Friday, November 19, 2010

Vegan Mofo 19.2: Cookbook Review: The Artful Vegan

I picked up this cookbook from the library yesterday that I knew it was amazing in under a minute. This book has already been ordered to add to my library. It is very “chefy” and I am completely in love with it. It is better than “The Conscious Cook” or “Great Chefs Cook Vegan” both of which I also own. The book was published in 2003 so I have no idea how I missed it. Thank goodness my library had a copy. ;-)

The book is categorized as follows:

• Appetizers
• Salads
• Soups
• Pastas
• Entrees
• Desserts
• Basics

This book is absolutely amazing, so much so I don’t know where to start telling you about it. Most of the recipes are intricate and involved and I love that! When I showed this book to Dan he told me to order a copy for myself. Some of the recipes that caught my eye include the following:

• Miso-Broiled Japanese Eggplant over Noodle Cakes with Walnut-Miso Sauce and Wasabi Cream
• Blue Corn Empanada Filled with Smoked Tempeh-Root Vegetable Picadillo, Mint Mojo, and Strawberry-Papaya Salsa
• Avocado, Sea Vegetable, and Plum with Creamy Wasabi Dressing and Spicy Candied Peanuts
• Grilled Radicchio de Treviso with Pink Grapefruit, Pink Peppercorns and Garlic-Tarragon Ranch Dressing
• Caramelized Three-Onion and Porcini Cappuccino with Truffled Soy Foam
• Chilled Potato Vichyssoise with Black Truffle Sorbet
• Yellow Finn Potato Gnocchi with Beet-Merlot Reduction, Roasted Beets and Walnuts
• Lemon-Pine Nut Ravioli over Baby Artichokes-Golden Tomato Ragout
• Grilled Eggplant with Roasted Vegetables and Shiitake Mushrooms, Tomato Lavender Sauce, and Kamut-Pine Nut Salad
• Root Vegetable Ravioli with Portobello Mushroom Pate and Sweet Pepper-Olive Tapenade
• Pear-Huckleberry Trifle
• Key Lime Tart with White Chocolate Mousse and Mango Sauce
• Jasmine Tea Poached Pears with Pomegranate Sauce
• Cannoli Stuffed with Maple Peanut Butter Mousse

I could have listed every recipe in the book, they all sound incredible. It is going to be tough to decide where to start. After reading the recipe titles I bet you can see why I am so smitten with this book.

If you don’t like recipes with a lot of ingredients or steps this isn’t for you. The first recipe I checked had 38 ingredients which I loved but I know many people would find that to be a turn off. The flavor combinations in this book are amazing and some of them are very unique.

I will need to modify most of these recipes to remove the oil and salt. But to their credit the authors use much less of both than most recipes. The authors also give a nutritional breakdown for each recipe.

My only complaint about the book, and it is minor, is that there isn’t a picture of each recipe. If they had included that the book would be perfect!

I don’t often say this but it you love fancy food this is a must buy. Our friend Allan looked at the book last night and described this as vegan food you would happily eat even if you were an omnivore. I think that is a great description.

Today was another busy day. I am happy to tell you we joined the gym at Loyola.  I have purses older than some of the kids I saw tonight, LOL. However, I can’t wait to get into that pool. ;-)  I will fill you in on this later when I have more time.

The Hopkins Women’s Health Conference starts bright and early tomorrow morning which means I need to get my rest. I will fill you in on anything interesting I learn as soon as I can.

Oh, and we out for dinner again tonight.  I seem to have forgotten where my kitchen is located.  ;-)

Talk to you again tomorrow. I hope everyone is having a great Friday night.


  1. Oh I love this cookbook! I bought it for my mother in law a few years ago but I don't think she made anything from it because the recipes are really, really complex would be overwhelming for most people. I hope you make something and share the results :)

  2. I will take the cannoli recipe yum! Hope you're having a good Saturday morning.

  3. Thanks for sharing that book review, Ali. Looks gorgeous. Get a good swim in for me, OK ;-)

  4. I cannot wait to see some of these recipes in action. I have also been eating out alot lately and and all I can say is I am sick of over cooked zucchini and wilty salads! This town has no idea about health and it irritates the heck out of me. I saw a woman that weighed at least a metric ton at a buffet a few weeks ago....She was up there almost every 30 minutes. I watched her as I sipped my water with lime and nibbled on avocado salad and steamed veggie fajita's,sans tortilla...I felt uber healthy..I wigh in at about 121 still, so I am resonably happy...(snicker)
    How did I get on this....?
    Oh well, You know me....
    Oh yeah eating out...rotfl.....

  5. That book does sound right up your alley - I can't wait to see your versions of the recipes. I agree, I like cookbooks with lots of photos, but that is a very minor complaint.

  6. this really is a great book! I've made quite a few things from it, over the years. That Key Lime tart with white chocolate mousse is totally amazing. In fact, I bet a search on my blog would turn up some pics of what I've made. I've found that very often you can make these meals less overwhelming by cutting out 1 or 2 of the 5-6 elements, and still have a superb meal. have fun, it's a great book!

  7. so fun! you would think an "artful vegan" book would HAVE to have pictures for every page. especially for us visual learners. :)

  8. Jill,

    I will absolutely be making something from the book very soon. There are so many things I want to try I don't know where to start. This is going to be a cookbook I actually use, unlike most of them. I will share the results.


  9. Heather,

    I thought the cannoli sounded amazing too. Dan was pretty excited about it. I may need to make some for the holidays. They aren't exactly healthy but a treat once or twice a year won't hurt us.

    Saturday was good, but crazy busy. It is nice to be home and kicked back this morning.

    I hope your weekend is going well,

  10. Aimee,

    I think you would love the book. Check to see if your library has it. Every recipe is very inspirational.

    I will be getting plenty of swimming in for both of us. My father always said I was part fish as a child because I was always in the water. I love to swim. ;-)


  11. Brandi,

    You would love this book. I think you should add it to your Xmas list.

    You did go off on a tangent, LOL. But I agree it is hard to eat out and stay healthy. The food at the health conference yesterday was not what I call healthy *rolls eyes* but at least it was pretty.

    talk to you later,

  12. Jessica,

    This book is so creative and chefy I immediately fell in love, LOL, assuming you can fall in love with a book that is. I may make something from it today if I have time.

    I really do prefer photos in cookbooks but as long as the dish is well described it isn't actually necessary.


  13. Amey,

    Thanks for letting me know you like the book. I can't believe I just found it. Great point about making the recipes more simple by cutting out an element or two. Personally revel in the complexity when I have time to fiddle around in the kitchen that is.

    Thanks also for letting me know yo have a blog. I will try to stop by later this afternoon if not tomorrow and check it out.

    enjoy the rest of your weekend,

  14. Jenny,

    I think pictures would have helped make the presentation more clear. We will see if I have any trouble.

    enjoy the rest of your weekend,


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