A new vegan cookbook with a concept similar to 30 Minute Meals? Fifteen-year-old Food-Network-obsessed me was instantly drawn to this book, but then it really sealed the deal with its opening photo of whole vegetable tempura. Fifteen minute tempura after a long day of work? We’ll see.
Like most vegan books, it opens with why we cook vegan and what staples to consider for your pantry and kitchen tools. But what makes this book special is that it immediately goes into how to cook in 15 minutes in terms of workflow/overall planning, because that’s really what quick cooking is all about.
The look and feel of the recipes included are so high end for only taking 15 minutes. It gives speed tips throughout to help with individual recipes. The recipes and ingredient lists are refreshingly short and easy to follow. The design and photography are really high quality. The recipes are written from a British perspective, so they may say courgette instead of zucchini - but the measurements are in amounts Americans can easily understand. (Like cups and teaspoons.)
The range of recipes is nice, mostly American style that are very vegetable-centric. The desserts skew to the British side - scones, puddings, flapjacks - but they’re all easy enough (and tasty-looking) that you want to try them out.
It’s not particularly health-focused like a lot of newer vegan cookbooks - they include standard granulated sugar as ingredient instead of, say, coconut nectar or stevia. Or they just say “coconut yogurt” instead of just including a homemade version. Not everyone has time to make every single thing from scratch, and that’s part of the point of this book. For us, we like that mix of easy-to-find ingredients alongside more specialty books - so this is a plus from our perspective. Especially for new vegans, this might be a great thing to ease you into a more whole foods lifestyle.
My biggest pet peeve, though, happens in this book: not every recipe has a photo to go with it. Yes, there are tons of photos. But the two biggest factors that will get me to try a recipe are 1) a great photo and 2) an ingredient list that I might already have in my pantry & fridge. Luckily, this book is full of the latter, so it’s totally not a dealbreaker. It’s just a little thing that might put this lower on our favorites list than another book with a photo for every single recipe.
This book, though, would be the perfect addition to any kitchen where the cook (ahem, you and I) has very little time, or needs help with workflow or meal preparation. If you’re looking for a well thought out book filled with simple, quick-to-make recipes, 15 Minute Vegan is definitely for you. And yes, the 15 minute tempura works!
we also tried this smoky chickpea soup - it was so flavorful and quick to put together, and made enough for dinner and lunch the next day for two of us.
and we had to try a dessert recipe! there were more than a few microwave desserts in this book - we don't have a microwave, so I just put it in the oven at 350°F and baked it til golden, and it worked perfectly. a single-serving dessert is always necessary, and this one would be perfect with a scoop of ice cream.
where to get it
who this book is for
new vegans & busy vegans who want quick, healthy, whole-food meals
the best part
pretending to be on The Great British Baking Show while making the desserts
no, but seriously: the simple tips she gives to help you get faster in the kitchen
sticky nutmeg and date palmiers
sweet jacket potatoes with yoghurt, pomegranate, and toasted walnuts
mushroom and ale stroganoff
chocolate cherry mug brownie
caramelized red onion houmous
15 minute satay noodles
Recipe excerpted with permission from 15 Minute Vegan by Katy Beskow, published by Quadrille.
If you’re a lover of peanut butter, this bowl of creamy noodles is designed for you. With the perfect balance of heat, salt, and bitters, you’ll have this on your table before you can run out to grab a hot box!
For the sauce
4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
juice of 1 unwaxed lime
For the noodles
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
handful of sugar snap peas, halved
1 small carrot, finely sliced
2 spring onions (scallions), chopped
2 packs of soft ready-to-wok noodles (egg free)
2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
small handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
To make the sauce, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, and chilli flakes along with 200ml (7fl oz/scant 1 cup) cold water in a bowl. Whisk in the lime juice to form a smooth paste.
For the noodles, heat the oil in a wok over a high heat. When the oil is hot, throw in the vegetables and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes. Separate the soft noodles and add them to the wok. Pour in the peanut sauce and stir-fry for a further minute.
Sprinkle over the sesame seeds, coriander, and chilli. Serve immediately.