Vegan Lunchbox Review
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I got The Vegan Lunchbox by Jennifer McCann at the library, and the recipes sounded so healthful, so tasty, so easy! I was really hoping it would help make our lunches a little more varied and exciting.

The recipes all sound good, and the ingredients should work, but I've found most of the recipes to be far more trouble than they are worth. The food is, at best, mediocre, no matter how pretty they look in those darling bento boxes.

The Golden Cauliflower soup was a hit. It's carrots, onions, potatoes, cauliflower cooked, then blended. Stir some extra steamed cauliflower florets into the puree. The 2 and 3 yo loved it and couldn't get enough, the other children thought it was good, and husband dear liked it, too.

The Honeybee No-Bakes were... meh. It's kind of a countertop cookie, with oat bran, cocoa powder, almond butter, a little milk, coconut, and honey. I used peanut butter instead of almond butter, because that's what I had. They were not very good (even for something with coconut and chocolate in it!) and took effort - you hand roll the mix into bee-like shapes, then add almond "wings". I make a countertop cookie concoction that is much tastier and easier, since they are essentially drop cookies that harden up as they cool.

The Baked Cream Cheese Spirals were a flop. I doubled the recipe, and it still didn't seem to make much; it tasted like Bisquick despite having lots of oil and whole wheat flour. If I wanted something that tasted like Bisquick... I'd just use that! Much easier.

I make cream cheese spirals when I can - I LOVE them. My version is whole wheat or spinach wraps (store bought), cream cheese, and misc. fillings (green chilies and tomatoes are good, so is ham and black olives.) I think baking them diminished the flavor (and dirtied two baking pans unnecessarily.)

Someday I'll learn to make a decent tortilla and they'll be healthier, too!

The Tennesee Corn Pone muffin were, again, merely mediocre. Frankly, "my" cornbread recipe is much tastier, even if it does include an egg; adding the beans with the cornbread baked on top was unnecessarily complicated. I also seasoned my beans way more than the recipe in the book called for, and it still tasted bland.

I had made the vegan Goldfish Crackers a while ago, from the recipe on the website, and was very disappointed; I thought that was due to my own ineptitude but now I'm not so sure. We do eat nutrtitional yeast around here, so I don't think it was that taste that was off.

Frankly, the vegetarian and sometimes vegan recipes that *I* invent on the fly taste a lot better than these, and I'm not that great of a cook! Good for inspiration, but I recommend finding your own recipes.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/12/2009 08:58:00 AM | Permalink | |