Here we are! The final review in the “6 Days of Vegan Cook Reviews!” So far:
- Celebrate Vegan (We have a winner! Keep reading!)
- Eat Vegan on $4 a Day
- Superfood Cuisine
- Vegan Holiday Kitchen
- Candle 79 Cookbook
Let’s wrap up this series with drinks, shall we?
The Tipsy Vegan: 75 Boozy Recipes to Turn Every Bite into Happy Hour by John Schlimm screams fun as soon as you see it. Small, colorful and whimsical.
From the book cover:
The kitchen meets the bar in this deliciously deviant cookbook. When beer, wine, vodka, bourbon, and other favorites team up with fresh fruits, veggies, and grains, you can have your drink and eat it, too!
The dedication in the book:
To all the animals– so you know that you have not passed this way unloved.
John Schlimm begins this festive book with a note to readers. He has made every attempt to use vegan-friendly brands of alcohol (and refers the reader to Barnivore for more information); he uses vegan-friendly sugar in his recipes (such as Florida Crystals, which happens to be what I use); when using vegan margarine, he uses Earth Balance (me, too).
You know you’re in for fun when you read his introduction:
…together we’re going to transform vegan cuisine from mysterious and often misunderstood into eyes-rolled-back-in-your-head-fab-u-lous. That’s right, gluttony is about to be upgraded from deadly sin to art form by the Tipsy Vegans of the world.
Schlimm also offers up what’s in his Tipsy Vegan Liquor Cabinet (I have a looooong way to go) and then jumps into the recipes. He begins each section with a cocktail to get you started . So considerate!
Here’s a glimpse into the sections and recipes:
- Plastered Party Starters: Flaming Hot Peanuts (whiskey); Salsa alla Vodka; Raging Chickpea Spread (cognac); Fried Avocados Paint the Town (tequila).
- Boozy Soups: The Chugging Pumpkin Soup (dark rum); Untamed Mushroom Soup (vermouth, sherry and Madeira); The Slurper’s Kale + Potato Soup (pinot noir) NOTE FROM JL: Swoon! Kale and red wine? This one is high on my “must-make” list!
- Staggering Salads: Sunburst Salad (Cointreau); Balmy Bell Peppers with Golden Raisins + Arugula (cognac); Wild Rice Under the Influence (white rum).
- The Guzzler’s Garden of Side Dishes: Buxom Broccoli Sesame (vermouth and Cointreau); Okra, Pepper + Tomato Hullabaloo (dark rum); Rockin’ Roasted Potatoes with Racy Rosemary + Mustard (vodka and vermouth); Blitzed Brussels Sprouts Moutarde (white wine and cognac).
- Brunch Buzz: Party Monster Pancakes (amaretto); The Hotta Frittata with Chopped Jalapenos (dark rum).
- The Lush’s Lunch: Lemony Lush Marinated Shiitake Mushrooms with Roasted Red Pepper (white wine and cognac); Corny Celebrewtante Salad (light beer); Staggering Eggplant Stacks (Marsala); Cozy Tofu Under Black Bean Sauce (dry sherry).
- Sloshed Suppers: Baked + Loaded Acorn Squash (apple brandy or liqueur); Bottom’s Up VegBean Soup (lager or dark beer); Screwy Fusilli with Broccoli (vermouth or Medeira); Pizza Par-taaay with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (sherry or white wine).
- Drunken Desserts: Bing-Bang Boom Cherry Sauce (brandy, Kirsch, Cointreau, or cognac); You’re the Boss, Applesauce! (Calvados brandy); Bad-Ass Beer Cake with Bourbon Raisins + Amaretto Frosting.
Did I mention this book screams fun?
John Schlimm is clever and funny and his recipes are really solid. He uses great ingredients that we know and love in dishes that are fun, and simple, to prepare.
I tried out two recipes for this review, which, thanks to the publisher, I am able to share with you: Bloody Queen Mary from “Brunch Buzz” and Lentils in the Fast Lane from “The Lush’s Lunch.” Brunch. Lunch. It made sense.
