This is a new updated edition of The Ultimate Vegan Guide--and how great that the kindle version is only 99 cents! Author Erik Marcus has basically fo...moreThis is a new updated edition of The Ultimate Vegan Guide--and how great that the kindle version is only 99 cents! Author Erik Marcus has basically forfeited his royalties in order to make the information as accessible as possible. I bought the paperback edition to have at home and then spent that extra dollar to have it on the kindle ap on my iphone as well.
I'm also buying copies for friends who are kind of on-the-fence about vegan diet--wanting to experiment, but feeling unsure about whether they can do it. This book is reassuring and non-judgmental, and so packed with practical tips, that I think it will give people who are just thinking about eating a more plant-based diet the confidence they need to take that first step.
The Ultimate Vegan Guide delivers on its promise of “compassionate living without sacrifice” by providing realistic advice for a smooth and painless transition to a vegan diet. Highly recommended for seasoned vegans, newbies, and anyone who is just starting to think about going vegan.
I love this cookbook! It’s packed with great recipes for the best kinds of comfort food as well as fantastic photos of old-fashioned diners. The food...moreI love this cookbook! It’s packed with great recipes for the best kinds of comfort food as well as fantastic photos of old-fashioned diners. The food photography is excellent—really some of the best I’ve seen in a vegan cookbook—and the cover with its yummy-looking food and retro feel (that burger and fries in a red plastic basket :) gives the book wonderful appeal. (And yes, there are instructions for creating a Blue Plate Special.)
So far, I’ve made the Pastrami-style Seitan Loaf and then used it in the Rockin’ Reubens (which my husband has not stopped talking about), the Cheesy Mac, Smoky Seitan Roast, Not Your Mama’s Pot Roast with Roasted Vegetables, Cheezy Sauce with Umboshi Vinegar and the Sweet Cornbread. Oh, and the Smoky Curls! I’m going to try the Mushroom Pecan Sandwich Spread next. I haven’t made any of the desserts because I have a problematic relationship with sweets, but one of these days I’ve just got to try that super simple Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding.
I love the spirit of this cookbook which celebrates good comfort food and proves that it’s compatible with compassionate eating. (less)
Not the be-all and end-all of vegan cooking, but there is a lot to like about this book. First it has a wonderful look and feel. It combines spiral bi...moreNot the be-all and end-all of vegan cooking, but there is a lot to like about this book. First it has a wonderful look and feel. It combines spiral binding with (the ungrammatical, but still very useful) lay-flat binding, which I love for a cookbook. As you would expect from Good Housekeeping, the food photography is absolutely perfect, which, I’m sorry to say, is a rarity in vegan cookbooks.
There are little boxed items throughout labeled “Something New” (introducing foods such as sea vegetables and Asian noodles) and “Vegan-wise” (sections on adding protein to salads, grilling vegetables, and butter alternatives)which are fun and informative. A section at the beginning highlights the benefits of vegan eating and tiptoes ever-so-gently into factory farming--just a little paragraph. And the section on nutrition gets things mostly right. The recipes are very easy to follow and there is nutritional info for each, along with active and total cooking times.
Since this is Good Housekeeping, I guess they aren’t allowed to name names, so there are no references to specific brands, which is too bad since I think that can be helpful to new vegans. And some of the language is a little dated—such as the not-very-appetizing and not-entirely-correct “soy burgers,” rather than “veggie burgers.” The authors also confuse textured soy protein with isolated soy protein, but I would imagine that’s something that only a nerdy nutritionist would care about.
I love that there is a section devoted to comfort foods (and two of the recipes I tried came from that section, of course :) The four recipes I sampled were all excellent (they’ve been triple tested after all!). I made the following:
Vegan mayonnaise: Very good flavor, but I’d use firm silken tofu rather than regular next time to make it a little more spreadable.
Almond Ricotta: Again a little soupy, but that might be my fault since I think I may have under-measured the almonds for this. The flavor is wonderful and I’ve been eating it over steamed veggies. (One annoying thing was that the nutrition info was way off on this; it indicated 545 calories per cup, but I calculated around 335 for the entire recipe, which was somewhat more than a cup)
Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup: Not especially glamorous, but fast and easy, very good and really, really healthy. I made it because it's the type of thing my husband loves--and sure enough, he raved about it.
Macaroni and “Cheese”: Very easy and absolutely divine. I used Vegan Gourmet Cheddar-style and want to try it with Daiya as well.
Overall, I think this is a great low-key introduction to vegan cooking for those who are just dipping their toe in the water or need to come up with a few dishes for vegan guests. And, even though I'm far beyond the toe-dipping stage, I know I'll cook from this again. It’s friendly, foolproof and attractive—and a pretty good deal at just $10 on amazon.com.
It's true--these recipes really are decadent but doable. This is a beautiful book. Every recipe is photographed by the author, and if you have seen th...moreIt's true--these recipes really are decadent but doable. This is a beautiful book. Every recipe is photographed by the author, and if you have seen the photos on her website, you know that she is a skilled food photographer.
The recipes are far easier than I expected. I made Crispy Sesame Kale, Hurry Up Alfredo, and Coconut Lime Tofu, all in the first couple of days I had the book. All super easy and delicious. And the directions for each recipe are given step by step, making them very simple to follow. This is definitely among the foodie-ist of the new vegan books, and I highly recommend it. (less)
I’m not a fan of PETA, but this book is a hoot. It aims to help college students stay vegan, despite limited cooking skills, kitchen facilities, time...moreI’m not a fan of PETA, but this book is a hoot. It aims to help college students stay vegan, despite limited cooking skills, kitchen facilities, time and money.
The recipes are so basic that it’s a stretch to call them recipes at all. They are really just ideas for something to eat and can all be made in the microwave. Few of them have more than 4 ingredients and some of them, like “Sunday Morning Sausage in a Blanket” have two (vegan sausages and a can of refrigerated crescent rolls). Each recipe has a funny little flippant preamble.
The design is that new-fangled approach that includes really bad black and white food photos and typesetting that looks like it was done on a 1960s typewriter. Not my cup of tea, but that’s okay; this is a fun book for any teen or young adult vegan. (less)
I bought this cookbook after coming across a number of its recipes on the web. It is fantastic!
The very best thing about it is that the author introd...moreI bought this cookbook after coming across a number of its recipes on the web. It is fantastic!
The very best thing about it is that the author introduced me to "black salt" (which is actually pink), known as Kala Namak, which smells and tastes exactly like hard boiled egg yolks. If the only things in this book had been the tip about black salt and the recipe for omelots (using chickpea flour, tofu, black salt, and a bunch of other things) it would have been worth the price. But it has a whole bunch of other wonderful recipes, too, including Chocolate Beer Waffles, Brazilian French Toast, and Fennel Breakfast Risotto.
And the preambles to the recipes are delightfully snarky and funny. What more could you want? (less)