Tuesday, March 10, 2015

But I Could Never Go Vegan!
Review and Giveaway

In a nutshell: I love this book! But I Could Never Go Vegan! is jam-packed with mouthwatering recipes that will give omnivorous readers all the inspiration they will ever need to start eating more healthfully, sustainably, and compassionately right now. Exquisitely photographed and cleverly laid out (recipes are arranged by excuses, rather than by seasons, occasions, or mealtimes), this book will not only inspire reluctant vegans, but will galvanize seasoned herbivores, who will find a profusion of delectable new recipes to add to their culinary repertoires.


Yes, you'll find incredible recipes for breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, dessert, and lots of special occasions. However, the Table of Contents reads like every "but I could never go vegan" excuse you've ever heard like, "Vegan Cooking is Too Hard,""I Could Never Give Up Cheese!," "All Those Special Ingredients are Way More Expensive," and of course, the ever-present, "Where Would I Get My Protein?" to name a few. There's even a chapter dedicated to die-hard pescatarians with recipes like Artichoke Crabcakes with Sriracha Tartar Sauce and Beer-Battered Faux Fish and Chips.

Think you can't veganize your favorite breakfast dish? Check out these yummy Chickpea Omelettes from the chapter, "Vegan Cooking Is Too Hard." Vibrantly colorful and remarkably egg-like, these omelettes were hearty and healthy, and filled to the brim with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, kale, and green onion. And they were super easy to make!


When does tofu not taste like tofu? When it's made into a scrumptious Tofu Chevre! I can't emphasize how impressed I was with the creamy texture and tart, cheesy flavor of this easy-to-prepare recipe. By adding some culinary lavender and rose petals, the result was a lovely cheesalucious treat. If you think you could never give up cheese (or know someone who does), give this nut-free recipe a try!


I've become a soup lover, and we often make a hearty meal of soup at our house. But until now, I've never been a fan of cheese in soup. Smoky and sultry are two words that come to mind when describing this lusciously creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup from the"Not Soup Again!" chapter. With its gorgeously golden creamy base and bright green broccoli chunks, I'm now a cheesy soup lover!


Imagine the best "meatball" sub you have ever tasted, then think of the yummiest eggplant parmigiana you have ever enjoyed, and you'll get an idea of what these scrumptious Eggplant Meatball Subs with Spicy Marinara Sauce are like. This fantasy grinder, with its chunky, spicy, sassy sauce taste like a hoagie from heaven.


Also from the "But I Hate (Insert Vegetable Here)" chapter, you'll find this delightful recipe for Sweet and Sour Cauliflower. Mark is not a huge cauliflower fan, so I thought I'd give this recipe a try. The sauce has just the right balance of sweetness and kick, and Mark gave it two thumbs up! In this chapter, you'll find more win-'em-over recipes made with beets, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.


Balsamic Baked Pears with Cashew Blue Cheese from the "I Could Never Give Up Cheese!" chapter was a delightful mix of tart, sweet, and salty. I've been laying low on sugary desserts lately, so this subtly sweet treat really hit the spot! 


And because I made a whole batch of blue cheese, I treated myself to Kristy's Roasted Root Veggie and Kale Salad with Cashew Blue Cheese so much, I'm sharing the recipe with you. Although you'll have to get your hot little hands on a copy of the book to get the recipe for the blue cheese (my intention is not to tease, but to rather, to tempt!), this salad is so good, you're going to love it on its own! Take a look at this vibrantly beautiful salad, and then check out the recipe near the end of this post.


The recipe for Roasted Root Veggie & Kale Salad is from But I Could Never Go Vegan: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It's Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner, copyright © Kristy Turner, 2014. Reprinted with the kind permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. 

