Book Review: Spork-Fed, Super Fun and Flavorful Vegan Recipes from the Sisters of Spork Foods by Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg
Reviewed by Karen Miles
I've been a vegetarian for 40 years and a vegan for—well, I'm working on it. Problem is, I cook for a bevy of family and friends, and I haven't felt well equipped with stellar vegan recipes. That is, until Spork-Fed arrived on my desk!
The cookbook comes from Spork-Foods, a gourmet vegan food company based in Los Angeles and run by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg. The company also provides online cooking classes, cooking demonstrations, and healthy eating consultations. Their focus is local, organic, seasonal foods—prepared with pizzazz!
The creativity of these sister cooks is inspiring, but the book is practical, too. Many of the ingredients lists are long, but the directions are clear and simple enough to tackle any night of the week. And the ingredients aren't obscure. (Check out the section on Vegan Products for your Fridge and Pantry if you're a newcomer to veganism.) They even offer help in the way of Suggested Menus, including gluten-free, comfort foods, and holiday fare. (I'll be shaking things up this Thanksgiving!)
Sections (and just one tantalizing example of what you'll find in each) include: Appetizers (Pear, Fig and Sage Tarts with a Roasted Garlic Aioli), Soups and Salads (Jerk Coleslaw with Plantain Strips), Sides (Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions and Crispy Sage), Main Dishes (Seitan Wellington with a Creamy Spinach Sauce), Desserts (Cinnamon-Scented Tiramisu), and Brunch (Sticky Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls).
Beautiful full-page color photos accompany many of the recipes. And at the bottom of each recipe you'll find "The Sporkie Scoop," made up of "For Your Smarts" ("Paprika is made by grinding dried chili pepper pods, and when the peppers are smoked for days, you get the rich taste of smoky paprika. . .") and "For Your Parts" ("Corn contains lutein, a carotenoid [meaning "natural color or pigment"] that promotes skin and eye health.")
The proof is in the recipes, of course. And our recipe site offers three recipes from Spork-Fed for you to try (you may as well order the book in the meantime; I have no doubt you'll be hooked):
Corn Cakes with a Smoky Paprika Sauce
Spicy Seitan Buffalo Wings
Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse with a Crunchy Topping
By the way, try this cookbook whether or not you're interested in veganism. I served Spork-Fed's Ginger, Maple and Mustard-Glazed Tempeh to a dozen guests last week (including just one vegan), and it was the highlight of the meal—unexpected and scrumptious.