Book Review: Vegan Junk Food

VEGAN JUNK FOODEver thought about becoming a vegan but your love for junk food got in the way? Well, now you have no excuse. Vegan Junk Food by Lane Gold features 225 animal friendly, good to the planet recipes that will satisfy vegans and non-vegans alike. Gold has been a vegan for 10 years and has also been a personal chef in Los Angeles for 5 years. She runs a catering coop that features seasonal, organic, and local specialties. She is a food justice advocate and she is also a volunteer at local farms.

Vegan Junk Food showcases Lane Gold’s talent for recreating classic recipes into vegan friendly dishes using creative substitutions. She manages to do this without compromising any of the dish’s original flavors. She is also adept at creating new favorites like Eggplant Bacon, Portobello Cheese Steak, and Sausage Puffs to name a few. This book is an valuable resource for anyone that is interested in incorporating more vegan dishes into their diet. It not only provides substitutes that you can use in your cooking, it also recommends specific brands. Some of these include the substitutions below:

Meat – textured vegetable protein (TVP), seitan or wheat meat, frozen meat patties (Gardein or Boca), Hot Dogs (Yves Veggie or Tofurky), soy chorizo, or Bacon Bits (Frontier’s Bac’uns).

Non-Dairy Milk – almond milk, hemp milk, rice milk, coconut milk, or soy milk.

Egg – use ground flax seeds and water, blended tofu, or applesauce as binders.

Margarine – use a brand that is not hydrogenated and is trans-fat free – Earth Balance

Table Sugar – vegan cane sugar, beet sugar, granulated and dehydrated cane juice – Florida Crystals

Brown Sugar – sucanat or whole cane sugar.

Powdered Sugar – powdered sugar made from organic sugar cane – Wholesome Sweeteners

Chocolate – avoid brands that use lecithin. Chocolate chips – Sunspire; Chocolate bars – Sjaaks or Nicobella.

Marshmallows – avoid brands that include gelatin. - Sweet and Sara, Dandies; You can also use marshmallow Fluff – Susanne’s Rice Mellow Crème.

Cheese – Daiya or nutritional yeast (www.bobsredmill.com)

In our review, we chose three recipes that were all part of the same meal. We decided to make the Tandoori Tempeh Pizza which used Onion Garlic Naan bread as the crust and Cucumber Soygurt Sauce as a garnish. Each of these recipes was easy to make and turned out perfect on the first attempt. Each of the recipes that we tried seamed to be very well tested as they did not require any adjustments to the original recipe. We're not vegans so some of the ingredients like Soygurt and Tampeh were somewhat foreign to us. However, they were easy to find at a regular grocery store. Each of the three recipes that we tried were exceptional and I’m sure we will be making each of them again soon. The naan bread was especially good and my mother-in-law (who is from India) could not believe that naan that was not cooked in a clay oven could taste this way!! We give Vegan Junk Food five stars out of five.

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