I love Canadian cookbooks. This isn’t to say I don’t have cookbooks from other countries (I love cookbooks, period) – but I always return to cookbooks written by Canadian authors. When I was in high school my go-to cookbooks were usually by Bonnie Stern. She had a series of Heart Smart cookbooks that had lots of vegetarian recipes in them. I wasn’t a full-on vegetarian then (and not a vegan at all) but her recipes were healthy, easy-to-follow, and most importantly, delicious. I still have fond memories of a Moroccan-inspired recipe that combined dried apricots, prunes, couscous and chicken.
Since becoming a vegan I have discovered Dreena Burton and I think she taken residence in my heart for one of my favourite cookbook authors. Let Them Eat Vegan isn’t her newest book (but I haven’t spent enough time with the new one to give it a fair review) but it’s the one I have been using over and over again for the last five years.
One of the reasons I love Canadian cookbooks so much is because even as vegans they understand our need for comfort food. Yes, raw vegan cookbooks can be great too (I have a couple of those too, of course) but for someone who lives in Alberta, where winter can often be eight months out of the year, I just can’t find all the ingredients I need from a cookbook whose author is based in California and can have a CSA delivery (or two) every week, all year long. (I may be a little jealous of that.)
My family needs warmth. We need hearty fare.
We need: Mac-oh-geez
We need Almond Roasted Cauliflower (so much so that my kids fight over it and I can’t make enough for everyone to be satisfied).
The Vanilla Yogurt? It’s like having dessert for dinner. (Or breakfast or lunch, it’s really that good and even better when you mix it with fruit and let the flavours combine in the fridge for a couple hours.) It quickly became a staple in our house. Same with the Raw-nch dressing.
Other hits from the book that I have made more than once:
Festive Chickpea Tart
Corn Chowder Quinoa Casserole
Kale Slaw with Curried Almond Dressing
Kids Cheesy Chickpea and White Bean Soup
Creamy Carrot Miso Dip
Strawberry Goji Berry muffins
The veggie burgers (I can’t even remember which were my favourite)
The list could go on and on but I’m sure you get the idea. This cookbook is packed with delicious recipes and I’ve only really scratched the surface. Burton is a mom of three daughters so her focus is on family friendly food. I can attest that my own three daughters are big fans.
Full disclosure: I’ve been working on this review for a while now. It is really cold out today (high of 7 degrees, and rainy) and I didn’t know what I was making for lunch. But then I got really hungry and so we I whipped up some Mac-oh-geez and Almond Roasted Cauliflower and it was a hit. I already had the Mac-oh-geez sauce made and in the fridge which made this a really simple lunch as long as you have the ingredients on hand. I don’t use anything fancy for the bread crumbs – I just toast whatever bread I have on hand.