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The official Vegan Table recipe review (to be updated)!

Recipe reviews and comments for The Vegan Table, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

Romantic dinners for two
Basil eggplant
This recipe is very simple and has potential. For starters, I've noticed a trend in this book where the author tries to eliminate a lot of fat from the dish by sauteeing things in water. That's all fine and dandy, but I really think this dish is teetering on bland due to adding 1 cup of water. Next time, I will DEFINITELY use veg broth. I followed the recipe almost completely, but added some extra red pepper flake at the end because I like it hot. I didn't have any thai basil, but I picked some fresh sweet basil from my garden and it worked just fine. (sb)
So tasty. Like sb, I like some fat in my eggplant dishes, so I added some oil to the initial frying (plus the sesame oil that is in the recipe). I cooked my eggplant longer than the 5-7 minutes instructed in order to boil off the water added (adding the soy sauce and sugar after 5-7 minutes, so that the eggplant could absorb some flavr). I wound up with little liquid, which was good. Also, I don't know how much are in the bunches of Thai basil the author gets, but the ones I get are the same size as for Italian basil and the like (about 3c packed). So... I didn't use quite that much - maybe 1 c loosely packed, and that was still plenty. And finally, I used 4 what I consider to be average-sized Japanese eggplants, and they only came to 0.85lb (in the recipe, she says 2 Chinese or Japanese eggplants, or 1lb). (fb)
Wow, this is good, and super quick and easy.  I add some lime juice along with the tamari and sugar.  It is worth growing a few Thai basil plants, just to have this more often. (sweetgeorgiapeach)
Really good! Simple to make. The most difficult part will probably be finding Thai basil. I made this while visiting family in Colorado, and I wasn't able to find any Thai basil anywhere. I ended up using regular sweet basil, but I bet this dish would be even better with the Thai basil. (kristinv)
Braised figs with arugula
In the description, she notes that a tester described it as "ambrosial." Well, I hate to be contrary, but this wasn't quite that spectacular. It was okay - nothing to write home about. It is actually kind of plain, to be honest. I added some walnuts to the salad to give it something else, but it's really just braised figs, arugula, and a balsamic reduction (which is just balsamic vinegar cooked down in the skillet, nothing added to it). I don't know - I was disappointed because I was expecting it to blow me away (as I love figs), but it really didn't. (lebkuchen)
Carrot ginger soup
It's awesome. I don't have much more to say than that, but it's light, refreshing, filling, and delicious. (jessacita)
This is my absolute favorite soup in the whole world, and I make it quite often. I made it for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and everyone thought it was gorgeous (it’s a beautiful bright orange). Since I use my food processor to puree it at the end, I also use the blade to chop all my vegetables, so this is literally a 5 minute soup to prepare. I like to add a little soy or almond milk as I am purreeing it, and this make it even more creamy. I add a little extra ginger for kick, and this soup is amazing. It goes well with every meal, including pizza! This soup is worth the cost of the cookbook, hands down. (veganrun)
really delicious. it is somewhat of a basic soup, but perfectly executed and ridiculously easy to make  (i didn't peel the potatoes, used a bag of baby-cut carrots, and an immersion blender).  the texture was perfect.  my husband wasn't as impressed, however... he liked it but thought it was a little bland.  (thirteenblackbirds)
This soup is simple, quick and delicious.  I use organic potatoes and carrots, so I don't even peel them.  We love ginger, so I used a little extra, then when it was simmering, I added even more powdered ginger.  I also added more garlic than indicated.  I love how creamy it is with almost no fat.  (lotus)
I guess this is a pretty common soup, but I really enjoyed it.  Warming, wholesome, flavourful...real soul food. (spinachk)
Cashew sour cream
I've had better. I like that it doesn't use tofu, but the cashew flavor is way too strong (not as detectable with the soup). I halved the recipe, but still used 1 whole lemon, plenty of salt, and way more water. I guess it's ok if you just want something creamy to add some coolness to a dish, but I would not recommend it if you want it to stand out on its own at all. (AC)
I love this on chili. Very tasty! (veganrun)
Doesn't really taste like sour cream, but really nice.  I tried it on top of the carrot ginger soup and a beet soup that I made, and it was lovely on both. Creamy and mild with a little tangy bite. (spinachk)
Chipotle

Chocolate fondues

Dark leafy greens with sesame miso dressing
Too salty for me (but I was using dark miso). I think next time I'll double the greens or halve the other things. But otherwise successful. It made bitter dandelion greens edible for me, so thumbs up on that (fb)
Using kale. I never have mirin, so I just added a bit of water, and I didn't bother with the blanching of the kale. I just cooked it for a bit, to soften. I used red miso. It's nothing special, but was ok on quinoa. Healthy! (AC)
I'm going to eat this as a side with broiled tofu.  I really like the miso flavor with the greens.  I used a mixture of kale and mustard greens.  I didn't have mirin, but I added rice wine vinegar.  I also didn't blanche the greens, just steaming them was fine.  (lotus)
I'm not sure why but I really didn't like the dressing. I found it too strong and kind of funky/weird tasting. (eatmedelicious)
I really liked this.  It's probably not anything out of the ordinary, but I would definitely make it again.  I made it with Chinese cabbage and served it with sweet and sour tempeh. (spinach k)
Fennel, orange, walnut, and pomegranate salad

