Thursday, October 20, 2011

VeganMoFo #15 - Color Me Vegan

I've been doing mini-reviews of cookbooks so far but today I'm going to do a complete review.

COLOR ME VEGAN by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Color is so important to my life - it can change my mood, it can inspire me, and I often feel disappointed with a boring all-brown meal. For me one of the best things about plant-based cuisine is how colorful it can be. I was thrilled when I first saw this book at a bookstore but decided to wait to buy it because I am trying to reduce my cookbook purchases. After seeing the book highlighted in other VeganMoFo posts, I knew I had to buy it immediately.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's previous cookbook, The Vegan Table, is one of my top three cookbooks. (I'm not reviewing it this month because I have the Kindle version and I wanted to only review cookbooks I have in print.) I prefer recipes that are simple with a lot of fruits and vegetables and Color Me Vegan is similar to The Vegan Table in that respect. It is also similar in that it is organized differently than most cookbooks. Chapters are divided by the predominant color of the recipe and I like that you can easily find the color chapter you want because of the colorful tabs at the top of each page. White and brown foods also have their own chapter as do recipes that use the entire rainbow.

The first day I had Color Me Vegan I had already started bookmarking all the recipes I want to make. I started with the Hot Tamale Pie. The photo below shows it before baking.

Beans and corn are mixed for the base and the topping is a simple cornmeal and nutritional yeast combo.

I also made the Purple Cabbage Salad which I have to remember to bring to the next potluck I attend. Unfortunately I didn't have oranges which would have made this over the top in the color department but it was really delicious. I used canned pineapple and omitted the hazelnuts. I loved the sweetness with the jalapenos and toasted sunflowers. 

I saved the best for last. I also made the Chocolate Zucchini Bread which was excellent. I couldn't find any non-dairy chocolate chips at the local store so I bought a dark chocolate candy bar and cut it up instead. I reduced the fat by instead using 3/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil. It was probably a little crumblier from that substitution but still very moist and rich.

There are so many other recipes I want to make from this cookbook: Strawberries with Lavender Syrup, Chocolate, Banana and Almond Butter Panini, Muffuletta Sandwich, Nori Wraps with Orange Cashew Cream, Peanut Butter Pancakes, Blueberry Croutons, Garlicky Greens with Pasta, Swiss Chard Pie, Nectarine-Agave Panini, Sweet Potato Tacos and the Raspberry Lemon Muffins.

Color Me Vegan is a beautiful book and it includes many color photos. I like that she suggests where you can use water for sauteing instead of oil and that she includes all sorts of interesting tidbits. Did you know there are 1000 kinds of edible greens? Or that dairy cows now get calcium supplements because they often no longer graze outdoors?

I'd recommend this book to both omnivores and vegetarians who want to eat more fruits and veggies, to those following a low-fat vegetarian diet, and to everyone who loves color on their plate.

5 comments: said...

I love Color Me Vegan, I love the Swiss Chard Pie and I want to make the chocolate zucchini bread now.

Andrea said...

Thanks for the review — this sounds like a book I should own.

Mandee said...

What a great review, I like the look of the tamale pie the most. I've wondered if I should buy Color Me Vegan and it seems I should!

Amey said...

I also got Color Me Vegan just recently and I already love it. I can't wait to cook more from it. It's so beautiful, isn't it???

Susan said...

Thanks for this! I hav eonly made one recipe from this book so far, but seeing what other people have made gets me inspired to make more!

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