Now, you may have seen Vegan Chocolate, hmm… just about everywhere in the last couple of months! Chocolate Queen Fran Costigan and amazing photographer Kate Lewis have created this magical bundle of incredible chocolate recipes; all of which are vegan. If you don’t like chocolate, I suggest you click away, like pronto. ‘Cause it is about to get rich, sweet and cocoa-y up in here.
I was lucky enough to have assisted on the set of Fran’s cookbook trailer, so I got a taste of what was to come before the book was out. I helped make the Sachertorte about three times and never got sick of having a slice after we were done with each one. Seriously, that thing was insane, and I had nearly memorized the recipe by the time it was over because it is very easy to make.
After I got my copy of what I would like to call “the Vegan Chocolate Bible”, I flipped through the pages carefully, deciding on what I wanted to make and what would be fun for the holidays. When I saw the recipe for Chocolate Vodka, I knew that I would FOR SURE make it. Hopefully my pseudo-mother-in-law and my own mother aren’t reading this, because they are each getting a bottle as part of their Christmas gifts.
Next, I found the recipe for Graham Crackers and saw just how easy they were to make. Bingo! That was my second recipe and honestly, it was really hard to save them up for a couple of days so that I could coat them with the Chocolate Olive Oil Glaze. You want to talk about easy? How about two ingredients (with an optional third) to make an awesome chocolate glaze that you can dip anything in? Yes, freakin’ please.
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me for reviewing, I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are honest and my own. There are affiliate links in this post, buying through these helps me to keep this blog going! Thank you, for everything.
One book that I am really excited to have received is Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans by Natalie Slater. This book is totally badass! Not only are there enticing pictures taken by Celine Steen, there are awesome doodles by Betty Turbo and super clever recipe titles. Oh and the foreword is by CM Punk. Uh, WHAT?! So many levels of awesome here.
I felt like this book got me, as a person. My mom on the other hand, did not share in my excitement about the fun drawings and radical recipe titles. Party pooper! Or I’m just a nerd, either way, I don’t really care; I’m just stoked to have this book in my possession! My only regret, at this point, is that I didn’t have more time to make recipes from it before heading out-of-town last week. As some of you may have seen on my Instagram I am in Michigan for two weeks, visiting family and what-have-you.
But, the recipe that I did try was definitely a winner. I can’t even remember the last time I had a pretzel dog, and I have to say, I was a little apprehensive about making these. After looking at the ingredients and directions, though, they seemed easy enough; and they totally were. One weird thing was that I halved the dough recipe because I didn’t have enough flour on hand for the full version of 6-8 pretzel dogs, but I still ended up with 6 pretzel dogs. Maybe I just didn’t use enough dough on each one? I’ll probably never know.
What I do know is that I will be making these again, and that I get to share the recipe with you! You can also check out other recipes from the book by looking at her blog tour list. OH, and to top it all off, you can enter to win a copy of your own in the widget at the end of this post!
I am fortunate enough to have a copy of Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You, in my possession, and I have to say that I’m really excited about this cookbook! I almost never use my slow cooker because the recipes that come out of it are massive, and like she mentions in her book, I don’t feel like eating chili for a week straight. Luckily, this brief review and giveaway ties right in with the Born to Mac MoFo festivities, because of this tasty recipe for Cheezy Butternut Squash Macaroni!
This recipe is a little different from most that you’ve seen this month, because it has some comforting Fall herbs and a delicious dose of garlic. Not only that, this pasta is super easy to make, much like a lot of recipes in this cookbook. There are a set of ingredients that you put in at the beginning of the day, and a couple more before serving, and you’re set! The smell of garlic, rosemary and thyme had my whole family salivating.
Another recipe that I tried from this book was the Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque. I’m a total sucker for Tomato Bisque, in general, but you throw in the ease of using a slow cooker and some basil? I’m all yours. Of course, I kind of messed this up by forgetting that I was cooking it, so I REALLY slow cooked the tomatoes. But, you know what? It tasted great anyway. Success!
Other recipes in this book that I want to try out are the Chocolate Pumpkin Brownie Breakfast Quinoa (WHAT?!), the Lavender Rose Valentine Cocoa, the White Bean Quinoa Gumbo and so many more. The photos are by my friend and extremely talented photographer, Kate Lewis, and they are absolutely drool-worthy.
