Chloe Coscarelli is name you may know. She shocked viewers a couple of years ago when her vegan cupcake creations beat out all the traditional treats, crowning her the victor on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.Last fall, while scrolling through recipes on her beautiful blog
I saw that Chloe was working on her first book, Chloe’s Kitchen
. I started to imagine all the recipes for beautiful vegan cakes, cookies and tarts that she would share. I anticipated a review full of pictures of swirled frosting, glistening glazes and colourful sprinkles. After all, she convinced the culinary world that vegan desserts are not just as good, but better than their egg and dairy-laden rivals.But just like when she surprised the confident contestants she surpassed on Cupcakes Wars, with the arrival of Chloe’s new book she blew my mind, not with cupcakes (although those looked good too), with the most incredible savoury dishes my kitchen has seen in years. Chloe’s recipes enticed me with bold spices, simmered stews and creamy sauces.
I usually read new cookbooks from back to front – always starting with the desserts. Chloe does share some stunning sweets but by the time I had reached the front cover all I could think about was tempeh, chickpeas and curry.
Chloe’s cookbook is a comprehensive collection of interesting vegan appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, sides, entrees and desserts. You’ll surely find something you can’t wait to whip up. I had a terrible time narrowing down my to-dos.
It has been a bit of a funny Spring in Toronto with huge temperature fluctuations. One day I’m wishing I had brought flip flops for the walk home and the next I’m pulling on my gloves and tying up my scarf. A warming bowl of Chana Masala made all the seasonal madness melt away.
This week for lunch I enjoyed Chloe’s Curried Lentil Spinach and Apple Stew. What a beautiful, colourful meal. The butternut squash and lentils make it satisfying and the apple adds just a hint of sweetness.
I stayed on the spice train with this Saag Aloo. This may be the best curry recipe I’ve ever had – and remember I spent a month in India last year – the creamy, cashew-based sauce is incredible. Chloe’s recipe actually called for russet potatoes but I prefer sweet so I stuck with that selection and enjoyed every bite.
The Tempeh Piccata with capers, parsley and onion is such a great departure from my regular recipe rotation. Served beside some blanched broccoli, this dish is dinner party perfect.
I was still on a chickpea kick from the hummus experiment
from the other week so I decided to try Chloe’s Falafel Sliders
with Avocado Hummus
and Tahini Sauce
. I didn’t find any tiny buns so I served them up in my avocado wraps
instead. Yeah, I hope you get this from the picture, you must make these. I’ve been eating the leftover hummus and tahini sauce on everything. Don’t judge, you will too.
Finally, I did try one of Chloe’s desserts, her hearty Yoga Cookies. I made them last week with the help from my niece and nephews unfortunately in between headstands and tree poses all those cookies disappeared. I didn’t get a taste or a picture. But those four little yogis sure seemed pleased.
When you pick up your copy of Chloe’s Kitchen
, I know you’ll be delighted and surprised by how she packed so much delicious into just 125 recipes.
If you’re wary of another cookbook investment, I suggest you weigh the pros and cons while scrolling through the recipes on Chloe’s blog