What I’m Reading in January

Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week

January is all about self improvement.  No cocktail recipes for me this month.  No sir.

Like just about everyone, I’m trying to eat less meat and dairy.  To that end I thought I’d check out a vegan cookbook.  I’m hoping to find some tricks and tips that I can use to make my omnivorous diet a little less meaty.

On a whim, I chose “Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week”.  I know nothing about vegan cooking so I can’t really justify my choice beyond claiming to read a few reviews and thinking the cover is cute.

First Impressions

This book is cuuuute!  I’m a bit of a design geek and I love the hand lettered fonts and the colorful pages.  I smile every time I flip through this book.

I’m excited about the recipes.  There are a lot of great looking photos and I’m not sure where to begin.  I’m going to the store to buy some cashews and tofu right away.  I admit I’m a bit skeptical about vegan baking so I won’t try that just yet.

First Recipes

The first recipe I tried was Pesto Soup With Gnocchi, Beans and Greens.  The soup base combined vegetable stock with cauliflower, garlic and basil.  Corn starch was used as a thickener.  Gnocchi and beans made the soup a meal.  I added some sauteed onions because soup is not soup without onions.  It was easy enough for a weekday and the ingredients were familiar and available.  The soup was a bit too sweet, probably due to the extra onions.  I added a dash of vinegar and extra pepper to tame the sweetness.

I would make this recipe again.  I like the technique of using cauliflower and an immersion blender to create a creamy consistency.  I’m not a big fan of corn starch as a thickener so next time I will use a small potato instead.


Vegan enchiladas.

Vegan enchiladas.

Enchiladas. Wow. Just wow. The enchilada recipes was a bit time consuming (a weekend dinner for sure) but worth it.  The tomato sauce was flavorful and the filling of potatoes, beans and mushrooms was filling.

We were a bit dubious about the cashew “cheese” at first but it tasted OK.  It was a bit odd and the flavor stood out as foreign among the other familiar ingredients.  But at the end of the day it didn’t detract from the dish.

Next time I’ll add an extra jalapeno, skip the cashews and garnish with guacamole instead.

This recipe is a definite make again.  It is really really good.

Not So Great

Baked tofu.

Baked tofu.

Baked  tofu.  Meh.

I liked the cooking method and I think there is the potential to turn this into something I like with a different sauce.

The recipe uses 2 teaspoons of garlic powder which I found overwhelming. It also includes soy sauce, mustard and vegetable stock.  Tofu is marinated then baked until brown.

I just couldn’t get past the strong and somewhat artificial taste of the garlic powder. I suspect the mustard amplified the off flavors a bit.

I like the idea of having baking tofu in the fridge as a meat substitute, but I will experiment with other marinades.


I’m glad I purchased this book and will continue to experiment with it.  Check in for updates as I try new recipes.

The enchiladas have a good chance of becoming part of the regular dinner rotation at my house.

Will I become vegan?  I wouldn’t bet a barbecued rib on it!  But I am learning some new recipes that will help me reduce my meat and dairy consumption.  Yeah me!