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!

10 comments:

Zachary said...

I'm such a FoodTV junkie because I love watching people create food. I'd love to see these!

Zach

Dana said...

Thanks for the great review Jennifer. I will definitely consider purchasing this DVD. We don't have television access so I don't get to see cooking shows. I've been a Bryanna fan for 6 years or so and LOVE her seitan roast recipes. In fact, I made a "ham" one for Easter and posted it on my blog (http://kismetartlife.blogspot.com).

The Mad Tatter said...

"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." What a brilliant idea! I never thought of that! I just got your book and I LOVE it (and your website) and I can't wait to get started on making fabulous vegan lunches. I all too frequently fall back on the old-reliable: PB&J. Hugs to you and schmoo!

Lisa

Kate said...

Jennifer, I've been reading both your blog and Bryanna's for a long time and it seems like your food is very different than hers in that she tends to make veganized versions of "traditional" food, whereas your food tends to feature ingredients that look like what they are. Do you have a philosophy about this, or is it just easier?
thanks for your great recipes!

Nickie said...

Although I am not vegan, my preferences lean that way. I am continually amazed with your wonderful web site and have tried many of your recipes; most become family favorites, all are on my A-list. You have inspired me to eat better and also to make food that is visually as wonderful as it is to consume. This week I decided that I will buy your cookbook so just in case the computer goes down, I will have you handy.

Thanks, Jen and also to small Schmoo for your inspiration and always good read.

Sincerely, Nickie Gorsky

Roxy said...

I am so excited to get this DVD. I find cooking shows to be extremely entertaining, so this is perfect!! Thanks for the review!

Reba said...

Julie Hasson is in the vegan group I organize, Like A Vegan,(We're in Portland, OR) and she is a delightful person! I'm so glad you have nice things to say about her video!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>seems like your food is very different than hers in that she tends to make veganized versions of "traditional" food, whereas your food tends to feature ingredients that look like what they are. Do you have a philosophy about this, or is it just easier?

I don't know, I hadn't really thought about it like that. I love Bryanna's recipes and and have featured some of her dishes in my son's lunches. I guess I just have a different style.

Gaia said...

It is so great to read a review of the DVD and written by you, nonetheless !

I can't wait to watch it.
Now, when will we be able to watch *you* cooking on DVD ? :))))

Veg-a-Nut said...

Thanks for the great review. I love to watch the food network and see what i can veganize. I am excited to purchase this DVD. I watched a small segment and it was great.