Posts Tagged vegan cooking

cookbook review: Protein Ninja

protein ninja

Protein Ninja by Terry Hope Romero. Da Capo Press| February 2016| 232 pages | $22.99| ISBN: 978-0-7382-1849-6

RATING: ***/5*

If you’re a vegan, you’ve definitely been asked where do you get your protein or do you get enough protein. Always questions on a vegan’s protein sources but never asking about vitamins, nutrients or fiber. But that’s another thing entirely.

Terry Hope Romero writes in the introduction: “These recipes are my current answer to the new question ‘How ELSE will I get my protein?’ in the midst of an overbooked life. Booked with fun and important stuff (usually), but still in control of someone who loves food, loves to cook, and would rather spend a little extra time in the kitchen one night for several days of better breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and even dinners.”

I’ll definitely make the delicious steamed seitan recipe [I use her Salad Samurai cookbook]. Also she includes lots of yummy burger recipes to try as well smoothie bowls which are quite popular these days and an easy way to boost your protein level. Romero uses various protein powders—brown rice protein powder, hemp protein powder pea protein powder– in her recipes, something I haven’t used or been able to afford. Pea and brown rice protein powder are less expensive, on Amazon, for $16.00 for a two pound container. Hemp protein power runs $16.00 for a 16 oz. container. Most recipes call for 1/4 cup or more of protein powder. And if protein powders aren’t included the recipes require other pricey items such as dates, cashews or hazelnuts.

There’s the Chocolate Avocado Smoothie Bowl and Strawberry ‘N’ Protein Chia Pudding. For baked goods I want to try Hempy Corn Bread. Instead of the super popular avocado toast why not try Chickpea Pesto Tomato Toast or Garam Masala Red Lentil Toast. Can’t have a vegan cookbook without burger recipes. Find recipes for Super Hemp Protein Beet Burgers, Sunny Oat Burgers and Green Goddess Burgers. Have you noticed that grain and noodle bowls are all the rage? Five-Spice Chickpea Peanut Noodle Bowl sounds appetizing. For dessert I’d make Black Bean Hemp Brownies or Hazelnut Chip Navy Blondies. So hit the gym and power up!

Protein Ninja is divided into these sections: Stealth Vegan Protein: a Protein Ninja Primer; The Protein Ninja Pantry; Ninja Basics; Unstoppable Smoothie Bowls and Granola; Stealthy Protein Pankcakes, Waffles, and Much Much More; The Protein Bakery Basket; Super Toast: Savory and Sweet; Protein-Packed Patties and Burgers; Better than Ever Burger Bowls; Grain and Noodle Bowls; Sweet Treats.

Terry Hope Romero is author of Salad Samurai, Vegan Eats World and co-author of Veganomicon–the best vegan cookbook and essential must-have for all vegans. She lives in Queens, New York.

 FTC Disclosure: I received this for review from Da Capo Press.

–review by Amy Steele

purchase at Amazon: Protein Ninja: Power through Your Day with 100 Hearty Plant-Based Recipes that Pack a Protein Punch

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cookbook review: Vegan with a Vengeance [10th anniversary edition]


Vegan with a Vengeance By Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
Lifelong Books| June 2015|276 pages |$22.99| ISBN: 978-0-7382-1833-5

I adore Isa Chandra Moskowitz and have many go-to recipes in Vegan with a Vengeance including: Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy [my mom loves this as well]; Corn Chowder; Classic Pesto; Basil Tofu Ricotta [perfect for lasagna] and Seitan. I actually just made Seitan this week and I’ve been vegan for eight years and vegetarian for decades prior. This recipe for seitan is delicious and super easy. I made several delicious stir-frys and will get 4-6 meals out of one batch.

In 2014, Moskowitz opened Modern Love, a restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska, where she serves up seasonal menus of “swanky vegan comfort food.” Her Post Punk Kitchen blog is an outstanding source for recipes and tips. When cooking I often refer to her Appetite for Reduction and Veganimicon [co-written with Terri Hope Romero] which many consider the vegan bible. It’s a must-own for any vegan.

This is the 10th anniversary addition. There are additional recipes including: Black Bean & Quinoa Soup; Chickpea & Rice Soup with a Little Kale; Lentil-Walnut Burgers; Olive Oil Double Crust; Ginger Peach Pea; Asian Tofu and Call Me Blondies. I will definitely try those soups. A vegan must.

