TMG REVIEWS: VEGAN COMFORT CLASSICS
When we heard that Lauren of Hot for Food was releasing a cookbook both of us pretty much died of happiness. If any of you know us, you know that Lauren has been one of our biggest inspirations for starting Two Market Girls. We absolutely loved that Lauren was doing a common thing on YouTube (recipe videos) while adding her own personality, professionalism, and creativity. It made her videos stand out in such a great way. However, what we loved most about Lauren and her videos was the quality. Her videos showed us that you can make YouTube videos in a creative and high quality way, while still making them entertaining.
If you are vegan, you know who Lauren Toyota is. She is one of the biggest vegan bloggers and YouTubers around, even if you aren’t vegan, you probably know about Lauren Toyota’s epic vegan recipes. She is the amazing lady behind recipes like Breakfast Lasagna, Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies, Vegan Double Down, and so many more. We know, we know you are drooling.
When we received our Amazon delivery notification that the cookbook had arrived, we literally screamed with joy. We have been waiting for this cookbook for years, even before it was announced. We couldn’t wait to bust it open and start using it in our kitchens.
There are many reasons that we love this cookbook, but first we want to explain what we look for in a cookbook. Without a doubt, the most important thing in our opinion is pictures. Pictures help visualize what a recipe is supposed to look like and to an extent taste like. In our opinion a picture actually can help assist with the making of the recipe, which is why they are so important in a cookbook.
We also look at the organization of the recipes; what kind of categories are used and if the recipes are evenly divided amongst the categories. We look at the language and personality of the writing because so much a cookbook is how it is written. Lastly we look at the variety of recipes, we look to see what kind of recipes are offered and if they would interest a wide range of people.
Lauren Toyota is loved by a lot of people, and for good reason. She makes amazing vegan food, is one of the nicest people ever, and makes killer social media content. In essence she is the vegan queen. Her cookbook is no different, we like to call it The Vegan Bible. Vegan Comfort Classics is full of all the delicious recipes you’d expect after reading the title; Comfort Food, veganized.
There are many reasons to love this cookbook. Namely it begins with an entire chapter on vegan bacon. You heard that right. How can you not like this book? We don’t think there is a way to not like this book and we are here to tell you why.
We tested three recipes from this book (for our channel) and many more for ourselves. However we will talk in depth about the recipes we tested for our video. The three recipes that stood out most from the book were; Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip, Fried Avocados with Jackfruit, and Apple Fritters.
The Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip caught our eye because we love dips. Any food that you can enjoy at a party we are here for it. This recipe is deliciously creamy, cheesy, and spicy. It is the ultimate comfort food. We love that this recipe contains basic ingredients. There is no need to go to a special grocery store (at least where we are) to find any of the ingredients on the list. We cut the recipe in half when we made it and it was the perfect amount for four people. It was incredibly easy to put together, which you know we love. We challenge any non-vegan to try out this recipe because there is no way that you will be able to tell it’s vegan.
The Fried Avocados with Jackfruit caught our eye because it was fried. We won’t lie to you, we love fried food. Fried food is pretty much the ultimate comfort food. It is perfectly creamy (from the avocados) and paired with a delicious savoury jackfruit and fresh homemade ranch topping. The challenge that comes with this recipe is the avocados. Avocados are very finicky, especially when you have you plan according to ripeness. This recipe calls for slightly firm avocados and wont work when they are too mushy! Good thing it worked out for us on the first try. We know people often fear deep frying, however we loved just how easy this recipe is to deep fry and imagine that even if you didn’t want to deep fry it you could probably air fry it as well. Make this recipe, and don’t forget the ranch because the ranch is to die for.
The Apple Fritters. It’s what Kat was most excited for since learning that there would be a recipe like this about a year ago. If you don’t know already, Kat is obsessed with Apple Fritters, so this was a must try. One thing to note is that the dough used for this recipe can also be used for many other recipes in this cookbook; well done Lauren! This recipe posed some challenges for us; long story short we questioned our ability to cook. However this is not to say that the recipe is bad, not the recipe is hard because making apple fritters is hard, and the challenges are 100% worth it. These fritters are some of the most delicious Apple Fritters we have ever eaten. Make them, eat them, and tell everyone about them.
Devin had also tried the Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich, Cinnamon Buns, Vegan Egg, and Lasagna Soup. All of which were delicious.
ORGANIZATION & VARIETY
This cookbook is organized into nine different chapters; badass brunches, finger foods, veggie sides & big salads, hearty soups, stacked sandwiches, oodles of noodles, the main event, sweet things, and get saucy. We love the way this book is organized because it covers pretty much everything we love. Brunch? Yas! Finger Foods? Double yas! Sandwiches? Obvs! Noodles? Hell yeah. Sweet Things? YAAAS! Sauces? Yes, please! Can you tell we love food?
In terms of variety of recipes, how can you go wrong? Did you see the categories? There is so much in this cookbook. From bacon to jalapeno poppers to curry roasted cauliflower to seefood chowder to monte cristo to vegan ramen to bangers and mash to funfetti pop tarts to all the vegan sauces. If that isn’t variety we don’t know what is.
LANGUAGE & PHOTOGRAPHY
If you have ever seen a Hot for Food video you know Lauren has a lot of personality. That can be hard to translate to print, however Lauren finds a way. With everything that you read you can feel Lauren’s personality. You can tell how funny and friendly she is with every word. This cookbook truly feels like an extension of her blog and YouTube channel.
We have been in love with Lauren’s photography since we discovered Hot for Food. She has a way of making even the simplest of dishes look absolutely amazing. We are constantly in shock of her skill as a photographer. However it’s not just her photography in this book, Vanessa Heins is the girl behind the lovely photos of Lauren throughout the book. We love this addition because it adds personality and connects the reader back to Lauren.
Bonus Points: There is a picture for every recipe, which as you all know, WE LOVE!
If you couldn’t tell from our glowing words, we love this cookbook. Oh sorry, The Vegan Bible. The food is amazing. The photography is amazing. The writing is amazing. The organization is amazing. Lauren is amazing. It’s amazing. We think that’s all we can say really. It’s amazing, so go buy it and make delicious vegan food.