Friday, July 4, 2014

Isa Does It (Vegan Cookbook Review)

I have a lot of cookbooks! But the sad truth is that three-quarters of my cookbooks don't get much use. I could tell with one quick look through Isa Does It, however, that the latest cookbook in my collection was going to get lots of wear.

Why? Great photos for starters (from photographer Vanessa Rees). And lots of them. Secondly, I love the tone of Isa's writing - knowledgeable and authoritative and yet funny. While I had of course heard of Isa Chandra Moskowitz before, surprisingly I didn't own any of her cookbooks. But, after several people told me that Isa Does It is one of their favourites, I just had to have it.

Beyond the photography and the writing style, there is, of course, the recipes. They are my favourite kind - not over-complicated, with simple ingredients in innovative combinations. Lots of comforting food here - food that you could serve up to non-vegan friends without them even noticing - like Eggplant & Bread Crumb Fettuccine or Tamale Shepherd's Pie. There are nearly 200 recipes intended to help the busy home cook make everyday meals quickly.

The focus here is on making easy, yet tasty and attractive meals. Isa offers a bunch of thirty-minute meals as well as recipes that take longer, but have built-in downtime so you can accomplish other tasks or sit back with a glass of wine while dinner cooks.

I started off making a simple recipe for vegan Coconut French Toast. With a few common ingredients like flour and cornstarch, I wasn't expecting a whole lot out of this recipe, to be honest. But the coconut makes it genius.

Topped with maple syrup, it had the feel of a decadent morning treat. It would be a perfect addition to a weekend brunch.

I also made Omaha Yakisoba With Red Cabbage & Corn. It was good, but I think it would have been better if I had remembered to buy the shiitake mushrooms the recipe calls for!

I also made Lentil-A-Roni - twice. It's sooo good! It's easy to make and has a tomato sauce that's made creamy by the addition of soaked cashews. The kids were not as impressed, but the husband and I downed a boatload of this pasta.

But my most favourite new recipe of all is the Tofu-Mushroom Stroganoff. I have made something similar in the past, but it called for the purchase of faux sour cream. This recipe uses soaked cashews, so you don't need to buy anything special.  And it is truly delicious.

I think I will enjoy Isa Does It even more in the fall and winter. There are so many warming, comfort-food recipes.

Get Isa Does It in Canada.
Get Isa Does It in the USA.

Do you have this cookbook in your collection? Are you a cookbook addict too?

*I was provided with a book for review purposes. All opinions are authentic and my own. This post contains affiliate links.


  1. I made the coconut French toast yesterday and the stroganoff the day before and loved them. Today I made the cast iron stir fry and might make the tempeh orzilla tomorrow. Dessert tonight is the strawberry bread pudding :D

    1. That's great! Sounds like we are making good use of this one cookbook in our collections! ;) Jo

  2. That coconut french toast does like really tempting. I've only tried "real" french toast once before in my life, and that was many years ago now.

    Jo, I'm assuming it's a mock meat free cook book? I've just about had my fill of mock meat here in the states!

    1. This is definitely as satisfying as the "real" French toast.

      There are seitan recipes, but it's a big book so there are plenty of other great options. :)


  3. Isa Does It is my favorite vegan cookbook! So many amazing recipes. :)

    1. I can't wait to try more recipes! Thanks Meredith.



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