But I Could Never Go Vegan! – Kristy Turner – Experiment LLC – 320 pages, RRP $25-$35
Content | This vegan cookbook aims to address all of the excuses Kristy Turner has heard people make in relation for not adopting a vegan lifestyle. The chapters of the book are set out in 20 chapters, ranging from chapters about ‘meat-substitute foods’ and another chapter solely on pizzas. It should be noted that this book, although has some bonus gluten-free dishes, are not all gluten-free. Early on in the book there are handy recipes for making your own nut-butter, cooking legumes and grains as well as an essential pantry list for going vegan.
Photography/Layout/Design | This book gets a massive plus for photographs, because every recipe has one (which is important for a book like this, aiming to convert people to veganism). There are also many collaged photographs on recipe pages showing step-by-step things like: how to roll a dough for a certain recipe or how the tofu should look when cut. The text used is very clean, but there is a lot of text on the recipe pages (some unnecessarily so).
Recipes/Functionality | For non-vegans making vegan food, the recipes need to be read with a little more vigilance. This is not because they are difficult, but because, say for example, making the ‘Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Sunflower Cheddar’ (pg 42) you need to adhere to the cheese recipe ingredients and instructions to ensure you get the same flavor and texture. Or like the ‘Chickpea Fries’ (pg 56) I would change the spices used to flavor, but wouldn’t be substituting some of the chickpea flour with other flours, unless instructed to do so, otherwise you may end up with a very soggy chip. The meat chapter is good such as the ‘Sunflower Sausage’ (pg26), because it does have a meaty flavor. The seafood chapter is a little bit of a stretch though, like the ‘Orange-Miso Mushroom Scallops with Oranges, Fennel & Forbidden Rice’ (pg 200) yes it is creative (the mushrooms cook and have a similar texture to scallops), but obviously taste nothing like a scallop. The ‘Sweet & Sour Cauliflower’ (pg243) is good and worth a go, it definitely doesn’t appear to taste like something it doesn’t. The ‘Butterscotch Bread Pudding’ (pg 267) is good, sauce is a little thin though.
What I found with But I Could Never Go Vegan, is the flavors of the dishes stand out but in some instances the recipes needed a little tweaking where they probably shouldn’t have. But rest assured, in the recipes where texture and food-form is critical – the book is bang on.