Robin Robertson’s new cookbook, Quick-Fix Vegan, was released at the beginning of October and we were so excited to receive a copy to review. We’re happy to say that we really like it, as expected. It’s a Robin Robertson cookbook, after all.
Quick-Fix Vegan provides 150 new vegan recipes ranging, from starters, snacks, salads, sauces, and sandwiches to stovetop suppers, pastas, soups, and desserts that can all be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Quick-Fix Vegan also features “Make-Ahead Bakes,” convenient recipes that are assembled ahead of time (in less than 30 minutes) and then baked before serving. Quick-Fix Vegan picks up where my previous book, Quick-Fix Vegetarian, left off, with all new quick-and-easy vegan recipes from a myriad of ethnic influences including French, Mexican, Moroccan, Greek, Asian, Italian, and Middle Eastern.
Chris and I both took the book for a spin in the kitchen. Read our reviews below.
Since Mauro and I cook together every night we reviewed it together. We both thought it was laid out nicely, in an uncluttered, easy to read format with one recipe per page. At the front of the book there are basic tips on how to stock you pantry, how to save money on food and how to clean and store veggies for quicker meal preparation. There are also some basics on tofu, seitan, non-dairy milk, etc., which we thought can be helpful to new cooks and a quick refresher for those with more experience.
One aspect of the book I really liked is that Robin says it’s okay to sub out certain ingredients. Anyone who knows me knows I’m the queen of substitution when cooking. I like to work with what I have in my fridge and pantry and give things my own flare. Even so, I managed to constrain myself and follow the recipes to a tee, since we were reviewing the book we wanted to be able to evaluate them accurately. Lucky for me, most of the recipes call for ingredients I usually have on hand. I also chose which recipes to try based on the seasonal produce we already had — that’s a big time and money saving tip right there.
The recipes are truly quick and easy to follow and can be completed within 30 minutes (a huge plus!), making it a great go-to book for a busy day. But don’t be fooled, even though the recipes are quick to prepare they’re packed with flavor and nutrition.
Here are a few of the dishes we made. They were all very filling and flavorful, with just the right amount of seasoning.
Hearty, refreshing and delicious. We had this as our entrée.
We omitted the bread and ate two patties on top of a bed of spinach and tomatoes and drizzled some Sriracha. Yum!
We deviated slightly on this one. We didn’t have red lentils so we used sprouted ones instead. They cooked just as fast and were just as tasty.
This week, I tried a few recipes from Robin Robertson’s Quick-Fix Vegan cookbook—the One-Pot Pasta Primavera and the White Bean and Basil soup. Before I made the change to a vegan diet, I used to make pasta primavera for my family for Easter dinner. It’s always been a showcase of early spring vegetables—plus lots of cheese. I’m happy to have found a quick and simple cheese-free recipe that is really satisfying. Robin’s recipe calls for veggies that I usually have in my fridge—carrots, broccoli, zucchini, and tomatoes—and lots of garlic. I basically stuck to the recipe, but added some pine nuts just before serving and left out the basil. I think I’ll vary it in the spring and add some peas and asparagus; but this was a nice, go-to recipe for any day, no matter the season. Plus, I’m one for easy cleanup—and a one-pot meal is a time-saver on weeknights.
I also love to make any kind of soup, and this white bean soup was really satisfying on a chilly fall evening. Most of these items were already in my pantry, so that made it so simple even after getting home exhausted from work. It also gave me the opportunity to use the sun-dried tomatoes that I’ve had for a while—and they are a nice flavor contrast to the more mellow soup ingredients like onion, carrot, and celery. They also add a pop of color to the soup, so it’s visually pleasing as well. Robin suggests to add some tomato sauce and/or pasta to make a hardier soup, so I threw in some mini ziti—and it was a really nice addition to an already delicious soup.
Both recipes were listed as making four servings apiece, but I found that the primavera made about 5 or 6 and the soup made about 6. It’s always great to get a little more of a good thing when possible! There are many great recipes in this book and they are definitely those 30 minute or less variety; some books claim to have quick recipes, but this one really does! I think I’m going to make some of the shortcut baklava for my mom this weekend. Even though these are recipes that are made in a hurry, they taste delicious and satisfying as if I spent some time in the kitchen preparing them. I’m happy to add this cookbook to my list of go-to books for family meals.
We all really liked this book and think it’s a great addition to a cookbook library, whether you’re a new or seasoned vegan. Enjoy!