Monday, July 20, 2009

Cookbooks

I have been busy browsing through recently-published cookbooks lately. I love seeing recipes for foods I've always wanted to try, or building upon the recipes that are in the book to make them my own.

The first was the Tropical Vegan Kitchen. I didn't find many recipes I was interested in, mostly because the ingredients kept tripping me up (I'm allergic to a tropical fruit, and thus, try to stay away from all other tropical fruits, and most of these recipes called for at least one), so I took it back to the library fairly quickly. Plus, I'm a sucker for a cookbook with pictures, especially if the recipes are a little more difficult or completely unfamiliar to me, so looking at this book, with virtually no pictures, was not an enjoyable experience.

The second book was Peta's Vegan College Cookbook. I was excited about this one because I thought, I'm not too many years out of college, and I often don't want to spend a lot of time, money, or effort on my food. However, prior to checking out the book, I failed to remember that in college, it was all about convenience: packaged foods and the microwave often took precedence over quality or nutrition. I even remember cooking instant mac and cheese (yuck!) in my water heater when I was desperate not to leave my dorm room because of homework. So, this cookbook, although it included a great base of recipe ideas, often counted too heavily on the microwave (I don't have one!) or instant this-or-that for my tastes. I think I came away interested in one or two recipes, but I will definitely return it to the library soon.

The third was Vegan Soul Kitchen. I had a coworker tell me that I shouldn't check out this book because of my coloring/ethnicity, and because of that, I want to make something so amazing that he will just have to bite his tongue. I'm only about 20 pages in, and already I've found something that makes my mouth water: open-faced bbq tempeh sandwiches with coleslaw. Yum. This also has few pictures, but perhaps because of its easy-to-read layout, or maybe just because of my interest in the food, I'm going to definitely give it a more thorough read than the other two.

Finally, I checked out The Vegan Scoop. It's completely made up of vegan ice cream recipes. Oh, heaven! I noticed, regrettably, that most call for soy milk and cream, but at the very beginning of the book, the author suggests trying out different non-dairy milks (I use hazelnut milk most often because I've found it has a rich, creamy texture and tastes absolutely divine in everything I stick it in). I haven't actually made any ice cream yet this year, but at the moment, the problem is that I can't decide which one to try first. I used to read the A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise blog frequently, but the author no longer posts as regularly, so it's exciting to once again have fresh and fun new recipes to try at my fingertips.

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