Garlic and greens soup
I made this after Jessacita posted Colleen's video about making the soup. I made it several times after that, and I'll make it again! It's very simple, few ingredients, incredibly healthy, and really tasty. I've made it without the bouillon, but I'm sure it's better starting with some sort of vegetable stock. I really like this soup! (AC)
I love this soup!  I've wanted to try it since hearing CPG talk about it on her podcast.  It is so simple and healthy!  I added some cooked quinoa at the end to make it a little more substantial.  This is definitely gonna become a regular recipe at my house. (lotus)
I made this again today.  Instead of potatoes, I added cauliflower.   Like with the potatoes, it gave the soup a little more substance, but I also really like the way cauliflower tastes with kale.  I also added a leek because I had one.  Yum again!  (lotus)
Delicious!  This was so easy and made me feel super healthy just eating it.  I think next time I'll add some cauliflower like lotus suggested and maybe some carrots.  This is the first time I've had greens that I thoroughly enjoyed.....I used mustard greens by the way.  (erinmonster)
Absolutely delicious, healthy, hearty, and filling. I like to add a can of white beans to it, to add more substance. I’ve tried it with kale, collard, and mustard greens, and all have been super delicious. Make sure to have good, tasty stock! (veganrun)
Yummy, super simple, and super healthy, what more do you need? (spinach k)
Any time my husband or I feel the slightest bit of a cold on the way, I make up a pot of Garlic and Greens Soup.  This recipe calls for a whole head of garlic, but it's not the slightest bit overwhelming.  I rarely am prepared enough to make homemade vegetable stock, but I find that vegetable boullion cubes work fine in this recipe.  Very easy to make, and so yummy! (peaceablepalate)
Barley

Honeydew melon in coconut milk

Marvelous mushroom risotto
I went ahead and used the "bland" white button mushrooms, and fine, they're bland. But I say crimini are no different. Anyway, shiitake would be interesting in this risotto, especially since it's not usually paired with Italian food. This risotto somehow wound up fluffier than I'm used to, even though the instructions are pretty much the same as all risottos I've made... maybe I added too much liquid at once. Anyway, I like this enough (I've never been floored with the greatness of a risotto), but I would probably add more sun-dried tomatoes next time. Though it would be cool to use fancier mushrooms, I think if they're hard to get it's fine to use plain ole white ones. (fb)
Not just for breakfast banana split

Fruit sauce

Pad thai
The sauce for the noodles is pretty thick and peanut buttery. It probably wouldn't lose the peanut effect with half the peanut butter. Also, I have to be a food snob here, but in the description she calls this recipe "authentic," but in no way is pad thai made with peanut butter authentic. Pad thai has more of a tamarind/light soy sauce/sugar sauce, and is garnished with green onions, lime wedges, bean sprouts, and crushed peanuts. There seem to be a number of recipes for pad thai on the internet that use peanut butter, and I'm guessing that's why, and also possibly because there's a sort of "thai" dish that is basically sate sauce and noodles that is sometimes called pad thai, but is really just sate noodles. Anyways, the thick sauce made this kind of hard to eat without a lot of water, but it was otherwise good. I think if I make this again, I'll either use half the peanut butter or leave it out, and double the broccoli, because I likes broccoli in my pad thai. Also, the recipe doesn't state this, but an easy way to prevent rice noodles from forming a solid mass while the rest of the recipe is going is to rinse the freshly cooked noodles with cold water until they're all cold. If you just drain them like the recipe says, they'll be pretty difficult to get apart once they're in the pan. (fb)
Although this isn't an authentic Pad Thai recipe, the results are still delicious and without any of the hard-to-find ingredients usually called for in traditional Pad Thai like tamarind paste and lemongrass.  I like the addition of broccoli in this recipe.  The green gives it some color and improves the nutritional profile as well. (peaceablepalate)
Pan fried asparagus with lime juice
I liked this. It had the right amount of lime juice, and I like that it's a "fancy" type of dish without calling for anything crazy or a lot of prep time. (fb)
Yummy and fresh side dish.  Flavourful, pretty, and healthy. (spinachk)
Roasted

