Cookbook Review: ATK Vegan For Everybody
I was on the fence when I ordered this one from Amazon because I knew that the recipes wouldn’t be gluten-free. But then I saw this recipe for Thai Coconut Soup with Tofu and yes, I mostly ordered this cookbook for a single recipe. (This has a fish sauce substitute which means there’s probably actual fish sauce in restaurant versions? This reminds me that I haven’t been exposed to wheat since all this started, which means the supposedly gluten-free items in restaurants probably aren’t because of cross-contamination.)
My family hasn’t been out to eat or had takeout since early March because THERE’S A PANDEMIC, Y’ALL. No curry stew from my favorite Vegan Chinese place. No tasty Thai food. No delicious Indian takeaway. So yeah, this recipe got me because breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks are all on me now. I tried making a similar recipe a while back (probably something I found on Pinterest) and it was watery and meh. But this is America’s Test Kitchen, so surely this is a solid winner, right?
Anyway, it wasn’t just this recipe that got me interested in Vegan for Everybody. It was really the science. Like why you should use oat milk for baking cakes, what will happen when you use various egg substitutes, and every recipe has a “Why This Recipe Works” explanation. ATK has tested things so I don’t have to waste my time and resources trying to figure out what will work.
As far as being budget-conscious, if you have a very well-stocked pantry and access to a wide variety of fresh vegetables, this cookbook is for you. I see a few things we don’t have like saffron and a lot of fresh produce. Right now I can’t go out and get things like bean sprouts or a certain variety of mushrooms so I’ll either skip those recipes for now or leave out what I can’t buy online. Some ingredients might be difficult to find if you’re ordering groceries online or using a service like Instacart where you order one thing and may not get a suitable substitute.
The recipes that aren’t gluten-free can probably be worked around, but I wish ATK had made some suggestions around gluten-free vegan baking, specifically. (I have the gluten-free baking book and I vaguely remember a lot of recipes needing milk powder.) Some of the recipes you can easily just sub gluten-free pasta, but others, such as the cakes and breads, I would be wary of just using a gluten-free flour and expecting the same results. America’s Test Kitchen, if you’re reading this, please make a vegan and gluten-free cookbook, okay?
Overall though, I recommend this cookbook. It has a lot of recipes that I haven’t seen elsewhere and like I said before, I really like that ATK explains why a recipe will work. The recipe sections included are breakfast, soups, sandwiches and pizzas, salads and grain bowls, comfort foods, stir-fries and curries, snacks, and desserts. So, pretty much everything is covered and every recipe has photos. There’s also a section in the back with the nutritional breakdowns if that’s something you consider when cooking. For $22 on Amazon, it’s definitely worth it.
*This cookbook review was not sponsored.