Isa Chandra Moskowitz | Vegan With A Vengeance

Moskowitz peppers the book with little hints called “Punk Points,” and the occasional commentary, whether it’s on pizza dough, veganism on the Internet, or bake sales, which she blames for the results of the 2004 election: “I thought back to what the lefties did ‘wrong’ and the only thing that I could really put my finger on was this one ‘Baking against Bush” bake sale I went to. There were actually store-bought items, wrapped in plastic. Good people, that is not a bake sale.”

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(Marlowe & Company; 258 pgs; $17.95)

Plenty of things go together like the proverbial horse and carriage, and two of them are punk rock and veganism. With nonconformity as the backbone of each lifestyle, the intermingling is hardly a surprise—it’s not a far reach from hating a major label to despising a factory farm.

 

Isa Chandra Moskowitz does her part in her first cookbook, Vegan With a Vengeance, to keep these ties bound. Co-host of the Brooklyn-based public access show The Post Punk Kitchen, Moskowitz swims in the do-it-yourself ethos, offering up recipes that require a little effort, something even vegans, with the variety and availability of prepackaged animal-friendly foodstuffs growing all the time, are not always so eager to give. As Moskowitz writes in her introduction, “It seems that many vegans depend on store-bought processed food. Of course, I indulge in frozen veggie burgers now and then, but that’s not the point.”

Near the beginning of the book, there’s a small primer of sorts to help the wayward gourmet prepare strategies, offering up a pantry list and kitchen tool guide, a useful collection of information that makes easy work of setting up shop. With recipes spanning 16 years, Vegan With a Vengeance is organized in the usual progression of the day’s eating habits, starting with brunch ideas and then moving all the way down to desserts. Moskowitz’s recipes are enticing, and include such wonderfully tasty dishes as Tofu Scramble, Tempeh Bacon, Millet and Spinach Polenta with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, and a Ginger-Macadamia-Coconut-Carrot Cake. The latter, while flawless, is unfortunately not accompanied by an icing recipe, which requires a little work to hunt one down to finish off the recipe.

Moskowitz peppers the book with little hints called “Punk Points,” and the occasional commentary, whether it’s on pizza dough, veganism on the Internet, or bake sales, which she blames for the results of the 2004 election: “I thought back to what the lefties did ‘wrong’ and the only thing that I could really put my finger on was this one ‘Baking against Bush” bake sale I went to. There were actually store-bought items, wrapped in plastic. Good people, that is not a bake sale.”

Fortunately, next time such an event rolls around, Moskowitz has provided a healthy stockpile of pastry ammo. And, even when there’s not so much on the line, Vegan With a Vengeance is a fitting addition to any kitchen that values freshness over formula and anyone thinking behind Rachel Ray’s smile lurks an animal’s frown. marlowepub.com

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