Veganize This, I Can’t Quit You
There are many vegan cookbooks that have been relegated to the bottom two shelves of our library. Some are because they are not great, and some because I never look at them anymore. Veganize This by Jenn Shagrin is a great book that I find myself reaching for again and again. Sometimes it is because I want to smile, sometimes because I just want to admire her passion for Mimiccreme, and sometimes because just find myself loving the book. Let me explain.
Jenn Shagrin is a vegan actress who loves to cook and bake. She also has a fun sense of humor, which you can see in her chapter titles:
- Hail Seitan and His Followers
- Recipes Guaranteed to Get You Laid
- Satisfying the Vegan Munchies
- Grilling and Chilling
- Getting Baked
She also has hilarious chef notes for most of the recipes. I love those touches. But you want to know about the recipes, right? This is a cookbook, after all.
As one would expect from the title, most of the recipes in here take ‘traditional’ animal product heavy foods and offer vegan alternatives. There are recipes in here for vegan Twinkies, Scallops, melting mozzarella, and gems like “Juniper Berry and White Peppercorn-Rubbed Field Roast with Sage-Infused Vegetables and Balsamic Ale-Cranberry Reduction”, and that was just me opening the book to a random page, pg. 144 to be precise. You will find a ton of great, pretty easy fun recipes in here. I love her chapter on vegan basics alone. This book is so much fun!
There are a few downsides. She loves Mimiccreme. It is in every recipe. Normally, such things annoy me, but since she offers you five recipes to make your own, I don’t feel like it’s such a bad thing. You don’t have to buy that one ingredient. The same is true with her love of No-Chicken and No-Beef bouillon base. You don’t have to use it, you can use another vegan bouillon. Once you can get past those ingredients and see them for what they are, and you can make your own, this book is very user friendly. There are only a few ingredients that I can’t grab locally in here, such as barley malt powder.
So just for originality alone, I love this book. I feel like it is an underrated vegan gem that does not get out there much. That makes me shake my head. It’s better than a lot of what is out there.
If you are looking for some ‘mock’ recipes with lots of meat alternative and scrambled ‘eggs’ that look like eggs, this is your book. If you want a book loaded with whole foods that is a great into book with no mock products, this is probably not for you.
I still love it.
If you want to see more ‘retro’ reviews, for books that might be older or underrated, let me know.
Review by Madelyn Pryor