Easy Cheap Vegan Recipes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz!
A few weeks ago, I received an email from an editor asking me to review the 10th anniversary edition of the cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance, from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a book packed with what I would discover were easy cheap vegan recipes. This was not my first cookbook from this author, so I accepted this challenge with great pleasure! Another addition to my reviews of vegan cookbooks for beginners.
More Cheap Easy Vegan Recipes in this 10th Anniversary Edition
I do not own the original edition of the book and have never seen it, so I have to refer to the book to describe what is different about this 10th anniversary edition. There are a few things that stand out for me in this edition:
- very easy directions (this is one of the improvements identified in the cookbook, and I must say that all the recipes I tested were extremely easy to follow)
- simple and few ingredients (another improvement, and not to the detriment of taste)
- spectacular photos (I mostly pick what I want to make by looking at the pictures first, so this was especially important to me, and something that was also part of the update)
In the book, there is also a mention of a few new recipes, which is also a nice addition.
Easy Cheap Vegan Recipes for All Occasions
Like most recipe books, Vegan with a Vengeance offers interesting recipes for soups, sides, entrees and desserts. These are all classic categories. However, in this cookbook, I love that there is a section just for muffins and scones, for brunch items (so important!), for cookies and bars, pizzas and pastas, and finally for finger food and sammiches. This organization of the various recipes really helps me find what I am looking for.
I also enjoyed the various inspirations for the recipes, sometimes from Isa’s Jewish background or her work as a chef in Brooklyn. You know the girl is serious about getting the pizza just right when the pizza dough recipe, aptly called the novel, is the longest in the cookbook!
Just as a preview, here are some of the more creative and interesting recipes I came across in the book (I haven’t tried those, but they are on my to-do list):
- Breakfast lentil chorizo
- Beet, Barley, and Black Soybean Soup with Pumpernickel Croutons
- Seitan and Herb-Stuffed Mushrooms
- Green Goddess Garlic Pizza (green and garlic? I’m in heaven!)
- BBQ Pomegranate Tofu
- Lemongrass Noodle Bowl with Mock Duck
- No Bake Black Bottom-Peanut Butter Silk Pie
- and much more
But I did test a few recipes, to help me write this review, and here’s how they came out.
Testing of Four Easy Cheap Vegan Recipes from the Cookbook
BLT Mac & Cheeze
I not only tested this recipe but also documented my step-by-step experience in another blog post. Courtesy of our friends at Lifelong Books, I also provided you with the text of the recipe. But what is there to say about this one, other than it was super simple to make and came out just as decadent as it sounds. Even picky eaters will enjoy this dish, and although they might notice that the bacon is not really… bacon, they will not believe the cheese sauce has no cheese in it!
Cauliflower-Leek Kugel with Almond-Herb Crust
The word “kugel” means “pudding” in Yiddish, but in this case, the recipe is a cauliflower and leek casserole, topped with a crust made of roasted almonds and herbs. You would probably think that this would be served as a side-dish, but since the casserole also contains tofu, it stands its ground as a main course. This was my first time trying the recipe, and I was very happy to see that my dish closely ressembled the one in the cookbook! I loved the taste, delicate and complex, of this casserole. I’ll definitely make this one again!
Curried Tempeh-Mango Salad Sammiches
I think I’ve written before about my love-and-hate relationship with tempeh. I’ve found it really hard to make tempeh taste palatable. Obviously, now that I know the trick of rehydrating it before adding it to a recipe, I’m starting to grow fond of the soy-based protein. This recipe allows you to make a salad, a bit similar to a curried chicken salad, that can be used in a sandwich, or eaten on its own. I had this at lunch today. My pita was a bit dried and wouldn’t open. So I used my lettuce leaves as scoops and ate the salad this way. After being refrigerated overnight, the flavors really blend together. And the tempeh is delightful this way! Something interesting to bring to potlucks and BBQs maybe?
The Best Pumpkin Muffins
Wow, this was another hit, especially warm out of the oven with a bit of vegan butter. I had tried other muffin recipes from Isa, and they always turned out great. This recipe was no exception and the combination of pumpkin and spices was perfectly balanced. I know it’s not exactly pumpkin season, but canned pumpkin is always easy to find in the supermarket. I have a trick when I buy canned pumpkin, as recipes usually don’t require using the entire can: transfer the rest in an ice-cube tray and freeze, then transfer the cubes into a freezer bag for the next time you need canned pumpkin.
Another Great Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz!
Vegan with a Vengeance now has a place in my collection, along with these other fine titles by Isa: