Sunday, August 5, 2012

Book Review - Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day

First of all I must admit, I am a big fan of Tamasin Noyes author of Vegan Appetite blog and American Vegan Kitchen and have had the pleasure of testing for her on more than one occasion. I was excited when I learned it was a collaboration with Celine Steen of Have Cake Will Travel blog and co-author of 500 Vegan Recipes. I've enjoyed quite a few of her yummy recipes in the past. That said, I am also pretty straight forward in my opinions about cook books (even if I am partial to those writing them.).

I have been anticipating the release of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day for quite some time. I got in on the very end of testing, so only tried a few of the recipes before the book came out. They were all very tasty and enticing, but I wondered if a sandwich book would really excite me as some other books have. When I opened the package I was first impressed with the photos on the cover. We eat with our eyes first. The photos on the cover and inside made my mouth water. Good sign.

Fred is still on his very restrictive diet, so I felt a tad bit guilty making sandwiches with all of their carby bread glory, but I had to do it in the name of research. There is such a great variety of flavors and styles of sandwiches to choose from, that the reader may have a hard time deciding where to start. I had no such problem, because there was one sandwich that I swear was created just for me: The Something Blackened This Way Comes (pg. 118). The name is a cute twist on the book by Ray Bradbury. I loved his books in high school, so I loved the name right off. I love anything blackened, so I knew this had to be the first one I made. 

OK, seriously, I expected this to be very flavorful. I expected to like it. I did not expect it to be the mouthgasm it was! I had frozen some of Tami's seitan cutlets a few weeks ago, so I had them on hand. This made prep a snap. It just hit me! This combo is reminiscent of a chicken sandwich we had at a restaurant I worked at years ago...but vegan and soooooooooooo much better. I loved the heat of the blackening spice and the sriracha spiked mayo. The cool cucumber/green tomato relish was just perfect with the spice and the creamy mayo. Served on a crispy ciabatta roll, it was ridiculously good. It was hard to stop at just one. 

While this is now my current fav, I also highly recommend the Two Tomato Tango (pg. 126) and the lunch box friendly Protein Happy Quinoa Wraps (pg. 74). 

I love the into where Celine and Tamasin make sure to mention that the recipes are just a starting point. they encourage the readers to play and modify to their tastes. For the ambitious there are recipes for home made breads, but options to use pre-made. The one criticism I do have about this book is the type face the publisher chose. For those of us whose eyes are getting "more mature", the type face is just a bit light and can be challenging to read at a distance. It's going to be hard to make my next selection, but the Ban Mi has piqued my interest. If you love hand held meals and fun variations on Americana and beyond, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!