Veganish Review: Delicious, Nutritious Budget Recipes from Jack Monroe

Vegan recipes

Veganish is the fifth cookbook Monroe has published in as many years, and with this new book of recipes she’s at the top of her game. The food is delicious and nutritious, offering a creative range of meat and dairy substitutes. And – although people assume vegan food is expensive – the ingredients are nice and cheap. Monroe has built a career on budget recipes, and continues to offer all her recipes free online for those who need them; principles she has carried forward with Veganish.

Whether you’re a committed vegan, trying to get more fruit and veg in your diet, or looking to reduce your carbon footprint, Veganish has plenty to offer. Although Monroe touches upon the benefits to your health and the environment, the tone of this book is never preachy. While she eats mostly vegan food, it’s not a label that she claims or feels the need to push onto others. After all, Monroe’s core audience is people living in poverty and accessing food banks – people who do not always have the luxury of choice.

These recipes are delivered an invitation to try some lush food, not a lecture on ethics. Veganish is a world of culinary delights. Among them is the recipe for Come-to-Bed Parmigiana, the meal Jack used to woo Louisa Compton. Clearly something about this meal worked, because they’re now engaged to be married. So if you’ve invited a woman over and are worrying about what to feed her, this is a very good place to start.

Published right on time for Veganuary, this book is also a big help if you’re stuck trying to plan vegan meals. There are soups and sandwiches, dishes with pasta and rice and noodles, meals for sharing, and even roast dinner options. Veganish is full of treats, too. The breakfast section offers everything from brioche to pear and ginger pancakes. There are even two distinct chapters devoted to pudding and dessert.

However, the crown jewel of Veganish has got to be the fakeaways – cheap, healthy, and homemade alternatives to your fast food favorites. The Fake Bake puts a new, plant-based spin on one of Greggs’ most popular pastries. Seasoned Chick’n Poppers are a tasty replacement for Popeyes or KFC. And (my personal favorite) Crispy Chow Mein is a perfect substitute for Chinese takeaway.

Veganish has something for everyone. The straightforward instructions and unfussy ingredients mean that vegan food won’t feel like a chore or sacrifice. And – whether or not you lead a vegan lifestyle – these recipes will expand the range of dishes you rustle up in the kitchen.