When 500 Vegan Recipes arrived in the mail for review a while back, I have to admit I rolled my eyes a bit when I saw the title. Here was a compendium of recipes bound for the dollar bin at Barnes & Noble. It didn’t take more than a minute of flipping through the book, though, to see that I was being a big dummy and judging a book by its cover (title).
500 Vegan Recipes has quickly become one of our favorite go-to cookbooks when we want something relatively simple, but new. While there are some old standbys in here, by and large, there are a lot of surprises and interesting twists that will keep this one on the shelf when others gather dust.
Food bloggers Steen (of Have Cake Will Travel) and Newman (Just the Food) compile 20 chapters and 500 pages of recipes ranging from breakfasts to casseroles to sides, and you know the rest. Lots of food from beginning to end in every imaginable category.
Our favorites thusfar include Butternut Drop Biscuits (made with spelt flour, oats, and butternut squash puree, they taste amazing right out of the oven getting that sweet and savory balance just right), a delicious Garlic and Sage Cashew Cream Sauce that we had on pasta but would be perfect as a pizza base (double the recipe… trust me), the budget-friendly Beefy Bacon Burgers) which take the unlikely hodgepodge of peanut butter, bacos, TVP, yeast, oil, and a few other things and make an easy and filling burger), Mac and Sleaze, and a Swiss-inspired Rosemary Apple Potato Rosti that would make a perfect late fall/early winter side.
We’ve made 23 recipes from here thusfar (still not even 5% of what’s in the book!) and only three haven’t been unadulterated thumbs up (and of those three, two were split decisions in our household). Not bad at all.
As I mentioned, while most of the recipes here are within the grasp of anyone with a little bit of kitchen time under their belt, you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find. Like the nicely spicy Chorizo, Cranberry, and Cornbread stuffing or the Creamy Pumpkin Almond Sauce as a super simple pasta and veggie topper. The Raw Lemon Cheesecake is another winner I haven’t seen elsewhere (and it’s not hard, even making the raw crust from scratch). There’s a lot of international influence here, too, ensuring a range of flavors for every palate.
While there aren’t any photos in the book (not unusual for such a giant tome), Steen and Newman’s blogs have more than enough to let you see what you’ll be getting.
For well under $20 at most online stores, it’s going to be hard to get a better deal on such a huge collection of recipes that you’ll return to again and again. I recommend this one whole-heartedly.
(Just to show how slow I can be with my reviews, the authors already have another book up for pre-order: The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions and a third book in the works.)