Saturday, 22 October 2011

VeganMoFo 2011 #22: 'The Voluptuous Vegan' and 'The Asian Vegan Kitchen'

Today I will be looking at two books, as I have only cooked a little from each one. So this way you can still have lots of photos of food!

The Voluptuous Vegan
Myra Kornfeld and George Minot, Potter, 2000


A menu book! A menu book! I love menus, so of course I had to buy this. This book is paperback and does not stay open easily. There are no photos either. The book is divided into the following chapters: Introduction, Ingredients, Equipment and Cutting Terms, Soups, Main-Course Menus, Desserts, Glossary and Resources. The Main-Course Menu section is made up of many different menus with several components. The menus cover all sorts of cuisines and ingredients. Unfortunately, as much as I love menus, I often don't have time to make menus. And because I am obsessed with making menus, I don't like to make single dishes out of menus. This is the reason why I have yet to make anything from the amazing Party Vegan by Robin Robertson, and why I have only made a few menus from this book. I do find a lot of the recipes in this book quite fiddly and time consuming as well, which is another limiting factor with time constraints. Anyway, let's have a peek.

Gingery Split Pea Soup

Gingery Split Pea Soup

The soup chapter of the book contained stand alone recipes, as does that desserts chapter. This yummy soup has a great smokey flavour from chipotles. 4 stars.

Menu Page 123

Thai Vegetable Stew; Baked Tofy Triangles; Jasmine Rice with Coconut; Mint, Orange and Red Onion Salad (not pictured)
Mint, Orange and Red Onion Salad

This menu includes:
*Thai Vegetable Stew - includes eggplant, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, sugar snap peas and others. 4 stars
*Baked Tofu Triangles - amazing little morsels. 5 stars.
*Jasmine Rice With Coconut - 4 stars.
*Mint, Orange, and Red Onion Salad - makes a small amount. 4 stars.
*Total menu rating: 4 stars.

Menu Page 166

Menu: Mesculin with Raspberry Vinaigrette; Seitan Bourguignonne; Mashed Potatoes with Parsnips

This menu includes:
*Mesclun with Raspberry Vinaigrette - fast and tasty. 4 stars.
*Seitan Bourguignonne - this has an amazing marinade, it makes heaps so there are leftovers for all sorts of things. It is quite time consuming. 4 stars.
*Mashed Potatoes with Parsnips - a fun twist on mashed potatoes. 4 stars.
*Total menu rating: 4 stars.

Menu Page 205

Indonesian Sambal; Rice Noodles with Thai Peanut Saucel Stir-Fried Vegetables; Mango Slices

This menu includes:
*Indonesian Sambal - mixes together really well and is super addictive. 5 stars.
*Rice Noodles with Thai Peanut Sauce - I used 250g of rice stick noodles here. 4 stars.
*Stir-Fried Vegetables - A yummy mix of different fresh vegetables. 4 stars.
*Mango slices - not a recipe at all, just instructions how to cut mangoes. 5 stars (because mangoes are awesome).
*Total Menu Rating: 5 stars.

There are a lot of fun recipes in here, though some of them do call for some more obscure ingredients. I look forward to making more menus, if I can find the time! Savannah over at In Her Grace is blogging about recipes from The Voluptuous Vegan this week, so check things out over there as well!

The Asian Vegan Kitchen
Herm Parekh, Kodansha, 2007


If you look above the book in the photo, you can just see two little Gizmo feet! This is a great book that is packed full of authentic recipes, including recipes for making many sauces and pastes from scratch. This book does mean a bit of a trip and trawl through the Asian grocery shop, but it is worth it. The book is a paperback with a glossy dust jacket. There are is a middle section of lovely colour photos. Chapters work through different Asian countries, and include India, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea. Each chapter includes four or five sections such as Soups and Salads, Main Dishes, Rice Dishes, Noodle Dishes, Side Dishes and Snacks, Pancakes, Breaks, Drinks, and Desserts. There is also a glossary of ingredients (which is very handy) as well as a great index of main ingredients.

Again, I have not made much from this book yet. But let us see where I have been!

