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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:56 pm 
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linanil wrote:
Vantine wrote:
I am tempted to buy any book that the raw/no oil/no sugar/food police/purity squad vegans hate. I want to stab people who use words like "processed" and "whole foods" as weapons to beat down other people. I predict there will be food purity balls soon where the health food elite will pledge to never eat a cookie again.


I mentioned my reasoning and you know me, I am more than willing to eat 'processed' foods. I just don't like buying cookbooks that are use store bought analogues as a large basis for their recipes. I don't know why but whenever I see recipes that call for Daiya or boca crumbles or whatever, I get really disappointed. I think part of it is that I figure that if I'm cooking from a cookbook, rather than my normal lazy cooking, I want to feel like I'm cooking from scratch. I really like World Vegan Feast because she put in a couple alternatives, it could be store bought seitan or it could be chickpeas (or something).

And I can't remember what recipe it was but not long ago, I bought seitan from the store for the very first time. It wasn't bad but I wanted to make a recipe and was feeling lazy about making seitan so I bought it.

Anyway, my point is, I don't think there is a problem with people being disappointed with a book relying on a bunch of store bought analogues. That isn't a judgement on those analogues or people who eat them. I also don't think that means this book deserves a 1 star on Amazon either. I think there is a market out there for this book, I just don't think I'm that market. (Oh and as I said, there are some store bought analogues that I want to marry)


I never buy most of that stuff and I hate all vegan cheeses that I can easily obtain. You know that I am far too cheap to load up on that sort of stuff.

I understand the frustration in not having alternatives listed. It's also sort of exclusionary because of the cost involved and the lack of access to those sorts of foods depending upon your location. I just read reviews that used words like "nonfoods," "fake," "crud," and so forth. I also don't think that reviewing a book so you can spout off about how soy, sugar, and oil are the devil's tools is helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:20 pm 
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You can sort of make the case that lots of cookbooks are exclusionary. Forks Over Knives, for example. Isa's desserts are great, but they are really pretty expensive. All that whole wheat pastry flour, almond butter, coconut oil, etc adds up in a big hurry.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:29 pm 
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I think they could have included specific brand names because not all brand are good. If someone is new to veganism, and they buy some icky fake meats, they could easily believe that all fake meats are gross. However, i agree that it would have been better to include "or your favorite vegan chicken."

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:50 pm 
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I obviously can't get most of the brand-names over here, but when I buy fake meat - I never have any idea how to use them, and just swapping recipes with real chicken/pork/beef whatever often doesn't work, because they're so different from the real thing - I'm glad that this might give me some ways of using them, while still building umami etc. I probably won't buy fake meats/cheeses very often, but I'm sure in most cases I can sub in homemade cheese sauces, seitan, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:16 am 
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mattomic wrote:
I obviously can't get most of the brand-names over here, but when I buy fake meat - I never have any idea how to use them, and just swapping recipes with real chicken/pork/beef whatever often doesn't work, because they're so different from the real thing - I'm glad that this might give me some ways of using them, while still building umami etc. I probably won't buy fake meats/cheeses very often, but I'm sure in most cases I can sub in homemade cheese sauces, seitan, etc.


Yep, that's just the same as me, and why I decided to order it. I've never cooked actual meat, ever. I'm excited for it to arrive now.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:36 am 
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mattomic wrote:
The "look inside" feature with this book is actually really good - and gives you a *lot* of recipes (but no desserts). It's made me want to buy it - this is totally not the "processed vegan junk food brand dogma" book it's being made out to be. I think things could be subbed successfully and easily - and it's really not over the top. It's in my cart now!


Every look inside recipe I saw had Daiya. I'm not one that will buy Daiya so I can't see buying the book based on the look inside feature. I'm still here because I'm still curious and was hoping to hear about other recipes.

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Last edited by linanil on Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:40 am 
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Vantine wrote:
I understand the frustration in not having alternatives listed. It's also sort of exclusionary because of the cost involved and the lack of access to those sorts of foods depending upon your location. I just read reviews that used words like "nonfoods," "fake," "crud," and so forth. I also don't think that reviewing a book so you can spout off about how soy, sugar, and oil are the devil's tools is helpful.


And I'll say ugh to that, I really think people should just say this isn't the book for them rather than trying to trash it due to ingredients used. Then again, other vegan cookbooks get reviews because the use sugar or whatever. I'm glad we mostly avoid the crazies here.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:52 am 
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The pizza casserole was good! I do have one critique. It calls for a "package of rigatoni" but doesn't specify how much, and I found it a little skimpy on the sauce, using a 16 oz package. Maybe 8 or 13 oz would've been better, but it was still really tasty! Just something to keep in mind.

mattomic wrote:
I have to say that I've gone back and marked all the reviews complaining that it is "unhealthy and loaded with fat and sugar" as unhelpful. They make no claims it's healthy! Vegan food doesn't have to be healthy! UGH!


