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how about a COTM for us vegheads

I recently splurged and gave myself Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero, Hannah Kaminsky's Vegan ala Mode, More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts by Fran Costigan AND Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner. Note to self: never ever again buy 4 great cookbooks all at once, brain short circuits! But seriously, anyone interested in working through some cookbooks and sharing here? Tomorrow I shall start by making the Gyro seitan and the Chinese 5 spice seitan in Vegan Eats World so later in the week we can have gyros and then char siu seitan for easy suppers.

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  1. I was a recipe tester for VEW and liked most of the dishes. The Chinese 5 Spice seitan was very good! It would be great to see how others enjoy the recipes, too.


    1. Jerusalem is a superb COTM for vegetarians.

      1. I love the idea! I can't buy a cookbook a month, but would participate when I have (or already want) the book, or can find recipes online.

        1 Reply
        1. I bought VEW, but the last three are on my Amazon wish list. I do have some of Miyoko Schinner's cheese recipes from an issue of VegNews.

          1. I'm going to grab VEW from the public library.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jetgirly

              :( VEW isn't available at my library. :(

            2. Good idea. I'd also be interested in knowing which "regular" cookbooks are worth buying for a vegetarian (or vegan). I second pikawicca's suggestion of Jerusalem...fantastic and very veg-friendly. Of course Plenty is even more so.

              1. So we finally got around to having Char Siu Seitan from VEW last night. Wonderful. Chewy. Flavorful. Those crisp bits! I am one of the seitan challenged cooks. My daughter makes wonderful old time boiled seitan. I however always have an epic Fail when boiling the stuff, but this method of making cutlets and steaming them works wonderfully for me. Also, I can make a pile of variously flavored cutlets all in one shot and have the fridge ready for whatever comes.

                Basically one makes a dry mix of gluten and chickpea flour then a wet mix with all the seasonings--garlic, stock, nooch, 5 spice et al, then mix the whole shebang together, cut into cutlets which get tootsie roll wrapped in foil and then steam em for 20 minutes or so. Her Chinese barbeque sauce was a simple mix of hoisin with soy, sherry and veg stir fry sauce.

                We had them 'ribs' with the Sesame Wow Greens-her version of Oshitashi- and some roasted cauliflower. All round terrific.

                Working on a cold here, so the Ma-Po Tofu is ringing the next dinner bell.

                I hope you all can find VEW in your libraries. I have had great luck asking our library to purchase books. OR maybe if that doesn't work, we could COTM using some of the great veg food blogs out there, I guess that would be BOTM :)

                1. The Independent (UK) have listed their 10 Best Vegetarian Cookbooks:


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Gio

                    Some of these cookbooks are my favourites like River Cottage Veg and Dirt Candy. In Canada I think we get a little more of a British bias in what shows up in our cookbook stores, given the American lists I've seen from time to time (could be an anecdotal conclusion).

                    Some are for very strong cooks.

                    I found Terre a Terre here used, and it is for cooks with very strong technique. Most recipes are multi-stage, multi-part, and instructions call for assembly as though you are in a haute restaurant.

                    The Alain Passard book is centred on recipes that are not that complicated, although some of the produce may not be that common. What the home cook will probably never achieve is his technique, but the book is fun and has all of his own artwork.

                    The only book I definitely know but would not have included is the Nobu's Vegetarian. At least here at home in Toronto, the copy I signed out of the library was a publication that was very poorly edited (lots of spelling mistakes) and whoever edited it did not enforce clarity in many of the recipes. For another book that calls for somewhat advance kitchen technique and comfort, many things seems terribly unclear to me. If a person is interested in Japanese Vegetarian, there is a much better book by Elizabeth Andoh who spends much more time discussing what the home cook is accomplishing by cooking from her book.

                    Would be happy to hear from anyone who has had success with Nobu.

                    1. re: Toucan67

                      I second the Elizabeth Andoh cookbook. I've only taken it out from library, but I'm sure it will be the next veg cook book I buy. It is amazing in terms of technique, and approach. I'm far more impressed with it than the ottolenghi ones.

                  2. I was going to suggest this awhile ago! I just got Peter Berley's The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen and Veganomicon for my birthday and for Christmas I received Plenty.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: IndyGirl

                      Veganomicon is probably the most disappointing cookbook I've ever purchased. It's certainly the most poorly edited one.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        Realy?? I heard such good things about it: ( Oh well. at least it was a gift. :(

                        1. re: IndyGirl

                          There are many, many errors in this book, which to my mind is totally unacceptable in a cook book.