Chickpea Curry (India) with Bhatura Bread (India)

Chickpea Curry With Bhutura

The chickpea curry gives instructions to soak and cook chickpeas from scratch. I had to cook them for much longer than the hour called for. In the future I would just use tinned, as any sort of woody chickpeas give me tummy aches. There are only one or two brands of chickpeas I can buy, even. Anyway, this is quite a spicy little curry, and great with the bread. 4 stars.
Bhatura is normally a deep fried bread. I shallow fried it here and it worked well. 4 stars.

Biryani (India)


I like biryani - rice and vegetables and seasonings make for an easy and yummy dinner. I served this with the above two dishes. 4 stars.

Red Curry Paste

Red Curry Paste

My own homemade red curry paste! Beautiful. 4 stars.

Red Curry with Vegetables (Thailand) with Pineapple Fried Rice (Thailand)

Red Curry with Vegetables; Pineapple Fried Rice
Pineapple Fried Rice

The red curry used some of that beautiful curry paste. This recipe uses 3 cups of coconut milk, which I found way too rich! Either use light coconut milk, or even sub in some stock if you get overcome. I added lots of extra vegetables as well. 3 stars.
Pineapple Fried Rice is one of my favourite dishes to order from a Sydney vegan Thai restaurant. This is also amazing! Plus super cute. I used peas in place of capsicum. The restaurant one has fake prawns in it, which skeeves me out. This one has sliced up strips of inari skin (the closest thing I could find to abura-age deep fried tofu). 5 stars.

Food I have made but not photographed:
Dashi (Japan) - 4 stars.
Miso Soup with Tofu and Wakame (Japan) - Very quick and easy. 4 stars.
Green Tea Ice Cream - Was not good, but I realised that my green tea powder was not matcha. So I will report. Made me sad because it uses a cup of maple syrup - that is like $9 worth of syrup in something that didn't work great. Star rating pending retrying with proper matcha.
Sukiyaki (Japan) - This is delicious and so beautiful. I am sad I have no photo. 5 stars.

There is so much more for me to make from this book!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post


Possum smooching it up on the carpet.

For more kitten action, check out my girls in their international debut - they are featured in this week's Feline Friday on Lauren's wonderful blog Whoa Wren. They are besides themselves with glee!


  1. That Pineapple Fried Rice looks the bomb!
    *cuddles Possum and all your other kitties*

  2. Everything looks great, I've had Voluptuous Vegan on my wish list for ages.

  3. I love Asian Vegan Kitchen, and everything I've made from it has been super-delicious, though it doesn't always look like the photos. Some of my favorites are the Stuffed eggplant, squash, and potato curry; Assorted vegetables in cashew gravy; Green mango salad. Great MoFo theme!

  4. hey, that kitty looks just like my cat Yummers!

    Voluptuous Vegan is one of my all time favorite cookbooks. Someone gave it to me when I was a pretty new vegan, and still learning about cooking and it totally freaked me out with how complicated it seemed. But years later, as a much more confident cook, I rediscovered it on my shelves when I was looking for a project. I LOVE her soup chapter - I've probably made 75% of the soups. The Borscht is the best ever. Unlike you and your thoroughness, I rarely make a whole menu. I've only done that once or twice! I'm always sabotaging her menus and just making one or two of the items. Ha!

    Also, I've had my eye on Asian Vegan Kitchen for a looks like a book I would enjoy, especially since I enjoy the thrill of hunting down new ingredients and experiencing new flavors!

  5. Asian Kitchen is on my Christmas present wish list but I've never looked at VV before but the stuff you and Savannah have posted looks great. I like the idea of the menus too.

  6. Feline Friday is so fun! I have Voluptuous Vegan on my wishlist to get for myself. Moving it up the queue, thanks to you.

    Because you are such a superstar, I have awarded you with the Liebster Award! Yes, I know you already received it, but too bad, you're getting another one. Please don't feel pressured to pass this on to 5 more bloggers, but please do it if you wish to!


  7. Possum is a cutie!

    Neither of these books has ever really caught my attention but what you made does look good. And any time I've cooked chickpeas from scratch, it's taken me hours and hours.