Veganly Delicious

Julie-Juliaing one cookbook at a time.

Happy (Inter)National Vegan Day! (aka: Allyson Could Make Me Give Up Wheat)

on November 2, 2012

Happy (Inter)National Vegan Day!

I didn’t even know, but I saw it in my email and I figured how awesome is this. I can wrap up October’s book, and announce this month’s and celebrate by having the best darn cookies in the world. (Well one of the best. My best friend J made them for me us, and she veganized them for me. Wasn’t that sweet?)

I am finishing off my day eating some breakfast sausage, Hannah’s cheese biscuits and some chowder.

Okay – so. my overall thoughts on Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats

First of all, I am going to be thanking God every day that I can handle wheat. (or if I am one of those weirdos who does have wheat issues but just doesn’t know it, that It’s not that bad that I can continue to ignore my ignorance and continue eating wheat). With that said.

Allyson could make me give it up. No fooling.

I tried to do my best to eat ‘gluten-freeish” as possible – ergo, I didn’t have a lot of bread, or gluten based products. (cookies and brownies aside). I did shop and stock up on items to make the total book experience a  good one.

As a recap, this is what I made from the book

Cranberry Spice Bagels, Basic Brown Bread, Stroganoff, Pumpkin Chili, Cashew Creme, Cheesy Broccoli Soup, Mushroom Corn Chowder, Basked Corn Pudding, Roasted Cinnamon Cauliflower, Butterscotch Amaretti, Compassionate Calamari, Fajita Soup, Potato Salad & Mushroom & Asparagus Tacos with Cilantro Mayo Sour Cream. Oh, and Pizza Crackers. 

(I think that’s all of them).

Everything was really, really good. (Except the thing that won’t be named, and You know what it is, so we’re not going to discuss it again). Everything for the most part was really easy to make and the stroganoff and the pumpkin chili will be made. Often. (well not for a while, but like random “what does Liv want to eat?” Stroganoff will be like right up there.

Leftover wise, these things just taste better the longer it sits. I swear when it comes to the end recipe (which generally means soup), my tastebuds must be regenerating or something because they are always bland. the Broccoli soup was kinda dull (thank you S&P) as was the chowder (like really bland) and then again, whamo. (except, naturally, today where I oversalted it and now I am having some cereal for dinner. No big worries – see, this isn’t planned y’all. This blog post is live. You get to see how my scary mind works.

Be afraid.).

The Overall Pros

This is one gorgeous book. I am the kind of girl who likes to crawl into bed and snuggle with the cookbook (or in the bath. What can I say?), and read it like a novel. Most good cookbook authors realise that and give us great readability. What really pushes this book over the top, (and made it work that I can’t find my camera + it wasn’t working) is that every single recipe has a photo attached. So you can see what you made, is what Allyson made. Which is awesomeness . Plus the book wasn’t that expensive.

(we’ll ignore the fact that I won it in a giveaway)  B.F. (before flood) I had this preordered and everything 🙂

The instructions for the most part are clear. There were a few bobbles here and there (But this could have been me, being exhausted cooking at 9pm after working 9 hours straight).

Everything is leftover awesome.

Omni-friends will be much impressed

The book layout is very simple, and how you generally eat. Like I pointed out – it starts with “basics” (and the recipes you’d probably need to use for other recipes later on, rather than having the “Meal” first, and then all the “Wait you need xyz” on page 350).  I’m giving up on my cookbook holder, basically it lays flat on my counter and a bowl lays on it.

The overall cons

My overall grocery bill this month – was over my budget of 80 dollars a week. By… a lot. (like over 60 dollars over, a lot). My cheapest bill was around 120? dollars. (some of this wasn’t the books fault, when you see canning jars on sale for 3.00 you snap them up). But if I took out incidentals and stuff like that I was still looking at an average of 110 a month.

Gluten flours aren’t cheap and in Calgary, not that easy to find (for me, when going grocery shopping, and I don’t drive). Had I had had a chance to stock up at the bulk store, I know it would have been a heck of a lot cheaper because, well you know. Bulk.

But I think that is the point. With most cookbooks, you should be able to pop to the shop, and get everything and stick underbudget. You can’t do that with this book. You need to stock up with gluten-flours first.

The availability of the flours comes into question too. Internationally. (or in Canada), Superfine flours (Rice & Sorgum) aren’t available, and Allyson calls for them for a good bit of recipes. While I’m sure it wouldn’t affect the overall product, the texture and taste wouldn’t be the same. (If they would be the same, the specific use of superfine wouldn’t be asked for. Ergo: Dear Superfine Flour – get to Canada. Love, Liv).

I find this book to be very seasonal. I don’t know if that was Allyson’s intention (and I forgot to ask during the interview). So cooking a lot of things that call for cherries – kinda hard in October. (and so on).

Gluten Free breads taste weird. Like not weird. “ewww, what’s in my mouth, ft, pht, tha!” But “This is not really… bread/crackers is it” Just that weird heavy/taste feeling. I’ve never really had GF goods before, so I don’t know if this is common. It’s not really a con, it’s more of a caveat.

Final Tally:

Taking into consideration the cost (of shopping), the book layout, book format, and everything….

I give Great Gluten Free-Vegan Eats a Liv Seal of Approval and award the book the rating of:

Try with a reccomendation to Buy.
If you are gluten free already – buy the thing. It will change your life, I swear.

The try rating is only based on the fact that your kitchen may/may not be set up for the flours which can cost a pretty penny.

Interview with Allyson coming up (Right now!)






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