Like many others in the vegan community, I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Betty Goes Vegan by Annie and Dan Shannon. The Shannons' veganization of the classic 1950s red Betty Crocker cookbook has been wildly popular on the couple's Meet the Shannons website, and since I'm an a total book addict, I've been looking forward to getting my hands on a bound copy containing my favorite recipes. I was pretty surprised to see that my mailman had delivered the book and it was too big to fit in my mailbox. With over 500 recipes, Betty Goes Vegan has to now be the thickest cookbook I own!
I can't imagine that it was an easy task to veganize so many meat and dairy laden recipes, but the Shannons were able to just that. The result is a cookbook full of classic comfort food dishes that even a hardened omnivore would appreciate. In Betty Goes Vegan, you'll find vegan versions of recipes that were popular in 50s and 60s, such as Quiche Lorraine, Tuna Casserole and Corned Beef(less) Brisket with Cabbage. I can almost see Betty Draper serving up these dishes at a Sterling Cooper dinner party. I've been cooking with some of these recipes since they originally appeared on the Shannon's website, and my favorites have been the Breakfast Tacos, Curry Vegan Chicken and Potato Salad and the Limoncello Bundt Cake, which I haven't actually made myself yet but my friend Karyn baked it for numerous occasions. I've already bookmarked many more dishes I'm eager to try such as Osso Bucco, Seitan Coq Au Vin and Peanut Butter and Pretzel-Swirled Chocolate Ice Cream.
What makes Betty Goes Vegan truly unique are the personal stories and fun facts sprinkled throughout. The history of the famous Betty Crocker signature, the origins of Bisquick and tips for modern-day Bettys are just some of the tid-bits you'll find here. The Shannons playful personalities show through in their writing making this a cookbook you might want to curl up along with a cup of tea with and read like a novel, instead of just relegating it to use in the kitchen.
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