A review by studiomikarts
The Unofficial Harry Potter Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary plant-based meals inspired by the Wizarding World, by Imana Grashuis, Tylor Starr

adventurous funny hopeful informative inspiring fast-paced

5.0

Absolutely five-star cookbook! For TL;DR: the recipes are delicious, the book beautiful, and the information about veganism and vegan cooking both helpful and inspiring!

If you're a Harry Potter fan, get this cookbook! It doesn't matter if you're not vegan, forget about the stereotypes, this food is indulgent and beautiful and absolutely satisfying. The good you'll be doing for animals, the environment, and your own health can just be considered bonuses! It's easy to forget, but the book itself is a beautiful showpiece as well, with a silky, embossed cover; patterned endpapers; well-organized, easy-to-read text; and full-page, color photographs included with every recipe.

Before I describe my experience with the half-dozen recipes I've already tried, here are some highlights from the other sections of the book:
  • Enthralling foreword by Evanna Lynch. If you're already vegan, your passion for the cause will be set ablaze ❤️‍🔥 For those who are veg-curious, you may be moved to finally take the next step!
  • Listing the reasons to go vegan and tying them to the Wizarding World we all know and love~
  • Vegan alternatives section that can help veganize any recipe or allow you to throw together a quick vegan meal without instructions.
  • Fun and helpful Kitchen Witch Tips. A bit too new age witch (spiritual/religious) and not enough fantasy witch (my view of the Wizarding World) for me, so I came up with my own versions because I did like the core ideas being presented (such as clean the kitchen before cooking, get as much light into the kitchen as possible when working, be mindful and grateful as you cook, etc.).
  • The appendix section that lists all recipes, including by which Harry Potter book they're from (such a good idea!), and the metric conversion page (I grew up with Imperial but I prefer metric for its precision!).

I made several recipes from this book for Thanksgiving this year and I was able to provide my family with a complete and magical vegan feast! In fact, I had to make some recipes the weekend after the holiday because I chose way more things than I could make 😅 Here's what I made and how it was:
  • Rabbit Food Grazing Board: So delicious, so filling, perfect for a big gathering or party! The grilled olives were an awesome, unusual addition that I loved, and it was treat to have pomegranate seeds for the first time since childhood (they went well with everything), but the star was the tzatziki sauce. I will make this sauce any time I want tzatziki from now on!
  • Dragon Roasted Nuts: These were a big hit with my entire family, one of the things people called out as particularly delicious. The best thing is, they have a flavor that is both seductively familiar and yet wholly unique. It's hard to stop eating them because you just want more and more of that enchanting taste!
  • Fang's Boarhound Treats: I made these as my pups' Thanksgiving treat and they LOVED them. Absolutely no hesitation or polite curiosity, just munch, munch, down the hatch! Being vegan, these treats are made with stuff humans wouldn't mind eating, like applesauce, peanut butter, and vegan yogurt. I might have to reserve one for myself next time...
  • Butterbeer Three Ways: For Thanksgiving, I chose to make the hot butterbeer and kept it warm in a small slow cooker. The only downside is the calculation necessary to quadruple the recipe, as it only serves two normally. This was another item that was particularly praised by everyone in my family!
  • Pumpkin Patch Brownies: SO INDULGENT. So rich and delicious~ To simplify the recipe, I replaced the cubed pumpkin, coconut oil, and gingerbread spices with canned pumpkin pie filling. It worked great (the pumpkin pie flavor sat evenly with the rich chocolate) and cut off at least a good half hour of cooking/prep work!

To make cooking easier for Christmas this year, we've ordered catering for the main meal, and I'm just going to make some desserts and drinks, several of them from this book, including the Apple Pie and Arthur's Eggnog 🤤 And there are so many holiday appropriate recipes still remaining, not just for the end-of-year holidays. How about Liquid Luck for New Year's? Amortentia for Valentine's Day? The Great Feast for Independence Day? Full Moon Cookies for Halloween? Not to mention Happee Birthdae Cake for all those special days! And there are plenty recipes more for whatever you're in the mood for, such as Cheery Owl Breakfast Donuts, Buckbeak's Stuffed Pumpkins, Coconut Snow Cones, Caramelized Devil's Snare, Ernie's Sandwich, Slithering Snake Ravioli, Polyjuice Potion, and Treacle Tart (Harry's favorite!).

I hope everyone will try this cookbook and enjoy all its magical offerings~!