Book Reviews

Simple Vegan!

From Good Housekeeping

By Neal D. Barnard, MD, and Jennifer K. Reilly, RD

When I co-wrote Simply Vegan in 1991, few people knew what the word ‘vegan’ meant. Today, even the staff at Good Housekeeping has released a book called Simple Vegan! Now, that is incredible!

Simple Vegan! serves up 100 recipes, alongside appetizing color photographs. Breakfast options include the South-of-the-Border Vegetable Hash, Whole-Grain Carrot Cake Muffins, and Pumpkin Waffles. If you’re looking for a new sandwich idea, you should try the Bulgur Bean Burgers.

Among the noodle- and grainbased recipes, you’ll find Polenta with Spicy Eggplant Sauce as well as Middle-Eastern Garbanzo Beans and Macaroni. An international section includes a Moroccan Spiced Sweet Potato Medley and Tofu in Spicy Brown Sauce.

Of course, there are desserts. Enjoy Stuffed Fresh Figs, Banana-Berry Parfaits, Chocolate Chip-Walnut Brownies, and Wheat-Free Almond Butter Cookies.

Despite this book’s title, it is not a quick-and-easy cookbook. However, most recipes are not too difficult for the average cook to manage, and some can be prepared in a short amount of time. Nutritional analyses are provided.

Vegans should consider giving this book as a present to their nonveggie relatives and friends!

Simple Vegan! (ISBN 978-1-58816- 868-9) is published by Hearst Books and retails for $14.95. Look for this cookbook at your favorite bookstore or online. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

VEGAN DINER

By Julie Hassan

Anyone who has eaten in a diner knows that comfort food is the specialty. Vegans wishing to prepare these terrific dishes at home now are in luck!

Julie Hasson’s Vegan Diner features breakfast classics, such as Malted Waffles, Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, Smoky Potato Scramble, Biscuits and Creamy Sage Gravy, Herbed Breakfast Sausage Patties, and English Muffins. Expand your usual lunch and dinner menu with Home-Style Veggie Noodle Soup, Garlic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Rockin’ Reubens, Philly Seitan Sliders, and Pastrami-Style Seitan Roast. Finish up with a slice of Apple Spice Coffee Cake or some Cinnamon Orange Rolls.

Nutritional analyses are not provided. However, most recipes are not high in fat, and only a few have to be deep-fried. Also, photos appear throughout the book.

Vegan Diner (ISBN 978-0-7624-3384-9) is published by Running Press and retails for $19.95. Look for it at your favorite bookstore or online. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

THE NATURAL VEGAN KITCHEN

By Christine Waltermyer

Christine Waltermyer is the founder and director of The Natural Kitchen School, which offers cooking classes in New York and New Jersey. Her new book features dishes that have tested well with many students and clients.

Among her delicious recipes are Navy Bean Soup, African Vegetable Stew, Tempeh Mock Tuna Salad, Zucchini Rice Cakes with Vegan Tartar Sauce, Tofu Pot Pie, Seitan in Mexican Gravy, Baked Onions, Apricot Mousse, Sensuous Poached Pears, Vanilla Amazake Custard, and much more.

The Natural Vegan Kitchen includes nutritional analyses, as well as beautiful color photos.

The Natural Vegan Kitchen (ISBN 978-1-57067-245-3) is published by Book Publishing Company. You can purchase this volume from The VRG at www.vrg.org/catalog. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

LICKIN’ THE BEATERS 2

By Siue Moffat

The next time you’re planning a party, Lickin’ The Beaters 2 offers many ideas. It features recipes for making all kinds of vegan candies and chocolates. Keep in mind that the recipes in this book are not low in fat, nor are they sugar-free.

Among the wide variety of candy recipes you’ll find Lollipops, Butterscotch Fudge, Caramel Corn, Salt Water Taffy, and Peppermint Patties. Chocolate recipes include German Chocolate Cake, Black Forest Cake, Chocolate Caramel Pecan Rolls, Chocolate Napoleons, and Black Bottom Cupcakes.

