Alisa Fleming ~ It’s been a little while since I’ve reviewed a vegan cookbook, but I’ve noticed that things are changing. Vegan cookbooks used to be compilations of mock “everything that is naturally non-vegan.” You’d find strange concoctions labeled as Eggplant “Parmesan” or “Beef” Wellington, even though the ingredients (and usually end result) in no way resembled the traditional. But, vegan authors are broadening their horizons and most readers have accepted the fact that vegan food can be delicious in its own right.
Betsy DiJulio is one recipe creator who has done a fantastic job in moving beyond these vegan stereotypes with her new cookbook, The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes. She doesn’t pretend that tofu and seitan are meat, and her recipe titles entice by focusing on the wonderful ingredients used.
Seasonal cookbooks seem to be a theme in recent years, particularly with the farm to table movement. However, Betsy’s format is the most appealing I’ve seen. While laying a book out by season can seem fun, I’m usually looking for a specific type of recipe (appetizer, soup, dessert, etc.) before I consider the season. The Blooming Platter is organized first by recipe type, and THEN by season. I find this so incredibly convenient while still maintaining the fun “cooking in season” inspiration …
As for the recipes, The Blooming Platter has a wide range of internationally-inspired offerings right alongside “comfort foods” like veggie burgers. It also runs the gambit of hearty meals, fruit-filled breakfasts, indulgent desserts, and of course, vegetable-packed recipes. Here is a little visual sampling of what you will find inside …
Fresh Strawberry Mint Pancakes
Zucchini-Stuffed Shells w/ Blooming Marinara Sauce
Sweet Potato Layer Cake w/ Butterscotch Bourbon Cream
Note that this is not a full color cookbook, but there is an insert that includes photos of about 25 recipes. Photos are never a deal-breaker for me, as the cookbooks I use most are the ones without pictures!
For more information, to purchase, and to read reviews for this cookbook, visit The Blooming Platter Cookbook on Amazon.
This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.