I remember when I got the email asking me if I would like to participate in the Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! book tour; I was ecstatic! My original plan was to ask for this as a Christmas present, but clearly X-mas has come early. When the book showed up on my doorstep I was so excited to open it up and look at the terrific photos done by Celine Steen (always amazing) and all of the insane sandwich recipes. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. The cover, itself, definitely gave me an idea of what was inside of it.
Tempeh Arugula Caesar Wraps
With chapters like “Going Topless”, “Bold New Ground”, and “Sweetness Follows” I was immediately convinced that I was going to fall in love with this book. One night I went through the entire book, marking all of the recipes that I wanted to try right off the bat. Corey soon became annoyed with me as a kept flipping the pages, showing him photos of recipes that I thought he might be into (but that I definitely was enthusiastic about).
I decided that I would try out three of the recipes from the book for this review, although I wish that I had delved into the dessert side of things, too. (Hello! Wafflewiches!) But, I’ll leave that for another day. One thing that I will say, is that all of the recipes are pretty elaborate and some are time-consuming. This is not a sandwich recipe book for sandwiches on the fly, but I’m totally okay with that because I love complexity and I found that every time it was worth the effort. They do use a symbol to show which sandwiches take less time than others, which is very convenient, but some of those recipes involve making another recipe in the book for it (like deli slices, or bread, for example).
The three recipes that I ended up making were the Tempeh Arugula Caesar Wrap, Meat(less)ball Subs, and the Scrambled Burrito. So, I’ll go over how I felt about the specific recipes that I tried, but keep it relatively brief.
Tempeh Arugula Caesar Wraps: The recipe for the Caesar dressing is highly addictive and although I baked my tempeh instead of frying it, they were still delicious. Having the remainder of the wrap consist of arugula, romaine, roasted bell peppers and red onion was perfect and refreshing. This makes a great lunch! I do have to add that your breath is going to be super garlic/onion/caper-y after this meal, so be aware!
Meat(less)ball Subs: I’ll just say now that I was drooling over the picture of this recipe the minute I opened up the cookbook. Meatball subs used to be one of my favorite sandwiches and I haven’t had one in quite some time, here was my chance! I bought pretzel rolls for the occasion, which ended up being great with the marinara (which I added mushrooms to) and meatballs. I would say that a lot of the taste in this recipe relies on what sauce you end up making, which the authors leave up to you. I fed these to my parents and they really liked them, but thought that the meat(less)balls were a tad under-seasoned. I, personally, thought there was a bit too much Vital Wheat Gluten in them which lead to a lot of chewing. But, I’ll be making the meatless balls again in the future, just a little modified.
Scrambled Burrito: From the first impression this burrito sounds like it would be of the breakfast variety, but this is not the case (in my opinion). The scramble refers to the small pieces of tempeh in the filling, which has amazing flavors, but doesn’t give off a breakfast vibe. I would even go as far as to say that the filling (when not thickened) would make a great dip for chips and veggies at a get-together. I enjoyed it wrapped in a tortilla and then pressed to give it a crispy shell and may try this with tofu, next time for more of a breakfast/brunch vibe.
Overall, I highly recommend that you check out and purchase Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!, so that you can make incredible sandwiches and wraps for yourself as well as friends and family. If they don’t think that vegan food can taste good, here is a great chance to show them just how wrong they are. Plus, there are recipes for seitan, bread and SO many great sauces in the book that are multi-purpose. You really can’t go wrong with this one.
Now, I am giving you the chance to win a copy of your own! Just look to the giveaway widget below and enter for a copy of this awesome compilation of vegan sandwiches. Please keep in mind that this giveaway is open to the residents of US and Canada, only. Sorry, everyone else!
This is a vegan food blog, run by Jackie Sobon, that covers everything from indulgent desserts, to healthy dinners, and even raw recipes! I also write up restaurant reviews and am sort of a beer snob. You'll find that there is something for everyone, here!
If you would like me to contact me about photography jobs, testing out a recipe, review your restaurant or just have a question you'd like me to answer email me at: [email protected]!