Everyday Vegan Eats, the new cookbook by Zsu Dever, is the perfect cookbook for the newly vegetarians or recently vegans. It has all the recipes you need to make your fave foods sans meat products. When first going veg it is hard to think about how you will ever be able to enjoy a dairy-free mac and cheese, good nachos, or ranch dressing. Figuring out how can you make cake, eat a mayo-licious sandwich, or even enjoy a basic casserole are just some of the things that freak you out or make you rethink your decision. This book though? Totally wish I had had it 13 years ago – I may have gone vegan a long time before just recently! And I of course had to make something from the book – the Carrot Cake!
This book is awesome and I really do wish I had had it when I first went vegetarian. Way back then it took me awhile to give up all meat products (fish was my holdout) but that went fast and but the dairy was my true holdout (and what I still struggle daily with). Like, I just couldn’t give up yogurt, cheese, ranch dressing, and cream of mushroom soup. Now I am more adventurous and will try vegan options, but back then if only I had a cookbook that made me see that things were possible. That I could make all those things easily; that I wouldn’t have to give up anything but just make it differently. These are the main things I really like about this cookbook, and the section about how to make all your own stocks, bouillons, dressings, etc – awesome! Love that, and totally want to make a stock now! I also really love when a cookbook comes around that has all the needs-to-knows in one place – sometimes I don’t want to recreate the wheel. I just want to make my fave meal, and make it fast!
What I like least about the book was that a lot of the recipes use a lot of store-bought products – vegan mayo, butter, sour cream. But when I was a new vegetarian those were the things that I would have needed to know about. 13 years ago stores in my town didn’t have those things, but I could have gone to the healthy food stores to get them, but didn’t know I should have been seeking them out. I am also a totally visual recipe person (which is why I post the step-by-step pics) and especially need the end result picture. I want to see if everything I had done to make this really cool recipe turned out like it was supposed to. Cookbooks should have pictures! But honestly? That was it for the dislikes – usually I can find lots wrong with cookbooks, but this one was for the real person, not the foodie. The one who just wants to learn to cook, not the Culinary Institute of America wanna-be graduate.
And of course I had to make something from the cookbook – why else would a person get one, right? I decided to bake a cake to make up for my no-rise blackberry fail cake. What to make you ask? My all-time favorite cake ever – carrot cake. And who in the world (besides me) doesn’t love carrot cake? And a carrot cake that rises when it’s supposed to, especially when gluten-free? Perfection I say. The recipe was easy to follow, which as someone who may or may not be a baker knows, the recipe is what gets the dessert done correctly. Believe me, with my fail a few weeks ago I was super nervous to give another cake a try, especially when I am determined to make it gluten-free, but these directions and the simplicity of the regular cake mix I had no reason to worry. It was great. And the cream cheese frosting? I haven’t ever had vegan cream cheese frosting and – O. M. G. Lick the bowl good.
**Recipe adapted from Everyday Vegan Eats~
1/2 C Applesauce
1/2 C Grapeseed Oil
1/3 C So Delicious Vanilla Almond Milk
1/4 C Dark Brown Sugar, packed
1/4 C Splenda
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 C Shredded Carrots, shred carefully
3/4 C Bobs Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1/2 C Bobs Red Mill Oat Flour
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp Allspice
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 C Raisins
1/2 C Fishers Walnuts, chopped
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 Cntr Go Veggie! Plain Cream Cheese
1/4 C Powdered Sugar
1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1. Turn oven to 350 degrees and spray baking pan with non-stick spray.
2. Mix dry cake ingredients in medium bowl.
3. Shred carrots.
4. In smallish mixing bowl add sugars, applesauce, milk, oil and extract. Mix well.
5. Add raisins and carrots and mix.
6. Add batter to dry ingredients and mix.
7. Pour into baking pan and bake until done (about 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean).
8. Take out and let cool completely.
9. Mix frosting ingredients in small bowl.
10. Spread over top of cooled cake. Sprinkle with walnuts.