Veganomicon — Smokey Grilled Tempeh and Cheater Baked Beans

2008 02 - VCon Smokey Grilled Tempeh and Cheater Baked BeansJane has Veganomicon on loan from our local library. As I mentioned earlier, it is our practice to borrow a book first, when possible, before buying. This way we only wind up buying those books we really want, and don't over-consume.

Anyway, Veganomicon looks to be a pretty good cookbook. Jane tried her hand at the Smokey Grilled Tempeh and Cheater Baked Beans tonight. The beans were really good. The tempeh was interesting, but neither one of us loved it enough for Jane to consider making it again. The cookbook suggests pairing the two with collard greens. We had steamed snap peas instead, one of our favorites.

We're reserving our comments on the cookbook until we've had a little more experience with it... but there is a lot of positive buzz out there. Many of the recipes we've been interested in trying seem to require between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours to prepare though; not the kind of meal Jane likes to prepare during the week.

The next recipes we've earmarked for Jane to try are the Chickpea Cutlets, which the authors tout as one of their best recipes, and the vegan Mac 'n Cheese because we miss that comfort food! We'll keep you posted.


  1. I really like this cookbook. I just made the muffins with pineapples and carrots. they were super yummy! I even sub rice flour for reg flour.

    I’ve only cooked 7 things out of this book, and all but 1 have been super yummy. will have to get back to you on exact recipies.

  2. This book has become my bible. Seriously, if you’re going to buy any vegan cook book, I’d recommend this one b/c it has so many tips in addition to a variety of websites.

    Everything I’ve made from it has been great. I especially enjoyed the Tofu Po’Boy sandwich. Haven’t tried their mac-n-cheese yet b/c it’s really heavy on the nutritional yeast, which I’m not that into.

    I’m planning to post a vegan mac-n-cheese recipe on my blog soon though, as part of my series on comfort foods. Check it out!

  3. I got a copy of Veganomicon for Christmas and I think it is probably my favorite vegan cookbooks so far (granted, I only own 3 of them now). I’m slowly working my way through the recipes but for the most part they turn out quite tasty (other than my jelly donut cupcake disaster…). I did make the chickpea cutlets once and although I wasn’t impressed, the meat eaters who tried them seemed to be ga-ga for them. My 2-year-old nephew totally dissed a real hot dog in favor of them 🙂

    You are very right about the internet buzz about the book though; I have yet to read a really negative review of it. I’m not sure if it really is thaaat good though.

  4. Veganomicon is my favorite cookbook too. I’ve loved everything I’ve made from it and it’s all been well received by my non-vegan friends and family. Have you tried the curry? It tasted so good I couldn’t believe it came out of my kitchen (I’m not much of a cook). Some of the recipes are pretty time consuming, but everything I’ve tried has been easy, even if it took a long time. The icons that indicate a recipe will take under 45 minutes to make are almost always accurate, though. I actually keep a list of all the recipes that are regular supermarket friendly, low fat and take under 45 minutes to make handy for emergency cookery.

  5. You all are making my mouth water with the thoughts of excellent curry and muffins and po’ boys. I hope Jane tries them all soon (oh Jane…)

    Sat, I love that comment about your nephew choosing the chickpea cutlets over hot dogs.

    SSD – I like the idea of the emergency cookery list. What do you have on there? Sounds like a good thing to have on hand.

  6. My list:

    Salads and Dressings
    Corn and Edamame-Sesame Salad

    Mix and Match
    Sauteed Collards
    Sauteed Spinach and Tomatoes
    Escarole with Capers and White Beans
    Rutabaga Puree
    Roasted Portobellos

    Soft Poppy-Seed Polenta (when prepared “soft”, the Broccoli Polenta is just about as fast)

    Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan
    * Basic Broiled Tofu

    * Tomato-Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and Navy Beans
    Creamy Tomato Soup

    One-Pot Meals and Stove-Top Specialties
    Plantain and Pinto Stew with Parsnip Chips

    Sauces and Fillings
    Marinara Sauce and Variations
    Salsa Verde
    5-Minute Mango Chutney
    Tropical Avocado Salsa Fresca
    Cranberry-Chile Dipping Sauce

    Hope that helps! I really like your blog, by the way. I’m pretty new to veganism and find it very informative.

    * I love it so much I could eat it every day.

  7. Thanks for sharing. Jane was happy to have this. She’s looking into what she’s going to incorporate into her rotation. We will definitely try the soup and tofu recipes you recommend.

    Thanks for the compliment on the blog. We’re glad you’re finding it helpful!

  8. I made the Pumpkin Baked Ziti tonight and absolutely loved it! I even took it a step further and made it wheat free by using rice pasta instead.

    I let my husband have a taste of the ‘ricotta’ and his initial response was “that really doesn’t have any cheese in it?” The ricotta recipe alone is a great one to try. It seems like it would work great in a lasagna.

  9. Hi June,
    That sounds wonderful.
    We had the same reaction to the ricotta recipe in the Real Food Daily Cookbook. I’ll have to get Jane to try a comparison of the two side by side.
    Anyway, if it’s close, it would certainly work well in a lasagna.

  10. Would this be a good book to buy if you can’t get any special vegan ingredients? They sell soy milk locally and that’s about it, so forget anything with tofu, agarve nectar or anything similar!!
    I hate spendinng hours in the kitchen, so that’s an important consideration for me too…
    Could anyone recommend a book to get sent out here?

  11. Hi Rueth,

    I have three words for you: Inter Library Loan. We always try to borrow a book before buying it. This way you can gauge for yourself whether it’s worth it.

    Jane and I believe strongly, that you do the best you can. If you can’t get ingredients or it’s too expensive sub out for something else. Also, where do you draw your lines as a vegan… We use honey, so if you are comfortable including that in your diet, you can sub it for Agave Nectar.

    I’d certainly ask the grocery store to carry tofu! It can’t hurt. All you can waste is your breath.

    Here’s a great recipe site to try: Fat Free Vegan. Susan has got tons of recipes on line for free. You might want to look thru her offerings and see if there’s something for you.

  12. My neighbor and I just made a few things from Veganomicon last night. The chickpea cutlets are well worth trying. I brought one in for lunch today that I cooked last night, so I’ll get to see how well they reheat. We also made the hot sauce glazed tempeh, which is unbelievable. It’s probably the most filling and satisfying vegan food I’ve had, and it’s really fast to make. The low fat banana bread (which we made as muffins) is not quite as good as my grandmother’s non vegan banana bread, but all my co workers thought it was great, and so did I.

    The recipes from this book are great examples to show to omnivores how silly it is to think of eating vegan as a sacrifice. The food from this book reinforces my faith in veganism even more.

  13. Hi Clifton,
    We have subsequently tried the chickpea cutlets. They are now a staple in our house. Jane actually doubles the batch and we have it for dinner 2 nights in a row, plus lunch. I like them cold on a sandwich.
    I haven’t cared for their tempeh recipes. Perhaps, I don’t care for tempeh all that much, although I have enjoyed it in the vegan restaurants where I’ve tried it. As for banana bread… There’s a great recipe in the Joy of Vegan Baking for banana muffins (easy enough to turn into bread).
    I agree that the cookbook has a lot of value. Many people rave about it, and the variety of dishes certainly proves that going vegan doesn’t mean your stuck with salads. It’s just not my favorite cookbook. The chickpea cutlets are worth the price though!!! But different strokes.

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