As soon as we hit September 1st in Toronto it immediately smells and feels like autumn. Even though I'm still wearing sandals and it's so humid that my hair has taken on a life of its own, there's something distinctly fall in the air. And that's what inspired my recipe selection for this review of Vegan Goodness by Jessica Prescott. This picture perfect square cookbook is written by the blogger behind WholyGoodness, a vegan food and lifestyle site.
After skimming through her Instagram account I feel like I want to know this woman. Her bangs are perfect, her family is adorable, she does yoga on the fly, and she had the patience to do this. She even has the cookware I've been coveting.
I selected two recipes from the book to have Joella (right) and our special guest Nicole (left) test out. We made a hearty mushroom stew and kale scones.
Both Nicole and Joella are very health-conscious individuals. Nicole is vegetarian but has been vegan in the past. Joella eats lean healthy meals with lots of protein to support her active lifestyle.
What we loved
We found the recipes simple, easy to navigate, and well thought-out. There were so many items in the book that I wanted to try so it was hard to select only 2.
We like how Jessica calls it "shopping list" instead of ingredients list because it just sounds more appropriate. Being young people with no families to feed and a commonly half-full fridge, we did have to shop for everything on the list.
It was not difficult at all to adjust these recipes to suit my allergies (dairy, nuts, peanuts, legumes). Since it's a vegan cookbook dairy was not a concern at all, and the recipes I picked were not nut or legume-based.
Stew is intended to be a meal in itself; containing veggies and protein, and usually a biscuit or bread of some sort on the side for soaking up the broth. I was a little concerned that mushrooms wouldn't be filling enough but man was I wrong. The recipe called for about 1 grocery store's worth of mushrooms, which was totally fine with us since we're all mushroom fans. Mushrooms are also quite reasonably priced if you don't buy the pre-sliced ones.
To create a meaty texture half the mushrooms were finely chopped and the other half were roughly sliced. We added them to a large pan along with some olive oil, tomatoes, herbs, and spices. Once it was all caramelized and softened we added more mushrooms and veggie broth and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Some flour was added to thicken the broth.
The soup was so rich and filling. We were not left wanting for meat at all. All of us found it pretty spicy (which was fine by us) and we had no idea why... later I found that we had accidentally used cayenne pepper instead of paprika. That would explain it. Even Brandon who generally doesn't like soup said it was the best soup he'd ever tasted and asked me to make it again some time.
While the soup was simmering we moved on to the kale scones. Fresh kale and onions were fried up in olive oil and added to the dry ingredients. Olive oil was used instead of a solid fat like coconut oil or shortening, but the scones still had light fluffy layers.
Instead of nut milk in this recipe we used Rice Dream rice milk, my favorite. Nicole kneaded the mixture until it formed a ball and the kale and onions were evenly distributed throughout the dough. Then she pinched off little handfuls and shaped them into scones. She baked them off on a parchment-lined tray until nice and golden brown.
To conclude, we loved this book and the recipes we made. If you don't stick to the recipes exactly it'll at least provide some major #foodinspo for your next vegan meal. The book releases on September 13, 2016 and can be purchased here.