Plum Bistro cookbook review by Recipe RenovatorThis is a beautiful vegan cookbook from one of the top vegan restaurants in Seattle. Inventive flavor combinations and some new techniques. We’ll be giving away a copy of this book at the end of the month.

If you are moving into vegan cooking, this would be a wonderful addition to your shelf. It’s hard cover, with a lovely matte finish, and the entire book is in full color. All recipes are labelled gluten-free and soy-free, if applicable, and the layout is very user-friendly. I was excited to see some new cooking techniques included. The book begins with Fundamentals (creams, cheeses, and other bases for her recipes), Beginnings (sweet and savory breakfast foods), Salads and Soups, Small Plates (appetizers and snacks), Tofu Tempeh and Seitan (main dishes), Transitional Raw (main courses), Pasta, Grains, and Desserts. "Egg foam" from Plum cookbook review on Recipe RenovatorI tried her “egg foam,” where she uses EnerG egg replacer whisked with water over a medium flame until it resembles cooked eggs. This technique intrigued me. I’m not sure if I overcooked it or not (a bit more instructions might have helped me) and the resulting chocolate crepes did not work. I did not have the specific gluten-free flour blend she recommended, so I added a little xanthan gum to mine (as she indicated). I also only had almond milk in the house, not soy. I am not sure whether to blame the crepe failure on these substitutions. The batter was extremely thick, I kept thinning it down and then it didn’t cook and got gummy.Plum chocolate crepes in the pan | Cookbook review by Recipe RenovatorI ended up making them as pancakes so we would have something for breakfast, and the flavor was good.Plum chocolate pancakes | Cookbook review by Recipe RenovatorNext I tried making her grilled pizza with arugula and pears, using a frozen crust (Udi’s brand), but making her basil walnut pesto, basil soy ricotta, and then grilling the pears and red onions and making her pizza as directed. The pesto was easy but a bit oily for my taste, the ricotta substitute was easy and tasty, although I didn’t understand the instructions to pulse it for 3-5 minutes, as it was done in about 30 seconds. The recipe instructs you to “crumble” the soy ricotta, but mine was very creamy and required dolloping. The resulting pizza was a bit too oily for my taste but we both really liked the flavors and I would never have thought to use my Foreman grill to make pizza.Plum arugular and grilled pear pizza | Cookbook review from Recipe Renovator

What I liked about this book:
Beautiful and user friendly. Great flavor combinations and inventive techniques. Gluten-free and soy-free options are clearly labeled.

I wasn’t so keen on:
I had some less-than-perfect results from the recipes I tried, but that could be because of my substitutions.

Recommended for:
Anyone looking for new plant-based recipes and inspiration for using fresh ingredients. Vegans.

Here’s the book if you want to peek inside:

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