The new Two Dollar Radio Guide to Vegan Cooking is a pocket-sized book that's filled with fun stories about made-up chefs (I presume? Maybe they're real?) Jean-Claude van Randy and Speed Dog with plenty of the chefs' winning recipes. I love a cookbook that's as fun to read as it is to cook from! The punk aesthetic that runs through the book reminds me of 90s zine culture. I grew up with zine culture and even had my own long-running zine — Frenzy — for two years in high school.
The recipes are fancy but approachable, the kind of dishes that use ingredients you already have in your pantry but include something special, like an aioli. And many of the sauces and basics are used for several recipes, so if you make pickled onions or a homemade cheese, you can use it for days in many ways!
I made the Buffalo Queso sauce and enjoyed it mixed into whole wheat pasta on a Macaroni Monday. This sauce is made with cashews, tofu, and a whole lot of hot sauce! It's spicy as hell, but I like it like that. The book suggested topping the mac with vegan bacon bits and scallions, and I had some coconut bacon left from an Eat Feel Fresh recipe, so I used that and chives from my garden.
Next, I made the Slaw (it has cucumbers in it!) and Pickled Onions so I could combine those with the Buffalo Queso on these Nacho Mama's Home Fries. This has cubed, roasted potato topped with nacho toppings. Can't go wrong there!
The recipe that I was most excited about though was the Hot Sauce! Paul and I grow hot peppers, and we always end up with more than we know what to do with. We toss them into the deep freezer with big plans of making hot sauce and hot salsa, but rarely do we actually do that. This recipe made a tasty roasted pepper hot sauce that I will be making again and again. I used ghosts, cayennes, red chiles, Tabasco, and hot banana peppers for this. It's spicy but with excellent flavor.
I have so many more recipes from this book dog-eared for later! They include lots of recipes for tortugas (their own made-up name for a cross between a burrito and a quesadilla — like a flat burrito!), including one for a Gobbler Tortuga with homemade vegan seitan turkey, gravy, and cranberry sauce. The Mexxy Enchiladas and Fishless Filets (made with eggplant "fish") also sound fun. The Maple Frosted Cookie Dough Bars are made with chickpea-based "cookie dough," and I'm so intrigued by that!
The book is available on the Two Dollar Radio website and lots of other places online (including Amazon), but in the spirit of indie book stores, it's probably best to buy from them!