Vegan Cookbook Offers Delicious Comfort Food from Blue Plate Specials to Homestyle Favorites

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American Vegan KitchenOh my goodness, does this lady know her way around diner food! I loved how the author of American Vegan Kitchen, Tamasin Noyes, offers tidbits on “diner speak” throughout this cookbook that ventures well beyond your traditional greasy spoon. She seamlessly ties each recipe into familiar American restaurant cuisine in one way or another, but really, this is a very unique collection of vegan cuisine.

Those who have turned to a vegan diet but are missing the indulgence factor will be jumping for joy over pseudo-familiar American-style recipes like the Beer-Battered Onion Rings, Tofu Rancheros, Vegan Sausage Links, Fork and Knife Reubens, Salisbury-Style Seitan with Mushrooms, Yankee Cornbread, New York-Style Cheesecake, Double Dark Mississippi Mud Pie, and Darngood Donut Bites. But be prepared for some new and exciting adventures that shout “nouveau bistro” more than “classic diner” … Fried Avocado Wedges, Savory Stuffed French Toast with Mustard Shallot Sauce, Poblano Macaroni Salad, Chickanini Sandwiches, Pesto Lasagna with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Mushrooms, and Vanilla Espresso Shake … just to name a few.

I went the semi-traditional route and chose the …

Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo from American Vegan Kitchen

To no fault of the recipe, I over cooked the pasta a bit (I didn’t have proper fettuccine noodles and used whole wheat spaghetti), which is why the overall dish doesn’t look as delicious as it is. It really didn’t taste like traditional alfredo to my taste buds, but was quite tasty in its own right. It had a slight tang that I tempered with a touch more nutritional yeast (have no fear, this isn’t a nutritional yeast-heavy recipe – the author just uses a bit to round out the flavor and add that boldness needed in this creamy dish). It was wonderfully creamy and my husband and I had no problem in finishing it off. Tamasin suggests adding broccoli, but I had some greens on hand that I sautéed and added to the pasta instead.

 

Rosemary Carrots

Rosemary Carrots from American Vegan Kitchen

This is a very simple recipe with just a few ingredients but a very nice flavor … it did remind me of those veggies you sometimes get in diners and wonder why they taste so good.

 

Coconut ‘Bacon’ Bits

Coconut 'Bacon' Bits from American Vegan Kitchen

These were actually a sub-recipe for the Double Stuffed Spuds, but I didn’t have any potatoes on hand and really wanted to try these. I was so glad that I did! So incredibly clever to use shredded coconut – it is a wonderful texture for this concept. The only problem that I had with the recipe was that they were definitely done (even a bit burned in spots) after only 17 minutes, and I did use an oven thermometer. I think will reduce the temperature to 250ºF on the next go around. I find it easier to monitor when you do a lower temp for a bit longer time on fragile items like coconut. Nonetheless, the result was so surprisingly delicious! My husband saw the jar on the counter and eagerly asked “are those bacon bits?” [insert big bacon-loving husband grin here]He had no idea they were vegan, let alone coconut. Of course, they didn’t taste identical to bacon bits, but they had a fresher more complex taste. I devoured them atop salads mostly, but they also found their way onto some pasta dishes as a flavorful, smoky garnish.

I still have the Veggie Fried Rice, Summer Waffles with Lemon Sauce, Hubby’s Home Fries, Mustard Mac and Slaw (I have heard this dish is awesome!), Stovetop Mac and Cheeze, and Roasted Broccoli and Peppers marked in to trial soon.

A well-stocked vegan kitchen and a little time will easily see you through all of the recipes in this cookbook, which does contain quite a few elaborate recipes. I wouldn’t call American Vegan Kitchen a beginner vegan cookbook, but it should be a lot of fun for vegans who are ready for some new adventures along with the return of many old, but well-loved flavors.

 

This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide & Cookbook. To purchase American Vegan Kitchen, visit Amazon.

American Vegan Kitchen

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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