Serves 4 

3 medium beets, peeled and chopped into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1 small celery root (celeriac), peeled and chopped into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1 tablespoon liquid aminos (or tamari or soy sauce)
Olive oil spray
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Several dashes of ground nutmeg
Salt and black pepper to taste

8 to 10 small rainbow carrots, peeled, or 1 cup (160 g) chopped carrots
1 bunch kale (12 to 16 ounces), stems removed, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup (250 ml) balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 tangerines, peeled and separated into wedges
Cashew Blue Cheese (found on page 46 in But I Could Never Go Vegan!)

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

2. Spread the beets and sweet potatoes on one baking sheet, keeping them separated so the beets don’t bleed onto the sweet potatoes. On the other sheet, spread the celery root. Drizzle the liquid aminos over the celery root. Spray all the vegetables with olive oil and evenly distribute the thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper across them.

3. Roast for 15 minutes, then toss to ensure even cooking (keeping the beets as separate from the sweet potatoes as possible). Scoot the celery root toward one side and lay the carrots on that baking sheet. Lightly spray the carrots with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, return both sheets to the oven, and roast for 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, place the kale in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and oil. “Massage” with your hands for 2 to 3 minutes, rubbing the lemon juice and oil into the leaves. Set aside.

5. In a medium pot, bring the vinegar to a boil over medium heat (not high heat); reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until reduced by at least half, if not two-thirds (the longer it cooks, the thicker it will be). Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl or cup to cool.

6. When the vegetables are fork-tender, remove to cool for about 5 minutes. Add to the kale with the tangerines and toss. Serve with Cashew Blue Cheese and the balsamic reduction.

Variations

• Try adding different root vegetables or even winter squash.

• If sweet salads are not your thing, replace the reduction with Lemon-Tahini Dressing (page 117) or Dijon-Thyme Vinaigrette (page 255).
But I Could Never Go Vegan! illustrates beyond any remaining shadow of a doubt that there is definitely a decadently delicious life beyond dairy, meat, fish, and eggs, and you can tantalize the taste buds of anyone who enjoys eating. Enter to win your very own copy of this wonderful book right now simply by leaving me a comment below with your "favorite" excuse for not going vegan (it could be the most illogical excuse you've ever heard, the one that you might have told yourself before you stopped eating cheese, ice cream, or eggs, or the one that drives you the most crazy), and then follow the prompt in the Rafflecopter box. (This step is required for entry.) After you leave a comment, you can earn additional entries by following any or all of the other Rafflecopter options. I'll be selecting one lucky winner at random.* Good luck!

*Sorry international readers, this giveaway is open only to residents of the US and Canada. 

39 comments:

Kristina said...

My friend says she could never give up meat because it tastes so good, but she's super picky and hates all fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains except for white rice, plus she won't eat anything with "weird spices", so I'm not sure if she knows what "good" tastes like.

Anonymous said...

Hubby and I can't believe how easy and delicious our journey into vegan eating has been! We young "senior citizens" are going on 4 years now plant strong!! This book looks great!

Donna B! said...

A friend once said " she doesn't eat anything green" when offering her a spinach appetizer at a restaurant.

Unknown said...

I always thought it would be too hard until I tried and found it was easy for me.

Martha said...

I made these amazing brownies (http://www.yourveganmom.com/your_vegan_mom/2008/08/brownies.html) and my kids said, "They taste weird." Aagh!

Marika said...

The excuse I hear time after time (and the one I needlessly feared myself, at first) is, "but I could never give up cheese". You don't have to—because vegan cheese is awesome!

Marr Nealon said...

The cheesy broccoli soup and scrambled chickpea both look incredible. What a smart concept for how to set up this book!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Just today at lunch I heard "I need more protein than most people..."

Anonymous said...

I have people tell me that it costs to much. I used to think so also - until I started eating vegan!

Maryann D. said...

My excuse would be that I would not be able to think of enough vegan food to keep me full and still have energy. Although my daughter is vegan and she is fine!
twinkle at optonline dot net

Julee said...

