Have you ever you ever wished there were a book with all your favorite pre-vegan dishes? Well, there are actually lots of vegan cookbooks like that on the market these days.
“So what’s so special about Veganize It! by Robin Robertson?”, you may ask. If you don’t know Robin Robertosn, google her and you’ll find a seemingly endless list of vegan cookbooks she’s published. Robin makes everything easy with nonsense instructions that anyone can follow. Most of the ingredients used can be found in a regular grocery store. She gives you options to make things from scratch (recipes included in the book) or to used a store-bought option. Flexible and Easy.
In Veganize It! some of the recipes are quick and others are a little more involved or require either more prep time or cooking time. I three recipes to test three different levels and they were all still easy to follow. As you can see from all the bookmarked pages, it was hard to choose which recipes to try, but I’ll definitely be trying all the other ones later.
I started by testing the Hearts of Palm and Artichoke Cakes. I’d rate this as a mid-level recipe that requires some ingredient searching (if you don’t know where to find hearts of palm and dulse) and a moderate prep time, since they have to go into the freezer for 20 minutes before frying. They turned out amazing! Light and chunky on the inside and crispy on the outside. What’s not to love? I made a homemade tartar sauce to have with dinner and had the leftovers for lunch the next day over a spinach salad with some Daiya blue cheese dressing.
The next recipe I tried was the Easy Vegan Yogurt. I have to say that it was easy. No culturing or yogurt machine necessary. It was rich, creamy and a little fatty because the raw cashew and silken tofu blend. It also ended up with a mousse-like texture, which was really nice. The only con I found was that it was too lemony, possibly because I used a bottle organic lemon juice instead fresh squeezed? I’d try it again with fresh lemon and maybe even without the lemon and try culturing it, just because I really like the richness and texture and haven’t been able to find that balance with other homemade vegan yogurt.
Lastly, I tried the Oven-Baked Seitan Cutlets. These I considered the hardest to make because of the cook time (70 minutes in the oven), the prep itself was pretty easy. I also had a hard time with these. My final batch turned out a little too wet and mushy. Perhaps the 70 minutes weren’t enough and they needed to bake uncovered for a little extra time to dry them out a bit. I ended up pan frying some and air-frying others to dry and firm them up. Once they were firmer and drier, they had a nicer texture. What I like best about them is that they’re so flavorful on their own with a side a veggies. I’ll definitely give them another try.
I’ll leave you with the Heart of Palm and Artichoke Cakes recipe below. Enjoy!
HEART OF PALM AND ARTICHOKE CAKES
MAKES 6 TO 8 CAKES
These delectable cakes are crisp on the outside and moist and flaky on the inside with a flavor that is remarkably similar to traditional crab cakes thanks to Old Bay seasoning and a dash of nori flakes. This recipe makes six to eight cakes (depending on how big you like them) that can be enjoyed as a main dish, in sandwiches (they’re even good cold!), or as a component in Seitan Oscar.
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for frying
½ cup minced onion
¼ cup minced celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 (14-ounce) jar hearts of palm, well drained, patted dry, and roughly chopped
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, well drained, patted dry, and roughly chopped
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon nori or dulse flakes
¼ cup vegan mayo
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
Lemon wedges, for serving
1 Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
2 In a large bowl, combine the hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, Old Bay seasoning, cornstarch, nori flakes, and mayo. Add the cooled onion mixture and 1?4 cup of the panko, and mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 to 8 portions and shape into small patties.
3 Place the remaining 1?2 cup panko in a shallow bowl. Coat the patties with the bread crumbs and refrigerate or freeze for 20 minutes or longer.
4 Heat a thin layer of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Carefully place the patties in the skillet and cook until golden brown on each side, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked patties to a plate. Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Text excerpted from VEGANIZE IT! © 2017 by Robin Robertson. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photo by William and Susan Brinson.