We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to review the newest cookbook from our dear friend Gena Hamshaw, Food52 Vegan: 60 Vegetable-Driven Recipes for Any Kitchen. Within days of opening this new cookbook we fell in love with its broadly appealing and accessible recipes. We are avid and long-time readers of the vegan column at Food52, as well as Gena’s own site The Full Helping (formerly Choosing Raw). The refined simplicity of the cookbook aesthetic is in harmony with the vastly appealing and surprisingly simple recipes within. This gorgeous cookbook is largely derived from the vegan column Gena has been writing for the popular Food52 website since 2012.
Packed with lovely, full-color photos and over 60 wholesome and flavorsome vegan recipes; this cookbook is simply brilliant. The crowd-pleasing recipes are designed for cooks of any level and are certain to take the reader on a vibrant journey through plant-based cooking.
We highly recommend this cookbook to anyone – vegetarians, vegans and omnivores alike. In fact, it’s been so popular around our house that we’ve already gifted a number of copies to our omnivore friends and family! This is a new favorite of ours and well worth owning. We continually find ourselves turning to this cookbook for easy, accessible and undeniably delectable recipes.
We are sharing our favorite recipe from the Food52 Vegan cookbook, the Go-To Pancakes. This is a recipe we’ve made several times now and look forward to making many more times with a number of seasonal variations.
Gingered Carrot Bisque
Pg 49 Soups
This thick, wintery soup is a bit on the sweeter side. It’s simple to prepare and satisfying to savor on a cold day. The two most prominent flavors are carrot and curry, with the ginger being a bit more subtle. It’s a comforting and calming soup with fairly mild flavors.
Tip: To balance the sweetness of the carrot, this soup is calling out for a few cracks of black pepper. We suggest finishing with black pepper and a bit of salt to taste.
Corn Chowder with Chive Oil
Pg 50 Soups
There’s a pronounced sweetness from the corn, but overall this is a really lovely and enjoyable creamy soup. The chive oil is the perfect accompaniment. This is a great soup to enjoy with a few husks, croutons or some crusty bread. Like all of the soup recipes from Food52 Vegan, the ingredients were accessible and the dish was quick and easy to prepare.
Tip: Since the recipe calls for coconut milk, we weren’t entirely sure whether to use canned coconut milk or the boxed coconut milk beverage. We opted for the can and appreciated the thick, richness it provided so we believe this was the correct choice. We added dried chili flakes for a bit of heat to balance out the sweetness.
Smoky Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
Pg 58 Soups
Quite a hearty dish. The subtle sweetness from the sweet potatoes pairs well with the smoky flavors from the smoked paprika and chipotle chiles in adobo. We made this for a few hungry omnivores and they fully approved and both wanted the recipe before dinner was finished.
Tip: We loved the addition of avocado, but also recommend serving with crushed tortilla chips for some added texture. Since we didn’t have chives on hand, we used scallions and they worked wonderfully. Since this chili is smoky but not very spicy, top with hot sauce for added heat.
Carrot and Fennel Pie
Pg 89 Main Dishes
We love pies, so this recipe was one of the first recipes we decided to try. The crust was surprisingly simple to make using a food processor and deliciously dry and flaky. While we would alter the filling a bit to our personal tastes, the recipe for the crust is one we will certainly reuse.
Tip: I would suggest adding leeks and using golden potatoes instead of a russet potato. If you like your crust a bit more browned, cook under the broiler for an additional minute or two in the end.
Pg 134 Basics
A simple overnight recipe for a sweet and creamy spiced drink. We paired this with mezcal and a dusting of dark chocolate for a latin inspired cocktail. The sweet and warmly spiced horchata combines perfectly with the smoky mezcal.
Tip: The horchata will last for around 2 – 3 days. We love this mixed with mezcal. Using a microplane, prettily garnish with a dusting of dark chocolate.
Go-To Pumpkin Pancakes
Pg 8 Breakfast
The Go-To Pancakes recipe has a few suggested variations, including one for an especially timely and seasonal Pumpkin Pancake. With the addition of some canned organic pumpkin puree we had some festive, flavorful and fluffy pancakes. These quickly became a household favorite over Thanksgiving and a recipe deserving of the Go-To title since we’re likely to use it as a base for other seasonal pancake varieties.
We served ours with crushed local Oregon hazelnuts and NadaMoo coconut ice cream. One batch made around 18, 4 1/2 – 5″, pancakes. These pancakes are especially nice when prepared on a cast-iron skillet.
Tip: Instead of using coconut oil to cook the pancakes, we used the vegan butter substitute Earth Balance.
Go-To Pumpkin Pancakes
Yield: 12 to 14 pancakes
To make waffles instead of pancakes, prepare the batter as instructed, then use about ⅓ cup (80ml) of batter for each waffle.
- 2 cups (250g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (475ml) unsweetened nondairy milk, homemade or store-bought, plus more if needed
- 1 cup (245g) pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil, plus more for frying
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the nondairy milk and vinegar until frothy. Stir in the pumpkin puree, coconut oil and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and stir until smooth, taking care to break up any lumps. If the batter seems too thick, stir in a bit more nondairy milk to achieve a pourable consistency.
Put a griddle over medium-high heat and coat it lightly with coconut oil. When the griddle is hot, pour the pancake batter onto the griddle, using ¼ cup (60ml) for each pancake. When bubbles form on top of a pancake and the bottom is golden, flip, then cook until the other side is golden. Repeat until the batter is used up.
Reprinted with permission from Food52 Vegan: 60 Vegetable-Driven Recipes for Any Kitchen, by Gena Hamshaw, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Original Pancakes: Use only 2 ¼ cups (530ml) of nondairy milk and omit the pumpkin puree.
Banana Walnut Pancakes: Use only 2 cups (475ml) of nondairy milk and whisk
1 mashed banana into the milk mixture. Fold ⅓ cup (40g) of chopped walnuts into the final batter.
Chocolate Chip Pancakes: Fold ⅔ cup (115g) of chocolate chips into the
We would like to extend our thanks to the amazing Gena Hamshaw! She and her publisher Ten Speed Press are generously giving away a hardcover copy of the Food52 Vegan cookbook to one US/Canada based Vegan Miam reader!
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