Peach and pecan muffins
I didn't use pecans. I didn't realize until I had extra batter that this recipe makes 16 muffins, so I broke out some silicon liners. Ultimately, I had 15 way overfilled liners (these would be huge with the pecans!). I like this muffin as far as whole wheat muffins go. It's quite sweet, and has an ample amount of cinnamon. I was worried peaches might be weird in it (I wasn't using the best peaches), but it's not weird. This recipe could probably afford to have less cinnamon though (yeah, that's right, less), or maybe some subbed with allspice. Also, it's kind of hard to tell when these are done, because whole wheat flour doesn't brown as noticeably as white flour... so I just kind of took them out at 25, and they were a tad overbaked, but fine. (fb)
these came out great. in terms of texture, these are some of the best muffins i've made.  i made a mistake and added 1 Tablespoon baking powder, but then went ahead and added the baking soda and vinegar.  anyway, they rose perfectly and the slight crunch from the brown sugar on top is nice.  They are pretty sweet, and I think I used about 1/4 cup less sugar than called for.  I used canned peaches, didn't have the pecans,  and had to add a splash of soymilk to the batter (maybe cause I used white whole wheat flour).  I will make again. (thirteenblackbirds)
Penne arrabbiata
I kind of made this. Is it just the red pepper flakes that makes it "arrabbiata"? I dunno, but I did use the recommended number of garlic cloves, and a tsp of red pepper flakes, but used a jarred vegetable tomato sauce, because I didn't have canned tomatoes. So, it was basically just a yummy penne with spicy-ish marinara. Good, though. (AC)
My husband and I both like spicy food, and this dish gives you a lot of heat, and flavor without a lot of ingredients or preparation.  All you need is pasta, canned fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.  So easy, and yet so satisfying.  We have this every Sunday night! (peaceablepalate)
Polenta hearts
Mmm, polenta. I made this without the red pepper coulis, and it was fine by itself. It's well seasoned enough that it doesn't really need a sauce, and if there is one, you'll still be able to taste the polenta. It firms up nicely, but it can be eaten before solidifying too - just depends if you want it to look pretty. For years I ate (pretty much) plain polenta (cornmeal, water, olive oil, salt), only with stuff *on top*. According to my mom, that's how it's "supposed" to be made. But, uh, after recipes like these, I think adding stuff to the mix is a vast improvement, and saves the trouble of piling stuff on after. Aw man, I just contradicting my Pad Thai review. Oh well. (fb)
These did not work for me at all!  The polenta was delicious before I put it into a pan to set (to make the hearts).  I let the polenta mixture sit in the fridge for several hours (the directions say one hour is sufficient), and they still fell apart while I was frying them.  Like fell apart into a slushy mess that was unsalvageable.  *sigh*  This always happens to me with polenta, so maybe it's me!  Anyway, great tasting creamy polenta, but the cut out shapes were a bust for me.  Next time I'll just eat it out of a bowl instead of trying to fry it! (jessacita)
I loved this!  It turned better for me than any firm polenta dish I've tried before.  I love the sun-dried tomatoes in it. (spinachk)
Grilled

Red velvet cake with buttercream frosting
(frosting) this icing is absolutely amazing (sing-song voice) and it puts any omni buttercream to shame. I put this on carrot cupcakes, and took them to climbing club, and everyone kept telling me to just bring the icing the next time. It's fabulous, hands down. Simple and perfect. (veganrun)
Turned out perfect! The cake is nice and moist. It seemed like it could have used more frosting though...I had trouble covering the whole cake. Maybe another cup of powdered sugar would have done it with the frosting. (dannibazaar)
made this for V-day and it's a delicious recipe, the frosting especially. i added a couple drops of food coloring to make the frosting pink and the end result was really cute.  i made cupcakes and needed to make more frosting though because there's not enough if you want them generously frosted. (thirteenblackbirds)
This is good, but not my favorite red velvet. I don't think the flavor is quite deep enough, and the cake could be a tiny bit more moist. Still delicious. Definitely not enough frosting for this cake. I made the recipe as is, but barely barely covered the whole cake, with just a bit in between the layers. I don't think she used this recipe in the photo, because that looks like a cream cheese icing (again!). I made a chocolate ganache for the top, especially since the frosting was thin. The cake rose well and did have pretty good texture. (AC)
Roasted red pepper coulis

Saffron spiked Moroccan stew
I didn't use saffron (didn't have any). It's ok. The spice combo was a little unusual for savory stuff, but it was fine. I'm kind of neutral to both chickpeas and sweet potato, so this dish is ok but not something I'd make again. (fb)
Spring vegetable risotto
Good.  Kind of just a risotto, but a good one. (spinach k)
Steamed artichokes
My artichokes were pretty medium-sized, but only took 25-30 minutes to cook (i think in the book it says 50-60 minutes). I'm not very experienced at cooking artichokes, so I can't really compare this to anything, but the smell of the bay leaf during cooking was good. (fb)
This was my first experience with whole artichokes and the  detailed instructions really helped me out!  I had no trouble trimming them up (well, maybe I did prick myself once or twice on the thorny things).  I only steamed mine for about 30 min and they came out perfect.  Will definitely make again! (icephrosty)
This was only my second time making artichokes, so don't call me an expert! I liked the addition of the garlic, bay leaves and lemon juice--it made me feel like I was actually cooking instead of just steaming a veggie. I had huge artichokes and they took just under 55 minutes. I did a simple melted Earth Balance and lemon juice dip, and it was awesome. (veganrun)
Artichoke! Pretty sure this is my first time making and eating fresh artichoke. I guess I kinda boiled mine on the bottom, because I couldn't get my steamer type basket to correctly fit any of the pots with the artichoke. I don't know how long it ended up cooking, but it seemed like the correct texture in the end. Really fun! I think I would somehow incorporate more lemon and salt next time..maybe in the sauce. This time, we dipped in thinned pesto sauce. P liked that, but I would rather have a lemony or creamy sauce. Mine seemed to be pre trimmed, because I didn't really have to do anything. Tasty. (AC)
Steamed artichokes dipping sauces
This is a pretty loose outline of a recipe... in the blurb before it mentions aioli, but there's no garlic in here. It's a fine dipping sauce, but I had some leftover which I just used in place of mayo... not a whole lot different. (fb)
Garlic aioli

