The Cajun Vegan Cookbook: A Modern Guide to Classic Cajun Cooking and Southern-Inspired Cuisine

Krimsey Lilleth. Blue Star, $29.95 (250p) ISBN 978-1-950968-47-3
Louisiana native Lilleth, whose now-shuttered L.A. restaurant Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen touted itself as the world’s first to offer vegan Cajun cuisine, debuts with an uninspiring collection that claims to marry the “deep flavor” of New Orleans favorites with fresh ingredients. Far from fresh, many of these recipes simply insert replacement products: pistolettes are hollowed rolls stuffed with vegan beef crumbles, vegan cheddar cheese, nondairy milk, and broccoli, then brushed with vegan butter and baked. Meanwhile, corn dogs are battered and fried vegan sausage links. Her more successful dishes translate lusty Cajun flavors less literally—such as a salad that incorporates shredded kale, “blackened Cajun corn,” and coconut flake “bacon” bits. Disappointingly, the po’boys call for store-bought rolls, and two of the recipes are virtually identical. A section on seasoning and caring for one’s cast-iron skillet is useful, while another on equipment could be in any cookbook. The tone can be juvenile: the author calls eating boiled artichokes “zany and quirky,” and confesses she hates “squishy foods,” but that she “love[s] eating rainbow foods.” Though everything is free of animal products—down to the fat used to season cast-iron cookware—that isn’t enough to make the dishes feel modern, as she promises. This feels like a missed opportunity. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/14/2021
Release date: 10/26/2021
Genre: Lifestyle
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