Isa Chandra Moskowitz has made a liar out of me. Not long ago, I wrote that Moskowitz’ “Veganomicon” was the last cookbook you needed to buy, and now she comes out with “Vegan Brunch”. Blame it on her vegan Italian Feast Sausage recipe.
You see, growing up in an Italian-American family, I was used to eating pasta with tomato-meat sauce for Sunday dinners and other special occasions. Meat usually included meatballs, spareribs, and sausages. Living on myown as an adult, special dinners had always consisted of meat of some sort, if not cheese, and more likely both! As a result, it seemed Sunday dinners would never be the same after becoming vegan. Now, 3 years later, I’ve discovered there are hundreds of other delectable and healthy meals worthy of Sunday and any other day. But when I’m feeling nostalgic, pasta with a “meaty” tomato sauce is the ultimate comfort food.
You may ask, why bother making your own vegan sausages, when there are already meatless sausages appearing on the shelves in major grocery stores? I think that’s great news, and without a doubt, vegan sausages are preferable to meat sausages, but reading the ingredients and the nutritional data, I’m not sure all meatless sausages are actually healthy, or good for your diet. If you like to know what’s in your food, like me, why not try making your own vegan sausages?
Although I won’t divulge Moskowitz’ recipe, Vegan Brunch’s vegan sausage recipes (3 different varieties!) consist primarily of navy beans, wheat gluten, and seasonings. My tastebuds may have changed since becoming vegan, but the vegan sausages tasted fantastic–as good as meat sausages–piled on top of my plate of pasta. Preparing these yourself, you realize it’s herbs and spices (not animal products) that make most dishes taste delicious, anyway. The wheat gluten makes them chewy on the inside, and fried, they become crispy on the outside just like meat sausage. But they’re so much healthier and humane. And, did I mention that vegan sausages are fun to make, too?
On second thought, perhaps it wasn’t the vegan sausage recipe, but the Pumpkin French Toast, or the Tempeh Bacon Revamped recipe that made me order Vegan Brunch the minute it hit the virtual bookstore shelves? As someone who became vegan late in life, it’s truly exciting to discover that many foods you thought were off limits are now literally back on the table!
One more noteworthy point about the Vegan Brunch book itself, especially for those who wished “Veganomicon” had more photos, is that “Vegan Brunch” is filled with photos that will inspire your vegan cooking to new heights.
If you’re someone who still believes vegan diet equates with “sacrifice” (I admit I felt that way, at first), I urge you to pick up “Veganonomicon” or “Vegan Brunch” and learn for yourself how good it feels to prepare and eat healthy and mouth-watering dishes.