Review: Vegan Beans from Around the World by Kelsey Kinser

Vegan Beans from Around the World is a cookbook by Kelsey Kinser. This is a great recipe book for vegans and non-vegans alike. I recently found out that I'm allergic to dairy so I've been trying to watch what I eat. Plus, I'm always looking for new vegetarian dishes to mix up meals during the week. This book has a little bit of something for everyone.

First I tried the black bean & sweet potato queso-less-dilla with tofu sour cream and really enjoyed it. I will admit that I was missing the cheese in it, but the sweet potato does add a density and slight creaminess to it that imitates cheese pretty well. The tofu sour cream, although a little funky tasting by itself, was awesome when mixed with homemade salsa. I didn't really notice that it wasn't real sour cream.

The next recipe I tried was the Italian "meat" balls. The meatballs smelled and tasted really good in all their white bean glory. You mix a lot of ingredients into the white beans like you would a real meatball. Now, they definitely didn't taste like meatballs but they did have a lot of great flavor and in the end were delicious with the pasta. My one and only complaint was that my meatballs fell apart and were pretty mushy even though I left them in the oven another 15 minutes. They just didn't hold up like they should've.

The last recipe I tried, and by far my favorite, was the lentil loaf. I grew up on my grandpa's meatloaf. So this was the true test for me. I will admit I was pretty skeptical about the recipe. It seemed legit with all the ingredients put in. There's seasonings, onion, bell pepper, bread crumbs, ketchup, just about everything goes into this. No where in the recipe does it say to mash the lentils but I did. I found that I wanted more of "ground meat" appearance and consistency, and that was the best decision I made. Not only did the loaf, at quick glance, look like meatloaf but it was delicious. I paired it with mashed potatoes and corn, Just like my grandpa would, and I was taken back in time to my childhood. Sure, I could tell it wasn't ground beef, however, it was so darn close to it and so amazingly delicious that the slight taste difference didn't even register.  

If I had someone who was looking to take a step away from meat and dairy, I would definitely recommend this book to them. Even though I haven't tried the dessert recipes yet, I do plan on continuing my journey through this book. I just couldn't wait anymore to share my review.

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