Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Betty Does: Beefless Stroganoff

UPDATE: Compassionate Action for Animals posted my review of Betty Goes Vegan.

I finished the Vegan Eats World review for Compassionate Action for Animals (you can read it here)! After exploring French, Korean and Latin American cuisines, I thought it best to return to my roots for my next cookbook review. Enter Annie and Dan Shannon's Betty Goes Vegan. My mom had the orange Betty Crocker Cookbook with the full color photos I would page through drooling over the various colorful beverages and desserts as a kid. I would imagine myself as an adult serving frothy colorful beverages in strange shaped glasses to wash down fancy appetizers like the spaceship-like cheese orbs. I was a very popular hostess in my young imagination.

In the introduction to Betty Goes Vegan, that popular hostess is revealed as the inspiration of author Annie Shannon. She talks about adoring the image of Betty Crocker as the woman who does it all "with a smile and faux pearls." Let's be honest, that's not me, but many of the recipes in Betty Goes Vegan harken back to my childhood family dinners (perhaps it is because Betty Crocker was "born" in Minnesota (Minneapolis at General Mills to be exact.))

Beefless Stroganoff p.244
The first recipe I tested was Beefless Stroganoff (page 244) because of fond memories of eating this dish at the table in the kitchen with my family as a kid. Stroganoff is a Russian dish, but popular in many nordic countries. With its rich sour "cream" based "meaty" sauce served over a bed of pasta or potatoes, its no wonder cold climates (including my hometown on Minnesota's Iron Range) gravitate toward this hearty dish. Growing up it was about as non-vegan as a dish could be featuring beef and gravy with sour cream over egg noodles. It was also one of the recipes my mom made from that big orange Betty Crocker Cookbook, so I was excited to see how Betty Goes Vegan's version compared.

Why hello, Stroganoff!
The Betty Goes Vegan recipe is more sophisticated than the stroganoff I remember as a kid with red wine and fresh parsley brightening up the hearty, creamy dish. Piling on the portobellos and sliced olives instead of beef, the Betty Goes Vegan recipe doesn't feature a mock meat like many of the other recipes in the book. Instead of salt and worcestershire sauce, Betty Goes Vegan subs in a generous amount of Bragg's liquid aminos making the hubby remark on the saltiness and  2 teaspoons of blacked pepper (I couldn't believe that was accurate and cut the amount in half.) The dish was better the next day when the sauce had a chance to thicken and the flavors develop even more. If I made it again, I might try adding the flour in the Betty Crocker original recipe which would thicken the sauce and add a little more sour cream. All in all, I appreciated the ease of making the dish and the accessibility of the ingredients, and could see myself tinkering around with the recipe again.    


  1. oh the book for christmas- have you tried her goulas? to die for!

  2. Jovana - thanks for the tip! I'll definitely try it out.