Monday, 3 October 2011

Vegan MoFo 2011 #3: 'Easy Vegan Cooking'

Easy Vegan Cooking
Leah Leneman, Thorsons, 1998

Easy Vegan Cooking

Another of my early cookbooks. Easy Vegan Cooking appealed to my young vegan self because the picture on the front cover is a slice of gorgeous looking chocolate cake complete with icing and a strawberry. How could I resist? I actually have cooked heaps and heaps out of this book, but sadly most of it was before I had a digital camera or before I learned the joys of food photography once I had a digital camera, so even though I have cooked through entire chapters of this book, I have very few photos. I am working on remaking the best of it!

Aside from the beautiful cover photo, there are no other photos in this book. It is paperback, and the size of it mean that I generally have to weigh down the page I want to make it stay open. This book allowed me to explore whole new concepts and ingredients. Chapters include The Vegan'Dairy', American Breakfast and British Afternoon Tea, Soups, Salads, Starters, Spreads and Snacks, Rice and Other Grains, Pasta, Beans, Vegetables, Nuts, Tofu and Other Soya Foods, Ready-Made Health Food Products, Sea Vegetables, Vegetable Side Dishes, Fresh Fruit-Based Desserts, Miscellaneous Desserts, and Cakes and Biscuits. Recipes are normally one to two to a page, in side-by-side columns.

Here are some of my favourite recipes from this book that I have photographed.



This is a simple little waffle recipe, but they are amazing. They crisped up really nicely in my waffle maker (not always a given in my maker) and they are not too sweet, making them ideal for any topping.

Macaroni 'Cheese'

Macaroni 'Cheese'; White Bean, Garlic and Sage Cutlets

This was the very first mac and cheese recipes I made, and it is still one that I love. The only alteration I made is to decrease the amount of dried macaroni from 3-3 1/2 cups to 2 cups. It is a nooch based sauce, probably fairly standard but it is my first memory of mac and cheese, something that I love, so it is pretty special to me. Here I have served it with some white bean, sage and garlic cutlets. Nom nom!

Spaghetti with Tahini Sauce

Spaghetti with Tahini Sauce

Back in the days when I wasn't a big tahini fan, this sauce made a believer of me. Tahini, tomato puree, yeast extract and water blend together to make an amazing, rich sauce that is ridiculously fast to make. You can add in beans and vegetables to the pasta (here I have added peas), or you can serve them on the side, depending on your preferences.

Italian Macaroni and Beans

Italian Macaroni and Beans

This is super fast, super simple and super delicious. I use 2 cups of macaroni instead of 3 cups, which gives about three servings. The other change I made it to up the garlic by at least double. Serve with lots of nooch to sprinkle on top!

Smoked Tofu, Courgette and Sweetcorn Risotto

Smoked Tofu, Courgette and Sweetcorn Risotto; Garlic Asparagus (TGOV); Zoe's Grandma's Roasted New Potatoes (TGOV)

You know this is going to be delicious just from the title. It's not a true risotto, but uses cooked brown rice as the base, making it quick and easy to cook. This makes a large amount! Here I have served it with some asparagus and potatoes (both recipes from another cookbook).

Tempeh Burgers

Tempeh Burgers

Juicy, tasty tempeh burgers. These are essentially tempeh steaks, simmered in a delicious sauce (think lots of tomato ketchup). The recipe calls for 450g of tempeh cut into 4 pieces, but here my blocks of tempeh are 300g. I still cut it into four pieces, but I only used half the quantity of ingredients for the sauce.

Vegetable Gratin

Vegetable Gratin (with wedges and Fry's Schnitzel)

This is some pretty delicious comfort food. The recipe calls for vegan cheese spread, and I used Sheese Cheddar Cream Cheese here with great results. Served with Fry's schnitzels and baked potato wedges.

Lemon and Chocolate Treats

Lemon and Chocolate Treats

These are some super cute little banana dessert treats. Banana's are halved lengthwise and sandwiched with a lemon buttercream, then drizzled with melted chocolate and sprinkled with coconut. Yummo!

Here is a list of those five-star recipes from this book that I don't have photos of.

Vegetable Soup
Grilled Garlic Mushrooms
Chick Pea Spread
Tempeh Spread
Barley and Cashew Casserole
Baked Tahini Pasta (uses the same sauce as Spaghetti with Tahini Sauce)
Chick Pea Stroganoff
Lentil Pastichio
Cabbage and Potato Casserole
Smoked Tofu Stew
Arame and Tofu Pancakes

Just to elaborate on my rating system, five star is the absolute most awesome. There are many four star recipes in all my books, but they would make too many to put in the one post! I use sticky notes to write my thoughts and comments and ratings, and then stick one in for each recipe (I don't like to permanently mark a book, though I will use pencil to link up recipes for menus).

Do you keep notes and ratings for recipes that you make? How do you record it?

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Sahara says hello!

Sahara is staring at you. What is she saying? I believe it is hello. Hello and give me some oatmilk!


  1. Sarah is a cutey pie, please give her a cuddle from me.
    I always write in the books next to the recipe when I've been really happy with it. Lots of love hearts is good.

  2. Hi Sahara! *passes a dish of oatmilk*

    I remember seeing this book when I went vegan but I never bought it even though the cake on the cover looks great.

    I really like the look of the tahini pasta, I want some!

    I sometimes write notes on a recipe but more often than not I don't so I can't always remember what changes I made

  3. This was my first vegan cookbook! I have no photos of anything in it & I haven't used it in a while. Now I need to try the waffle recipe and the vegetable gratin.