                          1. re: pikawicca

                            Errors as in measurements, cooking times, etc? Yeah, those are bad. I'm pretty experienced cook, though--maybe I'll be OK? I hope?

                            1. re: IndyGirl

                              Probably. At least you are likely to spot the problems (as did I).

                    2. So, are we doing this? I have a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card burning a hole in my pocket, and if we decide what we are doing first I'll be sure to buy that!

                      Is it going to be VEW?

                      1. So what does COTM participation entail? Do we all vote on a recipe out of the agreed cookbook and then make it, or.....?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Peaches to Poutine

                          I assume we all agree to focus on recipes from a specific cookbook and then post here if/when we make them.

                        2. If we have enough people, then I totally vote for the VEW. It's a great book with a wide variety of fascinating recipes. Herring were you able to ask your library if they would purchase it?

                          My understanding of the way COTM works is that A) we agree on a book and B) we cook! We may not post actual recipes outside of linking to an existing publication--copyright y'know--but we can describe in detail the recipes, what worked, didn't work etc

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: rubrifolia

                            OK, I vote for this... I'll order it with my B&N gift card once I know it's on!

                            1. re: rubrifolia

                              Just asked for VEW from library just in case.

                            2. So we finally got to try the gyro seitan from VEW. packed the pieces up as part of a very long day road food kit. Cheated and used store naan and since I don't have any non sweet veg yogurt, made up a thin tahini sauce instead of her yogurt dressing. At first bite I thought the seitan which gets baked in a very lemony garlic marinade was toooooooo lemon, but once I got everything together--olive seitan, cukes, tomatoes and the tahini wrapped on the soft bread--- it was the proverbial party for the mouth

                              1. Got to our large oriental market just before the storm basically closed down the state. It took a lot of hunting, but found the toban djan bean paste and the various Thai sauces along with big sheets of fresh rice noodles....all ready to start in on Mapo Tofu and Massamung curry and Pad Kee Mao....oooooo happy snow storm everyone!

                                1. Today I made "The Great Big Vegetable Couscous" (with lots of onion, a leek, a carrot, garlic, cauliflower, canned tomatoes and chickpeas) on "Fluffy Spiced Couscous with Fruit and Nuts" (dried apricots and toasted almond slices). Both from VEW. I'd been wanting to eat a big vegetable couscous dish since watching the Ottolenghi show and seeing him make this one: http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/recipes/c...

                                  I'd say the VEW version is good but not great. It's not bland, but it doesn't seem to reflect the large quantity of spices that went in. I did really like the technique of thickening the "stew" with chickpea flour (three tablespoons mixed with 1/2 cup of the stew liquid towards the end of cooking time, then stirred back in). I will be using this in other chickpea soup recipes!

                                  1. Well, since I did go ahead and buy VEW, I thought I'd post what I made from it. Tonight (yes, on a weeknight, what is wrong with me??) I made pierogi. They are terrific! I really loved the nutritional yeast in the filling. I also made extra caramelized onions to add to the filling, and I am serving with horseradish and sauerkraut, not applesauce as the recipe suggests.

                                    1. O terrific, IndyGirl. I love Pierogis but not making them!
                                      We've been feasting from VEW off and on for a while now.

                                      I made the Banh Xeo last week. Soooooo goood. You make up a simple crepe mixture with rice flour, cornstarch, coconut milk, ground coriander and tumeric which sits in the fridge while gathering the fillings: washed spinach, mung bean sprouts, sliced mushrooms and grilled tofu (last two tossed w some tamari,chile, sugar and lime). O and some thinly sliced onion. It all goes together very happily and easily. Pour @ 1/2 cup of the crepe mixture into a hot pan, swirl around to set then layer on your fillings. Cover and cook about 2 or 3 minutes. Then fold and slide onto your plate.

                                      Her mock nuoc chan sauce absoultely made the whole shebang sing. Its a mix of lime juice, water, sugar, chopped chili and garlic which gets simmered till thick.

                                      The idea was to have left over batter hanging around in the fridge for easy peasy dinners but everyone kept asking for mores.

                                      This week's lunch for me is the red lentil kibbeh over a simple tahinni coleslaw. The kibbeh took all of maybe half an hour on Sunday. Saute an onion, then stir in the spices: paprika, cumin , coriander. Add in the lentils cover with water, after 20 minutes or so stir in some bulgur , cook another 10 minutes and take off the heat. Finish with lemon, pomegranate molasses, cayenne and parsley. I made a double batch so we had some fresh for 4 o'clocks and the rest has made a most satisfying lunch.