Friday, June 5, 2009
Cookbook Case Study - Vegetarian Cooking Without - Wrap Up
I made four recipes from this book. It is important to note that this is a health food book. The two savoury recipes I made were light, vegan, full of veggies, and quite satisfying. I found that the casserole benefited from the addition of beans to make it a full meal, but the chilli was fine as in the recipe. I would happily make either of these recipes again, and I have hope for many of the other savoury meals in the book.
The cakes were less successful. Being more-or-less sugar free recipes, I tried the two options for sweetener - dates, or stevia. The stewed dates (and molasses) of the gingerbread cake offered a subtle yet still sweet-enough option; while the 1/4 tsp of stevia in the lemon and poppy seed cake was not enough, and did nothing to enhance the lemon flavour. Apart from issues of sweetness, it is worth noting the textures. The gingerbread cake, while a little dry, was certainly workable. With a bit more baking experience I may be able to tinker this recipe to be a bit more moist. Perhaps adding some ginger in with the dates would also be a nice touch. The lemon poppy seed cake, on the other hand, though having similar base ingredients, had a texture that made it impossible to eat a slice in any normal fashion. I'm not sure what caused this - it may have been my almost-almond-butter ground almonds, too-small eggs, or simply a recipe that just didn't work. Additionally, the recipe itself was perhaps not tested or proofed thoroughly enough, with at least one step missed out. This cake did make a pretty good crumble topping though, so it's not all bad. I did try two very similar cakes from this book, so I can't speak for the number of other desserts or baked goods. I will definitely be trying some alternatives in the future.
I'd most likely recommend this book to someone who had multiple food restrictions or was particularly concerned with health or certain conditions: with the cover advertising a diet for the control of weight, candida, chronic fatigue, and allergies. (Note: I can't speak as to the accuracy of this advice!)