One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cookbook Review: Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Who can make you go from having the occasional tofu scramble for breakfast every morning to eating your weight in tofu on a daily basis just at breakfast alone?! Isa Chandra Moskowitz that’s who. Isa’s latest book Vegan Brunch is the best thing that has ever happened to your morning meal. If you want to wow someone with your culinary capabilities in the kitchen then these are some great recipes to start with. Isa has everything in this book – tofu scrambles, fruit flavored waffles and pancakes, quiches, crepes and signature dishes like Tofu Benny (a veganized Eggs Benedict), Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes, Puttanesca Scramble (my favorite dish in the whole wide world), Chorizo Sausage, and even homemade English Muffins and Bagels!

As with all my cookbook reviews I have a top 5 favorite recipes from Vegan Brunch. And here they go…

  1. Puttanesca Scramble
  2. Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes
  3. Classic Broccoli Quiche
  4. Pumpkin Pancakes
  5. Beer Batter Tofu

You can check out a few sample recipes from the book on Isa’s Blog and below is my favorite favorite favorite recipe from the book, Puttanesca Scramble. I literally made this 3 times yesterday. Why? Because I kept on eating the entire batch! Yep, that’s right, I ate over 2 ½ pounds of tofu yesterday, and to think there used to be a day when I thought tofu was the worst food item ever invented! Obviously those days are long gone.

I made a couple changes to the recipe to make it a bit more economical. Instead of fresh tomatoes I used canned whole Roma or plum tomatoes and diced them up. Instead of fresh herbs I used dried herbs and took the quantity down to 1 teaspoon of each. I also hate olives so I upped the capers by ½ tablespoon. The original recipe is below but if you’re on a budget the substitutions leave it tasting just as good!

Puttanesca Scramble

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 - 8 cloves garlic thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb extra firm tofu, diced
4 roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1/2 cup mixed olives, roughly chopped
1 tablespoons capers
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic in the olive oil until lightly browned, but be careful not to burn. 3 minutes ought to do it. Add the red pepper flakes and the tofu and sauté for about 10 minutes, until tofu is browned. Add a little extra oil if necessary.

Mix in tomatoes, thyme, oregano and oregano and cook for about 5 minute, until tomatoes are a bit broken down but still whole. Add olives, capers and salt to taste. Cook just until heated through.

Excerpted from the book Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, published by Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2009.


  1. It must be said that Isa certainly can make tofu nice, I never used to think that was possible! Veganomicon is one of my favourite cookbooks.

  2. Yum, I'm loving Vegan Brunch at the moment. I love the quiche, omelet and banana flapjacks. I really want to try the Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes soon.

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  4. Vegan Brunch is one of my newest favorite cookbooks. Brunch is the best meal of the week! What's not to love about sweet and savory, plus mimosas and bloody marys to boot!


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