Everyday Vegan Eats, Family Favorites from My Kitchen to Yours, shows just how easy & delicious vegan cooking can be. Author Zsu Dever delivers delicious comfort food recipes that everyone can enjoy.
First, Zsu covers vegan cooking basics, starting with ingredients, cooking techniques, stocking your pantry, nutrition, and an index of quick easy recipes.
Then she progresses to basic recipes, covering broth and sauces, ranch dressing, and basic vegan protein sources.
That's the first two chapters - 40 concise and valuable pages. My only quibble was that the homemade vegan yogurt recipe promised in the intro did not appear. But that's an editing glitch, not a flaw in the cookbook.
From the basic recipes onward, it's nine chapters of glorious recipes that everybody loves and wants to eat everyday, vegan or not. Thus the title, Everyday Vegan Eats.
The recipes are all well done, with clear, complete ingredient lists, directions, and cooking tips, plus fabulous pictures of mouthwatering food. Clearly, Zsu Dever is a first class cook.
Normally when I review cookbooks I find about 10 recipes that I get really excited about. But the remarkable thing about the recipes in Everyday Vegan Eats is that I could see myself making and enjoying every single one of them!
As I mentioned, these are recipes that everybody in your family will love, vegan or not. That means that this is the perfect cookbook for transitioning a typical American family to a vegan diet.
Take the first chapter for instance - Soups: Comforting Noodle Soup, Cream of Mushroom Soup, Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup, Leek Potato Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Hot and Sour Soup, Manhattan Chowder, New England Chowder, Minestrone Soup, Split Pea Soup, Thai Thom Kha Coconut Soup, Chipotle Chili, Mama's Hungarian Bean Soup. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is!
Let's skip ahead to Desserts and Bakery: Fudge Brownies, Caramel Sauce Over Vanilla Ice Cream, Apple Crumble, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Apricot and Raisin Rugelach, Fruit Cobbler, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Blueberry Scones, Banana-Walnut Loaf, Corn Muffins, Flaky Buttermilk Herb Biscuits, Soft Pretzels. I almost died of food lust just reading that chapter.
In between, there were dozens of divine recipes for sandwiches, salads, sides & snacks, pasta & grains, casseroles, and breakfast. Last came resources, including online shopping, news and support sites, nutrition, apps, educational films, and kitchen tools and equipment.
I struggled to limit myself to two sample recipes, but finally went with Buttermilk-Style Coleslaw and Flaky Buttermilk Herb Biscuits. It was a coincidence that they both were buttermilk flavored. It just happens that I like that flavor - a lot.
This is a simple year-round salad, inexpensive, with commonly found ingredients, kid friendly and highly adaptable. I used part purple cabbage, and added some chopped parsley and toasted sunflower seeds.
One of the best things about this coleslaw is that it keeps in the fridge for a couple of days. I munched on it for breakfast lunch and dinner. And when it was gone I made more. Nirvana!
Flaky Buttermilk Herb Biscuits: I've made biscuits before, but not like this. In fact, I gave up making biscuits when I went vegan because I thought you needed butter to make them flaky. Not so. It's the technique of folding and rolling the dough that makes the biscuits flaky.
That's why I love reviewing cookbooks - I always learn lots of new somethings from each one.
The first time I made these biscuits, I went with Zsu Dever's unsweetened herbed version - delicious! And with the grandchild seal of approval.
The second time, I added sugar and baked the dough in a cake pan as shortbread, for strawberry shortcake. The folding and rolling along with the sugar, produced a flaky soft texture. That variation was a huge hit!
Everyday Vegan Eats is a family friendly cookbook, healthy in a reasonable balanced way, recognizing that most families with children don't live a fat free diet of green smoothies and salad.
There are plenty of very healthy plant based cookbooks out there, but few vegan family cookbooks with so many outstanding recipes, and with so much mainstream and kid appeal.
I highly recommend Everyday Vegan Eats!