I’m still not quite sure about how I feel about the Bad Manners brand series of vegan cookbooks. On the one hand, the first one had a lot of good recipes in it, but the brand had some major issues with racial insensitivity and it took several years for that to get addressed publicly. Then, under the rebrand, a lot of random cussing does not equate bad manners, so that didn’t quite fit, and the tone was different, like the cursing was different and just felt random and unnecessary. It looks like, a handful of years on from that, they’ve finally gotten the balance right, at least on the language side. Admittedly though it took me a minute to realize the middle finger giving hand icon clutching a handful of weeds actually meant ‘gluten-free’ but we’ll let that oddity go.
Hungry as Hell is seemingly designed busy lives, so a lot of recipes have more than one use, and can be combined amongst themselves in multiple ways; there are recommendations for this in some recipe intros as well as sidebars labeled “cheat sheets”. For example, the “5 minute hummus” shows up as an option for multiple salad, platter, and wrap recipes. IT also actually does appear to take 5 minutes or slightly less (canned chickpeas, tahini, oil, lemon juice, spices, and the food processor). The cheat sheet on this page present possibilities for toppings and bean substitutions. There’s also only 1 curse, and it’s in the introduction. One of the potential pairings with the hummus is “Grain Salad with Pecans and Tarragon” involving farro, wild rice, ume plum vinegar, rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, onion, cranberries, pecans (or walnuts), arugula, parsley, and tarragon. The intro has the decency to acknowledge that this is an obvious Thanksgiving flavor profile, and the cheat sheet points out the time saving tactic of making elements the day before. Just before the hummus, prefacing the dip-esque section, is a “Field Guide” meaning recommendations for in this case crudite plate assembly using some of what’s coming or just happened.
One thing I don’t get is that ume plum vinegar is in practically everything; it’s like the authors suddenly discovered it and had to preach the ume gospel. I’ve no problem with the ingredient, I just think it’s noticeable how all over the place it is; if you don’t like it, you’re kind of out of luck. I do appreciate that if they’re going to ask you to get something somewhat specialty like that, at least you’ve got lots of options for using it, assuming you like it of course. You’d also better get comfortable finding shelf stable silken tofu.
There is a reasonable mix of flavor profiles from general American (mayo-based pasta salad that’s more pasta than salad; dirty rice) to Middle Eastern (a tomato lentil sauce for squash attributed to an Afghan restaurant) to Tex-Mex (chilaquiles, enchiladas) to Italian (polpetti), etc.
The kind of interesting new bit is that there is now some baking, as in actual bread such as flatbreads, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, savory breakfast hand pies (with rough puff recipe for the diy-er; think tofu or veggie based Pop Tarts in a good way), and an entire dessert section that includes cookies, bars, monkey bread (home-made), a carrot cake introduced as “dirty hippie baking as its finest”, and a chocolate raspberry babka. On the one hand a lot of these might take a little practice or know how, and on the other, the cheat sheets give you that info without making you feel dumb for not knowing for example how to make fresh popcorn on the stove (coconut caramel corn); the casual language might actually be kind of useful for bits like that.
Lastly, I think one of the most useful bits of the whole book is a page that gives you equivalences for canned beans to uncooked dried beans to cooked beans. That was practically worth the cost of the book right there. I’m not sure why there’s so much use of the stove for bean cookery (most people have InstaPots now) but that is still an incredibly useful thing for someone who eats largely plant based.
The monkey bread is the last recipe in the book, and I’m not 100% sure, but I think it might be the only one with no swear words. At all. Maple Monkey Bread that’s “a cake made of donut holes” needs none of that.