Friday, 31 October 2014

November Cookbook Review - Big Vegan

This month I have been cooking from Big Vegan by Robin Aspbell.

I bought this book many moons ago and I am ashamed to say I only cooked 1 thing from it (edamame shepherds pie). I was so let down by that recipe that I haven't cooked anything from it since. This month I have cooked 12 recipe from it, here's what I thought:
(Please excuse the awful photography - its getting to the time of year that nights are getting dark and unfortunaetly our kitchen has energy saving lights which are about as effective at lighting the kitchen as the broken fridge light)

Cuban Black Bean soup: This was lovely, spicy filling and very healthy

Patatas Bravas: I have never had this before so I have nothing to compare it with, however it turned out to be a warm, spicy and very tasty dish.

Hot and Sour Soup with Tofu
This was really good, I have never made hot and sour soup before (but enjoyed it from a packet) but this has convinced me never to buy it again.

Tomato and Basil Scramble - This was brilliant. Probably the best scramble I have ever had (possibly barring the Denver Bitchlette from Skinny Bitch). Raw it tasted great, once fried it reached perfection!

Seitan Bourginion - This was a quick stew recipe, it was very tasty but sweet (not the fault of the recipe, I subbed unsweetened grape juice for the wine) which I wasn't keen on. This would have been better with the inclusion of wine but I don't drink.Still a nice recipe though

Tibetan Noodles
This was a fantastic and spicy recipe, full of flavour and delicious. I will definitely be making this again

Broccoli with cheese sauce
A great cheese sauce! Cheesy & smokey, this would work well with lasagne, cauliflower cheese, macaroni cheese or in a myriad other recipes

Jollof Rice, I have tried recipes for Jollof Rice before and they were not brilliant, this however was filling and tasty, spicy and a little creamy. Very nice

New Potatoes Rendand
Another fab recipe, this was spicy with hints of lemon and lime. It was really enjoyable and filling. I served it with the campfire chili from Vegan Casseroles

Creamy Triple Mushroom Pasta
This was let down a little by the parsley, it didn't work for me in this dish but other than that it was another good recipes. As stated - creamy but also rich from the 3 types of mushroom and the wallnuts (I subbed pecans) added crunch and more flavour.

I almost didn't make this, its basically kale (chard should have been used but couldn't find any), garlic and tomatoes topped with a parmesan alternativ and I just didn't feel like, but I made it anyway and I am glad I did. It was delicious and I really enjoyed it, I served it with beans on toast and an Amy's Manhattan Burger - it was one of those days I could decide what to eat so ate everything!

New Orleans Jambalaya & Smoked Tempeh
Jambalaya is one of those things I really enjoy but rarely make. This was one of the better recipes that I have tried for it. Filling and flavoured with basil, thyme and oregano it wasn't too spicy and the tempeh really finished it off.

Overall I ave changed my mind about this book, the 12 recipes that I tried were either good or really good, none were bad or inedible as with other books. I wouldn't say its up there with Julie Hassons books or American Vegan kicthen but its definitely a cracking cookbook

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