When cooking from Yellow Rose Recipes, the thing that strikes me most is its ‘homey’ American nature. Most of the recipes here are simple, classic comfort foods- and not in a gimmicky way. This book feels genuine, like it was written by someone not wanting to write a cookbook, but just wanting to record their favourite dishes. But in doing this, Joanna has also managed to work her way into the homes of people like us, on the other side of the world, bearing unfamiliar recipes from her distant home.
The final meal for the week was one of these instances. Cajun food isn’t something that we’re well-exposed to here. I’d only tried it a couple of times, and my cooking experience was even more limited. But since the first time I flipped through Yellow Rose Recipes, the Cajun spiced tofu stood out as something I needed to try. The cookbook challenge was a perfect excuse, if I ever needed one.
Wanting a filling accompaniment to the tofu for a lazy Sunday night, I went with this recipe for rice and beans. This is simple, tasty and so satisying. I could easily eat this as a meal on its own. The two types of beans offer a protein-rich meal, which all vegans love- if only to briefly pause the constant onslaught of ‘but where do you get your protein?’ interrogations. The tofu could have used a bit longer under the grill, but this was my first time using the contraption in this house and I misjudged its capabilities. But the Cajun spice mix here is a winner, and the generous leftover amount will be used well, both in Joanna’s recipes and elsewhere.
It’s a shame that Yellow Rose Recipes is now sold out, but I suppose that many of the best things in life are the best kept secrets. That being said, I’ll always share a meal with curious friends and family, and maybe let slip an ingredient or two- and I can be sure that they’ll be impressed not only with how good these recipes are, but how surprisingly simple too. Yellow Rose Recipes is like modern art. Once you see how it’s done, you’ll be shocked that you didn’t think to do it yourself. But you didn’t. And that’s why vegans love Joanna.