Review: Sheet Pan Suppers Vegetarian by Raquel Pelzel

Sheet Pan Suppers Vegetarian: 100 Recipes for Simple, Satisfying, Hands-Off Meals Straight from the Oven
by Raquel Pelzel
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: Oct. 3, 2017
Genre: Cookbook
Rating:

The magic of Sheet Pan Suppers is back, bringing its inspired one-pan approach to vegetarians, flexitarians, vegans, those following a gluten-free diet, and everyone who’s interested in adding delicious, meatless meals to their repertoire.

Not only is cooking on a sheet pan incredibly easy and convenient, but it uses three techniques—roasting, baking, or broiling—that intensify flavors, resulting in vegetable-forward cooking that has never tasted so good.

And never has cooking on a sheet pan been so creative. Here’s how to cook pasta in a sheet pan—like No-Boil Mac and Cheese or Orzo with Pan-Roasted Tomatoes, Lemon, and Mozzarella. How to cook soups, salads, and stews in a sheet pan—including Roasted Tomato Gazpacho with Toasty Croutons, Chickpea and Squash Stew with Crispy Tofu, and Sweet Potato, Arugula, and Pecan Salad. Plus here’s how to make chips (Sesame-Miso Kale Chips), pizzas, pot pies, vegetable braises, risottos, polenta, granola. And desserts, of course, from a Pear Galette to Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Squares to an incredible vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Amazingly convenient, amazingly versatile, amazingly tasty, Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless reinvents plant-based cooking, making it easy for everyone to put vegetables front and center at the family meal.

 

 

I was really excited to give this cookbook a try because I’m always looking for new and easy recipes. Plus, I’m sick and tired of only ever finding soups and pasta dishes when it comes to vegetarian meals. So the fact that this was all done in a sheet pan was promising. However, I found myself not as into this cookbook as I thought I’d be and here’s why.

When you think of a sheet pan recipe you think of baked goods, or roasted items. What you don’t think is sticking a pan to the brim with water in order to make quinoa or rice in a sheet pan. First of all, I don’t have a sheet pan thick enough for that to happen. Not to mention, I would end up with rice and water all over my kitchen floor if I tried to do that. To me, it’s much easier to just make rice on the stove top. And that’s just an example of some of the recipes that had me intrigued by the creativity but also completely baffled why anyone would ever do it. It just seemed like such an unnecessary step and more work for the cook. There were also other recipes like risotto and veggie pot pies where a simple sheet pan would not do. You’d need more of a 9″x11″ baking pan rather than a sheet pan to be able to have the depth for a pot pie. Not to mention that anyone who’s ever made risotto knows you have to not only stir it as it cooks, but you need to continuously add more liquid to the pot as it cooks. These are still things you need to do when it’s baking in a sheet pan except now you have to remove the hot foil covering from the pan, add more liquid, stir it up, put the foil back of the very hot pan, and put it back into the oven until the next time you need to add more liquid. There were just some things that seemed a bit unrealistic and not worth the effort.

Another thing that I was really disappointed in was the lack of pictures. When I’m looking for something to make, I want to see what it looks like. Not only does a picture give me insight as to what the dish is, but it also gives me an immediate impression as to whether or not I’d want to put forth the effort to make it. I’m a very visual person and I need to have pictures in my cookbooks. Granted, there are some pictures, but it was one in every three or four recipes that you actually got a picture.

Not all the recipes sounded bad, there were some that sounded interesting. Most of which were the appetizers like nachos, potato skins, caramelized onion dip. I also liked some of the dessert recipes that were in the book like the kitchen sink cookies, dulce de leche pumpkin pie squares, and chocolate brownie scones. However, I honestly don’t see myself purchasing this book to add to my cookbook collection. There were just way too many recipes that even though they sounded good, were not practical for me to try to make in a sheet pan. It was a great idea but it’s just not for me.