The index is much improved. Items organized by both recipe name and ingredient. Moskowitz includes her “The Post Punk Pantry” which gives you suggestions for the spices seasons and other vegan essentials like dried beans, grains, canned foods you should always have on hand for simple cooking. She also suggests knifes, pans, appliances to make your cooking and baking simpler in “Tools and Kitchen Stuff.” Vegan cooking and baking shouldn’t be difficult. It needs to be nutritious and delicious. Right? I’m not much of a vegan baker but she has some delicious baked goods items. There are better pictures, easier directions and streamlined ingredients. I’m as much a one-pot cook as I can be and when you have limited space for cooking as many of us do, that’s key.

Sections: brunch; muffins and scones; soups; little meals, finger foods, and sammiches; sides; pizzas and pastas; entrees; cookies and bars; desserts.

purchase at Amazon: Vegan with a Vengeance, 10th Anniversary Edition: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock

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cookbook review: Salad Samurai

salad samurai

Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero. Publisher: Da Capo Press/ Lifelong Books (June 2014). Cooking/Vegan. Paperback. 180 pages. ISBN 978-0-7382-1487-0.

Big salads are a major component of my diet. I eat them year round. Usually that’s my dinner. I make great salads. The key is adding as many extras, as much color and variety as possible. So I looked forward to checking out the recipes in Veganomicon co-author Terry Hope Romero’s latest. She divides it by season making it super easy to pick what’s fresh and available.

Some yummy, creative salads include Strawberry Spinach Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing; Blueberry Tamari Greens Bowl; Asparagus Pad Thai Salad; East-West Roasted Corn Salad; Green Papaya Salad with Lemongrass Tofu; Polish Summer Soba Salad; Pesto Cauliflower & Potato Salad; Grilled Miso Apples & Brussels Sprouts Salad and Almond Falafel Crunch Bowl. Gorgeous pictures, excellent tips and simple instructions included.

There’s a section on salad dressings (something I don’t make myself often enough) and a section on salad toppings. In the dressings section, the Creamy Cilantro Lime dressing, Lemon Tahini dressing, Upstate dressing [sundried tomato, nutritional yeast, tahini, apple cider vinegar], the Marvelous Miso dressing are relatively easy and delicious. The toppings section includes ways to prepare croutons, tofu [there’s Ginger Beer Tofu and That 70s Tofu], seitan and lentils to bulk up salads.

There’s lots of vegan deliciousness in these pages.

RATING: ****/5

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Da Capo Press.

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The Cheesy Vegan: cookbook review

cheesy vegan

The Cheesy Vegan by John Schlimm. Publisher: Da Capo (2013). Cooking/ Vegetarian & Vegan. Paperback Original. 244 pages. ISBN 978-0-345-7382-1679-9.

John Schlimm embraces the comfortable with this cookbook as well as his others: Grilling Vegan Style and The Tipsy Vegan. If you’ve become a vegan for health reasons, Schlimm’s got your covered. Drink, grill and now make your own cheese or indulge in all kinds of cheesy recipes with the assistance of this new cookbook. Making vegan food too similar to meat remains a pet peeve for me. I gave up meat for many reasons. I don’t need any reminders. But I don’t want to get personal. Also I’m not going to discuss the cruelties involved in the dairy industry. You can do your own research.

Chapters include: The DIY Vegan Cheese Kitchen; Breakfast & Brunch; Soups & Salads; Sides; Sandwiches; Appetizers & Snacks; Suppers; Mac ‘n’ Cheese; Cheesecake; Vegan Cheese Pairings: Wine, Beer & Cocktails.

In the first chapter—DIY Vegan Cheese Kitchen—Schlimm tells readers how to make different kinds of cheese such as nooch cheese. Cheese made with nutritional yeast, one of a vegan’s favorite ingredients. I already make this all the time and like it. I use it as an occasional pasta sauce and for mac and cheez and greens. To make cheddar, brie, swiss and mozzarella he uses either cashews or pine nuts. I just don’t have the equipment or kitchen space to be doing this. If I really feel I need some fake cheese, I’d just buy some soy or rice cheese slice from Whole Foods or the health food store. Sclimm has a feta recipe that requires tofu, miso paste, rice wine vinegar and nutritional yeast which I ‘m most likely to try at some point. I’ve made a faux ricotta cheese for vegan lasagna from tofu.

