It looks like the theme for vegan cooking for early 2023 is make your own meat substitutes. The newest entry to this group is Fake Meat by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. The author is basically the OG of modern approachable vegan cooking. She’s also my only cookbook automatic pre-order any and all new titles.
Most previous Isa books are “vegan for beginners” in nature, in that they feature more readily available ingredients and normal cooking standard processes. This time, things gets a little more advanced. There’s a lot of steaming forth e meat bases; you can’t boil agar if you want it to work properly in some cases, and there’s a good deal of prepare ahead parts to a lot of the recipes. The cool thing is that you can use the base meats for quite a few things in the book, so even if that part I more time or ingredient intensive, it’s still not going to go to waste.
There’s also quite a few actual applications in the recipes which I appreciate. The other thing I like is that besides the meats, there’s also instructions for doing your own cheeses vegan and several condiments (if you want, the recipes also note store bought as a option in a lot of cases).
Most of the recipes are of the classic comfort varieties: chicken nuggets, pork chops and applesauce, kielbasa and cabbage, steak salad, burgers, fish-wich, pot pie, turkey tetrazzini, veal parmesan, etc. A few of the recipes are a little suspicious to me, like carrot lox and some of the cheeses. Vegan cheese is something I have yet to find a decent substitute for, and the recipes for cheddar, provolone, and swiss look too much alike to be good representatives for their particular types of dairy cheese which are pretty distinct in terms of both flavor and texture. I could be wrong, and I’d be happy about that, although I am going to have to track down the carrageenan those recipes require.
It should also be noted that most of the recipes in this book are in fact 3-4 recipes (all included) combined. It would require a good bit of planning to pull some of the dishes off easily. That said, if this collection turns out to be like the rest of the cookbooks by this author, it might actually be worth it. We’ll see.