A goal of mine for 2013 is to go through my 20-something vegan cookbooks and use them all. Spork Fed is the cookbook I chose for this post. I received the book as a gift from a longtime vegan friend of mine, Don, who didn't find much use for the book so shipped it to me :) (Along with 3 other cookbooks he hadn't even mentioned he would send) Vegans are such generous and kind people it baffles me sometimes.
I went through the book and chose to make Spicy Seitan Buffalo Wings (Made with the books recipe for Chicken-Style Seitan) & Southwest Black Bean and Corn Mini Burgers (With Smokey Paprika Cashew Cheese which I skipped). I also planned on making a few other dishes that never panned out because I was too busy and the ingredients ended up going bad :(
The Spicy Seitan Buffalo Wings were good. I loved the fact that the recipe included an additional recipe for Buffalo Wing Sauce so that I didn't have to resort to bottled crap with all of it's weird chemicals and colorings (Yes I use this shit, but I am trying to get away from using anything processed and containing chemicals for ingredients... Baby Steps).
The recipe in this book for Chicken-Style Seitan was also good, but I have made better versions of seitan. The method used here was boiling which resulted in a bit of a rubbery texture. I prefer steaming seitan or baking it. I also used the entire batch of Seitan (The recipe says to use a little over half) and still had extra breading and Buffalo Sauce. Here is the Chicken-Style Seitan before I used it in the Wings recipe:
To summarize my experience: I would say that the Spicy Seitan Buffalo Wings recipe is perfectly legit to serve to vegans that are down with seitan. I didn't mind the rubbery-ness of the seitan because it was breaded and saucey, plus I paired it with my homemade vegan ranch and some mashed potatoes. The Buffalo Sauce was great and I will probably use it as a replacement for bottled crap... It is thicker but still very good and I have some leftover that I plan on using to make some Buffalo Tofu Sammies this week!
Next up was the Southwest Black Bean and Corn Mini Burgers. These were okay. I know the authors said you really need to make the Smokey Paprika Cashew Cheese to make this recipe a hit and I did skip it and replaced it with Daiya. The burgers held together fine with some extra breadcrumbs added. I got through eating them all throughout the week but these aren't something I would bother making again... Still looking for a veggie burger recipe that tastes better than just plain old store bought stuff so that I feel like all the effort is worth it.
Overall, Spork Fed is a mediocre vegan cookbook... A lot of fancy stuff which would probably be good if I had the time and energy to find all the ingredients and construct the recipe... I have met the authors in person and they are both very lovely ladies and I am more than positive that if I had more time, I would have more fun with the book.
Next up with cookbook reviews is Color Me Vegan =)