Nondairy butter and lemon

Tangy creamy dip
I cut the recipe to 1/3 and it was perfect for 4 large steamed artichokes. It is very reminiscent of tartar sauce but in a good way - very tasty! (lebkuchen)
Sweet and sour tempeh
Pretty good. I cut the tempeh smaller so that it would be better masked by the sweet and sour flavor. I used reduced sugar apricot preserves, so the sauce wasn't too sweet, but I didn't have to add extra sugar. I like the idea of a fruit-based sweet and sour sauce. I didn't have green beans, so I subbed edamame, which worked well.  (fb)
Okay but not amazing. I don't think I'd make it again. (eatmedelicious)
This is good, but I didn't really like the tempeh with it.  I'm not crazy about the brand of tempeh I used though, so that might be the problem.  The sauce is really good, and tastes like Chinese takeaway sauce.  I would like to try it with fried tofu or seitan.  (spinach k)
Mandarin

Mango

Sweet and spicy pumpkin soup
YUM!  This is almost like non-dessert, soup-form pumpkin pie (if such a thing can exist).  I made this for my boyfriend's meat and grease loving family, and they really liked it.  I particularly like the addition of the lemon juice. (spinachk)
It's not too sweet really. In fact, you could probably lose all the sugar if you wanted. It's interesting that there are some pie spices in here (cinnamon, cardamom), but then some savory thanksgivingy things too (sage). It actually come out kind of like butternut squash soup, and the unusual mix of seasonings isn't weird at all. Had it with rice. (fb)
Swiss chard and caramelized onions
Amaaaaazing. I love chard in any way possible, but the addition of caramelized onions makes it seriously heavenly. (jessacita)
This is how I got my boyfriend to eat chard for the first time. The sweetness of the onion and the saltiness from the olives is just to die for. I love this dish! I’ve substituted other greens for the chard, and they were also amazing, but the chard, I believe, is the most delicious! (veganrun)
my first time eating chard (I used rainbow chard), and unfortunately I discovered that I don't like chard - it tasted bitter.  The rest of the dish is great though and I would like to try this with another green like kale. I always like caramelized onions. (thirteenblackbirds)
I liked this, but I felt it was a bit too...something (sweet?)...on it's own.  Although I made it as a side dish, I felt that she's right, it would be great as a pizza topping, or combined with a tomato sauce on top of pasta. (spinachk)
Tempeh bacon
I think this is a pretty standard tempeh bacon recipe.  It's good though.  Instead of frying it, I baked it in the marinade on 350 for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.  (lotus)
Pretty basic recipe, but it's a good one. (veganrun)
Thai curry with vegetables
This was delicious!  I used green curry paste and broccoli instead of cauliflower.  Also, after noticing the calorie/fat content of this recipe, I only used 1 can of full fat coconut milk and 1/2 can light.  Next time, I may use more of the light...I don't think it will make too much of a difference.  We wanted it to be a little spicier, so I added some chili powder at the end.  I served it with short grain brown rice and steamed greens.  Yum! (lotus)
Toasted quinoa with raisins and slivered almonds

Tofu scramble
I liked that this was lighter and had a lot of veggies. However, it was a little bland for me. I ended up adding a lot of salt and pepper and after that it was good! (cam07628)
I like this recipe. In  a way it's pretty basic, but it's also complete. The amount of seasoning on the tofu is perfect for me - it has flavor but also still tastes like tofu - and the veggie combination is pretty good, works for brunch/breakfast, but can probably be altered without radically changing much. It was also pretty easy to put together. (fb)
Mexican scramble

Tempeh bacon

Veggies

Roasted red pepper and pine nut brushetta - quick and easy and a nice snack that I brought to a party.  Because I was bringing it and not serving it in my home, I just used fresh bread and didn't toast it.  I mixed a little olive oil in the mix instead of brushed on the bread.

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I made the Cornmeal Crusted Tempeh w/ Orange Ginger Sauce. This is a good recipe. I didn't have any fresh ginger for the sauce, so I had to use powdered and the flavor really suffered. And next time I'll use shallots in place of the red onion. But I loved the idea of mixing soymilk with dijon mustard as a sort of "egg" binder to help the coating stick. It was flavorful and out of this world! The sauce could definitely benefit from some extra heat (red pepper flake or srirachi would work perfectly) and I added a handful of fresh basil right at the end.

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I made the Holiday cranberry relish and followed the recipe exactly and it's very good.  I love the mixture of sweet and tart...perfect.

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I made the Chai Cookies recently, and they're delicious.  You definitely don't need all the powdered sugar for rolling the cookies in.  I also subbed half of the Earth Balance for unsweetened applesauce, and it worked great!  I also added more chai spices than called for in the recipe.  I can't remember what's listed, but I used cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and a little allspice.  Everyone loved them!

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I made the Chai Cookies recently, and they're delicious.  You definitely don't need all the powdered sugar for rolling the cookies in.  I also subbed half of the Earth Balance for unsweetened applesauce, and it worked great!  I also added more chai spices than called for in the recipe.  I can't remember what's listed, but I used cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and a little allspice.  Everyone loved them!

