Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vegan MoFo 2011 #4: 'Vegan Vittles'



Vegan Vittles
Joanne Stepaniak, Book Publishing Company, 1996

Vegan Vittles


Vegan Vittles is a really great little gem of a cookbook. I remember buying it, it was from a bookshop in Sydney in the city. I bought it, and then spent some time sitting in the foodcourt reading through with eager eyes.The book is a paperback with a special lay-flat binding. It does work, though over time my binding has started to fall apart a little. There are no photos of the food, but each chapter starts off with a black and white photo of a critter from Farm Sanctuary, along with a beautiful story about their rescue and new happy lives. The book also has lots of cute little sayings throughout, where they take a common animal-based saying (such as 'Slippery as an eel') and replace it with an animal free version ('slippery as oil'). Recipes are set out nicely,and have serving sizes and nutritional information. Many recipes also have variations listed, and 'The Cook's Secret' tidbits have information on using ingredients.

Chapters include Tips & Tails (Handy Hints & Basic Recipes), Beverages, Breakfasts & Breads, Uncheeses, Butters & Spreads, Hearty Soups & Stews, Salads & Dressings, Sandwiches, The Main Dish, Sauces, Gravies & Condiments, and Happy Endings. The front section of the book also has a section about being vegan, substituting for animal products,a glossary of ingredients and suggestions for daily menus. As well as a general index, the book also has an index arranged by main ingredients. This is really nifty if you are looking for a recipe to use something up. The Tips and Tails section has seitan and bacon recipes, as well as a pie crust and an extended maple syrup.

Now, on to photos of some of my favourite recipes.

Tempeh Bacon

Tempeh Bacon

My first ever Tempeh Bacon recipe, and an introduction to one of my favourite things. Before tempeh bacon, I had to buy expensive vegan bacon products, none of which really hit the spot. Tempeh bacon is essential!

Hickory Bits

Hickory Bits

I know that some of the 'bacon bits' you can buy are vegan, but the thought of them freak me out. The colours and flavours! Thankfully, I need never brave those waters again. These were my first homemade bacon bits.

Breakfast Tofu Scramble

Breakfast Tofu Scramble

I have enthusiastically scrawled on the sticky note for this recipe 'colour and taste of eggs!' This was the first scramble to grace my little taste buds in many a year. In fact now I know it is way better than eggs could hope to be. Seriously, why would you even eat eggs which you could eat delicious scramble? This is a simple little scramble recipe - nooch, salt and pepper make up the seasonings with a pinch of turmeric and some grate carrot for colour.

Muffins That Taste Like Donuts

Muffins That Taste Like Donuts

They really do! Around the time I started getting into my cookbooks, I also started firing up my love of baking, and I started making sure I always had yummy baked goods around to take to uni for lunch or for snacking on. These are some very tasty little morsels. My favourite donut is the cinnamon sugar donut, and these really hit the spot flavour wise.

Banana Tea Loaf

Banana Tea Loaf

This is a pretty amazing little loaf, and makes a great gift as well. Vegan Vittles introduced me to apple juice concentrate as a sweetener, and this is used in this recipe. It is studded with pecans (well, walnuts technically, but I am not a fan) and currants.

Onion Lover's Chip Dip

Onion Lovers' Chip Dip

Every Christmas, my mother would make a french onion dip. It involves cream cheese, french onion soup mix powder, some green shallots and some ham. I loved the oniony flavour of it. This captures that taste so wonderfully, minus the dairy and the ham (though I'm sure you could add some chopped vegan ham if you wished, I prefer it straight up all onions!).


Unstuffed Shells

Unstuffed Shells

This is easy and yummy. Cook pasta, make ricotta style stuffing, mix together with tomato sauce on top. Make sure your ricotta is at room temperature before making (or make with room temperature tofu), otherwise it won't heat up well when you toss with the pasta. You can also heat it over very low heat while mixing with the pasta, but make sure not to brown it. I like extra sauce for mine, as well.


Pot Roast

Pot Roast

The thought of having a delicious vegan pot roast had never even crossed my mind until I had this book. While I believe that VWAV taught me how to make seitan, this book has some great ways to use it! Like this yummy pot roast. I found when cooking it that you needed to be careful that the sauce didn't dry out, so have some extra stock on hand in case you need it. The gravy is amazing. And leftovers make an awesome sandwich.


Barbecue-Style Braised Short'Ribs'

BBQ Style Braised Short Ribs

Having mastered the pot roast (not that it is particularly hard to master!), these BBQ ribs were next in my sights. Again, they are very easy to make, and highly delicious. Especially served with some mashed sweet potato and soy-sauce sauteed broccolini. This recipe makes 6 ribs, and these ribs are very filling. One rib will do you right, unless you opt to forgo the vegetables!

Some other amazing recipes from this book that don't have pictures:

Cool Fools
Pecan Sticky Buns (my first ever homemade stickbuns... OMG)
Oven-Roasted Tom Tofu
Velvety Cheese Sauce
Ultra-Fudgey Fudge Brownies
Aunt Bunny's Carrot Cake (with Creme Cheeze Frosting)

This book is also memorable because it introduced me to my first versions of what I now would consider vegan staples, but at the time were very exciting to finally be able to make myself. Things such as Eggless Omlets, Phenomenal French Toast, Banana Flapjacks, Almond Cream Cheese, Mayo and Sour Cream.

This book really is great, even all these years on. They have since released a new edition with even more recipes. I don't have this new one yet, as I get kind of annoyed when people re-release previous books with a few new recipes, meaning that you need to go and buy it again. New cookbooks with new recipes, peoples! Anyway, if you don't have it you should buy it if you get the chance. It's pretty groovy.


What cookbook (or cookbooks) taught you the basics of homemade vegan staples?

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Possum is hopeful

Possum is looking with his hopeful face. Someone must be eating something at the table that he hopes to get his chompers on!

4 comments:

  1. I've heard a lot of good things about the cookbook but I haven't added it to my collection yet. The muffins that taste like donuts look especially good as do the BBQ ribs.

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  2. Possum is adorable. Reminds me of a cat I had many years ago named Wheatsie.

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  3. I've heard of this book but it's gone under the radar for me. Everything you've made from it looks so delicious! I'm going to have to add this one to my wishlist. The onion dip alone would make it a worthwhile purchase.

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  4. I've seen reviews of this book but I never felt the need to buy it. I love that you have so many of the original vegan cookbooks, I want to see a photo of all your books together - maybe there's already one on your blog, I'll take a look ;)

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