Both recipes from the book The Tipsy Vegan by John Schlimm. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2011. www.dacapopresscookbooks.com
Bloody Queen Mary
Yield: 6 to 8 drinks
You may think you know her, but everything you ever thought is about to be turned on its head. Warning: this one is not for sissies! Now proceed…
- 2 and 1/2 cups chilled vodka
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 small cloves garlic, pressed with a garlic press
- 2 small jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped (or to taste)
- 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chile pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped (or to taste); wear rubber gloves if you are not used to working with hot peppers.
- 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 2 T Tabasco Sauce or other hot sauce of choice (or to taste)
- 5 cups tomato or V-8 juice
- 3 T freshly grated horseradish
- 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 t celery salt
- 1 t freshly ground black pepper
- Lime wedges and celery ribs, for serving
- In a standing blender, combine the vodka with the onion, garlic, the jalapenos, habanero and bell peppers, and hot sauce. Puree the mixture until smooth.
- In a large pitcher (at least 1/2 gallon), combine the vodka mixture with the tomato juice, horseradish, lemon juice, celery salt, and pepper and stir vigorously to blend. Strain (or just pour) into ice-filled tall glasses and serve with the lime wedges and celery ribs.
I bought vodka just for this recipe (long-time readers know I’m a wine gal). This drink was out of this world! I’m going to plan a post-holiday “beat the winter blues” brunch with friends just so that I can dazzle them with this drink. It’s oh-so-spicy (I love hot stuff) and, quite simply, perfection. (My Vita-Mix is no longer an alcoholic-beverage virgin–thought you should know.)
While I was sipping on the Bloody Queen Mary, I started up the lentils.
Lentils in the Fast Lane
Yield: 4 servings
This feisty legume goes from zero to FUN in the blink of an eye with pearl onions, carrots, garlic, thyme, and a surprise appearance by vermouth.
- 10 ounces frozen pearl onions
- 2 T vegan margarine, or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large peeled carrot, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 T salt
- 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs, or a pink of dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cups dried French green lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
- In a medium saucepan of water, boil the pearl onions for 1 minute, then drain.
- Wipe out the saucepan and place it over moderate heat. Melt the margarine until the foam subsides, then cook the onions, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add the lentils, water, and vermouth and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are just tender, 12 to 20 minutes. (NOTE: The cooking time of lentils varies pretty widely–the fresher they are, the faster they cook.) Discard thyme sprigs (if using) and bay leaf. Transfer lentils to a serving dish with a slotted spoon.
This recipe provides a great twist on my standy-by lentils! You taste every single flavor element in each bite. I did make a few adjustments:
-Did you know it’s really hard to find frozen pearl onions? I hit three grocery stores–the first two didn’t have them and the third had them…in cream sauce! So, I grabbed a jar of cocktail onions off the shelf. It seemed appropriate.
-I used red wine because, well, I had an open bottle of red wine on the counter.
-I used a pressure cooker to make this dish: I sautéed the onion, carrot, garlic and black pepper in earth balance in the pressure for 1 minute, uncovered. I added the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, lentils and enough water to cover the lentils and locked the pressure cooked lid in place. I brought to pressure and cooked at pressure for 10 minutes and then promptly removed from heat and allowed the pressure to release naturally. I removed the cover and added the salt and wine and simmered for two minutes.
This book is playful, ornery and packed with fun recipes to eat and drink. I think it will make a really fun gift!
Guess what? Two (yes, 2!) readers will win a copy of The Tipsy Vegan!
Oh, wait, let’s give away that copy of Celebrate Vegan first, shall we? The winner is:
Congratulations, Lauren C! Please email me your postal address so that I can mail it to you!
Back to this giveaway of The Tipsy Vegan!
Thank you everyone for joining me over the past six days as we poured through six terrific vegan cookbooks! I had so much fun and hope you did, too!