The rest of the cookbook consists of recipes—125– using the cheese he made in the first chapter or substituting store-bought faux cheese. Honestly I’m not all that impressed. But newer vegans or those who really really miss cheese will adore this cookbook. In the United States, cheese gets added to everything. Sometimes too often.

–review by Amy Steele

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VEGAN dish: summer squash, potato, black bean casserole

2013-08-09 13.52.32

this is super easy and delicious.


olive oil
nutritional yeast
dill, thyme (herbs that you favor)
2-3 summer squash
2-3 zucchini
2 medium white or red onions
3 medium sweet potatoes or 4 small regular potatoes
2 cups black beans, cooked

I put olive oil at the bottom of a baking pan and pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

slice 2-3 summer squash in rounds and then halve those rounds as desired.

slice 2-3 zucchini as you did the summer squash.

cut 3-4 sweet potatoes or regular potatoes in rounds or chunky pieces.

cut the onions in chunky pieces and add in.

put the black beans on top.

sprinkle on some thyme or dill and nutritional yeast plus a touch more olive oil.

cook for about 45 minutes until everything soft when you poke with a fork.

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cookbook review: Lust for Leaf


Lust for Leaf by Alex Brown and Evan George. Publisher: Da Capo (2013).
Cookbook. Vegetarian & Vegan. 123 pages. 978-0738216973.

Beautiful cookbook devoted to vegetarian and vegan recipes for cook-outs, potlucks, picnics and “ragers.” The perfect cookbook for the social butterfly, frequent meetup goer or someone with a large family. Two guy with lots of cool ideas. Fun, easy-going tone. Before each recipe there’s a lot of explanation and contemplation. Each recipe gets paired with a tasty beverage and soundtrack selections. Examples: Oyster Po’ Boys: beverage—Brewdog, Toyko; Soundtrack—“Rebel, Rebel” by David Bowie. Mushroom Ceviche: beverage—Firestone Walker Pale, 31; Soundtrack—“Los Angeles” by Frank Black. Succotash “Stew:” beverage—North Coast, Prankster; Soundtrack—“Draw Your Breaks” by Scotty.

There’s a recipe for HK Dogs made with almonds, tofu and wheat gluten. “The idea that anyone would miss eating pet food-grade meat shoved in casing seems, frankly, insane. Now the feel of balancing a baby-soft seeded bun in one hand and that whiff of yellow mustard zig-zagging under your nose like a drunk driver’s skid marks—that we’ve craved.” Corn Porn is the vegan version of a Frito Pie with corn chips on the bottom, corn chile in the middle and a yummy salad on top. [“Alex grew up on the stuff and Evan’s an easy covert to anything involving the Frito, which with its three ingredients (corn, salt, corn oil) is vegan and relatively crap-free”]. Kaleslaw looks yummy and relatively easy.

The negative: I don’t have a steamer to make the HK Dogs. Some obscure ingredients. They do provide substitutes.

I’ll definitely try: Sunstroke Salad; Pea Pod Pesto; Pickle Jar Potato Salad; Kaleslaw; Falafel Salad

the authors: Alex Brown manages Gourmet Imports and is craft beer and cheese connoisseur. Evan George is a journalist and works as a producer at public radio station KCRW in Santa Monica.

Sections: Potlatches; Bro-tein; Pizza Pool Party; Wild Grub; Sweets; Taco Zone; BBQ Mosh Pit.

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VEGAN EATS: summer casserole and salad

Nana’s Tomato and Summer Squash Casserole

my grandmother used to make this for me. instead of Parmesan cheese, I put nutritional yeast on top. baked at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. layered summer squash and tomato slices. put some Earth Balance margarine and nutritional yeast on top. covered with tin foil and baked in oven.

Chickpea/ Couscous/ Fresh Veggies Salad

super easy and yummy. cook couscous. add grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber and chickpeas. I add poppy dressing but any dressing works.

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cookbook review: Grilling Vegan Style

Grilling Vegan Style by John Schlimm. Publisher: Da Capo Press (May 15, 2012). Cooking. Paperback. 240 pages. 978-0738215723.

When people [including me] think grilling, they think about throwing meat on a grill, charring it and throwing it on a bun. When Grilling Vegan Style arrived in the mail, the mouth-watering, creative recipes instantly delighted me. Fruit and veggies and seitan on the grill. Delicious! Now I need to buy a grill.

