Most of my cooking involves throwing in a bit of this and a pinch of that. I rarely follow recipes to the letter, but I do love a good cookbook for inspiration.
Last week I received a review copy of CHLOE’S KITCHEN: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way, and it was truly love at first flip-through. Like the cover, the rest of the book is vibrant, clean, and welcoming, a celebration of really good homemade vegan food. If you know someone who equates eating vegan with eating celery and carrots all day long, this book would be a good way to sway their opinion.
There are all sorts of recipes, from salads to desserts, with some hearty, soul-soothing vegan fare in between. You could easily make any of the recipes in this book for a group of people, whether vegan or not, and the conversation would likely be on the fresh, creative cuisine, not the missing meat or dairy!
With recipes like Falafel Sliders with Avocado Hummus, Garlic Knots, and Baked Sprinkle Donuts, there is no deprivation here, just good eating.
Here’s a photo of my copy. Despite being crazy busy, I stopped everything I was doing to bookmark about 10 recipes in this book. As you can see, I grabbed from my work area to bookmark, so there are post-its, scraps of envelopes, and business cards. I like to reuse, I guess.
The book is very aesthetically pleasing, and many, if not most of the recipes appealed instantly to my palate. I declared to my husband that we would be eating vegan for the next week. He basically said “Meh”, and I remembered that if I just made and served the food, he would eat it, love it, and probably not think about vegan vs. not.
So what did I make?
We started with the Wontons with Apricot Mustard Sauce. I ended up subbing sriracha for mustard, and the mix of that with apricot jam was to-die-for. The filling in the wontons featured cashews, carrots, mushrooms, and ginger, among other things. These made for a delicious and fun weeknight dinner; we chatted and caught up on our days as we filled the wontons.
Over the weekend I also made the Herbed Polenta Cutlets with Marsala Mushroom Ragout. I subbed in a bottle of red wine I had open for the Marsala, and overall we liked the dish. It was rustic and had a meaty, hearty quality from the mushrooms and wine. This is definitely a dish for a cold wintry night.
To get ready for the work week, I also made the Tuscan Bean and Greens Soup over Garlic Toast. I subbed in pinto beans for white beans because that’s all we had in the house. The pink beans gave the soup a weird color, but other than that, it was fantastic, garlicky, full of greens, and great served up over hot, crispy garlic toast.
And last, but so not least, I made the Avocado Pesto Pasta. If you love avocado and pesto, you can probably imagine what this pasta tasted like. To me, it was pure, creamy comfort food. Don’t worry, I did add pasta. I just thought that the tomatoes and avocado pesto looked lovely together.
CHLOE’S KITCHEN offers menu suggestions for various occasions, something I always find helpful. Regardless of how often I cook a multi-course meal, I never know what to make for each course so that there is a natural flow and cohesion. This book is going to be my go-to recipe inspiration for the next few weeks at the very least.
I did receive this review copy for free, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone.