#MEAcookbookclub 8.0 featured Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking. Dana's blog is a favourite of many and this cookbook club sold out so fast I added a second night and it also filled in no time. She's known for her simple approach to vegan and mostly gluten free cooking with each of her recipes fitting into one or more of the following categories: one bowl, 10 ingredients or less, or 30 minutes or less. That is right up our alley!
We agreed that Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking did live up to it's name- it was fast and easy to execute. Together we tested 31 of the recipes from the book. Our favourites were the 5-Ingredient Peppermint Patties, the Roasted Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad, the Artichoke Spinach Dip, and the Thai Curry Soup. We were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed the savoury dishes considering the name of the book.
We wouldn't recommend the Butternut Squash Mac 'N Cheese ... or at least we'd rename it 'Pasta with Pureed Squash and a whole lot of garlic'. It's resemblance to mac and cheese was a streeeeeeetch for us. The Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes were a bit of a let down, as we had high expectations for the perfect birthday treat, but instead felt like we were eating an oatmeal muffin with really delicious and sweet frosting.
Here are our thoughts on all the recipes we tried. The number indicates it's score out of five and we included some comments as well.
Better-Than-Restaurant Vegan Nachos | 4
Plate just before serving to prevent the chips from getting soggy.
We felt it could use a little bit more spice
Pizza-Stuffed Mushrooms | 3
We think this recipe could be more simplified and still taste jut as good.
We didn’t like the vegan cream cheese flavour
Real cream cheese or spread em dip would have been better
Spicy Braised Tofu Tostadas | 3.25
Simmer for hours. Makes this dish super flavourful.
Would be a great nacho topping!
We left the adobo out because it was an optional ingredient. But it is definitely need to add more flavour and heat.
Thai Quinoa Meatballs | 3
Would be nice served onto a salad.
Too sweet. We would add way less sugar next time.
5-Ingredient Peppermint Patties | 5!
Super easy and simple recipe!
None. We loved them just as they are!
Spinach + Artichoke Dip | 4.5
The brand Tofutti was a good vegan cream cheese to use.
Makes a lot!
Was really good served on toasted bread.
Coconut Red Curry Vegetable Soup | 5
Mince the ginger so you don't forget to remove the whole thing before serving.
A well balanced soup that any dinner guest would appreciate
Super Thick Three- Bean Chili | 3
There was a lot of chopping involved.
Turned out super spicy, may have been the brand of child powder used. Just be aware of that.
Raspberry Spinach Ribbon Salad | 4.25
Pickle onions longer.
Cutting the spinach into strips was me consuming and not 100% necessary, although it made it more dainty to eat.
Made a lot of dressing for the amount of salad but good for left over for another batch.
Vegan Kale Caesar Salad | 4
Took an hour
Flavours were really nice. She did a good job making this caesar dressing.
Chickpea Fesenjan | 3.5
Read recipe first. There is a lot going on at once.
Only use 1 tbsp of maple syrup to tone down the sweetness
The Best Vegan Enchiladas | 3
Really easy after the indigents are peeped.
These enchiladas were pretty basic, could have used more flavour. “The Best” wasn't the greatest name for this dish.
Thai Peanut Burgers | 3
Took 40min to prep the ingredients. After that the rest was simple
They were on the dry side.
Almost same recipe as the meatballs.
Spicy BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich | 4
Most time consuming part was pulling apart the jackfruit.
Were a bit sweet. Could have used a bit more spice to be called spicy.
1 Bowl Vegan Tiramisu Cake | 3
The one bowl idea was kind of messy and would have been easier just using a second bowl.
This cake was good, but did not taste like tiramisu. Not enough coffee flavour even after trying the recipe with espresso.
Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes | 2
This recipe was disappointing It was more of a muffin not a cupcake.
Peanut Butter Cup Puffed Rice Bars | 3
This recipe didn’t bind well. Was very crumbly and wouldn't hold together.
The taste was nice, but something was missing as a binding agent.
Creamy Vegan Eggnog | 3 .... but if you double the spices- 4.5!
This recipe was easy. Make sure to soak nuts overnight instead of the quick soak for a more creamy consistently before making the milk.
A lot more flavour was needed. Instead of it being egg nog is was more of a really good spiced nut milk. If trying out this recipe we suggest to really increase spice.
Southwest Sweet Potato Black Bean Dip | 4.25
Increase the time and the heat for cooking the sweet potatoes.
Creamy Broccoli + “Cheddar” Soup | 4
More broccoli for added chunkiness of the soup.
No thickener needed.
We used 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes.
Really good! We all agreed we'd make it again.
White Bean Posole Verde | 4.5
Serve in smaller potions as a side dish.
Very easy dish to make.
Only use one jalapeno.
Hominy was hard to find so we used yellow corn
Roasted Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad | 4.5
Make sure chickpeas are dried and oven is heated to atlas 400 to prevent soggy chickpeas.
Used water and tahini in the dressing. We used 2 full bunches of parsley. Use a little less maple syrup.
Beet, Orange Walnut Salad | 4
The way she calls for the beets to be peeped was time consuming. May be easier to prep a different way.
Simple and good recipe.
Garlic Pineapple Stir-Fried Quinoa | 4
If Quinoa is dry once in the pan, You can add some pineapple juice to moisten is up.
This meal would make great leftovers for packing lunches.
Too Sweet. Sweetener needs to be at least cut in half. Not enough sauce so would double next time.
Butternut Squash Garlic Mac ’n’ Cheese | 2.75
Needs to be served immediately.
Bad name for the dish because it does not taste like mac and cheese. Quite a lot of garlic.
Peanut Butter Pad Thai | 4
We enjoyed both with and without the peanut sauce on top.
Smoky BBQ Veggie Burgers | 3.75
Nice served on lettuce wraps.
Burgers quite spicy. If your not a fan of heat then maybe tone down the spice.
Pumpkin Apple Upside- Down Cake | 4
This cake was very moist. Could cook a bit longer.
Add more ginger.
Blackberry Custard Pie | 3.25
Easy for a non baker. The crust was great!
Not the texture of a custard. More like a cheese cake.
Sweet Potato Pie | 4.5
The mixture was thick and that's okay just keep blending and it will work itself out.
Was better with the sweet potato than the canned pumpkin.
Carrot Walnut Bread | 4.25
Mix dry first, don't use the one bowl method.
Fast to make !
Use less sugar.
OVERALL SCORE: 3.25
We all agreed that we LOVE the website as a plant based recipe resource. This book is great for someone looking for quick and easy ideas with a bit of sweet tooth.