As a vegan, sometimes you just want to toss one back, you know? It is not always fun to deal with stupid comments about plants feeling pain and the supposed protein deficiencies of herbivores so it’s nice to have something to take the edge off once in a while. With The Tipsy Vegan: 75 Boozy Recipes to Turn Every Bite Into Happy Hour, you can forget your worries in a plate of French toast (sloshed up with a little cognac) or sesame noodles (soused with rice wine). The fun here is that every recipe is a little indebted to booze. Who says that vegans don’t know how to have a good time anyway?
Written by John Schlimm, a descendant of one of the oldest brewing families in the U.S., The Tipsy Vegan is divided into eight surprisingly elegant chapters: Plastered Party Starters, Boozy Soups, Staggering Salads, The Guzzlers Garden of Side Dishes, Brunch Buzz, The Lush’s Lunch, Sloppy Suppers and Drunken Desserts, all enhanced with a little hooch, from tequila (in his fried avocadoes recipe) and vodka (in gazpacho) to Marsala (a wee bit in his fantastic looking omelet recipe). Even wholesome blueberry pie gets a boozy makeover with a splash or two of triple sec.
With beautiful, vivid photography and a refreshingly lucid tone despite the focus on spirits, the The Tipsy Vegan is already a winner, but with a cookbook, no matter how fun the novelty, the recipes are what it’s all about, of course. This cookbook does not disappoint. An efficient but muscular little book, the recipes featured here are largely variations on classics but full of fun, flavor and spark. The booze isn’t added as an afterthought but as an integrated, key facet of the recipe.
Breakfast will never after Party Monster Pancakes, tweaked with a little amaretto. Or the new take on a forgettable old classic, Sparkling Fruit Salad, buzzed with champagne. Take the Tippler’s Hot + Sour Soup, zinged up with a little rice wine. How about Hot Toddy Tofu with Shiitakes, made tipsy with dry sherry? Afterwards, try one of the refreshing sorbet recipes, shot through with complementary liquor brandy, vodka, tequila or more. Yes, you might slur a little after a meal but what of it? Stay home and enjoy a light buzz.
I recommend The Tipsy Vegan as a fun, light cookbook with an interesting hook and creative recipes.
Tired of the same ol’, same ol’ hummus? Enjoy a bit of hooch-infused smoky hummus with this recipe.
Carousing Cucumber Rounds with Rummy Hummus
These little ditties will have you and your guests spinning round, round, round while the good times roll. The crunchy cucumbers cool down the assertive and spicy, lightly rummy hummus, bringing balance and satisfaction to your tummy.
1 (14-ounce) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained thoroughly
2 canned chipotle peppers, stemmed if necessary, with a teaspoon of the adobo sauce they were canned with (add more peppers, if desired)
1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini (mixed well before measuring)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white rum (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 large English (seedless) cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped at the supermarket)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted in a dry skillet just until golden brown
In a medium bowl, place the chickpeas, chipotles, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, white rum, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Puree with an immersion blender, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, about 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Or use a standing blender (see note below).
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the cucumber skin lengthwise at 1/4-inch intervals to create a striped pattern around the circumference of the cucumber and slice it crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds. If the cucumber skin is tough, peel the entire cucumber. Arrange the cucumber discs on a platter.
To assemble, just before serving, lightly salt the cucumber rounds. Top each round with a generous teaspoon of hummus. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Yield: About 35 Hors D’oeuvres
Note: don’t be tempted to use a food processor to make this spread because you won’t get that perfectly smooth texture.
From the book The Tipsy Vegan by John Schlimm. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2011. www.dacapopresscookbooks.com