Irresistibly Vegan: Gourmet Dining
Elvira Rodriguez Alonso
Independently Published (2022)
Reviewed by Leigh Kimberly Zoby for Reader Views (12/2022)
Vegetarian/Vegan Chef and Restaurateur Elvira Rodriguez Alonso has created an extraordinary culinary masterpiece. With over thirty years of experience in the food industry, Chef Alonso introduces readers to her twenty-one most requested vegan gourmet menus. These menus include over one hundred individual recipes expertly paired to complement each other while tantalizing the taste buds. No matter if you are new to the vegan lifestyle and looking for a starting point or just want to expand your plant based meal options, “Irresistibly Vegan” will not disappoint.
“Irresistibly Vegan” is laid out in a reader friendly manner that is both foolproof and uncomplicated. This simplicity of organized menus gives confidence to beginner home cooks and can also be helpful to experienced restaurant chefs. Alonso covers the ingredients of a well-stocked vegan pantry and essential cookware needed in order to prepare delicious healthy meals for family and friends. Suggestions are made for staples to have on-hand for easy meal preparation. Affordable, easy to find ingredients are prevalent in the recipes with soy-free and gluten-free options.
Thoughtfully crafted mouthwatering photographs are spread throughout the pages to entice the reader while they gain the know-how to successfully recreate the recipes. I appreciate the helpful hints found while preparing recipes such as, “To separate rosemary and thyme leaves from their stems, run your fingers downward along each stem, against the leaves’ growth.” It is this user friendly approach and easy to follow directions that takes the intimidation out of gourmet cooking.
The menu sections are unique, with directions being written in preparation order to ensure both sides and the main course come out at the same time. For this reason, sometimes sides are noted before the main dish. I found this technique brilliant, especially for the inexperienced cook. Often I see the word gourmet and immediately think “nope, not for me” but in this instance that is not the case.
In preparing my review of “Irresistibly Vegan” I recreated three recipes to take to my book club. The recipes chosen were Stuffed Sweet Baby Peppers, Cauliflower Wings, and Spiced Apple Cranberry Cake. They were a huge success receiving numerous compliments and recipe requests. The recipes were simple to follow using colorful, tasty meat free ingredients. I am amazed by how fresh everything tasted. I recommend this book to restaurants hoping to broaden their menu as well as any person desiring to eat clean, sustainable, healthy meals.