I have wanted to write a review of this -and I'll just get this love-affair out there right now, it's brilliant, so do yourself (and your health, your taste buds, and the environment) a favor, buy this book - for a while now. However, I tend to be a big procrastinator. So much so that I have wanted to write other review before but have never gotten around to it. In fact, this will be my first review ever. So why now? How did I break through the procrastination? I did so because I am absolutely driven to do so. I just have to let everyone else know how awesome Let Them Eat Vegan is!
I have been a huge fan of Dreena Burton's for years now. What I like most about her books is that they use whole ingredients, ones that are good for you and our earth. This is especially true in this book. I don't believe there is even one ingredient that is a highly-processed source (there are some minimal processed items, but they are still very healthy). So you might be thinking, okay, the ingredients are whole food ingredients, but I bet some of them are hard to find. Nope! There may be a few high-end items that you might have to search out (Amazon is your friend here), but, for the majority, most items are easily found. All of this means nothing, though, if the recipes don't taste good - scratch that - if they don't taste great! And trust me, the ones they I have tried so far are PHENOMINAL. In fact, they have all be so good that this is truly the first time I have wanted to make every single recipe in a cookbook. And I certainly intend on doing so. Even my boyfriend who can be a bit picky has absolutely loved everything I have made from this book. And ever since we got this book, it has been on a high-rotation for our weekly meal planning. This reminds me of another key point that has been true in all of Dreena's work, she has taught me how to prepare foods so that he will actually eat them! There is just something about the way she puts food together, you just want to eat it!
Here are the recipes I have tried so far:
* Cocoa Goji Granola - I typically don't eat cereal for breakfast because I don't find it that filling, and it doesn't stick with me long enough. I love granola, but it tends to be so heavy with tons of oil and sugar (commercial ones, anyway). But this granola is divine! And you can feel great about eating it because it has so many good things in there for you: hemp seeds (for your omega 3), sunflower seeds, cocoa, goji berries...One word of caution, you WILL want to double this recipe. Learn from me, I made it the first time and it was gone way too quick. So the next time I made it I doubled the recipe so I would have some on hand for a wee bit longer.
* Raw-nch Dressing: I have scoured the internet high and low for a great vegan ranch dressing. Some of them have been okay and some have been pretty darn good. But this one is the one I have been looking for all this time. Five stars! And I love that it is raw. So easy to make. So easy to eat. It definitely hits the spot when you are craving a creamy ranch dressing.
* Brazil Nut Parmezan : How can four little ingredients taste so good. This one could possibly be worth the price of the book all by itself. Got a parm craving, look no further. And again, do yourself a favor and double or triple the recipe. I was eating this one all by itself. Sure the nutty, cheesy flavor goes great on salads, pasta, etc...but it's pretty darn good with just a spoon!
* Thai Chickpea Almond Curry: The name says it all...If you like Thai, you will love this...so creamy, and the spices are just right!
* "No-fu" Love Loaf: I love a good loaf, but they can be tricky. And I love that this one can be made gluten-free but still so darn delicious. Comfort food weds healthy food in a perfect marriage!
* Boulangerie Potatoes with Sautéed Fennel and White Beans: To be honest, I wasn't sure how this one would be. I bought fennel for a fennel salad that I didn't make. So I thought, I bet Dreena as a rockin' recipe for fennel. Sure enough, here it was. I was intrigued and curious. Turns out, the worries were for naught (but then again, Mrs. Burton doesn't have a bad recipe!!!) The beans were perfectly tender, the fennel was like butter, and the potatoes really hit the spot.
* Corn Chowder Quinoa Casserole: This one is somewhere in my top three! You should see the page in my book - already showing signs of wear. This quickly went on regular rotation after the first bite. My boyfriend is not big on casseroles, but even he can't get enough of this one. I love how the quinoa soaks up all the flavors of the basil and Dijon mustard. And the lime juice give it a certain brightness and zippiness.
* BBQ Sunflower Tofu: So simple to make and so tasty too! I have been looking for a really good BBQ recipe and this one was perfect. I have purchased so many different BBQ sauces from the store but my BF never really likes most of them. He really only likes this one brand. But when I made this one, I finally found another BBQ sauce that he could dig! This one is not too sweet and is the perfect blend of spices.
* Chickpea Pumpkin Seed Burgers: I love a great veggie burger but can't really get into store bought ones - they are too pricey and lack a lot of flavor. But these don't have that problem at all! They hit all the right spots and holds together really well. This is another one well the taste is spot on, but it is also packed with nutrients (chickpeas, nutritional yeast, chia seeds, brown rice and oats, plus those yummy pumpkin seeds). Totally drool worthy!
* Black Bean, Quinoa, and Sweet Potato Spicy Croquettes with Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream: Another one that tops my list! These are spicy in a good way...perfect amount of heat. And the black beans with the sweet potato are heaven...Not to mention the wonderful smokiness and great hit of cumin from whole cumin seeds!!! The croquettes are phenomenal all by themselves...but when you add the pumpkin seed chipotle cream the dish is totally over the top!!! That cream sauce mixes a smoky flavor with a creamy texture (who needs sour cream when you have this stuff!)
* Fab Cakes with Smarter Tartar Sauce: Crab cakes are nasty but Fab Cakes are divine! This is a very bright dish with zing! And I probably sound like a broken record, but not only is it great tasting, it is packed with veggie goodness. Lots of veggies are thrown in the mix and it's topped with a very smart Tartar sauce indeed.
* Award-Winning Frosted B-raw-nies: I don't consider myself a big dessert eater. But Dreena's desserts are another story. They aren't sickeningly sweet. They allow the natural good flavors to come through. And most are pretty easy to make. I made a double batch of these brownies and cut them up into individual pieces and put them in the freezer. Whenever I needed a little pick-me up but didn't want nasty junk food, I just pulled one of these bad boys out of the freezer. And yes, you can enjoy straight out of the freezer! They are the perfect amount of chocolate and the coconut butter makes them just decadent enough!
* Raw Lemon-Lime Cheesecake with Coconut Crust and Fresh Mango Sauce: I don't know how she did it. A vegan cheese cake that is not made out of tofu! I've had some pretty good tofu cheesecake in my days...but this is on another level! The texture is the first thing you notice...it is spot on...very creamy, yet still firm. And this recipe definitely brought the tang that you would expect. I brought a slice of these to work one day and my non-vegan friends were blown away! They have been begging me to brink not only another slice, but they each want an entire cheesecake all to themselves! Perhaps I should just give them a copy of this book! If they love this recipe, they will surely love so many more!
To conclude, I am in love with this book, from cover to cover!