All, Food

Talking about cookbooks

A few days ago, I posted my very first recipe on Black-Luck. I honestly had some doubts whether a recipe would be appropriate on my blog or not. After some thought, I decided to go for it and I introduced this new genre of posts here, on my special place on the internet. You might not know this about me, but I am pretty passionate about food. When I was a kid, I used to watch my mom bake and cook in our kitchen for hours. It looked like magic to me. Every Sunday, she took her time to make an extra luxurious meal for us, baking loafs, making jam, chocolate spread, savory salads and hot cocoa. I was her partner in crime, cutting vegetables, laying out all of the ingredients needed and following her simple orders.

These days, our food-paths have gone separate ways, with me getting into vegan health-food and my mom still staying truthful to her cheese, fish and milk. I went vegan almost two and a half years ago, right after I went to a reading by Melanie Joy. Hearing her elegantly describe exactly why we would be better off not eating animal by-products was the final push I needed to go from vegetarian to vegan. After the reading, there was a little bookstand, where you could buy her book (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows), along with many other vegan books. This was where I bought my first vegan cookbook: Vegan on the cheap by Robin Robertson.

This books contains some really good tips on how to build and maintain your pantry, spend less in the grocery store and to simply use what you already have. The recipes include cheaper homemade alternatives to foods that are expensive when store-bought, like seitan, salsa, mayo and salad dressing. The recipes are pretty straight forward and don’t require advanced cooking skills. The book was great for me as a newbie vegan.

The only big issue that I have with the book is that it doesn’t feature any food pictures. This, to me, is a serious no-no for a cookbook. Pictures are what make you desire the dish, they act like an added layer of instruction (your dish should look a little something like this) and they make a cookbook a pleasure to browse through. This is why, two and a half years later, I almost never reach for this book any more.

I bought the next book when I was getting interested in raw food. It is a dutch book, so it has a dutch title that I would translate as ‘Pure raw food’. The book contains beautiful recipes, such as ‘raw lasagna with macadamia-spread’, ‘apple with spicy chutney and banana cream’ and ‘raw Indian crackers’. Yum! The pictures are seriously awesome as well.

Inspired by this book and all of the lovely things that raw food has to offer, I now try incorporate more raw food into my daily diet. A food dehydrator is high on my wish-list as well. Making my own raw crackers, pizza crusts and dried fruits are things that I really look forward to. One day…

This is the book that I got next. In english, it is called ‘Veganize it! The complete guide to vegan food substitutions’. It tells you exactly how to replace dairy, cheese, egg, meat, gluten, soy, sugar and fat in any recipe. I already wrote about this book in my December Favorites post. Here is what I said about it:

“This book offers detailed explanations on how to transform ‘normal’ recipes into vegan recipes by replacing all animal ingredients by its vegan counterparts. Other than that the book also contains a ton of original recipes like how to make your own vegan butter, milk, yoghurt or fancy vegan dinners like Denver-quiche, portobello steak and artichoke pie. I have tried out multiple of the recipes and am so far really happy with how my meals turned out. This book inspired me so much to make my breakfast, dinner and lunch all the more interesting.”

I still like and reach for this book to this day. I wish it had more pictures though, a lot of the recipes don’t have a single photograph. I noticed that all of the recipes that I have made from this book were ones that include pictures.

The last cookbook that I bought is one that highlights all the different uses for oatmeal. In english it is called: OATrageous Oatmeals by Kathy Hester. This book has got you covered when it comes to everything and anything having to do with oatmeal. It shows you the different kinds of oatmeal, nutritional values, backdrop stories to some of recipes and features beautiful pictures.

OATrageous Oatmeals has a section on oats in basic recipes, oats for breakfast (hot for in the winter months and cold for the hot summer months), oats in soups and stews, oats in savory dinners, oats in desserts and oats in drinks. I especially like the ‘oats in savory dinners’ section. I never really used oats in savory dishes before and find it interesting to learn how to incorporate this nutritious ingredient in more meals. Out of all of the books, this one is my favorite.

Now that I have gotten the taste of cookbooks, my wish-list for them seems to grow larger and larger. This is what it currently looks like:

Rawsome Vegan Baking by Emily Von Euw (blog: This Rawsome Vegan Life)
The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon (blog: Oh She Glows)
Paleo Vegan by Ellen Jaffe, Allan Roettinger
My New Roots by Sarah Britton (blog: My New Roots)
The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester
Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen by Richa Hingle
The Fresh Vegan Kitchen by David & Charlotte Bailey
Thug Kitchen (website: Thug Kitchen)
Plenty More by Jotam Ottolenghy
Grow Eat Share by Avalon (dutch cookbook)

There you go my dearest readers. Time to save some money, and expand our food-horizons.

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