I've had this book about 3 weeks and love it. It's such a treat to the senses - firstly from the soft luxurious cover to the nurturing opening chapters giving context and then the nourishing recipes. I wanted inspiration for nutritious vegan meals - we're veggie but I want to learn more about flavoursome food without lots of cheese or eggs. This book certainly delivers. I love how simple these recipes are and I've easily adapted them to the food in our house. So far we've had delicious onion bhajis, broccoli fritters, sweet potato chips. Potato, chickpea and spinach (or kale in our case) stew. The beetroot burgers are so so simple and delicious - I've added other vegetables too - even my fussy 3 year old eats them! The flatbread is tasty and again really quick and simple. The lemon cookies were lovely - I made them gluten free too and they disappeared very quickly. There are some seriously yummy sounding deserts. My book is full of sticky bookmarks as there's so many dishes I want to try. I'm already feeling a lot more confident with dried herbs. This is a fantastic wholesome vegan cookbook and I really recommend it.
The Mystic Cookfire: The Sacred Art of Creating Food to Nurture Friends and Family by Veronika Sophia Robinson, is the first 100% vegan cookbook we have discovered since we all committed to our plant based diet. The best thing about it is that is was a gift from a friend who even got the author to sign it for us.
I was surprised that the book is not obviously vegan or plant-based, and wonder whether that was a conscious decision so as to get the book into the mainstream and promote the plant-based diet without the social stigma that can often come with the word 'vegan'. There are great animal quotes throughout the book that makes me feel like my diet choices are actually helping the animals and the planet; which of course they are! Even if you are not a Vegan or Vegetarian, this will still be great if you are interested in natural flavours and interesting combinations.
Focus On One Key Ingredient
I love the idea of focussing on one key ingredient and enhancing it with herbs and spices. One recipe that I love is so simple but tastes amazing. It’s simply Broccoli with Himalayan Sea Salt, Garlic, vegan butter and Chilli. That’s is. All you do is stir fry the ingredients until the broccoli is tender and enjoy! I can easily eat a whole broccoli to myself with this recipe.
Family Recipe Book
It's a real family cookbook, written by a Mum who loves to cook for her family. The idea of treating the family meal as a sacred rite is appealing and I agree that eating together around the table is a very important part of family life.
The methods and instructions are just like you would expect to receive from a friend who is an experienced cook or chef; accurate, straight forward, no-nonsense, and clear.
Over the years I've used lots of recipe books and experimented with traditional, modern and celebrity recipes. Some are better than others and some you can tell have been thrown together without much development. I really got the impression with this book that the recipes had been tried and tested, reformed, and improved upon along the way. The great thing about this book is that every recipe we have tried so far has worked out great and suited our tastes. Many recipes use the same core ingredients that you can easily keep in your larder. The flavours have worked together well and the ingredient amounts haven't needed to be tweaked.
Room For Notes
I like to write in recipe books and there are plenty of spaces for me to do it in this one. I think that when you add your own ideas or additions and tweaks, it really personalised a book. We have also started to work out the nutritional values of the recipes and will be posting these soon.
A Chef's Perspective
I'm a chef so it's easy for me to pick up a book and make the recipes. But Rachael isn't, and she is the first to say she doesn't really like cooking. Rachael will be adding her own blog post about the book so you can get a different perspective but I can tell she loves it and everything she has made has turned out surprisingly well - lol. Our Pre-vegan diet consisted of the same boring meals week in week out, so it's been great to see Rachael enjoy trying new recipes and ingredients.
So if you are a chef looking to explore vegan recipes for your new menu, or someone who doesn't cook much but really wants to learn a balanced and healthy plant-based set of recipes, this book is for you.
It's Made It In Our Bag!
I love this book and it will be coming with us on our travels. We will be travelling light, just three items of luggage and a couple of small backpacks, but it really is so good enough to take up the valued space. With that in mind, we can 100% give this a double thumbs up and recommend it!
The author, Veronika Sophia Robinson, loves our quest and has generously given her permission to us to post a recipe from her book each month. So each month we will blog about a recipe we've tried and let you now how we got on.
Look out for the first recipe really soon on ou[...]
Thanks for reading, join in the conversation on Twitter and follow us on Instagram where you can have a look at what we have already cooked.
