I was gifted a copy of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s new book The 30-Day Vegan Challenge as a speaker at the Vida Vegan Convention. Since then, I’ve taken my time reading through the advice and tips, trying out recipes, and genuinely enjoying the full colour photographs. This is more than a recipe book, but a great guide for vegans or vegan hopeful’s just starting out. The recipes are simple, easy to follow and even easier to eat.
My favourite section was “Go” starting on page 33, with advice on how to put together meals creatively, navigate the grocery store, interesting ideas for breakfast, and lunches that can be taken to work or school. She makes a great point about how stuck in a rut people can get with breakfast and lunch, and her advice is great, offering simple suggestions that while reading seem obvious… but in retrospect… I know I could have been making more creative breakfasts and lunches (and now I am.)
First of all, immediately after leaving Portland, I began craving biscuits, ideally mixed with gravy. That’s not really something I can go out, and eat in Toronto (or maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places.) Colleen’s book helped me out with that. The recipe for Drop Biscuits (on page 259) is simple and quick to prepare (20 minutes tops), without any complicated ingredients. She offers advice on how to make them a bit more interesting and the full colour picture just adds to the appeal. I’ve made them three or four times now and for the most part, they’ve turned out great.
The time suggested is about 8 minutes, but I’ve had more luck with 10-11 minutes. As the old saying goes, your oven will vary. Paired with the Mushroom Gravy (on page 252), it makes a great side dish, they’re also great with a nice bowl of soup. Of which there are a couple of recipes. The Carrot-Ginger soup (on page 226) was the perfect fit on a cold grey semi-autumn night (though I doubled the ginger.) I’ve yet to try the ginger
We also tried the Cannellini Bean Salad with Fresh Herbs (page 107) for dinner. After letting it sit in the fridge for an hour or so, the cabbage took on a really nice flavour. I had prechopped all of my veggies the night before and did not chop them quite as finely as Colleen’s lovely pictures, but it was quite a nice, flavourful, and filling dinner (complete with leftovers for the next day.)
This weekend I made Colleen’s French Toast (on page 79) for breakfast. Another simple, easy to prepare recipe, that is greater than the sum of its parts. We went on a midnight run for french bread (and tofutti ice cream…) It was still pretty fresh, so I toasted it a little bit before dipping it. Topped with a drizzle of maple walnut syrup, it was a big hit.
Overall, I think this book would act as a great all encompassing resource for people flirting with the idea of going vegan. It’s organized in a way that makes it easy to follow, has recipes that are convenient and easy (but still delicious,) and filled with a positive message and helpful advice.