Lickin’ The Beaters 2 (ISBN 978-1-60486-009-2) is published by PM Press and retails for $17.95. Look for it in your favorite bookstore or online. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

APPETITE FOR REDUCTION

By Isa Chandra Moskowitz

A lot of people assume that most, if not all, vegans are slender. Ms. Moskowitz understands this is a myth and has authored a weightloss cookbook to help vegans and other readers shed extra pounds.

Appetite for Reduction features 125 recipes that are low in calories but rank high for substance and creativity. Symbols indicate if a dish is gluten-free and/or soy-free and whether it can be prepared in fewer than 30 minutes. Helpful hints are also found throughout this work.

Many people hear the word ‘salad’ and think ‘diet food.’ The salads in this book, however, are quite hearty. Examples include Sushi Roll Edamame Salad with Green Onion-Miso Vinaigrette and Catalan Couscous Salad with Pears with Romesco Dressing.

Among the side dishes, you will discover a Cranberry-Cashew Biryani, Scallion Potato Pancakes, and OMG Oven-Baked Onion Rings. Great vegetable-based choices include Jerk Asparagus, Pineapple Collards, and Braised Cabbage with Seitan.

Isa’s main dishes are divided into several categories, including bean dishes such as Caribbean Curried Black-Eyed Peas with Plantains. You’ll find the likes of Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes among the tofu and tempeh dishes, and the pasta and noodle entrées feature Ginger Bok Choy and Soba, and Cajun Beanballs and Spaghetti. You’ll also find a variety of satisfying soups, stews, curries, and chili, including Cauliflower Pesto Soup, Chili Verde con Papas, Kidney Bean and Butternut Jamba Stew, Potato-Spinach Curry, and Smoky Split Pea Soup.

There are no dessert recipes; after all, this is a weight-loss book. You will, however, find gorgeous color photos in this cookbook, as well as nutritional analyses.

Appetite for Reduction (ISBN 978-1-60094-049-1) is published by Lifelong Books. Purchase this book from The VRG online at www.vrg.org/catalog for $19.95. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

BY ANY GREENS NECESSARY

By Tracye Lynn McQuirter, MPH

By Any Greens Necessary is written to introduce the benefits of a vegetarian diet to African-American women, but the book’s anecdotes cross cultural and racial lines to deliver a pointed message. Chapters like “A Chicken Wing and a Prayer” and “Fishing for Trouble” explore the health and humanitarian issues of traditional, non-vegan protein sources, and the author presents facts in an interesting, clearly understood writing style that encourages readers to ponder their food choices. In addition, study results challenge age-old nutritional myths and encourage lifestyle changes.

Easily read in an afternoon, this book includes insightful quips on the author’s part, and quotes from celebrities such as Angela Bassett, Prince, Forest Whitaker, and Oprah Winfrey keep readers engrossed and wanting to learn more. Color photos entice potential vegetarians to try more than 40 easy-to-prepare vegan recipes towards the back of the book, and further resources include a grocery shopping list, helpful websites, and recommended books.

By Any Greens Necessary (ISBN 978-1-55652-998-6) is published by Lawrence Hill Books. It retails for $14.95 and can be purchased online or from your local bookstore. Reviewed by Meryl Austin Cryer.

ASIAN FUSION

By Chat Mingkwan

Having worked in restaurants, taught cooking classes, and led culinary tours, Chat serves up an array of fascinating vegan dishes in Asian Fusion. Recipes include Split Pea Cakes from Burma, Hot and Sour Soup from China, Miso Soup from Japan, Green Papaya Salad from Laos, and Fresh Spring Rolls from Singapore. Also, there are Indian Lentil-and-Spinach Dal, Vietnamese Clay-Pot Eggplant, Indonesian Corn Fritters, and Malaysian Baked Spiced Mousse.

The book has color photos, as well as detailed information about special Asian ingredients used in some recipes. Nutritional analyses are not provided, but most dishes are not high in fat.

Asian Fusion (ISBN 978-1-157067-231-6) is published by Book Publishing Company. It can be purchased online at www.vrg.org/catalog for $14.95. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.