Vegan with a vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Opinion:

I haven't tried that many recipes in the book yet that's why I haven't put any official reviews of it on Amazon.com - where I bought the book.

But here are my reviews of the few recipes I have tried.

Mango-ginger Tofu (page 153)
Good. We gave it two thumbs up. Isa uses peanut oil in a lot of her recipes - I don't know why - maybe it's cheap in the U.S. I have never even seen it over here. I used sesame oil in its place. I also wasn't sure about the ground allspice - what that is exactly in the Netherlands - so I used garam masala. I didn't have fresh ginger so I used half the amount called for with ground ginger. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly. We served it over rice with steam broccoli. but we ended up mixing it all together and it resembled something like what you'd get at Eazies in Eindhoven. Very tasty. Sweet - with a slight spicy aftertaste. It was a long preparation but if you have the time - it's worth it.

Spanakopita - spinach pies (page 91)
At first I thought they were a bit too much sour from all the lemon juice. There is a full 1/3 cup lemon juice. However, by day two they are quite good and I ate them all by myself. Mark didn't really care for the sourness. I used finely ground pinenuts in place of walnuts b/c that's all I had. I think I'll try these again with a bit less lemon juice. I don't know what the purpose of the lemon juice is - other than for nutrition sake. I think I read somewhere that lemon juice is used to help the body absorb other nutrients like calcium, etc. I also don't use phyllo dough as I think it's too time consuming. They have something over here called "bladerdeeg" - leafy dough and it's much quicker - it's like the same thing they use for apple turnovers. Very good and it's a time saver - I believe from the ingredients list it is vegan as well - phew!

Crispy Peanut Butter Cookies (page 200)
Yuck. Okay, I already have a very nice pb cookie recipe that I tried just one week prior to this one that I found on vegweb. But I was all out of baking soda so I couldn't make those. So I found this one in VWAV. It doesn't use baking soda. Instead it has cornstarch of all things and baking powder. Well these weren't sweet enough for our liking. And they were too crumbly as well. They were very peanutty - but I like a sweeter cookie - I want it to be more like candy and I want it to hold together better. There is one other PB cookie recipe in the book that uses oatmeal - and perhaps I'll try that one later. But this particular one we did not care for.

Chocolate-Chocolate chip pancakes (page 35)
Yum yum. I have been making pancakes quite regularly for breakfast. I was kind of getting tired of the same old thing even though I love regular pancakes with maple syrup and veggie butter on top. Well I decided to give these ones a whirl and they were yum yum. I just couldn't decide what to top them with. I don't like my pancakes dry - I like them dripping with something. And I didn't want to use maple syrup. So first I had some with just melted veggie butter on top. That was okay. Then I tried some with dark chocolate syrup. Again yummy but it was missing something. So the third stack I had with raspberry/forest fruits jam and that was awesome. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner but of course raspberry and chocolate are the best match. So I will make these again when I feel like taking a break from my regular routine - and I will pair it with raspberry preserves - yum yum.

Corn Chowder (page 57)
This is what I'm preparing for dinner tonight! I have high hopes for it as I'm serving it in big breadroll bowls. So I'll have to post again with what we thought of it later. I'm excited though - here it is September 2 - the weather is very cool today so it is perfect to have a warm soup for dinner.

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