Vegan Unplugged by Jon Robertson and Robin Robertson (Book Review)
When I first heard about Vegan Unplugged, I had never really thought about the potential use of “A Pantry Cuisine Cookbook and Survival Guide.” These days there are oodles of vegan cookbooks on the market, yet I am amazed when ones such as this one still manage to carve a new niche. Vegan Unplugged is in fact so useful, that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to my non-vegan comrades too.
So what are its uses?
- Preparing for Emergencies (earthquakes, hurricanes, power outages)
- Road Trips
- Hotel Stays (on a budget or a special diet with limited kitchen supplies)
- Camping Cuisine
- College and Dorm Room Cooking
- Uncooks (you know who you are)
- Being Resourceful with an Out of Commission Kitchen (Boy could my aunt and uncle have used this when they were living out of their basement and eating out every single night as their entire house was remodeled!)
- An Empty Fridge and No Desire to Go Grocery Shopping (oh this happens all too often, doesn’t it?)
These are the obvious uses, but I found one more use …
… taking care of an overstocked pantry. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem (Okay, it actually is a problem in my house sometimes. I can’t pass up good grocery sales!). But, we are moving, a fair distance, and the last thing I want to do is pack up boxes full of pantry food. Noodles, nut butters, various types of rice, lentils, split peas, flours … we are talking loads of heavy stuff here, and I want it gone within two months! My goal may be unrealistic, but with Vegan Unplugged, I am at least making a serious dent …
Unplugged Peanut Noodles (a combination of the recipes for Rice Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing)
Old Bay Chickpea Cakes served on salad
Old Bay Chickpea Cakes "A la Mode" (with a homemade creamy dressing)
Sweet Treat Chocolate Truffles (see the recipe for my modified version called Double Peanut Chocolate Truffles)
I have also used the Kitchen-Sink Cappelini from this book as a base recipe on two different nights! (sorry, no pic, we were hungry)
Other recipes I am hoping to make from this book in the next month include the:
- Jazzed-Up Jasmine Rice
- Pantry Bulgur Pilaf
- Suddenly Sushi
- Hot and Sour Soup
- Artichoke Dip
- Red Pepper Walnut Spread
- Tropical Energy Balls
- Skillet Peach Crumble (for my freezer overflowing with peaches!)
The recipes were created by Robin Robertson, a true master of simple pantry recipes, as evidenced by several of her other titles (yeah, when you hit close to 20 vegan cookbooks, you could be considered an expert). In fact, I am even sourcing recipes from her other books to clean things out. Today I made some of her Better Bean Burgers (with lentils) … but that is another post for another day.
But I have discussed the recipes enough. The backbone of Vegan Unplugged is written by the primary author, Jon Robertson (you guessed it, Robin’s husband). Jon offers pages and pages of tips and checklists to help you prepare for unexpected events and even how to react to them when they occur. Once you are done with this book, you will likely have a full emergency kit and a perfectly stocked pantry. Unless you are like me of course, and trying to eat yourself out of house and home … quite literally.