Because Isa Does It is now one of my favourite cookbooks, I have been wanting to try more Isa books, preferably all of them. During my household purge (still ongoing) I tossed several old, somewhat outdated vegetarian and non-vegetarian cookbooks. In theory I have more room on my shelves for new cookbooks. (In reality I still have quite an abundance. What can I say? I'm a cookbook addict. But it's a pretty harmless addiction, right?)
Fortunately my wishes for more Isa vegan cookbooks were granted by Da Capo Press. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Isa's groundbreaking Vegan with a Vengeance: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock, Jillian sent me these wonderful books, some of them written with Isa's talented cookbook-writing partner, Terry Hope Romero.
I couldn't be more excited to receive this package unless the recipes made themselves! (How cool would that be?) I am imagining all kinds of treats coming from these three wonderful vegan dessert books: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Treats; Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule and Vegan Pie in the Sky: 75 Out-of-This-World Recipes for Pies, Tarts, Cobblers, and More.
And then, of course, there's Vegan Brunch: Homestyle Recipes Worth Waking Up For--From Asparagus Omelets to Pumpkin Pancakes! This enticing book is packed with ideas for animal-friendly breakfasts and brunches. It's the ideal cookbook for a leisurely Sunday or a special celebration (Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas morning - you name it!).
I am a huge fan of muffins. For one thing, muffins are easy to make. You can even whip them together in the morning before you head out for work. I'm not kidding! I'm by no means an early riser, but I have made muffins many a time in the past before going to work/delivering the kids to daycare or school. I found the effort was well worth it once 10 a.m. break time came around. Biting into a nurturing, homemade and delicious treat while savouring a cup of tea or coffee sure helps to ease workday woes. Same goes for stay-at-home moms. Treat yourself to a coffee break treat, and put some of the batter in mini muffin pans to entice the kids!
There are plenty of muffin recipes in Vegan Brunch, including the recipe for these vegan Coffee Chip Muffins, pictured above. With these delicious little goodies, you get your coffee, chocolate and muffin all rolled into one! The recipe calls for very few ingredients and these muffins are super simple to make. The ingredient list includes instant coffee crystals but I used instant espresso because that's what I had in the house. These Coffee Chip Muffins are tender and delicious, with a sweet treat from the chocolate chips.
And now onto the star of our show, because, hey, Vegan with a Vengeance has been changing the way people look at vegan food for 10 years now. Yay! The 10th anniversary edition promises "new photos and even more delicious, cheap recipes that rock!" Isa further promises, "With ten years of cookbook authoring now under my pleather belt, I felt it was time to update some of these babies! Don't worry, I didn't mess with the super-beloved recipes; I just brought everything up to date and gave it all a little extra love."
Isa has updated the directions in some recipes to simplify them and shortened many ingredient lists, as well as making updates such as replacing vegan butter with coconut oil. She added a few recipes that are proven faves on her blog and added some dessert recipes from the dessert trilogy mentioned above.
I always prefer simple recipes. I'm not into long ingredient lists and hard-to-find specialty items. I want clean, healthy, tasty, whole foods as much as possible. That's not to say I don't like sophisticated, complex recipes - I would just prefer somebody else prepares them.
If your tastes run to wholesome and delicious cooking, like mine, then I promise you will love Vegan with a Vengeance. Case in point, this Garlicky Kale With Tahini Dressing, above. It is simple to prepare yet kind of impressive looking in the end. It involves making a tahini sauce and flavouring your beloved kale with garlic, salt and lemon. Definitely a new favourite for me.
A couple more recipes I tried - the Baking Powder Biscuits and Scrambled Tofu, above. Despite my rather limited colour palette (note to self - next time add some greens!), these recipes contributed to a lovely brunch. The biscuits are meant to be topped with a White Bean Tempeh Sausage Gravy - sounds amazing, but I just didn't have the time that day.
More muffins - yum - these ones are Cherry-Almond Muffins. They contain dried cherries, an update from the older recipe, which called for removing pits from cherries. (Isa recognized that few of us have the time to do that!) The recipe also calls for vegan yogurt, almond extract and sliced almonds. I left out the sliced almonds because, one, we didn't have any, and two, the kids wouldn't like them anyway. Still wonderfully tasty without the sliced almonds.
There are many more recipes I'm eager to try in this updated version of Vegan with a Vengeance, and I promise some of them will be dinner foods rather than sweets and treats. Oh, and I did make the delicious recipe for Stewed Tofu and Potatoes in Miso Gravy, as you can see in this post.
I would love to hear if you have any favourite recipes from this or the original version of the book! If you don't have the book, be sure to enter the giveaway below. Whether you are vegan or not, there are sure to be many recipes you'll want to try.
How often do you prepare vegan or vegetarian foods?
Vegan with a Vengeance Giveaway!
Residents of the U.S. and Canada may enter to win 1 of 3 copies of the 10th anniversary edition of Vegan with a Vengeance using the rafflecopter below. Enter until September 7th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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