I did make the Rojo Tortilla Bake and I had some problems right from the start. The recipe talks about rojo sauce that is apparently in the cookbook but I found no such recipe. So instead I bought enchilada sauce from the store to use in the recipe. The other part I had an issue with was roasting the vegetables. For the amount of vegetables you are trying roast, I did not have a pan large enough to lay an even layer of vegetables down to roast. So, they kind of just steamed themselves in the pan since they were all piled on top of each other. I would have much preferred to have saute them in a pan instead. Not only would it have been easier, but they would have taken a fraction of the time to cook. Then the next step was to heat oil in a pan in order to soften the corn tortillas, then place them in the oven to heat through. Meanwhile, this entire dish it going to be layered like a lasagna and baked. The tortillas don’t need to be pliable in order to lay flat, nor do they need to be warmed through prior to baking. Don’t get me wrong, it was a tasty dish but it just seemed like there was a lot of work for something that should have been an easy recipe to make.

 

I also cheated a bit and asked my niece to help me out and try one of the dessert recipes. She’s going to school to be a baker and I thought she’d be perfect to try out some of the recipes. She tried the Granola Banana Bread recipe and also ran into a problem. The recipe listed vanilla extract in the ingredients but never actually told you when to use it in the directions. I’m sure this is something that will be fixed, since this is an ARC but still, it is worth mentioning since not everyone knows when ingredients need to be added in baking. She thought that the bread tasted good but she wasn’t a fan of how the granola turned chewy after baking. She felt that the bread could have done without the granola.

In the end, this isn’t the cookbook for me. While I don’t eat meat and am always looking for new vegetarian-friendly recipes, none of these seemed realistic for me. This was a good cookbook if you wanted an excuse to get away from the kids and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but not for someone who wants to make a quick and easy meal. A lot of the recipes seemed lengthy and some of the steps seemed unnecessary just for the sake of making it in a sheet pan.

 

 

 

7 Thoughts on “Review: Sheet Pan Suppers Vegetarian by Raquel Pelzel

  1. Ah, shucks. I was hopeful because the cover images looked pretty tasty, but yeah… I’d have a huge mess on my hands cooking rice that way too. Also, a cookbook with no pics, or at least a lack of pics? No thank you. Mine may not look exactly like it, but it gives me something to strive for. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m not a vegetarian, but many bloggers I know are, and to be honest, I need to be eating a lot more of them. (lol) I do watch a ton of cooking shows, though and know that risotto is usually the kiss of death in competition that someone will screw up. (lol) So I’m with you and a little iffy on the rice thing too. Like you, I need to see pictures so I have a clue of what I’m doing. Great review and sorry this one didn’t work for you Kristin. Happy Friday! Hugs…RO

  3. Yumm. This book is making me even hungrier. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you Kristin. I hope you’ll find the perfect one for you soon 🙂

  4. At least you tried and did find a few you enjoyed. I’d have high hopes since sheet pan sounds like it’ll be simple fast meals but sounds like I’d have the same issues <3

  5. Oh crap. I forgot to review this one on the blog lol I read it AGES ago. I think I liked it a bit more than you but I agree about the grain thing. In my original review (on Goodreads) I thought it sounded like an interesting concept but in practice it’s a mess and I use a pressure cooker now that cooks them in 5 minutes.

    I also (after writing my review) found that most of these recipes steamed, rather than roast. I used the recipes as more of a guide to tweak what I already make so I didn’t’ see some of the issues until later.

    I do so much sheet pan cooking/roasting on my own and do fine (if not better lol) so I feel like I need to rewrite my review lol

    For What It’s Worth

  6. I love pictures too and I wish cookbooks had more of them. If you are looking for some tasty vegetarian dishes though with a picture. You should try out skinnytaste.com she has two cookbooks out. But she also has free recipes online and they are so dang good. Here is a link to her vegetarian meals here for ya if you wanna take a look http://www.skinnytaste.com/recipes/vegetarian/

  7. Sorry that this didn’t pan out (pun intended XD) Sounds like a gimick-y type cookbook to me anyway.

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