Mr. J's birthday was a few weeks ago and he begged me for a copy ofHearty Vegan Meals For Monster Appetites by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman. I was stunned! He is incorporating more vegan meals than ever into his diet, and I really couldn't be any happier. He asked and received.
The magical vegan cookbook fairy sent me an autographed copy of HVFMA and The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions. ((((waving hands)))) I'm all kinds of farklempt! I haven't tried everything in the book, but I know enough to love it profoundly. LOVE IT! So far, I've tackled the super streusel-y muffins, the bbq buns, and tonight made some polish sausages to serve with peppers, onions, and kraut tomorrow. Food squee!
Pictured above is Vin's birthday lunch of BBQ Baked Buns served with a side of a broccoli salad I threw together. It was such a cinch. The beauty of HVFMA is that it is a really good transitional cookbook for those who are newly vegan, considering veganism, or if you just wanna blow omnivores away with some tasty down home equivalents to stuff that would normally make your doctor lecture you about cholesterol.
This book has received some unfair reviews, mostly by vegans who are surprised this isn't a salad cookbook, which makes me giggle. If the critical had looked harder, they would have seen the following review by Rory Freedman:
"Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites is a feast of indulgent, decadent goodness. If you're looking for a salad recipe for your health nut friends, this isn't the book for you. But if you're looking for the vegan answer to everything your meat eating mouth has ever wanted, you've come to the right place."
So really, people are disappointed by a book that clearly states what kind of food to expect? I mean I might whine if the book was titled Salads for Every Vegan, but it isn't. C'mon, the word MONSTER is in the title. I can't figure people out. What I can say with certainty is I want my food with flavor and filling. Salads? Get outta here, I want to make a meal that will turn into a video by Sir Mix-a-Lot. Back that plate up, do you hear me? Pass the wet naps too, because it is about to get messy in this bidnezz.
I often get overwhelmed with the sheer number of vegan cookbooks in veggietown. It's enough to drive a person nuts. After purchasing many books, I have come to the conclusion that I'm a diehard Steen/Newman fan. The recipes are taste bud tinglin' and Celine's food photography is to die for. I daydream of sitting at that big wood table she uses for taking photos. The food is piled high and I'm being totally pampered by both authors. ((((((sigh))))))
Do yourself a favor, save the salads for the dog days of Summer and get to gettin' on some substantial eats.