posts may contain Amazon affiliate links, which earn me a small commission when you buy (but doesn't cost you anything extra). Occasionally I receive free products and/or run sponsored posts—this will always be stated clearly in the post. Thank you for supporting this blog.

This website contains some quotations, excerpts, and screen clips from copyrighted material. These uses fall well within the copyright doctrine of "Fair Use".
Sunday, August 21, 2011

cookbook review: Vegan Diner by Julie Hasson + Banana Blondies

Classic Comfort Food for the Body and Soul

Author: Julie Hasson
Publisher: Running Press
Soft Cover: 192 Pages
Photos: yes

Chapters/Sections:  Introduction, The Vegan Pantry, Breakfast, Breads, Soups, Salads, & Sides, Main Courses, Desserts, Sauces & Incidentals, Resources

Unique Features:  The Vegan Pantry for definitions and explanations of ingredients that virgin-vegans and carnivores may not be familiar with and the Resources page to tell us where to find said ingredients.

(a few of the) Recipes Destined for my Kitchen:  Cinnamon Orange Rolls, Mocha Java Cake, Diner Donuts, Rosemary Sandwich Rolls, Smoky Spinach and Tomato Salad, Brown Rice Hazelnut Burgers, Pastrami-Style Seitan Roast, Rockin' Reubens, Quick and Hearty Chili, Biscuits and Creamy Sage Gravy, Malted Waffles

My Thoughts/Review:  I love the photos and the fact that everything does sound like good ol' comfort food.  As with all vegan cookbooks I've come across, there are some unusual (to me) ingredients that I don't stock readily in my pantry.  But when planning a vegan meal, it would be well worth it to get my hands on something different!  Very inviting, easy to read, and not at all intimidating.  Is it any surprise that the breads in here are my favorite part of the book?  I thought not.  Definitely recommended for those looking to delve into the meatless side.

Recipe I have already tried:  Banana Breakfast Bars Blondies Cake
Banana Cake 
Yes, these are actually entitled Banana Breakfast Bars and described as Banana Blondies...but personally, they seem more like a good cake...they kind that doesn't need any frosting.  Very tasty.
slightly adapted from Vegan Diner

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. flaxseed meal, preferably golden (I used brown)
2 tsp. baking powder
⅛ tsp. fine sea salt
1 c. puréed ripe bananas (2-3)
½ c. canola oil
½ c. granulated sugar
½ c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. nondairy semisweet chocolate chips (I cheated)*
*or substitute toasted, chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spray a 9" x 13" pan with cooking spray.

Whisk together flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, whisk together bananas, oil, and both sugars.  Add flour mixture, mixing until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Spread batter in prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is golden brown and sides are starting to pull away from pan.  Place on a wire rack and cool completely.  Cut into bars to serve.
about the author:   Julie Hasson is the author of the new cookbook Vegan Diner. She has 20 years of experience in the food industry, including attending UCLA’s Culinary Arts/Professional Chef program, working at the famed Patina restaurant, and serving as a private chef for celebrities and high-profile clients. Julie opened the original Babycakes Bakery (a wholesale bakery that supplied Los Angeles restaurants and coffee houses with artisan baked goods), authored 6 cookbooks (Vegan Diner, The Complete Book Of Pies, 125 Best Cupcake Recipes, 125 Best Chocolate Chip Recipes, 125 Best Chocolate Recipes and 300 Best Chocolate Recipes), has contributed extensive articles and recipes to Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times, and Family Fun magazines, and is also the host of the popular Internet cooking show “Everyday Dish.” Julie has been featured on The Cooking Channel, Better, Better Portland and Martha Stewart Radio, and was one of the hosts of the cooking show 15 & Done.  Julie currently runs a hip little food cart called Native Bowl, in Portland, Oregon with her husband Jay.

*I received a free copy of this book to review from the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.
I am sharing this post with:

Would you like to comment?

  1. wow... You are scoring some terrific cookbooks recently!!! Just on principle I have issues with vegan, and wonder about the longterm issues... but I do know that "Vegan" is one of the most searched words on eRecipeCards.

    Great review. I especially like the list of dishes you wanted to make as well. Nice little touch the publisher should like.

    And the bars/cake does look delicious!

  2. I like this one. I am going to try incorporating more meatless in our rotations...not just for saving money but it's way healthier. Nice review :-0

  3. The cover on this book is seriously cute and definitely draws me in. I don't mind eating vegan either and would do it more often if some of the hard to find ingredients were more readily available. The banana bars look delicious and I certainly don't blame you for subbing regular chocolate chips!

  4. I love eating vegan and especially love the idea of vegan comfort food! I went to a diner Friday night at an ungodly hour and it was amazing to me how non-veg friendly they were! Just have to get this book and whip some of my favorite diner items up at home!

  5. As a veg. myself I'm always interested in veg. food, but to be honest - I'm not into cooking much, I prefer baking :) which is why I love the banana blondies/cake that you baked :) It looks very moist and delicious.

  6. I am a veggie.. And am trying to move to be a vegan.. Love the idea.. :) Awesome banana cake Heather :)

  7. Lovely post and that recipe is very similar to the one I used to make for my boys.

  8. Looks and sounds great Heather. I watched the end of the season show Food Network Star and "Susie" didn't get it but she'll be back. The "Sandwich Man" won. He is good too. I still say that you should enter their next Food Network Start. They are taking applications right now. I can see you cooking up a storm on FN. I would for sure watch you. Give it a stab, it doesn't hurt to try. This of this, if you won, your life would never be the same. You and your family would be set for life. Listen to me. Here I go again telling people what to do. Tee hee. Have a great week Heather. Always love what you have, take care.

  9. this looks like something my husband would love...

  10. I love reading all your review post and it's amazing to see how you enjoy reading these books and share with us.

  11. Great review. I have seen this book and thought it looked great. I have amassed quite a little collection of vegan-friendly ingredients so no worries there. ;-) These little cakes look perfect.

  12. That last photo makes my mouth water!!

  13. @Gloria... I know, I know. Susie, Jeff, and Vic were actually my prediction for top 3 w/ Susie and Jeff coming in top 2 (am I good or what). I loved Susie, but really loved Jeff, I really didn't care who won- though I was hoping for a tie ;). Yes, I need to get a video camera so that I can make a 3-minute video of myself...that's a requirement for entering. You put that seed in my mind a while would definitely change my life. Thanks for your confidence ;)

  14. Very rich and healthy food, I have two cousins ​​who are strict vegans, I will teach your page, loving hugs.

  15. I have some nieces and nephews with severe food allergies and have learned to cook vegan for celebrations when they are present. The food is delicious and the parents don't have to worry about what the kids are snatching from the table. Grand review, Heather - always fun to try something new.

  16. I've been a vegetarian for years, and have recently flirted with the idea of going vegan -- my problem is that I love yogurt, and the vegan alternatives are pretty awful, imo.

    This book sounds great; thanks for the helpful review!

  17. Although I am not a vegan, the cookbook seems very interesting that I even want to keep a copy.

  18. awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks.

    My blog:
    agence rachat credit

  19. Great review and really who doesn't like banana cake, yum.

    You have to make a vid, you'd be awesome of next FN star. chuls and I were pulling for susie, but we also thought jeff was too cute. glad he won,hope he does well!

  20. Banana bread sounds like a winner for tonight. Looks delicious.

  21. Book looks interesting. I have been looking for a good vegan recipe book.