Cookbook Review: Homestyle Vegan

We have been flirting with cold weather for a month here in Central Ohio, but this morning when I opened the door, I saw snow, and when I opened the weather app, forecasts are all in the 20s. That’s why I wanted to share Amber St. Peter’s new book, Homestyle Vegan, with you today. You may know Amber from her popular blog, Fettle Vegan. Amber delivers on homestyle recipes that will bring you back to your grandmother’s kitchen table.  These are the perfect recipes for cold, snowy days.

Homestyle Vegan is a great blend of homemade and simple.  In our vegan world, ‘homemade’ doesn’t always mean simple.  Cue all of the vegan cheese we’ve made from cashews and sprouted grains, being part of the food system from seed to fruit – including composting. A whole section in the book is dedicated to homemade pantry items, items that if you have time you should make them yourself, but can easily be replaced with the vegan store-bought versions.

Recipes like Green Bean Casserole, Biscuits ‘n’ Gravy, Lobster Mushroom Bisque, Rosemary Hot Chocolate and Holiday Nog make this book a classic. None of Amber’s recipes use soy-based ingredients, so that means faux meats and tofu are out, and veggies are in.  Music to my ears.  Most recipes are gluten-free, or can be easily modified to be gluten-free.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites - Vegan

Given the cold weather, I thought I’d warm us up with a recipe for Buffalo Cauliflower Bites from Homestyle Vegan.  Buffalo sauce became my go-to comfort food once I realized I actually liked some spicy foods. I’ve attempted to make cauli-wings before, but could never get them crispy.  This recipe calls for battering the cauliflower and pre-baking them, then coating them in buffalo sauce and baking them again.  It takes about an hour, but it’s so worth it and a really hands-off process so you can knit yourself a scarf while you’re waiting.

Homestyle Vegan's Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

  • Servings: 2 to 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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If you’re having company over, double the recipe. These cauliflower wings are too good to share! Thanks to Fettle Vegan (Amber St. Peter) for the simple recipe, featured in her new cookbook, Homestyle Vegan.

  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 cup  Frank’s RedHot sauce (or your preferred hot sauce)
  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you have an oven safe cooling rack, place that on top of the lined baking sheet and spray it with oil. This method makes it so you don’t have to constantly flip each piece of cauliflower.
  2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the almond milk, flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Dip the florets into the mixture, coating evenly. Tap off any excess batter and place the florets on the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, checking halfway through and flipping if you don’t use the cooling rack method described in step 1.
  4. While the cauliflower bites cook, heat the butter and hot sauce together in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts. When the cauliflower bites have cooked, pull them from the oven and, using tongs, carefully dip each floret completely into the hot sauce mixture and place it back on the baking sheet. Continue this until all the florets have been dipped. Bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, again flipping about halfway through if not using the cooling rack.
  5. When they’re finished, serve immediately with vegan ranch dressing and sliced vegetables or just enjoy as is!

Laura Lemon