Thanks for the review and the suggestion for subbing half EB for applesauce. These are great cookies but I wasn't sure if subbing would work on this recipe. Now I know and will try next time I bake them.

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I served Garlic glazed green beans as a side dish with my Xmas meal and it was a hit.  Easy to make along with a busy meal.

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I made the Chai Cookies recently, and they're delicious.  You definitely don't need all the powdered sugar for rolling the cookies in.  I also subbed half of the Earth Balance for unsweetened applesauce, and it worked great!  I also added more chai spices than called for in the recipe.  I can't remember what's listed, but I used cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and a little allspice.  Everyone loved them!

Thanks for the review and the suggestion for subbing half EB for applesauce. These are great cookies but I wasn't sure if subbing would work on this recipe. Now I know and will try next time I bake them.

Yeah, they were a teensy bit crumbly, but not too bad.  Not sure if that was from the applesauce, though.  Very delicious, at any rate!

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Lavender tea cookies
I didn't really like these. The dough was pretty dry - I think I added a little bit more liquid, but I should have added more. The citrus zest was a pretty major flavor, and (can't say this is the recipe's fault) the lavender makes these cookies pretty bitter. The cookies are basically not sweet, which is pretty typical for tea-type shortbread, but I wish that they were a little sweeter considering the lavender : / I think if these were a little more moist, and using some other flower (rose, violet), I would have like them a whole lot more.

Cauliflower with Spicy Vinaigrette
Not very spicy, but that can be fixed with more hot sauce. I think a more accurate name would be Herbed Vinaigrette, but that doesn't sound as cool. Anyway, I liked this. It took me a long time to like cauliflower, so I don't really have any tried-and-trued ways of making it tasty. This is definitely one... the vinaigrette is pretty reasonable in terms of ingredients (though I subbed brown rice vinegar for red wine vinegar, and 1/3-1/2 as much dried parsley as fresh), and it was a good way to enjoy cauliflower

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Pad thai
The sauce for the noodles is pretty thick and peanut buttery. It probably wouldn't lose the peanut effect with half the peanut butter. Also, I have to be a food snob here, but in the description she calls this recipe "authentic," but in no way is pad thai made with peanut butter authentic. Pad thai has more of a tamarind/light soy sauce/sugar sauce, and is garnished with green onions, lime wedges, bean sprouts, and crushed peanuts. There seem to be a number of recipes for pad thai on the internet that use peanut butter, and I'm guessing that's why, and also possibly because there's a sort of "thai" dish that is basically sate sauce and noodles that is sometimes called pad thai, but is really just sate noodles. Anyways, the thick sauce made this kind of hard to eat without a lot of water, but it was otherwise good. I think if I make this again, I'll either use half the peanut butter or leave it out, and double the broccoli, because I likes broccoli in my pad thai =) Also, the recipe doesn't state this, but an easy way to prevent rice noodles from forming a solid mass while the rest of the recipe is going is to rinse the freshly cooked noodles with cold water until they're all cold. If you just drain them like the recipe says, they'll be pretty difficult to get apart once they're in the pan.

Tofu scramble
I like this recipe. In  a way it's pretty basic, but it's also complete. The amount of seasoning on the tofu is perfect for me - it has flavor but also still tastes like tofu - and the veggie combination is pretty good, works for brunch/breakfast, but can probably be altered without radically changing much. It was also pretty easy to put together.

Marvelous mushroom risotto
I went ahead and used the "bland" white button mushrooms, and fine, they're bland. But I say crimini are no different. Anyway, shiitake would be interesting in this risotto, especially since it's not usually paired with Italian food. This risotto somehow wound up fluffier than I'm used to, even though the instructions are pretty much the same as all risottos I've made... maybe I added too much liquid at once. Anyway, I like this enough (I've never been floored with the greatness of a risotto), but I would probably add more sun-dried tomatoes next time. Though it would be cool to use fancier mushrooms, I think if they're hard to get it's fine to use plain ole white ones.

Polenta Hearts
Mmm, polenta. I made this without the red pepper coulis, and it was fine by itself. It's well seasoned enough that it doesn't really need a sauce, and if there is one, you'll still be able to taste the polenta. It firms up nicely, but it can be eaten before solidifying too - just depends if you want it to look pretty. For years I ate (pretty much) plain polenta (cornmeal, water, olive oil, salt), only with stuff *on top*. According to my mom, that's how it's "supposed" to be made. But, uh, after recipes like these, I think adding stuff to the mix is a vast improvement, and saves the trouble of piling stuff on after. Aw man, I just contradicting my Pad Thai review. Oh well.

Herbed Scalloped Potatoes
I liked these a lot. I've tried a number of recipes for these, and they all come out fairly good, but never exactly quite like I want them. Here, they did. The potatoes actually wound up tasting like herbs, for one, and they were perfectly seasoned. However, I had to bake this for an extra five minutes or so to reduce the liquid, which winds up gelling up a bit once cooled. We had these as a part of brunch, where they stand in for hash browns quite easily. I don't normally like tarragon a whole lot, but in combination with the other herbs here it was good.

