Extra Vegan Za

I thought I would do posts about my recipe books as I’ve always found it useful to hear what people think of books, how long they are, when they were written etc so that I can add to my own collection. In posting the new books I’ve obviously not cooked from them so I can only give an idea of what I think of the recipes but with the ones I have used I hope that this kind of entry will add to the usefulness of my food reviews and give people an overview of the books.

These aren’t always going to be long reviews, just the title, author, number of pages, copyright date, general blurb and my impressions. I’ll post my opinions of any recipes I make with the book’s label so that you can click on it and get the info on the book and any recipes that I’ve made from it in one place.

So, first off is Extra Vegan Za – Original Recipes from Phoenix Organic Farm written by Laura Matthias. 269 pages copyright 2006. Over 250 recipes for:

appetizers, spreads, snacks and dips
soups
salads
dressings, toppings and sauces
rice grains and legumes
pastas
vegetable side dishes
main dishes and casseroles
breakfasts, buns and breads
cakes
icings and glazes
pies and cheesecakes
pie crusts
puddings, mousses and fruit gels
cookies
sweet loaves, brownies, cobblers, crumbles and oddballs
beverages and frozen treats

It also has a section on natural food dyes and edible flowers along with a list of references which is always nice for finding new books to try out!

I bought a brand new copy of this book as for some reason I really wanted it (can’t explain why, I just feel that way about some books!) and there were no cheap secondhand versions going. When I saw this book I thought that the Phoenix Farm must be a pretty famous place but I gather from reading the book that it’s a small organic farm in Victoria BC that also has a B&B. The book’s introduction is a history of the author and the farm and there’s none of the ‘standard vegan intro’ as I like to call it, telling you about ingredients, methods etc (I must have 50 books with almost identical introductions, what a waste of paper…. I do realise they’re useful to new vegans buying their first few books but I find them annoying and dull now and very few of them offer anything new).

The recipes seem really interesting and not too samey with other vegan cookbooks, there are some nice twists on standard vegan fare along with some new ideas. There are a lot of side dishes that I want to try which is unusual for me as I’m not much of a side-dish cooker preferring to make a single stand-alone dish for my main meal. The recipes use a lot of vegetables (that sounds odd but I have vegan cookbooks that don’t use a lot of vegetables!) which is predictable considering she grows organic vegetables for a living!

Most recipes serve 6-8 as she designed them to make for the volunteers who work on her farm, they look to be easily halved though.

There are quite a few recipes I want to try from this book so I’m sure the list of things under this label will grow quite large!

Please let me know if you find these kind of posts useful or if there’s more information you want to know (what the review blurbs say, does it have specific recipes etc etc) so that I can make these reviews relevant and useful to people!

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