Cookbook Review of Veganize It! by Robin Robertson

Veganize It!
Goodreads Rating: 3.93
Published: 3/7/2017
Page Count: 304
Book URL:
Vegan pantry staples plus enticing recipes in which to use them This is the ultimate DIY pantry book, doing double duty with recipes for vegan staples, plus ideas on how to use them as building blocks in both new and classic recipes. Many cooks prefer to make their own basics rather than buy expensive store versions, which are often loaded with additives and preservatives. These easy recipes make it easy to stock a home pantry.…
4.1Overall Score
  • Covered Subject
  • Cover Art
  • Impact
  • Organization
  • Pacing
  • Writing

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Quick Review

  • Straightforward, easy to understand writing style.
  • The book is sectioned into eight parts: vegan basics, dairy-free, “meats”, “charcuterie”, “seafood”, “steak”-out, sauces, flours, and desserts.
  • Overall the book is organized well, although sometimes a referenced recipe comes after the recipe you are reading, which I found strange.
  • The recipes cover many traditionally non-vegan staples and foods that fall more on the decadent and rich side of the spectrum.
  • Would be a great book for a beginner or transitioning vegan, or a vegan looking to veganize common comfort foods and staples.
  • Nothing in this book is overly complicated or fancy (except maybe a few of the ingredients) making it easy for all skill levels to utilize the information and recipes.
  • Gives a wide range of options for food replacements, including an egg replacement list and alternative thickeners.
  • Has a brief section about ingredient and allergy sensitivity replacements that was not adequate.
  • Includes mention and use of aquafaba even though the book is written in 2017 and aquafaba wasn’t used at all until 2014, and probably not widely until 2016.

In Depth Review

If you are the kind of person who’s heart screams “Yes! Yes! Yes!” when making meals and foods absolutely, positively from scratch, spending a lazy Sunday afternoon AND evening in the kitchen, making your own milks, cheeses, sauces, etc. then this book was made for you (and me!). Veganize It! has two main types of recipes: vegan components that replace foods that are not typically vegan, such as cheese and bacon, and the recipes these components are used in, which also would not typically be vegan, such as “Bacon-Topped Mac Uncheese”.

This cookbooks seems to include most of the normal recipes that would be in a (American-style) non-vegan’s diet, except they’ve been veganized! This is a book filled with comfort condiments, sauces and foods so that you won’t have to feel left out at dinners, parties, and during the holidays.

This cookbook would be an absolutely terrific book for the beginner vegan who likes to cook things from scratch as it outlines a lot of basics such as equipment, ingredients, substitutions, proteins, baking basics, hidden animal ingredients, and may introduce a person to many vegan foods that aren’t as common in everyday diets such as seitan, tempeh, aquafaba, dulse, etc. It also includes a lot of recipes for foods that are typically eaten in a non-vegan diet, to make someone’s transitions fun and much easier.

Recipe Review

These recipes are legit; they are especially legit considering how forward-thinking they are for the time period this cookbook was written in. For sure this cookbook would have blown my mind, but I’ve already been vegan and very interested in vegan cooking and baking for the last two years. It has a lot of my favorite types of recipes and very similar formats and ingredients to the recipes I already know, love, and regularly use.

The recipes all appear simple, straightforward, well balanced, and fairly well flavored. I do prefer a bit more spice in some of my personal recipes, such as for mashed potatoes, but I feel certain that these recipes would all be delicious and could easily be adjusted to individual tastes. I would consider them terrific base recipes to build upon and experiment with.

Even with my familiarity with the formats and ingredients of the recipes, I have earmarked 43 of them to try that are different and new! I am very excited about the staple-food recipes such as butters, cheeses, and sauces. It’s always fun to play around with someone else’s take on veganizing these items.

GLUTEN-FREE/ALLERGY NOTE: I do wish that substitutions were given within each recipe for allergies and gluten sensitivities, this is always something that I appreciate as someone who cannot eat gluten. Many of the recipes use soy, gluten, and different nuts and flours. While some are easy to substitute, vital wheat gluten is not one of them, as well as some other ingredients, making many of the recipes inaccessible to me, especially the plant-based meats, flour, and dessert chapters (not surprisingly).

I will return to review the recipes once I’ve had a chance to try all or most of the ones I’ve marked.

Book Look

NOTE: I read a paperback copy of the book that I checked out at my local library (I also own an eBook copy).

  • Medium sized square book, seemingly a standard cookbook size that lays flat fairly easily except for the very front and back pages.
  • Has a full-color glossy front and back cover with matte-touch fold-outs on the front and back describing the book and author
  • The pages are a thicker stock with a bit of texture that is easy to grip and is a bright white.
  • Printed using a medium sized, strong and contrasting black, san-serif font that makes reading very easy.
  • The book is formatted well, with modern text and photography: the chapter title pages are full-page spread close-up illustrations, the recipes are clearly labeled, and the servings size and ingredients are clearly listed, with page references to related recipes.
  • Most, but not all, recipes have full page, professional illustrations that really give the book a “high-quality” feel.

Favorite Quote

“With these veganized recipes using vegetables…there’s no reason why eliminating animal products from your diet should mean giving up great taste or the familiar flavors you grew up with and enjoy.”
Robin Robertson

Musical Suggestions

I would suggest pairing this book with some mellow, Parisian, or coffeehouse jazz. I enjoyed this book while listening to the shuffled playlist “Parisian Cafe (Instrumental)” by inspirationstearoom and “Paris Cafe Jazz” by gym377 on Spotify.

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