Split Pea Soup
Not very special... I mean, it's good, because I like split pea soup, but it doesn't particularly bring anything special to the table. On that note, it's a reliable recipe without anything crazy going on. I think I prefer the V'con split pea or the VWAV curried split pea, though. However, I totally agree about the liquid smoke in this one... best way to get that flavor without ham.

Penne pasta with fresh veggies
I was afraid this might taste too vinegary, but the vinegar flavor was just kind of faintly there. (still, I think i'll leave it out next time). I think this is best served fresh rather than as left overs, because many of these things (pasta, zucchini, broccoli) tend to overcook upon reheating.

Southwestern tofu burgers
I was in the middle of making this recipe when I realized I was supposed to have frozen tofu. I only had fresh, so I pressed the crap out of it, and went with that. The patties didn't fall apart, but I didn't press than as thin/wide as I wanted them to be because it seemed like they would fall apart if I had - but that was probably because I was using fresh tofu instead of frozen... but the whole corn could also be a culprit. Anyway, these were a little too tofu-y for me for burger (but maybe that's how the product is that she was imitating, as she said in the description). I think I'd prefer a little less tofu and more refried beans. Also, this recipe is kind of weird in requiring 1/4 c refried beans, so I served it with... refried beans.

Tuscan White Beans with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
I like this. I've made some recipes of beans/white beans where it was basically just a lot of beans with a little of something else, which still doesn't really let the beans be their own dish. But this recipe worked... there was enough other stuff (like sun-dried tomatoes) and flavors (herbs) that it stands well on its own. I didn't use the spinach (didn't have any), and served it with the polenta recipe from this book. They go well together.

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Garlic and greens soup
Absolutely delicious, healthy, hearty, and filling. I like to add a can of white beans to it, to add more substance. I’ve tried it with kale, collard, and mustard greens, and all have been super delicious. Make sure to have good, tasty stock!

Carrot ginger soup
This is my absolute favorite soup in the whole world, and I make it quite often. I made it for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and everyone thought it was gorgeous (it’s a beautiful bright orange). Since I use my food processor to puree it at the end, I also use the blade to chop all my vegetables, so this is literally a 5 minute soup to prepare. I like to add a little soy or almond milk as I am purreeing it, and this make it even more creamy. I add a little extra ginger for kick, and this soup is amazing. It goes well with every meal, including pizza! This soup is worth the cost of the cookbook, hands down.

Swiss chard and caramelized onions
This is how I got my boyfriend to eat chard for the first time. The sweetness of the onion and the saltiness from the olives is just to die for. I love this dish! I’ve substituted other greens for the chard, and they were also amazing, but the chard, I believe, is the most delicious!

Better than tuna salad
This is so good, and so satisfying. I’ve made it with many different alterations, and they’ve always been delicious. I made some and left it in my parents’ fridge, and my mom called me the next day and said the tuna salad I made the night before was awesome. I told her it wasn’t tuna, and she was confused. Anyway, make this! So quick and simple, yet yummy! Great with soup.

Golden corn pancakes
I really liked these, as did my boyfriend. I added some extra cornmeal, and this made this a bit crispier. We had them with maple syrup and tempeh bacon. Great for dinner, too!

Chocolate chocolate chip cookies
Amazing! I trust Colleen in the kitchen, and this comes through. I make this anytime I’m at a gathering with omnis, and they love these. You can kind of taste the flax, but the chocolate flavor really overpowers it. These are amazing, great texture.

Split pea soup
Oooooh, so good on a cold winter night. My boyfriend asks for this on a regular basis. I whirl half of it in the food processor at the end, to make it creamy (but still have chunks). I like to add some whole frozen peas at the end for more pop. Great comfort food.

"Honey" mustard salad dressing
So good. My omni parents fell in love with it. Great balance of sweet and spicy.

Flourless chocolate tart
I’ve never made the tart, but I’ve used the recipe for the tart crust numerous times for making other pies. The crust is to die for! For a 9” pie, I cut the crust ingredients in half, bake in the oven 350* for 7-10 minutes, then fill (usually with chocolate tofu mousse!).

Pan grilled portobello mushrooms with herb infused marinade
Great flavor, the thyme really comes through and makes this taste sort of like a holiday dish. There was a ton of marinade left over, and I kept and saved it for another use. I also marinated tofu in the marinade, and cooked it when I cooked the mushrooms. Served with mashed potatoes—awesome meal!

Yellow split pea dal
Not a bad recipe, just not my favorite. I like dals better that don’t include tomato paste. This one wasn’t quite spicy enough. I’ve found a dal recipe on vegweb that I like a lot better.

Roasted brussels sprouts with apples and onions
Good, although I had to use frozen Brussels sprouts. I made this for Christmas, and it was awesome! Great combination of flavors.

No queso quesadillas
GREAT recipe. This is an amazingly simple, delicious weeknight recipe. My boyfriend had been missing cheesy Mexican dishes, and this hit the spot. We top with avocado and salsa, and I like to put black beans and green onions and chili powder in on the hummus. Yummy! My omni parents were shocked at how creamy this is.

Peanut butter and jelly cookies
Great recipe—I made with whole wheat, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve made these multiple times for omnis, and they love them too. I fill with jam, but I’ve also added chocolate chips to the depressions, too, then when you pull them out of the oven you spread the hot chips to fill the hole. Good pb and chocolate combo.

