Recipe for Success
Futile blog about omni recipe books I no longer use: done. Fruitful blog about glorious recipe books I’ve accumulated since going vegan: at your service.
These books tell the story of my life post January 2016. They make my heart sing. You can tell, because the scribbles are exuberant, the memories fond. Come dine with me down memory lane…
I implore you to scribble all over your cookbooks. Looking back over these meals makes me feel nostalgic and hungry.
Here we have the Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen cookbook.
Acorn, of Bath, is now fully vegan, so don’t be worrying about no cheese. We dined there a while back, ate divine chocolate tart and bought the book immediately in the mistaken presumption we would recreate the bake. We have never done this.
It’s a multi-layered tart which takes much patience and many hours to build and I can’t be arsed. But I now have the recipe on hand within these pages, should some hours present themselves and should some patience transplant itself into my personality DNA.
The Vegan Stoner Cookbook - a gift from a wonderful friend. I’m not a stoner (anymore, but hi teenage me!) but I love this book because of the inventive and funny illustrations.
I’m kinda blushing over here just thinking of the gift books I’ve received from my lovely friends. This one, from another friend, arrived in the post after we’d had a nut roasting, cracker creating session in the kitchen. She’s a right whizz with nuts and seeds, this friend.
Side note: Watching her perform (not read, perform, from memory) The Gruffalo to my sister Pip was another kitchen highlight last summer.
Then there is Feed Me Vegan and Vegan Kitchen, both from another glorious friend, who used to give me omni recipe books until I went vegan, then she just upped her game accordingly. She’s the one I borrow from omnivorism for some of my absolute favourite weekends
I don’t know much about Lucy Watson. She’s off Made In Chelsea and she defended herself very well in a spat Ruby Tandoh tried to incite online. Lucy’s recipes are all brilliant.
As you can see from the smudges, Vegan Kitchen has been well loved. A cracking book full of aspirational photos of beautiful Australians living their best lives. I can not do justice in words to the recipe for Dulce De Leche. Just buy the damn book and thank me later. You’ll be drooling Dulce De Leche down your chin when you do, the state of culinary bliss interrupted only long enough to tell me that you’re glad I told you to buy this book, but I’ll decipher your dribbly thanks because I know, I’ve been there.
Not sure ‘crazy sexy kitchen’ is the greatest name for a recipe book, but as we see, Chad Sarno had a brainstorm before his next book was released.
Chad, we’re not sure about Crazy Sexy Kitchen. Crazy and sexy are both kind of annoying words. Veganism needs a rebrand.
No problem! Get me a butcher’s knife and a beetroot! It’s like I’ve got blood on my apron, but it’s beetroot, which is clever. Instead of my face, get tattoos in shot. Boom - bestseller. You’re welcs.
Yeah I’ve got the trilogy! Thug Kitchen started as a blog but like all good food-blogs, it wasn’t long before a recipe book (or three) followed. Love the profanity, love that you’d be hard pressed to even find the word vegan anywhere in these pages. Just shit-hot recipes. (I swore because I’m cool like Thug.)
Bosh belongs on every shelf regardless of your culinary orientation. They pioneered those top-down recipe videos that were so successful, a cookbook was inevitable and is already the best selling vegan cookbook ever.
Everything I’ve tried in these pages has been mega tasty. They have a brilliant bit at the start where they suggest recipes you can combine for an impressive feast. Let’s say you’re cooking for a party and you love Italian, or Chinese, or everyone is hungover - they’ve put together a handy ‘this, this, this and this go together great’ key.
Others that began life as a blog are Minimalist Baker and Vegan Bowl Attack - the latter holds the trophy for my most repeated recipe, a humble mushroom gravy which I can’t get enough of. Maybe because the recipe calls for nooch - I set up nooch on repeat order on Amazon and then forgot to cancel it when I had more nooch than I knew what to do with, resulting in a need for nooch recipes. Maybe because it’s so creamy and delicious I want it with everything.
In case anyone is thinking I’m biased toward all things vegan, I’m not. See? Sometimes the recipe lacks pizzazz! Vegan recipes can be rated badly, it does happen!
And now for my final recommendation, one great of recipe but unfortunate of name…
My professionally trained chef of a sister read through How Not To Die and observed that not once is oil used. I had not noticed, but it’s one of many reasons I love this book. One reason I don’t, is the title. Every time I recommend it to someone I have to forewarn them that the book I’m about to recommend has an unfortunate title - especially when I’m recommending it to someone I’m working with who has cancer and is literally trying not to die, by improving their diet. I can help you improve your diet, I say, not wanting to jump down their throats with my vegan agenda but really wanting to help prolong their life with a whole-foods, plant based lifestyle. Luckily, the women I write about over here have a good sense of humour and take the book in the manner it’s intended, but I wish it was called the ‘how to live’ cookbook. Live has better connotations than die, as a word, as a principle, as a game plan. Even if you have spelled the word die out in blueberries, like Michael Greger MD.
I probably don’t have as many meals left in my life as there are recipes here yet to sample, unless I follow Michael Greger’s advice to the letter, in which case I presume I’ll live forever. Which would be nice, I like life.
Enjoyed this? Try the sister piece, Recipe for Disaster.