This is the second book by Celine Steen and Joni Newman and I was luckily to test recipes from it – as well as their next book Hearty Vegan and Joni’s solo burger book too. Those girls have been very busy and we’ve been reaping the benefit! I’m going to come right out and say now that I think Hearty Vegan is likely to be my favourite but I’ve loved lots of the things I’ve made from Vegan Subs too.
The book is really cute – it looks a lot more approachable than 500 Vegan Recipes, and it’s got colour pictures too! They’re scattered right through the book, not just a clump in the middle, which makes a nice change. I love the drawings on the front, the fonts and the way the corners of the book are rounded – it feels like a good quality, well published book right from the start. The one thing I really don’t like about the book is the dreadful index which is worse than useless – even knowing what I was looking for I couldn’t find some of the recipes, so please don’t rely on it.
The book is arranged slightly unusually in that the chapters aren’t your straightforward soups, starters, desserts – they’re by type of substitution, so you’ve got dairy subs, cheese subs, egg subs, meat subs, by product subs, then gluten, sugar, soy and fat subs. This means that sometimes the recipes aren’t quite where you might expect them to be, but it does make you think about different tastes and flavours and gives you lots of ideas of how you can make subs in your own recipes. At the beginning of each chapter there’s a useful guide to substitution amounts, a recipe is dissected and there’s a list of useful subs you might find at the shop – some of the products are US based but some are more generic.
On to the recipes then.For some reason I don’t seem to have taken many pictures while I was testing for this, but I can give you a list of what I loved during testing:
Smoky potato wedges – I make these pretty much weekly
Provencal Socca – I don’t have much luck with omelette/pancake style recipe but this worked like a dream
Eggs Benedict – we had this for breakfast on Christmas day, that’s how much I love it
Nutty Pepperjack cheese – this is the only block cheese I’ve made that I could eat in a sandwich
Puff pastry danishes – so easy but yummy
Hot dogs – then turned into corn dogs
Carrot ginger burgers – I was suspicious of these but I really liked them and they keep in the freezer for ever
Papet Vaudois – rich and creamy and delicious
Bacon Cheeseburger – firm and meaty
Red Buffalo salad – a great use for that leftover silken tofu knocking around
There are lots of other things I liked, including potato chutney, salisbury steaks, toffalo wings, very eggy salad, curried tofu salad, red Thai rice, spaghetti bolognese, Denver quiche, beef and broccoli bowls and more, but the above list I loved. And though I’m not much of a baker, you can be sure that anything Celine is involved in is full of gorgeous looking baked goods too including cakes, cookies, muffins and breads.
The lovely ladies were kind enough to send me 2 copies so I’m going to give my spare copy away to one lucky reader! All you need to do is leave me a comment telling me either what your favourite vegan substitution is or what you’d love to be able to substitute. I’ll draw out a winner at random on 14th February – international readers welcome to join in!