Lucy is a force for good on her Instagram; sharing vegan tips and recommendations to encourage her fans to try a more plant-based and cruelty-free lifestyle.
Having followed Lucy for a number of years, I didn’t need much persuading to purchase her recipe book ‘Feed Me Vegan’, which has received great reviews online.
The question is – does it live up to the reviews and is it worth shelling out your hard earned cash for?
The book has been read, a selection of recipes tried and tested, and so without further ado, here is my comprehensive and independent review of Feed Me Vegan by Lucy Watson.
The book itself was always going to appeal to me – you can see from the front cover that it’s going to be very ‘Instagrammable’ in its style. The design is tasteful with beautiful photos taken in a stunning studio. The food styling is also on point.
The focus of this book is on vegan comfort food with veganised versions of classic meals such as pancakes, pizzas, lasagne, burgers, curries and cakes. It’s got all of the popular choices that us Brits tend to serve up but it doesn’t seem ‘samey’; Lucy clearly has a flair for flavour and the recipes really nail this down.
Take the fairly nondescript sounding ‘Hot Chocolate’ recipe for example, which includes cacao (standard), cinnamon (nice twist), amaretto (oh yeah) and Baileys (GOOD LORD). If I hadn’t just polished off my bottle of vegan Bailey’s Irish Cream I would have nailed that recipe.
What skill level is it targeted at?
I get the impression that this is targeted towards new plant-based eaters but it will easily appeal to longer-standing vegans too, there really is something for everyone in this book.
What do I like the most?
The design, it’s beautiful to look at. None of the recipes are overly daunting which is also great when you’re looking for something quick and easy for dinner.
What would I change?
To be honest not a lot. It states ‘comforting vegan recipes for all your favourite meals’ on the front and it delivers that perfectly.
On to the recipes…
I picked four recipes to try (the fam had a good feed that day!): Banana and Buckwheat Pancakes, Black Bean Chilli, Mushroomy Mac ’N’ Cheese and the Lemon and Yoghurt Loaf Cake.
Banana and Buckwheat Pancakes
First impressions? The recipe is short and looks easy to make. Plus I’ve got a bag of buckwheat flour I bought and then forgot to use so…
How complex was the recipe? Easy peasy! Basically smoosh some bananas, throw in the rest of the ingredients, whisk and then cook for three mins on each side resulting in perfectly fluffy pancakes with delicious crispy bits around the outside.
How did it taste? Very good. The buckwheat flour smelt quite earthy in the packet but this didn’t come across in the flavour; they were lovely and sweet.
What would I change? If I had to pick something, I’d say that they were ever so slightly dense so it’d be nice to lighten them up a bit. To be honest that didn’t really bother me, it’s just that they look fluffier in the pan than they turn out to be.
I’d make this recipe a serves three rather than two because they were SO FILLING. Having said that, I chucked the spare pancakes in the freezer for another day so #winner
What is this recipe good for? Lazy Sunday mornings.
Rating out of 10? A solid 8/10 – I’ll definitely be making them again!
Black Bean Chilli
First impressions? The recipe looks like a fairly standard bean chilli, not overly complicated so it might be good for a weeknight meal.
How complex was the recipe? Pretty easy. There were a few steps but nothing complicated – sauté onion, garlic and chilli with the spices, add beans and tomatoes and simmer for 15 mins.
How did it taste? A decent chilli, quite mild (it only uses one jalapeño chilli) but a good hearty meal. It was accompanied by a pickled red onion relish of sorts which was absolutely genius – it took just a few minutes to make and tasted like actual pickled onion. Shook.
What would I change? The cooking time was out for me, which of course could be down to equipment differences. I like my chilli to have a nice thick sauce but after the allotted 15 minute cooking time it was still quite watery. I ended up cooking mine for about 45 minutes to my desired consistency.
I’d also add more chilli for a little bit more punch but that’s totally down to personal preference.
What is this recipe good for? I think this would work really well in the slow cooker for a weeknight meal.
Rating out of 10? 7/10
Mushroomy Mac ’N’ Cheese
First impressions? The dish looks nice but doesn’t scream ‘make me’! It certainly sounds interesting though with the use of wild mushrooms.
How complex was the recipe? It wasn’t complex but it was slightly more involved that the others. There were a few steps including pre-cooking the macaroni, frying off two types of mushrooms with some herbs and making a béchamel sauce.
How did it taste? My excitement level got to a 10 when I reached step three and started frying the wild mushrooms in garlic and fresh thyme. Have you ever experienced that aroma? If not, then you need to get on it.
Once I’d added the reserved mushroom ‘sauce’ to the béchamel I knew this recipe was on to a winner. The taste did not disappoint, it was abso-blinkin-lutely fantastic. Like SERIOUSLY good. To be perfectly honest the book is worth buying just for this one recipe.
What would I change? Nothing, it’s perfect.
If you’re holding my arm behind my back forcing me to say something then I think you could actually get away with cooking this for half the time or just dishing it up and popping it under the grill to melt the cheeze topping. It tried mine before it even went in the oven and it was beautiful.
What is this recipe good for? Comfort-foods-ville. Like a ‘the other half is away and I want to sit on the sofa with a dish of Mac and back-to-back episodes of Teen Mom’ kind of an evening.
Rating out of 10? 10/10. No hesitation.
Lemon and Yoghurt Loaf Cake
First impressions? I like lemon. I like yoghurt. I like cake. This sounds glorious.
How complex was the recipe? This was a really easy recipe to make. Sift your dry ingredients, add your wet ingredients, whisk, bake. The baking on the other hand was a little trickier with a possible bake time from 35-50 minutes.
How did it taste? The loaf itself had a mild lemon flavour and was super moist. The yoghurt topping was a great idea and used yoghurt instead of butter to make an icing. Mine turned out a little too sweet, which was down to my choice of yoghurt I think.
What would I change? Sadly the cooking time didn’t work for this recipe in my oven. The recipe calls for 35-50 mins. Mine took longer than this; around 55 minutes until the skewer came out clean.
After cooling in the tin for 10 minutes it started to collapse and on serving I could see that it wasn’t fully cooked. I estimate a cook time of around 65 minutes in total was needed at 160C fan. Everyone’s oven cooks differently of course so I can only comment on how the recipe worked in mine and you may not have the same problem.
What is this recipe good for? This would be a lovely Saturday afternoon treat with a cup of tea.
Rating out of 10? 5/10 – only because of the cooking time issue.
What a cracker of a book! It delivers exactly what it sets out to – classic comfort food made vegan.
Nothing seems too complex and the recipes look logical and straightforward. This is a really great book for a new or relatively new vegan who has some experience in the kitchen.
Three out of the four dishes I tried were brilliant and that Mushroomy Mac ’N’ Cheese was TO.DIE.FOR.
Don’t hesitate – this is a fantastic choice of cook book and a great one to have on hand ready for week night meal inspiration or weekend comfort food.
If you try the book let me know what your favourite recipes are so I can try them too! Leave me a comment below or head on over to my Instagram @aveganvisit and get in touch there, I’d love to hear from you.
This is an honest review and not a sponsored post or using a gifted item. If there are any other vegan cook books or products that you’d like me to review, just send me an email (I don’t need much persuading!).