This book is one of the best cookbooks I have owned. Why? It is more than a cookbook, it's an affirmation of why we love to cook and the foods we eat, It is the bringing together of family and friends. It gives information on certain foods, history behind them and their healing properties. There are pages at the back to add your own recipes. This is my staple book for all my cooking. The kids love the vegan marshmallow brownies, the Bangkok Burgers, the Chickpea, spinach & potato curry is delicious. There are so many to choose from that, I have yet to cook them all. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED. I have brought many vegan/vegetarian cookbooks and with the exception of one other I have not used them at all. If you love your home, love to create delicious, wholesome, and easy to prepare (does not break your bank balance) food that will be loved by fellow vegans/vegetarians , as well as meat eaters...this is the book to buy.
This is a vegan cookbook - I am vegetarian, never been vegan, and my husband and son aren't even vegetarian. However we have ALL loved these recipes. The soups in particular are a revelation - sooooo tasty, wholesome and flavoursome. I can't see how anyone could dislike the food in this book! I also very much like how the book is about more than just recipes - the author includes ideas around digestion, setting up of a healthy environment to cook in, music, etc...reminding us to pause and savour what we're doing when we're cooking for ourselves or our loved ones. I treasure this book.
I love this book! It has a real homemade feel about it, which is lovely, but I did wonder how the recipes would hold up as it is not written by a 'professional' chef. However I can honestly say that every single thing I have made from this book ( and I have made lots) has turned out perfectly and has been absolutely delicious! We are vegetarian but not a vegan family and so sometimes I use dairy instead of the suggested alternative, but each time it works well and I have found all the recipes I have made to be flexible if I'm missing a certain ingredient.
All the food is family friendly and my young children have enjoyed every offering! Our favourite has to be the Aubergine and Chickpea curry. We have also tried things that we wouldn't usually eat and dishes that I have never cooked before.
The book is also lovely just to sit and read or have a flick through - like chatting to a friend, and although I don't share all of Veronika's beliefs it's an interesting and enjoyable read.
A must for any vegetarian family, but also extremely valuable to any family (vegi or not) that enjoys good food!
I have been toying with the idea of becoming vegan for a few years now, for both ethical and health reasons. But after several years as a (not very good) veggie in my teens, I have found the prospect very daunting and the thought of bland food keeps the idea on the back burner. That is, until i discovered The Mystic Cookfire. This book is fabulous. Every cookbook i buy claims to be crammed full of tasty, mouthwatering recipes but they never seem to live up to it. Amazingly this one does! Ive never been too sure what to 'do' with the likes of aubergines and lentils, but the recipes in the book are so easy and staightforward to follow that I'm eating lots of things i never have before. Ive only had the book a month or so but already have a couple of firm favourites. My other half is a dedicated carnivore and even he very much enjoys whatever i rustle up. There aren't any food photos in the book, which doesnt bother me in the slightest, but may some. I also love the quotes sprinkled throughout. Becoming a vegan is becoming much more of a reality now. P.s. The author also produces an alternative parenting mag that i can highly recommend too - The Mother
This book is a wonderful and inspiring read. As well as vegan recipes, Veronika has written some pieces at the beginning of the book about food, relationships with it, ideas for sharing recipes, setting the scene for eating, and creating a Zen kitchen, including a helpful list of ingredients. The layout is pleasing, with lovely illustrations placed throughout the text, some of people enjoying sharing or cooking food, and some simply of the vegetables featured.
The recipes are clear and straightforward, have hints about changing ingredients in places, and little insights about where the recipes originated, also indicating which are used regularly on 'The Mother' magazine's summer camp. The recipes read as though they are well tried and well loved. For this reason, the three I've tried so far (Marmalade and Ginger Cake, Marshmallow Brownies, and Quinoa Patties) have all been a delicious success.
As a long-time vegetarian, some-time vegan, and full-time dairy free cook, I know this book will be invaluable in my kitchen. Thank you, Veronika and family, for writing it.
A really excellent book, beautifully illustrated with easy to follow, nutritious vegan recipes which have cheap ingredients which are easy to source. I discovered it after my husband bought me a subscription to The Mother magazine which is run by Veronika the author of Mystic Cookfire.
The recipes are wonderful and inspiring. You really feel good both physically and mentally after preparing and eating the meals. The puddings are amazing and soups to die for!
My issue with it is the price hence four stars. I would have expected a hard back book for the money, as it is, it is getting a little careworn and I have only had it for two weeks! I think it is overpriced for what it is.