I rarely buy cookbooks (or anything else, for that matter) because I simply can’t afford it. A couple of months ago, however, I had a tiny bit of extra money and splurged on myself. I bought two new cookbooks I’d had my eye on for ages: Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan and Tamasin Noyes’ American Vegan Kitchen.

So far I’ve made a few things from American Vegan Kitchen, and I am incredibly impressed by this cookbook. Everything is easy to make, they are fairly quick, and plus there’s a calendar in the front of food-related celebration dates.  My copy is already looking pretty grimy with so much use. Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve made thus far:

Savory Seitan
This is the only seitan I’ve made that’s baked in broth, but at the same time is was the most moist I’ve ever made. It had a delicious flavor, and it tastes lighter than the seitan I usually make. I didn’t have any soy flour on me, so I just substituted all-purpose flour.

Any-Day French Toast with Sweet Spread
Let me start off by saying I am not much of a fan of sweet breakfast foods. I’ll take greasy potatoes and a tofu scramble any day. My sweets-loving boyfriend adores this recipe though. I make it all the time when I spend the night at his house. Sometimes I’ll add a pinch of ground ginger to the recipe along with the cinnamon, and maybe a tiny bit of nutmeg.

Classic Cafe Hash Browns
Hash browns are always delicious, regardless of the recipe. Mine never stay together though.

Fried Corn Salad
My boyfriend and I whipped this recipe up for a school potluck he went to. It was super quick and easy to make. It has really nice spice to it. He added beer to the recipe (he adds beer to a lot of foods, and they always end up tasting great) to the cooking corn. He told me the next day that a lot of people love this dish.

Peanut Sauce
This recipe is actually for the Peanutty Tofu Kale Pockets, which I haven’t made yet. I usually make this to serve over soba noodles with sautéed vegetables. The recipe calls for umeboshi paste, which I never have, but even without it’s delicious. I’ve made a number of peanut sauces, and this is my favorite. It has a wonderful peanut flavor without being as overwhelming as other recipes are.

Almost-Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches
I actually made these last night for my boyfriend and I. We ended up eating dinner around 9:30 because I made the savory seitan, but it was worth it. I don’t remember if I ever ate a Philly cheese steak in my pre-veg days, but my boyfriend had his cravings satisfied. I skipped the cucumber just because I didn’t think it would add much. For the cheese I used some of the 5-lb bag of mozzarella Daiya I’ve had in my freezer forever. The best part of this recipe is the grilled onions, peppers, and mushrooms. I also added some sliced pickled jalapenos for a bit of heat. Here’s some pictures I took with my new camera (!).

21st Century Tacos
I wish I had taken a picture of these – I had the whole table set up with toppings in such an adorable way. Anyway, the taco “meat” is incredible. It was super spicy, and the Worchestershire sauce and chipotle chile added a wonderful hint of smokiness. From now on this will be my go-to taco meat recipe. This is probably the best recipe from the cookbook that I’ve made so far.

Cheezy Mac and Greens
I wasn’t too impressed with this recipe. I’ve had a hard time finding a vegan mac and cheese recipe that I like more than the VeganDad version. It just wasn’t cheesy enough and the crumbled tofu was a little weird. I added some roasted red peppers (jarred) and some home-roasted broccoli in place of the baby spinach.

So that’s it for what I’ve made so far. I’ve got my eye on a number of other recipes to make soon, like the coconut bacon bits and Cajun pot pie. I’m incredibly impressed with the recipes in American Vegan Kitchen. Does anyone else have favorite recipes?

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