The lovely, appetizing food pictures make this cookery book one you just might put on your coffee table. Mouth-watering items such as pasta salad with grilled summer vegetables, Italian Herb burgers on Focaccia, Mexican Tortilla Burger and Maple-Soy Tempeh over rice. Then there are drinks like Sassy Sangria, Mojito Mojo and Sweet Tea. For dessert there’s Grilled Peaches with Raspberry Sauce, Fruity Kebabs Brushed with Brown Sugar, Cinnamon and Mint as well as Grilled Pineapple Rings with Sorbet. Of course there are plenty of marinades and delicious sauces. There’s something for everyone’s palate in this cookbook.

It’s organized quite well with sections that include: The Basics of Firing Up; Flame Meets Tofu, Seitan, Tempeh and more; Backyard Bites; Summertime Salads; Fired-Up Sides; Tapas on the Deck; Country Marinades for Tofu, Tempeh & Seitan; The Burgers are Ready; New Tailgating Classics; Supper Under the Stars; Picnic Desserts; Grillside Happy Hour. The index organizes by recipes as well as food items. So you can find nearly everything you’d like.

Not only is author John Schlimm a member of one of the oldest brewing companies in the United States, he holds a master’s degree from Harvard.

–review by Amy Steele

purchase at Amazon: Grilling Vegan Style: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard BBQ

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cookbook review: Let Them Eat Vegan!

Let Them Eat Vegan! by Dreena Burton. Publisher: Da Capo (March 2012).
Cookbook. Health/Diet. 288 pages. 978-0738215617.

User-friendly, family friendly positive cookbook with recipes that should appeal to all age ranges and varied palates. Pretty straightforward recipes. She includes “Kid Friendly” and “Adult Minded” tips on certain recipes to make them more appealing for whomever you’re serving. As Dreena Burton is a stay-at-home-mom of several children there are lots of recipes that appeal to kids. “Cheesy” things. Finger foods. Bonus for an entire section devoted to veggie burgers.

The negative: I don’t have a lot of the necessary ingredients on hand. My go-to cookbook VEGANIMICON tends to use ingredients in its recipes which I have or can get pretty easily. Something like chia seeds or agar powder isn’t found at the grocery store.

I made Boulangerie beans and potatoes. White beans with thinly sliced potatoes layered on top, covered with vegetable broth (I used butternut squash soup because I had some around I wanted to use). It’s a different way to make potatoes. Yummy.

I’ll definitely try tapioca pudding, Quinoa Nicoise salad, “No-fu Love Loaf,” Mediterranean Bean Burgers, Wonder Bean Puree and White Bean Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce.

Sections: Breakfasts Bites and Smoothies; Salads That Make a Meal; Proud to Be Saucy and Dippy; Vegan Soup for the Soul; Side Stars; Your Main Squeeze; Casseroles, One-Pot Wonders, and Tarts; When Burgers Get Better; Good Pasta Belongs on a Plate—Not the Wall; C Is for Cookie, That’s Good Enough for Me; Let Them Eat Cakes, Pies, and Puddings; Dreena Dazs (ice cream)


purchase at Amazon: Let Them Eat Vegan!: 200 Deliciously Satisfying Plant-Powered Recipes for the Whole Family

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cookbook review: Alternative Vegan

Alternative Vegan, by Dino Weierman. Publisher: PM Press (2012).
Cookbook. 142 pg.

One of my favorite Simpsons scenes finds Marge and Homer at some vegetarian friends home. Chickpeas and something is the answer every time the Indian couple gets asked what’s in a dish. I love chickpeas. I love lentils. And quinoa and kale and tomatoes and cauliflower. In this cookbook, chef Dino Weierman shares recipes for what he calls “international vegan fare.”

He remains chatty throughout and says things such as:

Veganism is a moral stance. It’s a political statement. At its core, it states unabashedly that the exploitation of animals is wrong.”

Veganism is not a diet. . . It’s understanding that your “choice” to use animals means that you deny the animals’ choice in their own lives.

Sections on kitchen tools; cooking techniques; meals in one pot; basic dishes; more complex; sauce; dished to impress and easy peasy

I made some Simple Spiced Cauliflower. Curry. Yummy. New way to prep cauliflower.

The potato rounds are super simple too.

Will make the more difficult biryani and try the Quick Chickpea Soup. Usually I don’t follow a recipe to make a salad but often I copy something I ate in a restaurant [the Mediterranean salad from John Harvard’s Brew House or the Waldorf salad from Not Your Average Joe’s for example]. His Palm Hearts salad sounds quite delicious and I intend to make it soon.

Dino’s website

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