I did too! I also wrote a positive review last night, short and sweet though. Someone had marked it as helpful within like an hour.

annabazoo wrote:
I think they could have included specific brand names because not all brand are good. If someone is new to veganism, and they buy some icky fake meats, they could easily believe that all fake meats are gross. However, i agree that it would have been better to include "or your favorite vegan chicken."


They do include specific brand names for most, if not all, of the mock meats called for.


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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:12 am 
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linanil wrote:
Every look inside recipe I saw had Daiya. I'm not one that will buy Daiya so I can't see buying the book based on the look inside feature. I'm still here because I'm still curious and was hoping to hear about other recipes.


I was curious and checked and it actually says "Daiya or your favorite vegan cheese." I imagine that if you were so inclined you could make your own artisanal cheese and sub. Even with the shrimp they say "vegan shrimp - we like Mah Wah") which seems quite flexible. That said, I agree that it does use analogues so if you don't like those this isn't the book for you, but as Vantine says, I wouldn't call analogues fake or crud. They have their place. The recipes do call for Braggs and Ener-G, by brand name, but I think that is pretty standard for vegan recipes, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:30 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
linanil wrote:
Every look inside recipe I saw had Daiya. I'm not one that will buy Daiya so I can't see buying the book based on the look inside feature. I'm still here because I'm still curious and was hoping to hear about other recipes.


I was curious and checked and it actually says "Daiya or your favorite vegan cheese." I imagine that if you were so inclined you could make your own artisanal cheese and sub. Even with the shrimp they say "vegan shrimp - we like Mah Wah") which seems quite flexible. That said, I agree that it does use analogues so if you don't like those this isn't the book for you, but as Vantine says, I wouldn't call analogues fake or crud. They have their place. The recipes do call for Braggs and Ener-G, by brand name, but I think that is pretty standard for vegan recipes, right?


I agree, I wouldn't call it fake or crud but if you don't have access to daiya or don't like daiya then it could feel like you are veganizing a vegan cookbook. Maybe I'm usual in that I don't like vegan cheeses and that I've only made a cheese sauce once in 6 years of being vegan but seeing 'vegan cheese' in a cookbook is a turn off for me. That doesn't mean I wouldn't necessarily buy it but it would have to depend on what else is going on in the book. As lelepelar said, if a recipe calls for multiple store bought analogues and you have to make your own of each of them, you may be tired before you even get to the recipe.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:42 am 
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Ha! That makes a lot of sense, and I like the way you put that. I'm a huge fan of stuff you can make from supermarket standards in under 30 mins, like AFR.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:58 am 
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I think I'm gonna get it. I like gardein and daiya and sometimes want to branch off from my usual uses of them. I used to really reject the idea of a cookbook that uses store-bought substitutes, but now I just need new and refreshing ways to use those subs. I like seitan and homemade vegan mayo and stuff, but I don't want to make them every time and definitely don't mind buying the ready made stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:14 pm 
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For those of you that actually have it, does nearly every recipe call for a store-bought meat/cheese sub? I really don't like Daiya, and I'm pretty lazy/poor in terms of making artisan vegan cheeses, but I've always liked the blog and I love massive cookbooks even if I only ever read them in bed (How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, I'm looking at you!).


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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:13 pm 
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vijita wrote:
For those of you that actually have it, does nearly every recipe call for a store-bought meat/cheese sub? I really don't like Daiya, and I'm pretty lazy/poor in terms of making artisan vegan cheeses, but I've always liked the blog and I love massive cookbooks even if I only ever read them in bed (How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, I'm looking at you!).


I would say the majority of the savory recipes call for a meat and/or cheese sub, but by no means do all of them. Depending on the recipe, you can easily leave these out entirely or sub with something else (tofu, seitan, tempeh - the usual suspects). I honestly think a lot of it depends on your personal preference. So far I have made:

Tempeh Tacos - calls for Daiya/fave vegan cheese, but I didn't have any on hand and they were still fantastic without it
Beefless Stew - I mentioned this already, but this would make a fantastic stew even without the Beefless Tips (or with seitan, or without either)
White Chili - the only sub mentioned in the recipe is vegan Parmesan cheese, for topping. I didn't use it because I didn't have any. Still tasted great.
Texas Macaroni Bowls - no meat or cheese subs listed in the recipe
Siesta Taco Soup - Daiya is listed for topping the soup, but it's by no means necessary
Beefless Tips in Bordelaise - uses Gardein's Beefless Tips, but would be easy to sub with seitan

I realize this is not a large number of recipes considering how huge the book is, but I've only had it a couple weeks and cook from several other cookbooks and online recipes as well. They do include little blurbs about tofu/seitan/tempeh and a list of their favorite mock meats. I can't find anything to criticize because everything I have made has been yum and if my tummy is happy, I'm happy. Plus Annie and Dan just seem so darn nice. I hope this helps!

