A Breakfast Menu and a Cookbook Review

          My three year old niece loves to cook with me. One favorite request is pumpkin waffles from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan with a Vengeance. My niece and I make a double batch and freeze the leftovers. I measure, she pours, and we both stir. Because our waffle iron only makes two waffles at a time, cooking all the batter takes awhile. That gives us time to do the dishes and wash the table and counters. Whenever we want a quick, but delicious breakfast, we pull pumpkin waffles out of the freezer. They pull apart easily if you freeze them after they’ve cooled off from the waffle iron. We reheat ours in the toaster. It takes two cook times, instead of turning up the heat, to warm the middle without burning the outside. You could probably reheat them in the microwave as well, but I like a crispy outside and a soft inside.

       Pumpkin Waffles pg. 40 of Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
       Slice a banana on top
       Pour pure maple syrup on top (Don’t drown your waffles with this syrup or it will be too rich and sweet.)
       Sprinkle a serving (1/4 cup) of raw, lightly chopped walnuts on top (for omega-3 for the day)

Other variations:
• If you don’t like or don’t have bananas, eat a small dish of sliced fruit or fruit salad or drink a small fruit smoothie instead.
• Eat the walnuts on the side if you don’t like the combination of flavors.
• If you really like butter on your waffles and you want to avoid any animal product, use Earth Balance margarine.
• Use jam instead of maple syrup

        A friend gave this cookbook to me when I first switched to a healthier way of eating. It was a lifesaver. I found several vegan versions of recipes for food I commonly ate before. Some examples of these substitutes are “fronch” toast for French toast and Cajun fries for Arby’s curly fries or Outback’s cheese fries. I found the tempeh sausage crumbles and tempeh bacon to not be a good enough substitute for meat sausage and bacon to stand alone, but I love tempeh bacon in a BLT sandwich. One of the most helpful features of this book for a beginning herbivore is the cooking tips spread throughout the book. A section on cooking with tofu and another section on various egg substitutes are two examples. This cookbook contains some recipes that use refined white flour and sugar, too much oil, and an abundance of spices. Sometimes the preparation and cooking times are long and multi-stepped. Despite these potential drawbacks, I’ve found this cookbook to be very valuable. Many recipes can be modified to use natural sugars and whole grain flours or less oil and cayenne. Also, just because I am a quick ‘n’ easy kind of cook who is a wimp when it comes to spicy, doesn’t mean that you might not enjoy putting together an elaborate, but delicious meal and Vegan with a Vengeance can help.



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