Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Shmoo Review: Everyday Dish
If you are a visual learner nothing beats watching a teacher demonstrate what they are trying to teach you. Case in point: cookbooks versus cooking shows. Some of us have a hard time looking at a written recipe and grasping what the cook is talking about, or what the finished recipe is supposed to look like.
If this sounds like you, I’m happy to report that there are plenty of great DVDs and cooking shows out there to introduce you to vegan cooking. In fact, three of my favorite vegan chefs recently sent me a copy of their new vegan cooking DVD, Everyday Dish: Vegetarian and Vegan Meals for Everyone.
Well-known cookbook authors Dreena Burton, Bryanna Clark Grogan, and Julie Hasson have teamed together to create this instructional DVD of 15 vegan recipes, including goodies like Hummus Tortilla Pizza, Lemon Lime Bars, and Triple Chocolate Pudding. The entire DVD is shot in the same gorgeous, well-appointed kitchen, and by the end of the show I felt I’d spent a cozy afternoon in this kitchen cooking with friends.
Although all three of the chefs were charming to watch, I thought Bryanna’s recipes most benefited from the visual format. Many of her recipes require a lot of preparation and call for ingredients that even long-time vegans might be unfamiliar with, like raw wheat gluten, agar, and TVP. If you have never made something like a gluten roast, it’s quite helpful to be able to watch one developing and see what it looks like when it’s done.
Another benefit of cooking DVD versus written recipe is catching all those little tips and tricks experienced cook use but don’t write down in their recipes. Dreena demonstrates how to handle a food processor without making a mess; Bryanna shows you the best way to open silken tofu. They both had me thinking, "Gosh, why didn’t I think of that?"
I would recommend that before you watch this show for the first time you insert the DVD into a DVD-ROM and print all the recipes. That way you can follow along and take notes on the recipes as you watch. Having copies of the recipes will also give you an idea of the quantities involved, as there is mostly no mention of exact amounts during the recipe demonstrations.
If you learn best by watching, are new to vegan cooking, or just enjoy watching cooking shows, the three accomplished vegan chefs of Everyday Dish are here for you!