Friday, September 28, 2012

Cookbook Review: "Cookin' Crunk; Eatin' Vegan in the Dirty South"

At last, a chance to review the cookbook I've been waiting my whole life for!
OK, that's only a slight exaggeration. I've been a follower of Bianca's blog "Vegan Crunk" since day one. Literally. Fall of 2007, I still remember. A fellow vegan who cooks like I DO!!
 (And ironically, my Google stats show that her blog refers more viewers to my blog than any other address on the Internets.)
If you read my blog, you know I'm all about comfort food; gravy, things covered in gravy, fried things and warm, cozy, down-home cooking. Bianca is a blogger after my own heart. Many of her recipes have inspired me to try similar ideas here, and attempt to (successfully!) recreate and vegan-ize favorites from my childhood.

Now, I admit, I didn't realize 'till I was an adult, that even though I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, many of the foods of my childhood were actually Southern-style recipes. Black-eyed peas, grits, okra and greens - all staples that I assumed everyone ate. And I'll admit I had no idea what the term "Crunk" meant until I actually got Bianca's cookbook and read the introduction.
I had the opportunity to meet Bianca last year at VidaVeganCon (and was completely flattered that she had wanted to meet me as well! .. ahhhh star struck) - We spent a great lunch-hour comparing notes. She is, of course, just as fabulous in real life as on her blog!!
When I heard Bianca was doing a cookbook, I was completely excited and counted down the days 'till it arrived in my mailbox as if it was Christmas! Like a kid in a candy store, I poured over every recipe repeatedly, drooling just a bit, trying to decide what to make first.
Well, let me just say, I've narrowed it down to, oh, at least a hundred or so "must trys". So far, we've feasted on Boozy Baked Beans, Creamy Squash Casserole, Hoppin' John, Southern Fried Tofu Chicken, Creamy Cashew Mac n' Cheese, Tempeh Gumbo, Chocolate-Chip Praline Cookies, Mint Julep Brownies and Country Potato Soup. Doesn't that list just start your mouth watering? And they were all (no surprise) completely delicious, and very easy to make. (A secret here: Much as I LOVE to cook, if a recipe gets complicated, my attention span wanders and - oh, look, shiny things...). I also forgot to take pictures. You'll have to take my word for how wonderful they were. My kids and co-workers were equally impressed!

But, the other night I realized I could rave and rave about this cookbook forever, but a picture or two might make it just a bit more convincing... So I whipped up Bianca's Fried Green Tomatoes, doused them with a good bit of luscious Country Buttermilk Ranch Dressing and remembered to snap a couple pictures before we gobbled them all up. I used semi-ripe tomatoes from my Mamma's garden and the results were spectacular. I wish I could share a few bites with every reader. You'd run out and buy this cookbook tonight, based on the ranch dressing alone, I promise!!

Have I convinced you yet? If you're interested in easy-to-make, rib-stickin', home-style vegan cooking that will impress the pants off anyone (not just fellow vegans), this is absolutely the book to get, I promise!


Jenny said...

OK, NOW I'm convinced! I'll pick it up this week--your glowing praise clinched the deal for me. Keep up the great work! :-)

Bianca said...

Yea!!! I'm so glad you like the book! And thanks for your glowing review!! I MUST try the ranch with the fried green tomatoes!

JENNA said...

This is a book that will definitely be put on my wish list!

Mattheworbit said...

This looks right up my alley.. thanks for the review - will keep a look out!

T.M. said...

I just won a copy of this book and already it's a favorite! Had the cinnamon pecan waffles and breakfast lasagne for brunch today and YUM! A great book for anyone to have.