Vegan Eats World this entire pan of Pastichio Vegani.

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

2014-05-19 - Vegan Eats World - 0001 [flickr]

As if The HappyCow Cookbook wasn’t keeping me busy enough, Da Capo Press sent me a copy of Terry Hope Romero’s Vegan Eats World for review. Two cookbooks at once; the insanity right? I can barely juggle one at a time.

Originally published in 2012, a shiny new paperback edition of Vegan Eats World came out a few months ago. I liked the original cover well enough, but I’m seriously digging the paperback version. You know what I want to see on the cover of my cookbook? Food, food, and more food. Please!

Since I’m a seriously fussy eater, I figured the international bent of Vegan Eats World would provide a nice challenge for my taste buds. I already have a list several pages long of the recipes I want to try (and a corresponding shopping list several miles long!) – but of course, my very first is a pasta dish. OF COURSE. Greek Eggplant Lasagna, otherwise known as Pastichio Vegani, eggplant optional.

2014-05-22 - VEW Pastichio Vegani - 0004 [flickr]

This lasagna, you guys? Totally my favorite. Of all the times. For starters, it doesn’t call for lasagna noodles, so no laboring over a giant, steaming hot cauldron, gently stirring giant lasagna noodles while whispering a prayer to the great Spaghetti Monster in the sky that they’ll come out with minimal rippage.

The top, cheesy, crispy layer is what Romero calls an “almost-Bechamel topping” (I hadn’t heard of B├ęchamel sauce until earlier this month, and now I’m seeing it everywhere!). It’s a tofu and cashew-based cheese that’s cooked until it’s firm and crispy brown on top. You guys! I could seriously just eat the cheese by itself.

2014-05-22 - VEW Pastichio Vegani - 0005 [flickr]

Then there are two layers of pasta slathered in a roux sauce (again, the roux is so surprisingly tasty that I could eat it as is) separated by a layer of chunky veggie sauce with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. The sauce has a special surprise: a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, complemented by the nutmeg in the almost-Bechamel topping. I have to admit, I was a wee bit nervous putting these two spices in pasta; it’s not my usual way of doing things. But the end result was pretty awesome: the cinnamon gives the sauce an extra kick that’s spicy, but not hot; and the nutmeg just rounds the cinnamon out. Hella good.

My favorite part, of course, are the corners:

2014-05-22 - VEW Pastichio Vegani - 0011 [flickr]

Next time I’m totally gonna make this in a brownie pan. THEY’RE ALL CORNERS!

So yeah, my first attempt from Vegan Eats World? A massive success. Luckily, there are only a few more Mediterranean-style pasta dishes here, so even if I play it safe and stick with pasta to start, sooner or later I’ll have to move on to more adventurous (to me!) fare.

Mayim’s Vegan Table on Kelly’s Cookbook Table

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

2014-03-19 - Mayim's Vegan Table - 0002 [flickr]

A belated (Two days late. I KNOW I AM THE WORST.) shout-out to Da Capo Books, who sent me a copy of Mayim Balik’s debut cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table. It dropped on February 11th, so you can grab a copy for your own bad self any time you want.

I’ve already cracked it open and come up with a list of recipes I’d like to try. Naturally I gravitated right to the breakfast foods: Breakfast Burritos, Potato Hash, and Pancakes, yum! There are also a ton of Jewish recipes that caught my eye. Matzoh Ball Soup? Check. Root Vegetable Latkes? Yes please. Rugelach? You betcha! And two mac and cheese-style dishes? I am sold.

Also, and on a completely different note, don’t you just love my cookbook table? It started out as a place to stash the cookbooks I’m currently using but, as the cookbook shelf in the pantry filled up, it became overflow storage. Wanna take bets on how high I can pile the stack? I have a couple of feet until I hit the bottom of my Rat Terrier Coffee Bean Company poster.

Serious cookbook addiction? Check and check.