People have told me that they don't know how to cook without meat..."where would the flavor come from" they wondered. And these were "cooks". Vegan food is so delicious I can't imagine spoiling it with the flavor of meat!

marshowl said...

My favorite excuse is that I love cheese!

pumpkin061 said...

My husband and I are transitioning from vegetarian to vegan. We thought it would be harder than it is. Your book would sure help us on our journey.

MonsterAteMy said...

I guess just the standard "oh, good for you, but I could never give up c…(insert problematic food here, usually cheese).

scarriemom said...

I hate when people say they could never stop eating meat because "God made animals for us to eat them." Grrr.

Marlene aka LuckyDog said...

Cheese. Its always the cheese!!!!

Jacky said...

My pet peeve excuse: Weightlifters think they need a gram of protein per pound of body weight. 180+ grams of protein a day is ridiculous! Plant-based diets provide plenty of protein!

Ashley said...

The 'not enough protein' is always a classic...but there are so many veg foods overflowing with healthy protein! Thanks for the giveaway. :)

Marlee said...

Someone I know told me they could never go vegan because they don't want to be different than most of the world. It's a valid sentiment I suppose, but all I could think was, "O.K., you go ahead and get heart disease and dementia like everyone else then." There are times when following the crowd is a BAD, BAD idea!

VegiYogiAnn said...

Before I went vegan I was afraid I wouldn't get enough protein (what did I know?). But also I was living in a very cold, damp, and isolated locale and I was afraid I would have to survive on nothing but root vegetables and mushrooms. I just couldn't face that at the time. When I moved away from that place I went vegan within 2 weeks and haven't looked back!

Carol Schmoker said...

Giving up cheese is the hardest one for me.

Karen Delaney said...

But there's nothing good to eat is the excuse that I hear most often, and what is pizza without cheese?

The Vegan said...

I have heard "but I could never go vegan..." so many times. It would be great to have a trunk load of these books to hand out each time I hear that. And needless to say the food looks delicious!


Anonymous said...

My favorite excuse is hearing that vegans eat only rabbit food. Of course we don't. No one wants to live like that!

Rebecca said...

My favorite excuse is that humans were made to eat meat and not eating meat is unnatural

Healthy Organic & Cheap said...

My favorite is excuse is that I will be too hungry all the time.

Jill B said...

I always hear the excuse "but you won't get enough protein" which always makes me laugh.

Laura H said...

It's too hard! I won't get enough protein.

vegantownusa said...

Once someone told me that she believes being vegan is right, but she can't be vegan because doesn't want to be a nonconformist.

Donna said...

Vegan cheese? Let's eat!

Jessica Eagle said...

Thanks for this wonderful giveaway :)

Ahhhh...it was really difficult to quit seafood, especially lobster and scallop.

chickie717 said...

That meat would be more feeling and I would be less hungry.

Birdhouse Books said...

"But where do you get your protein?"

Amanda Hunter said...

"I couldn't give up cheese and ice cream. "

Carol M said...

I've given up eating meat but so far haven't gone completely vegan.
I eat very little dairy and only a little fish. I'm so afraid I'll not get enough of the vitamins and minerals I need to stay healthy.

p said...

"I can never eat vegan...how do you get your protein!?!?" Is an oldie but goodie

jennifer said...

"I could never give up ice cream"...only because if ANYONE could give up ice cream - it's me! I was the ice cream queen. I will admit that I have not found the perfect vegan substitute that compares to my favorite summer ice cream stand BUT there are some that do come close :)

Anonymous said...

My family thinks I'm crazy and I keep hearing how much they just love the taste of meat. When I try to tell them what happened to that "meat" before it got to their plate they run away. I guess compassion isn't their strong suit.
:(
Amy L

Lizzie Bordello said...

The "but XXX just tastes so good!" is one that really bothers me. I get that, but there are lots of things that we forgo, despite wanting them or enjoying them, because we agree that they are just not good for us or for the planet and the other beings on it. Just feels so selfish to me.