Homemade hummus
Good basic recipe. I personally like to add a lot more tahini and lemon juice, but it’s good for someone who hasn’t made it before. I also like to add a roasted red pepper—off the hook!

Spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce
Yum yum yum! This was the first time I’d made spring rolls, and I was a bit nervous, but they were awesome. I loved the dipping sauce.

Smokin barbecue tofu
Good recipe for barbeque sauce here. I change it a little, but the basic flavor here is really good. I like to make tons of the sauce, freeze it, then this recipe is so fast, easy and delicious. I like to serve it with mashed potatoes, on a bed of kale.

Creamy macaroni and cashew cheese
Holy crap this is good. This was my first attempt at making vegan mac and cheese, and the recipe was really helpful, and I trusted it. Before I went vegan I made mac and cheese from scratch all the time, so when I started seeing all these vegan recipes on vegweb that make it using a totally different method, I was scared. But this recipe used the same basic manner of making a white sauce that I was used to, so I decided to go for it. LOVED it, as did the boyfriend. Good with rotini, which catches all the yumminess in its curls. So good with the smoking BBQ tofu.

No queso nacho dip
Fantastic recipe, and it got my boyfriend to shut up about missing cheese with his Mexican food. I actually mix up all the dry ingredients and keep that in the cupboard, then just add the wet, stir, and it’s ready in minutes. I’ve had it with and without salsa stirred in, and I loved both.  We dip chips in this, but we also put it on top of everything. I’ve also used brown rice flour to make it, and I like that a little bit better than whole wheat flour.

Tempeh sloppy joes
Pretty tasty and filling. Neither my boyfriend nor I ate sloppy joes growing up, so we weren’t transported back to childhood or anything. Cool use of tempeh.

Falafel burgers
Amazing flavor, but a little dry. I put them in a pita, made the sauce with tofu, and served with hummus. Amazing, and much lower fat that deep fried falafel (although not quite as delish!)

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Uh, why haven't I reviewed the Mac & Cheese yet?!  It's my favorite recipe for vegan mac.  Really, really, really insanely good.  I add a little extra nutritional yeast, reduce the salt & usually use a little less mustard than called for, but other than that, it's perfect!  Total comfort food.

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VeganRun,

Thanks for the great reviews and for reminding me about the Yellow Split Pea Dal which I made but hadn't reviewed yet. I'm with you on this one.

Yellow Split Pea Dal-Not a particularly memorable dish. Good but not great. Easy to make. Needs more spices, or something else, to kick it up a notch in flavor.

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Polenta Hearts - These did not work for me at all!  The polenta was delicious before I put it into a pan to set (to make the hearts).  I let the polenta mixture sit in the fridge for several hours (the directions say one hour is sufficient), and they still fell apart while I was frying them.  Like fell apart into a slushy mess that was unsalvageable.  *sigh*  This always happens to me with polenta, so maybe it's me!  Anyway, great tasting creamy polenta, but the cut out shapes were a bust for me.  Next time I'll just eat it out of a bowl instead of trying to fry it!

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I made the Tempeh Sloppy Joes last night for dinner. I have to say, it came out much better than I thought it would! See, til now, I've only made sloppy joes using Vegan Dad's recipe, which is super tasty and very reminiscent of the sloppy joes I remember eating as a kid. However, I wanted to try this recipe because, honestly, it is much simpler, in both quantity of ingredients and also the steps involved. I must say, this recipe will become the one I use from now on. It doesn't taste all that much different from Vegan Dad's, and it is much easier to make. The only two things I may change in the future would be to add a touch of brown sugar (because I remember sloppy joes being slightly sweet) and also use a green pepper (instead of the red, orange, or yellow she recommends). But all in all, for the simplicity of the recipe, it really came out very well. Bravo!

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Saffron spiked Moroccan stew
I didn't use saffron (didn't have any). It's ok. The spice combo was a little unusual for savory stuff, but it was fine. I'm kind of neutral to both chickpeas and sweet potato, so this dish is ok but not something I'd make again.

Creamy polenta with mushrooms
I felt like the polenta from the polenta hearts recipe had more going for it. Sure this was creamy, but I like the herb/garlic stuff with the hearts recipe better. The mushrooms here are pretty good, though. It seemed like a lot of balsamic, but it turned out to be just perfect.

African Sweet potato and peanut stew
I used the lower amount of pb, and it was plenty - pretty rich. I love peanut butter, so at first I was very enthusiastic, but I got tired of it easily, haha. Because it's rich, it's hard to eat much at once. Either make less than a whole recipe, or serve to many people.

French onion pie
Pretty taste. The pie wasn't quite as solid as I would have hoped, though - can probably be solved by less soymilk, or maybe more flour. I like the sweet, subtle flavor of caramelized onions here. But, you'd probably have to be a fan of onions to enjoy it.

Aloo gobi
This was ok. It was hard to cook it well with the amount of liquid stated, so I added more (but too much =(). It didn't particularly stand out to me, but I might have messed it up by adding too much water.