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:03 pm 
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vijita wrote:
For those of you that actually have it, does nearly every recipe call for a store-bought meat/cheese sub? I really don't like Daiya, and I'm pretty lazy/poor in terms of making artisan vegan cheeses, but I've always liked the blog and I love massive cookbooks even if I only ever read them in bed (How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, I'm looking at you!).

The two recipes I've made so far are the tofu fried egg and a bean dish that used a tiny bit of bacon bits or tempeh bacon (like a tablespoon). And I actually have easy access to most of the subs. Those were just the recipes that jumped out at me. But I'd say 75% of the savory recipes have store bought subs (not including tempeh or tofu).

The appeal of the book for me is the kitsch and also some more familiar recipes for my picky spouse. I really like the little bios about Betty Crocker and the way cooking has evolved in the U.S. over the last hundred years.


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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:08 pm 
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Thanks guys, that is helpful!


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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:34 pm 
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Gosh, stop complaining about the brand names! This isn't a bible! You can use whatever you like for the suggested vegan meats and cheeses. If you have brands or options that you prefer - surely that's only going to make it taste better than the original recipe? It's certainly not going to ruin it! Swapping is not "veganising" if it's a simple swap for another brand or option, in a vegan cookbook. We're mostly competent cooks on a cookbook forum after all.


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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:40 pm 
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The dessert section looks amazing. I can't wait to try some recipes, but I'm on WW right now, so no baking. I'd have bought this just for the donuts, bumdt cakes, and whoppie pies.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:44 pm 
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When I said veganising, I meant if I didn't want to use vegan cheeses at all in the sense that I'd look at a non-vegan cookbook and say "what can I use instead of cheese?", I'd look at this cookbook the same way. Again, it isn't a brand name thing. I don't have a problem with this cookbook being what it is, I don't think it makes it a bad cookbook, it is just a concern I'd have if I bought the cookbook for myself. It is good to hear that many of the recipes that use vegan cheese are fine without any cheese option but if you say 75% of the savory recipes use store bought subs then I'd definitely cross it off my list.

And I don't see how that is an issue, for some the use of vegan subs would be something they would want, for others not so much. I don't think every vegan cookbook has to serve every vegan out there.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:12 pm 
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mattomic wrote:
Gosh, stop complaining about the brand names! This isn't a bible! You can use whatever you like for the suggested vegan meats and cheeses. If you have brands or options that you prefer - surely that's only going to make it taste better than the original recipe? It's certainly not going to ruin it! Swapping is not "veganising" if it's a simple swap for another brand or option, in a vegan cookbook. We're mostly competent cooks on a cookbook forum after all.

I didn't see anyone complaining. Just stating their preferences. And when someone wants to get a recipe right, they generally make it as written. Daiya, for example, will act very differently than say, Cheezly or FYH.

I think Daiya tastes like chemical waste, so I'm suspicious (but not complaining) about recipes that rely on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:21 pm 
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Yeah, I'll be skipping recipes that use lots of Daiya. I like it very thinly spread on piza, but that's about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:54 am 
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Can anyone with the book, elaborate on what the baking chapter is like? Also what the Holiday chapter is like? Is it all savoury, a mix of sweet and savoury or anything really kitschy?

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:03 am 
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I want to try the Texas macaroni bowl this week. It's black beans, kidney bean, garbanzos, beer, macaroni, corn, spices etc. and the green lentil a d leek shepherd pie. Just basic produce and groceries in that too.

Desserts: on my short list for when baking ban is lifted

Neologism cookies (chocolate, cherry, coconut)
Russian peppermint tea cakes
Butterscotch brownies
Apricot cookies with dark chocolate drizzle
Mojito bars
Whole wheat sunflower herb bread
Mustard filled soft pretzel bites
(THey have a DIY his quick recipe to use in anything that calls for bisque I)
apple churro
Homer Simpson inspired cherry glazed donut
Strawberry shortcake donuts
Pumpkin spice donut
(Simeon else try the bacon beer donuts first)
Yellow cake donuts
Peach Melba turnovers
Iron coffee whoopie pies
German chocolate whoopie pies , heck, all 7 whoopie pies
Orange ginger pound cake
Banana split bunt cake
Mint chocolate chip cheesecake(this does use tofutti products)
Banana creme brûlée
Earl grey tea tart

The dessert section is really making me happy. The recipes are definitely not the same old collection. There are also 9 cupcakes, a boatload of frostings and lots of pie.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:06 am 
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Eta: they do use enerG, but most don't use commercial subs except for some tofutti here and there. Tey use cashews and silken tofu a lot. And that stupid Himalayan pink salt.

Sorry, but the salt thig grates. It is just so pretentious. Make a comment in the front about it then let it go, for cripes same.

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 Post subject: Re: Betty Goes Vegan
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:43 am 
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I buy Himalayan pink salt in bulk at my regular old grocery store and it's totally not expensive. But it definitely can be subbed for more normal/cheaper salt!

I like the sound of mustard filled soft pretzel bites.


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