September 19, 2017

Bold Flavored Vegan Cooking: cookbook review



Once you start cooking from Bold Flavored Vegan Cooking: Healthy Plant-Based Recipes With a Kick, you will never complain about bland vegan food again. Whether you're looking to spice up your own diet, or prepare fabulous foods to impress omnivore family and friends who may think vegan food is boring, Celine's newest recipe collection will provide the recipes you need to create beautiful and seriously flavorful vegan food.

Although not a gluten-free cookbook by any means, if you need your food to be gluten-free, (or soy-free or oil-free), Celine has you covered with clearly marked recipes and instructions that make it easy to find the kinds of meals you're looking for. In a hurry and need a fabulous dish you can make in 30 minutes? There are recipes for speedy, richly flavored dishes, too. In addition to instructions for creating the sumptuous dishes, there's a generous section called Staples, with directions for making homemade versions of, in Celine's words, "striking spice mixes, umami-packed broth, bright and tangy finishing sauces, and more." I admit to being someone who typically eats a pretty simple diet, and maybe you are, too, but when you are craving a flavor-intense meal, this is the book you need.


We tried several of the recipes, and were not disappointed. The first one we sampled was Tamarind Miso Soup, and it was an eye-opener. The tamarind paste completely changed the flavor of the vegetable-packed soup from what we were used to. I wish my photo had turned out as well as the soup, but, unfortunately it did not, so words will have to suffice.


Next, we sampled Smoky Kale and Chickpeas With Miso Peanut Drizzle. I think we've had this at least three times since receiving the book. Need I say more? Seduced by the great flavor and ease of preparation, we had to force ourselves to move on and try other recipes. I think this will become a standard in our dining repertoire. (You can find the recipe reprinted on The Vegan 8 blog.)



The next selection was Five-Spice Teriyaki Bowl, served over gluten-free buckwheat noodles, and cooked by my husband. He must have neglected to read Celine's recipe introduction warning about the "warm, yet pungent licorice-like flavor of five-spice powder." She cautioned about star anise and fennel haters, of which I AM ONE, but he added the full two teaspoons of five-spice to the pot anyway. This was his first (and maybe last) time cooking with five-spice powder. It didn't end well. The dish was beautiful and 'fragrant', and even though I only had one mouthful before exhibiting intense irrational behavior, I could tell that others might find it excellent. My husband sure liked it. I've been trying for years to teach myself to like anise and fennel, but I'm not there yet. I could have enjoyed a quarter or possibly even a half teaspoon, but not two. Not two. Remember, you can always adjust the seasonings you're adding to a dish to accommodate your personal preferences.



Last night I made Red Curry Veggies, and we loved it. One of the reasons I chose the recipe was because it featured green beans, and we had a bagful of fresh green beans from our son and daughter-in-law's garden. I also had a zucchini from my neighbor's garden which I used instead of the eggplant in the recipe, and a few pieces of leftover air-fried tofu from the night before which I threw in just because. The curry was excellent, and will probably show up at our next meal for company.

I'm looking forward to trying more of the recipes from Bold Flavored Vegan Cooking.  

Just a note: The cookbook has one of those nifty bindings that allows it to stay open while you use it.

Author Celine Steen, is the talented writer, recipe creator and photographer behind the popular vegan blog, Have Cake Will Travel, as well as the author or co-author, and photographer of 12 vegan cookbooks including The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions, Whole Grain Baking, and Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher, Page Street Publishing Company. I was not paid to write the review. All opinions are my own.

This post may contain Amazon links. 

10 comments:

  1. I made the Smoky Kale and Chickpeas for a crowd, and it was the only dish that was completely finished! Definitely a winner, and clearly there's a lot more in that book that I need to try next. Delicious photos and great review. :)

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    1. I'm not surprised the chickpeas and kale was a crowd favorite. We couldn't stop making it once we had tried it. You should definitely try the red curry veggies. :)

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  2. I'm so pleased to see you posting again. While I've got loads of cookbooks, I'm always looking for new ones for the collection, and this one caught my eye previously due to the title alone, so I'm pleased it turned out to be good 'un.

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    1. The cookbook is filled with mega-tasty recipes that all look and sound delicious. I think you would like it. As for posting again, we'll see. :)

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  3. I loved this book too!! I also loved the chickpeas and kale dish, and other than that, you and I have made different things, so I'm going to check out the recipes you made. What a sad story about the 5-spice powder. I am actually a huge fan of that flavor, but it certainly is pungent and I think 2 tsp would even be too much for me.

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    1. The chickpeas were great, yes. As for the 5-spice dish, it looked so good, I was sad not to eat it. Fennel is just one of those flavors that some people can't stand, like cilantro. I like cilantro! My husband swears he didn't add two teaspoons, but I remember him saying at the time how he followed the recipe, and it had two teaspoons. He reminded me I like him to follow the recipe when we cook for a cookbook review. I guess I should have looked more closely at the recipe he selected!

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  4. Looks like a great cookbook! Love the look of all the dishes you made, including the 5-spice bowl. I grew up with 5-spice but I can understand if you didn't like those flavors. What a bummer to be served a dishful. :-)

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    1. Lots of deeply flavored dished to impress your friends, family and yourself. Yes, the 5-spice looked supremely edible ... except for the surplus of 5-spice. But I'm sure you would have enjoyed it! I'm going to make it again with much less of the offending spice. :)

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  5. This cookbook looks incredibly amazing! WOWZA!
    http://MyBlissfulJourney.com

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    1. It delivers on flavor, for sure!

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