Today I’m going to share a review for The Veg-Feasting Cookbook. The recipes in it are compiled by Vegetarians of Washington from restaurants and leading chefs in the Pacific Northwest.
I bought this book about a year ago, and while I have made only a handful of the recipes, all but one have been really good. The recipes tend a little more toward the exotic and expensive side as far as procedures and ingredients (this is chefs and restaurants, after all!), so I’d recommend this most for someone who has a well-stocked vegan kitchen where things like tahini are always around, some prior experience with cooking and a local source for things like chayote, jicama, lemongrass, or other unusual foods.
There are several informative chapters at the opening of the book: one about the wisdom and deliciousness of a vegetarian diet; one on the vegetarian scene in the Pacific NW; the four new food groups; and the vegetarian kitchen.
Recipes I’ve tried:
- Granola: This was really yummy. It’s also a reasonably cheap granola to make, since it mostly consists of oats and other rolled grains, with only a small amount of almonds compared to a lot of other granola recipes. It’s not very sweet; I think it needs more sweetener, honestly. But with the raisins and lovely chocolate rice milk? Very pleasant indeed. I’ve made this several times.
- Bodacious Breakfast Scramble: Honestly left me a little cold, though it looked so good on paper.
- Persian Barley Bean Soup: This was excellent. It’s very thick and delicious. I’ve made it a couple times, once for potluck at church. I didn’t have coriander, so I put in chili powder, and I have left out the cilantro/mint when I didn’t happen to have it.
- Tofu Piroshki: These were good, but didn’t wow me fresh out of the oven. I didn’t have cilantro and used parsley instead, and I think cilantro would have given it a nice zing. I guess I’m used to the meaty savoury-ness of the pirozhki I’ve made in the past, and I’d like to try to recreate that someday in vegan format. After I cooled them down and popped them in the microwave to rewarm them, they actually were much more interesting. How weird is that?
- Yellow Split Pea Stew with Tofu and Roasted Potatoes: This was amazingness in a bowl the first time I made it. A lot of work, but totally worth it. The only thing I would do differently next time is not continue to cook the stew after stirring in the potatoes and tofu, because once the roasted potatoes have boiled even a little bit, they lose the roasty feel. The second time I made it I was less impressed, but I’m so picky during this pregnancy, I’m guessing that was the reason.
- Orange Blackberry Cake: Decadent, absolutely amazing, a huge hit with our Bible study group and potluck. And absolutely gigantic. Next time I make this, I’m doing only 1/3 the recipe!
- Vegan Carrot Cake: Super yummy, and I’m picky about my carrot cakes.
- Beautiful clean layout, and an excellent index that allows you to look up by food type (say tofu to find all recipes calling for tofu), type of cuisine, or restaurant/chef.
- No photos.
All in all I am really glad I have this book in my collection, because if I want to foray into something a little unusual I’m confident in the delicious factor of most of these recipes.
If you’re interested in purchasing a copy, you can head over to Amazon.