The Vegan Table: Stylish Cookbook with 200 Recipes for Entertaining & Dinner Parties

The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasion (Fair Winds Press, ISBN 978-1592333745) is the second cookbook from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, the author of the much-praised The Joy of Vegan Baking. As its name suggests, The Vegan Table is about serving food to guests, whether it’s a romantic dinner for two or a big party.

The book has the appearance of an impressive coffee table book. The layout is both stylish and convenient and there are full-color photos of almost every recipe. There are so many recipes it can be a bit overwhelming at first.

Somewhat confusingly, the book is not divided into food categories but into menu suggestions, so appetizers, main dishes, dips, drinks, baked goods, and desserts are scattered throughout the book. This reviewer would have preferred the traditional approach with different types of foods in their own sections.

Contents
Despite what you might expect, The Vegan Table is not really a “gourmet” cookbook. Some of the dishes are quite fancy – like the purple potatoes filled with cashew cream and walnut sage breadcrumbs – but mostly it is more like tasty homestyle cooking, occasionally with an ethnic flair. There are also holiday recipes from Passover to Christmas.

No exotic gourmet or vegan ingredients are needed, though some a bit surprising ingredients like tempeh make frequent appearances. Most recipes don’t take particularly long to make, though those that do are clearly listed as “advanced preparation required”. The majority of the dishes are healthy and some can be made completely fat-free.

The book makes a very finished and polished impression. It has got everything! The recipes are detailed and include metric conversions of U.S. measures, nutritional information, tips and other information. Allergy information is listed under the title of every recipe. There are generally no adaptation ideas for recipes, however.

There is also a wealth of information about cooking in general, as well as throwing different types of parties, including preparations, decorations, toasts and even edible flowers.

Recipe Test Results
The Cuban black bean soup was hearty and the banana flavor did not come through too much, but it was a bit on the bland side. Mashed potatoes with caramelized onions turned out tasty. The onion, caramelized according to the instructions, could perhaps have been slightly
softer.

The beetroot bundt cake with its whopping one pound of pureed beetroot was very tasty with a lovely red color, although even baking it a little extra time resulted in a cake so moist and dense that some might have called it under-baked.

The real star of the tested recipes was the broccoli with garlic “butter.” Even with using the listed amount of sauce and a little less broccoli it seemed like there could have been more sauce, but it was absolutely fantastic nonetheless.

Overall this reviewer was happy with the recipes, but personally would probably try them out before serving at a fancy party.