd scoop off the cold slaw and heat the kale, rice, and jackfruit in the microwave. And then I topped the bowl with the cold slaw. This warmed my little Southern heart. Nothing (and I do mean NOTHING) beats bbq and slaw.

I want to make so many more dishes from this book — Chickpea Scramble (subbed out for scrambled eggs), Smoked Truffle Gouda-Style Almond Cheese, Tapenade French Toast Sandwiches, Cranberry Nut Butter Scones, Asian-Flavored Nuggets (made with chickpeas and tempeh instead of chicken), and Lemony Cream & Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream! 


Annice said...

I'm going to have to buy the book and try that recipe. Up to now I've just had an unreasonable fear of xanthan gum and always fail at agar. But after this weekend when I sucessfully made soy yogurt, after mourning the final loss of my favorite brand for months, I have renewed confidence :-). Btw, your barbeque jar looks really good!

Jenni (aka Vegyogini) said...

My mom used to make us eggs in the hole (she called them bulls-eyes), too! How exciting that Joni and Celine veganized this comforting treat.

T.M. said...

Try the veggie fried rice with the scrambled tofu! It's absolutely fabulous :)