One part vegan, one part punk rock, and entirely awesome. That pretty much sums up this new cookbook from vegan mastermind Natalie Slater. Whether you're craving a chocolate whoopie pie or a bowl of mac n' cheese, whether you're vegan or just cutting back on the meat, whether you're a rocker or more of a folky-sway-along type, these recipes promise to shake you out of your routine and give you some tasty ideas for dinner and dessert.
• Who wrote it: Natalie Slater
• Who published it: Page Street Publishing Company
• Number of recipes: Around 80
• Recipes for right now: Banana Bread French Toast Cupcakes, Pistachio Whoopie Pies, Venus Chocolate-Pumpkin Muffins, Shepherd's Pie Pizza, Thai Dagwood Sandwich, Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips, Stuffin' Muffins
• Other highlights: Obviously, Bake and Destroy is about way more than just vegan baked desserts (that threw me off at first, too!). While my eyes are immediately drawn to Slater's frosting-topped cupcakes and nibble-worthy muffins, her savory recipes for pizzas, casseroles, and sandwiches are plenty tempting.
Envelope, consider yourself pushed. Slater is not playing it safe with these recipes. She creates vegan versions of favorite foods like mac n' cheese and pulled pork — and then pushes it a little further. The idea of an Indian Buffet Pizza (topped with lentils, cilantro chutney, and fried cauliflower) or Nacho Cupcakes (savory muffins topped with guac, olives, and vegan cheese sauce) might sound very (very) bizarre...at first. But I found that these recipes and their envelope-pushing kin grew on me after a while. I mean, why not serve easy, utensil-free nacho cupcakes at a football party? Or use a pizza crust as a vehicle for whatever savory toppings we can imagine? Whatever else, Slater definitely proves once and for all that vegan food does not have to be bland or boring!
I also really appreciate Slater's use of normal, natural ingredients in her vegan recipes — it's a pet peeve of mine when recipes of this kind make up for the lack of eggs and butter with strange-sounding ingredients or hard to find alternatives. Nothing like that here. Vegan margarine is about as "weird" as it gets.
• Who would enjoy this book? Vegans tired of the same old, same old; cooks of any dietary persuasion looking to add a few meat-free dishes into the line-up
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater
• Visit the author's website: Bake and Destroy
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)