When I began perusing Janet Hudson’s cookbook, The Easy Vegan, I was at first glance unimpressed. The book’s cover is beautiful and colorful, yet the inside the pages are pretty Plain-Jane. But don’t let that discourage you – no glossy pages or color photos are needed to bring delicious vegan yumminess into your home via this treasure trove of 440 recipes! I started out by sampling the recipe for Brownies(p. 250) since I had just volunteered to bake something for a vegan festival. What I liked: no palm oil products required, just vegetable oil. The brownies were moist and the texture was good. They were simple and easy to make. What I did not like: the exterior surface of the brownies was not as delicate as my favorite recipe for brownies. In any case, like all the other recipes I tried, this was simple, easy to follow and offered good results. Miss Hudson had won me over already!
Delicious Discoveries Within a Simple Cookbook
Next I tried Eggplant ‘Parmesan’ (p. 124) because I had some beautiful purple eggplant that needed to be used. I loved the texture, flavor and ease of this recipe, and especially loved that it was baked! This recipe made enough for me to enjoy twice, and had some ideas I would have never considered for eggplant – but, like her other recipes, it was so simple and quick to put together that it was no trouble at all. I already had everything needed for this one, too.
Both of the above recipes were quite good; but when I tried the Kung POW! Tofu (p.138), though, I was really delighted. This one asks for hickory syrup, which I did not have on hand, but found substituting another sweetener (agave syrup) worked quite well. In fact, this was so filled with spicy goodness – it was the kind of meal I rarely make because I imagine it would be too time consuming to create. Once again, Miss Hudson makes it easy. I had some tofu that I needed to use. It was simple to let it marinate in the spicy sauce overnight, and then quickly cook the next day. Served with rice, this would be considered a special meal at my house — and I imagine you might think so as well. Once I find some hickory syrup I will try it again — but I doubt it could be any better.
Most of my cookbooks get recirculated rather quickly; there are so many non-vegans that need the information more than I do! But this one I will hold onto for awhile. I see that Janet Hudson has much more to teach me!