Chana masala
I really liked this. This has a generous amount of spices, even for Indian food, but not to the point that it's bitter. I wound up not having as much chickpeas as called for, so I added some shredded cabbage, which worked well. I'm used to a more tomato-y chana masala, but this was a good change.

Masoor dal
Eh, not so impressed. I wound up adding some garam masala to make up for that.

Mexican champurrado
I made this a second time, and it wasn't so fantastic. I think it really depends on the soymilk you use; this time it came out tasting watery. I used unsweetened Silk, last time (where it *was* fantastic) I was using plain Kirkland. One could probably just sub all the water with soymilk too.

Swedish meatballs
Apparently my idea of finely chopped onion is not the same as the book's - after cooking the meatballs, the onion bits were a bit undercooked, a little crunchy and spicy (eek). I probably should have minced them or left it out. I like Gimme Lean, so I liked the meatballs, but I was less impressed with the sauce. Perhaps I'm just not one for milky sauces, but it was too plain for me, and too bean-y (used soymilk). Maybe it would be better with almond milk instead. I wound up adding more salt to the sauce to make it tastier =)

Spicy black bean burgers
So, I modified this recipe... I left out the breadcrumbs, and just sort of stirfried/stewed this. I felt lazy about forming it into patties, and cynical that it would never hold (it probably has better chances if somewhat blenderized, not just mashed), so yeah. But it was good. But I like most things with black beans, so I'm biased.

Gado gado vegetable skewers
I was once again lazy, so I didn't skewer these, and just ate it like a salad like God intended. There's a lot of sauce, and the sauce is pretty rich, so the optional tofu could easily be used, or it can be eaten with lotsa rice. I like peanut sauce and these vegetables, so it was pretty... easy to like. I wound up adding a little more pb to the sauce than called for, which made it very peanut buttery. I think that coconut milk probably goes better hear, not only for authenticity or something but because it won't curdle at all, and mellows out the flavors.

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Creamy macaroni and cashew cheese

-I messed this up, but it was still pretty ok. My soymilk was too sweet. I like a cashew cream sauce, but this wasn't too special. That's a lot of miso to use, too! It's ok, and I can imagine it would be better following the recipe. I did have way too much sauce, and had to bake it, which I wasn't planning on doing.

Jess, did you mean to say mustard? I didn't see mustard in the recipe? I was planning to leave it out, because I don't usually like the mustard addition, but didn't see it listed. Do you use less miso? oil? ?

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Creamy macaroni and cashew cheese

-I messed this up, but it was still pretty ok. My soymilk was too sweet. I like a cashew cream sauce, but this wasn't too special. That's a lot of miso to use, too! It's ok, and I can imagine it would be better following the recipe. I did have way too much sauce, and had to bake it, which I wasn't planning on doing.

Jess, did you mean to say mustard? I didn't see mustard in the recipe? I was planning to leave it out, because I don't usually like the mustard addition, but didn't see it listed. Do you use less miso? oil? ?

Hmmmm...  It must be the miso!  Sorry.  I know I used way less of that, too!  Sorry for not mentioning it.  I swear mustard was in the ingredients...  I must be confusing it with another mac recipe.  :-[

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Creamy macaroni and cashew cheese

-I messed this up, but it was still pretty ok. My soymilk was too sweet. I like a cashew cream sauce, but this wasn't too special. That's a lot of miso to use, too! It's ok, and I can imagine it would be better following the recipe. I did have way too much sauce, and had to bake it, which I wasn't planning on doing.

Jess, did you mean to say mustard? I didn't see mustard in the recipe? I was planning to leave it out, because I don't usually like the mustard addition, but didn't see it listed. Do you use less miso? oil? ?

Hmmmm...  It must be the miso!  Sorry.  I know I used way less of that, too!  Sorry for not mentioning it.  I swear mustard was in the ingredients...  I must be confusing it with another mac recipe.  :-[

:) No prob! I was just curious. I always want to love mac and cheese recipes.

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African sweet potato and peanut stew

-I can't imagine this with 1/2 cup of peanut butter; that's so much! I used about half of that, and I admit it wasn't extremely peanutty, so I'd probably do a bit more...but not 1/2 cup. I actually think I probably made a different soup, because of all the changes I made while cooking. I guess we won't go into that. ha! Anyway, I don't usually cook with sweet potato, so it was nice to use it (even if P doesn't like it), and I made a nice stew. I served it over quinoa.

http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs386.snc3/23604_495354155532_507120532_11336862_1521126_n.jpg

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French Onion Pie

I didn't want to make two pies, so I cut everything in half and made just one 23cm pie. At first I thought there'd be way too much onion and tofu mixture to sit in the pastry but the quantities were just right. I didn't think that the tofu mixture tasted of very much (I followed the recipe other than the nutmeg), so I doubled-up on the nutritional cheese but it didn't make much of a difference.

I have an oven thermometer, so I knew the temperature was right, but my pie was cooked to my liking in 35 rather than 45 mins. The top had a nice colour to it, but for the photo in the book they must have brushed the top with oil because in reality it doesn't have that glossy sheen to it!

The filling held together well and the pie was...OK.  Easy enough to make, but nothing special.  If I make it again I may well add some different flavourings or spring onions etc to boost the taste.

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