When I met my husband, I was a vegetarian and had been for almost eight years. It wasn’t a moral decision; I just felt much healthier when I didn’t eat meat. I gradually started adding chicken and fish to my diet and by the time my first son was born, I had resumed eating almost every kind of meat. But I still do serve a lot more vegetarian meals than most families and I love introducing vegetarian delicacies to my family. So when I received three of the cookbooks from the Quick and Easy Vegan series by Alicia C. Simpson to review, I was excited to discover some new meatless dishes to enjoy.
I received Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food, Quick and Easy Vegan Slow Cooking and Quick and Easy Vegan Low-Cal Comfort Food to review. I had a great time browsing through the cookbooks but I eventually decided to make the All-Purpose Cupcakes found in Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food. There are few things more comforting than a cupcake and I was in the mood for something sweet, so I couldn’t resist.
Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food All-Purpose Cupcakes
- ½ cup shortening
- ¾ cup soy milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 2 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a twelve-muffin tin or line with paper liners.
- Cream the shortening with the milk, vanilla, sugar and applesauce.
- Combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Add the flour mixture ½ cup at a time to the creamed shortening mix, mixing well after each addition.
- Fill cupcake cups three-quarters full and bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool fully before frosting.
Reprinted with permission from Thomas Allen & Son Ltd.
The only real challenge in vegan baking is finding a substitute for the eggs and in this recipe applesauce does the job perfectly. There isn’t enough for it to be noticed in the cupcakes and it gives them a moist, rich texture. I substituted regular whole-wheat flour for the pastry flour and the cupcakes still turned out wonderfully. To keep the recipe vegan, I iced the cupcakes with a simple blend of shortening, icing sugar and soy milk. I added a bit of blue food colouring and a sprinkle of sugar just for fun.
These cupcakes really are perfect for dressing up. Not overly sweet and with a simple, hearty flavour, they are suited to all kinds of different toppings and decorations. And best of all, they’re delicious! The whole family enjoyed them and nobody missed the regular milk or the eggs. The Quick and Easy Vegan series has much more than just desserts, though! From hearty main dishes to tempting breakfasts to succulent slow-cooker meals, you’ll find all kinds of great vegan recipes to enjoy. Why not check out these great cookbooks for yourself and see just how easy eating vegan can be? Whether you’re already a vegetarian or you’re just looking for new meatless dishes to add to your regular menu, you’re sure to find plenty of recipes to love in these great vegan cookbooks.