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 Post subject: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:42 am 
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There seemed to be no thread about any book by this author, so I created one.

I gather that her books are unpopular because they don't have pictures or descriptions of the recipes, their design is basic, and they use weight measurements. But I don't mind those details as long as the recipes are good. And I really like that among the twelve books in the series, there are some that are about lesser-known world cuisine, such as East Africa and Central America.

I only made two recipes up to now: crepes from the France book and Potato and Pea Patties from the India one. They were both very good!

The instructions are not always very detailed, for instance the author takes for granted that you know how to do basic things like make crepes or shallow fry. But the ingredient lists are detailed, and there is a glossary of ingredients in the introduction.

I couldn't tell whether the recipes are authentic or not. Anyway I'll be trying more for sure.

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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:56 am 
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I have the Vegan Taste of Eastern Europe book and I really like it! To my taste, they are very authentic and remind me of my grandma's cooking. I get thrown off by the weight measurements, but I still really like the book.

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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:29 am 
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I've got the French one and it's worth buying for the tarts and salads. I mean, they look good but I haven't made any... My ex made the onion soup and something else when he bought it, and it was very good. French food often is, though.

There's something old-fashioned about it. No pictures. No "I would eat this on a warm summer's night after a hard day's trampolining on the veranda with my ostrich". Just recipe after recipe.

PPPP - I get thrown off by cup measurements for dry goods; I'm never sure I'm doing it right as I've grown up measuring by weight.

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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:29 am 
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Gulliver wrote:
There's something old-fashioned about it. No pictures. No "I would eat this on a warm summer's night after a hard day's trampolining on the veranda with my ostrich". Just recipe after recipe.

That's exactly what it feels like. The same thing for Vegan Boulangerie.
I use a conversion site I like a lot but it's in French.There are surely sites like this one in English. I still believe it would be quicker to use a balance, though.

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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:14 am 
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I have the Taste Of France edition, I was kinda happy to see the weight measurements cos they're what I was brought up with, but I think sometimes volume/cups can be better for baking.

I made the Mushroom walnut and lentil pate, Red onion tomato & tarragon tart, Vichyssoise and the Chocolate & Hazelnut Ramekin.
They were all really good.

Amazon has a few pictures of the recipes in Boulangerie if they're of any help to anyone:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Vegan-Boula ... oulangerie

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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:41 pm 
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very intriguing, not put off by the book not having any pictures....

a possibly dumb question since i'm in the USA, but what do you mean by weight measurements?
what would 1 cup flour translate to? something in grams?

are there hard-to-find-ingredients? reliance on pre-made/store bought stuff like sour cream, cream cheese, fake meats and what not?

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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:06 pm 
Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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In A Vegan Taste of India all the measurements are in both grams and ounces. Before I had a kitchen scale I would just Google for gram-to-cup conversions. I still do that when converting European recipes that I find online.

The India one is the only volume I have. Honestly, I've liked everything I've made, but I think I just don't use the book often due to the reasons Minatomachi described. I just don't get any excitement from using it. Plus it was one of my earliest vegan cookbooks and at the time I was pretty new to cooking and had no idea what a sultana, courgette or aubergine was! One recipe calls for marrow flesh and I honestly still have no idea what that means.

I've flipped through a number of the other volumes in the store, but never pulled the trigger. I've always been especially interested in the North Africa book. It would be cool to know how authentic the books are.


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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:58 am 
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mandycoot wrote:
sultana, courgette or aubergine was! One recipe calls for marrow flesh and I honestly still have no idea what that means.
Raisin, zucchini, eggplant. A marrow is a large, long, garden variety squash or gourd. The flesh is the centre.

bookwormbethie wrote:
a possibly dumb question since i'm in the USA, but what do you mean by weight measurements?
American recipes conventionally measure dry goods by volume (cups), whereas English and some other European recipes conventionally measure by weight (grams or pounds and ounces). Both systems work just fine, but using one when you're used to the other feels cumbersome and ridiculous the first couple of times because it's not what you're used to. I get the impression that kitchen scales are not quite a standard kitchen appliance in the US (and correspondingly cost around $20 for the cheapest?), while in England they are viewed as basic necessities by a lot of people (and correspondingly cost about £3 for the cheapest).

Quickly:
1 US cup = 225ml = ¾ UK cup = 110g wheat flour = 125g rice flour = 150g dried fruit = 200g lentils = 210g rice or sugar = 100g almonds = 110g cocoa or cornflour = 70g rolled oats or breadcrumbs.

The France book doesn't seems to use too many "processed" things. Soya cream is mentioned, and I think soya flour once or twice. If I were being finicky, I would say to use almond cream as that's been used in European cookery since the 1400s but that is pedantic. I don't recall seeing any mock meats.

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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:01 am 
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I've got a few of these books but I don't cook much at all so rarely use them. But the 'Dinner Parties' and 'Barbecue & Buffets' books are a favourite of mine when entertaining, great for party food.

(I'm pretty certain they never use mock meat.)


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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:11 am 
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I didn't notice many processed foods either when flipping through a couple books. Judging from what I heard, there is not such a big variety of vegan foods like cheese etc. in the UK as there is in the US, so it is less likely that the recipes would use some specific product that couldn't be found in North America.

Generally, using a scale for dry ingredients is considered as yielding more precise results than measuring cups, especially for baking. So if one of the systems ever disappeared (which seems unlikely), it would probably be North-American one.

As Gulliver said, once you get used to both systems they're both easy to use. I learned to cook measuring with cups, but I have French and British cookbooks so I'm used to recipes measuring with grams now.

As for specific ingredients, they're easy to google to find what they are called elsewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:02 pm 
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thanks y'all. definitely excited to hear about this new vegan cookbook author and will start adding some titles to my wish list. i don't mind the lack of pictures, but it can be a bit of a turn off to not have any introductory text about a recipe, it sorta makes the book sterile and emotion-less you know? still, i'm interested, and perhaps i'll get just 1 and see what i think.

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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:09 pm 
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p.s. was just browsing on amazon and noticed that a few people have commented that the recipes have lots of nuts in them. i'm allergic to peanuts + all nuts so this concerns me.

am specifically interested in the eastern european, mexico, and france one.

for those of you who have these titles, or even other ones, what is your opinion on this?

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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:41 am 
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After a flick through the French one, the only nuts I found were in obviously nutty recipes, which are not uncommon. The odd almond and the odd walnut. It's certainly not nut-o-rama.

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 Post subject: Re: "A Vegan Taste of..." series by Linda Majzlik
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:31 am 
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I didn't come across that many nuts in the India book either.

I made the chickpea dhal last weekend, I liked it and it was easy.

I don't avise making the chutneys from that book, though, unless you divide the recipes so you don't have to can them. The author obviously doesn't know the first thing about canning, so those recipes wouldn't be safe.

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