Hi, friends! It’s time for another cookbook review!
This is my very favorite semi-recurring series on the blog. I have a lot of cookbooks. But I don’t always remember to cook from said cookbooks.
Plus, it’s easy to get into a dinner rut. You know how it goes. Long week, busy day at work, need to get dinner on the table asap –– you resort back to a few of your old standbys.
But with this series, I’m trying to break out of my dinner shell (and inspire you to do the same along the way).
Guys: I didn’t even get to the end of the breakfast chapter before buying my own copy. These recipes are wild. They’re well-tested, exciting, unique, and just really really good.
Let’s start with some deets:
Title: Vegan for Everybody: Foolproof Plant-Based Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and In-Between
Author: America’s Test Kitchen
Number of Recipes: 200+
Sections/Chapters: Breakfast and Brunch, Soups/Stews/Chilis, Burgers/Sandwiches/Pizzas, Main Dish Salads and Bowls, New Dinner Favorites, Stir-Fries/Curries/Noodles, Snacks and Apps, Desserts
Recipes You’ll Wanna Make ASAP:
· Tofu Frittata with Mushrooms – pg. 40
· Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup – pg. 86
· Pub-Style Burger Sauce – pg. 120
· Tofu Banh Mi – pg. 125
· Sizzling Saigon Crêpes – pg. 130
· Mushroom Pizza with Cashew Ricotta – pg. 139
· Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese – pg. 184
· Crispy Orange Seitan – pg. 209
· Saag Tofu – pg. 226
· Polenta Fries with Creamy Chipotle Sauce – pg. 268
· Fudgy Brownies – pg. 278
· Pecan Pie – pg. 295
Fooduzzi Rating: 4.75/5
Purchase: Here to support independent bookstores →
My list of recipes to try from this book was…extensive. So I had a bit of trouble cutting it down to just five (ish)!
Mark helped, and we settled on four meals (that I made for dinner, but we had for leftovers throughout the week) and one dessert. We ended up choosing the recipes for the familiarity, but they all called for some unique-to-me ingredients or techniques that I haven’t really used in the kitchen before.
Here’s what we made:
(ps. all of these photos were taken with my phone right before eating! No styling other than my normal weeknight “I’m a food blogger so things need to look somewhat nice” ways so you know what to expect if you make these recipes yourself!)
Black Bean Burgers – pg. 114
I can never turn down a good black bean burger, so we decided to try ATK’s version. The ingredient list is pretty minimal, but it’s unique in that it uses tortilla chips to bind everything together.
I pan-fried the burgers, and they came out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. We served them with tomato, lettuce, lots of pickles, and their Pub-Style Burger Sauce (pg. 120), plus some sweet potato fries on the side.
I loved the flavor of these burgers –– nice and herby thanks to the cilantro, a little spicy from the hot sauce, and just the right amount of earthy from the cumin. They did crumble a bit once you bit into them, but I haven’t found many black bean burgers that don’t.
The burger sauce is a new favorite of ours. I’ve never actually bought vegan mayo before, but I’m glad I branched out and snagged it for this recipe! It was great as a dipping sauce for the fries, as a dressing for leftover burger salads throughout the week, or just on top of the burger.
We actually made these burgers and the sauce twice –– once to test, and once just because we were hungry for them again. Big win from us!
Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese – pg. 184
I’m going to come out and say it: this recipe is worth the price of the cookbook alone. Seriously.
I’ve been craving mac and cheese for a really long time, and every vegan mac and cheese recipe I’ve tried has tasted overly tangy or way too nutritional-yeasty.
This recipe, however, is perfect. It gives me serious Velveeta vibes (in the best, most nostalgic way possible).
It’s also just really easy to make. Probably about 30 minutes from start to finish? Maybe a little longer? It’s a great weeknight meal!
It’s made with cashew, cauliflower, and a few other flavorful ingredients like tomato paste and dried mustard. You just boil everything together, toss it in a blender, and pour it over your cooked macaroni. Super simple.
We made this one twice as well, and you’ll be happy to know that leftovers are fab the next day. Just be sure to hit it with some extra salt and pepper before diving in!
Tofu Ranchero – pg. 44
This was the recipe that I was most excited to try, and the one that I adapted the most.
Halfway through the recipe, I realized I forgot to buy chopped, canned green chiles. I was so sad. So…I added a few more ingredients than it called for like canned chipotles and seasonings like cumin and smoked paprika.
It looks just like the picture in the book, but we weren’t entirely sure how to eat it? It’s served with toasted corn tortillas, so we basically treated it as a make-your-own taco bar situation.
It was okay. Really cool how you bake the tomato/onion mixture to get it nice and caramelized, but my changes definitely aren’t advised.
I’d love to make this one again with the right ingredients!
Shiitake Ramen – pg. 233
Little known fact about Mark: ramen is one of his favorite foods. He had this really incredible ramen when we were in Portland a few years ago, and nothing has really lived up to that ramen experience for him since.
We’ve tried making it a few times from a few different recipes, so I was excited to see how this recipe fared to Mark’s beloved ramen memories.
This ramen was fine. It had good flavor thanks to the red miso and kombu, but it also wasn’t that thick, rich, luscious ramen that Mark remembered.
It was definitely the most time-consuming recipe we tried (although most of that time is spent boiling the broth for an hour), and I’m not sure it was worth it in the end.
I topped mine with some pan-fried tofu, marinated bean sprouts, red onion, and the Shichimi Togarashi spice blend (pg. 23) they suggest. When I had leftovers, I added some sambal, and I liked it a lot more.
This one was “just okay” for us!
Fudgy Brownies – pg. 278
Two pictures because one just doesn’t do this recipe justice.
SUCH a good brownie recipe, you guys. I was a little suspect because it calls for a whopping 2 and 1/2 cups of sugar for 24 brownies, but after I read the full recipe, I noticed that it’s actually the only source of sugar in the recipe (you use unsweetened chocolate and unsweetened cocoa as your chocolate sources).
They’re fudgy, rich, and really yummy with some chunky, flaky salt on top. I made them for Maya’s birthday (she obviously didn’t have any), and we loved them!
I cut them and kept them in the fridge, and they are insanely good cold.
What I love about this cookbook: So. Much.
For one, I love that the nutritional information is included, but all on its own in a section in the back. There if you want it, but not in your face on each recipe page if you don’t (I never do, but I know that’s important to a lot of people).
I also really love the fact that each recipe has a “Why This Recipe Works” section. In these sections, the authors talk about why they chose specific ingredients over others, and it just shows how well-tested all of the recipes really are.
The introduction is actually full of “extra” recipes for things like a vegan fish sauce substitute, vegan mayo, or a vegetable broth base. That said, they also give you recommendations for store-bought brands that they’ve used to test the recipes as well, ensuring that your results will be as similar to theirs as possible.
The recipes are also really creative. Just…so creative. See above for proof.
What I think could be improved: The fact that none of the recipes have cook/prep times listed is kind of a head-scratcher. It was a little frustrating to have to read through the entire recipe a few times to estimate how long it would be before I had dinner on the table.
Also, the ingredient lists weren’t as clear as I would have liked. This is nit-picky for sure, but when a recipe calls for 1 tsp. salt, it’s helpful to know whether it’s kosher salt or sea salt.
That said, I really love this book, and it has quickly become a staple since I got it. In fact, I haven’t actually put it away yet –– it remains on our couch or in the kitchen so that we can use it as inspiration! I call that a super-win.
Do you have Vegan for Everybody? What’s your favorite recipe?!
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