Big Vegan

By Robin Asbell with photographs by Kate Sears

Big Vegan contains more than 350 recipes and a wealth of helpful information! In the first chapter, you can learn how to make pantry staples such as Mock Beef (homemade seitan), Smoky Red Lentil ‘Sausages,’ Pine Nut ‘Cheese,’ and vegetable stocks.

Chapter 2 includes breakfast items like Mocha Frappé, Maple-Barley Granola, Buckwheat Silver Dollar Cakes, Red Flannel Hash, and Coconut-Mango Muffins. The next chapter includes breads such as Savory Hazelnut Bread, Herb and Onion Whole-Wheat Rolls, Teff Breadsticks, and Whole-Wheat Pita Bread.

The section on condiments and sauces features Basil Pesto, Romesco Sauce, Chinese Sesame Sauce, and Bengali Curry Simmer Sauce. Chapter 5 concentrates on appetizers and snacks, including Green Apple and Cashew Spring Rolls, Caramel-Nut Popcorn, Porcini-Pecan Mushroom Pâté, Edamame Dumplings, and Cauliflower-Coconut Puffs.

The Salads chapter serves up many creative recipes, as does the Soups chapter. And your mouth will water for the wide range of entrées and side dishes offered. Try Asparagus-Quinoa Risotto, Indonesian Fried Rice, Squash Quesadillas with Tempeh Slaw Wraps, Cranberry-Jícama Salsa, Korean ‘Tacos,’ Kale and White Bean Pizza, Green Bean and Potato Stomboli, Sweet Moroccan-Glazed Tofu, and more!

If you like to grill, there's a Grilling chapter. And of course, the book ends with dessert selections, such as recipes for Banana Cream Pie, Chocolate Toffee Bars, Pumpkin-Cherry Bundt Cake, and Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cupcakes.

Nutritional analyses are not provided; however, most recipes do not appear to be high in fat. Color photos are also featured.

Big Vegan (ISBN 978-0-8118-7467-0) is 544 pages and published by Chronicle Books. It retails for $29.95. Look for this fantastic book in your favorite bookstore or online.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet

By Joni Marie Newman

The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet includes recipes for 101 vegan patties. You'll even find unusual options like the Log Cabin Burger, which is meant to be served for breakfast!

Most of the recipes give veggie burgers an international twist. The Far East inspired the Chow Mein Burger and the Edamame Burger, which is also wheat-free. Middle Eastern options include a Potato Samosa Burger, a Tabbouleh Burger, and of course, a Falafel Burger. From Italy, you can sample a Sun-Dried Tomato and Artichoke Burger, a Ravioli Burger, or a Pizza Burger.

American burgers include a Basic Black Bean BBQ Burger, ‘Crab’ Cakes, and the BLT and Avocado Burger. Then, there are burgers with Latin flair, such as a Jalapeño Cornbread Burger and a Chipotle Sweet Potato Burger.

You'll also find recipes for specific holidays, such as the Savory Noodle Kugel Burger, the Cinco de Mayo Burger made with soy chorizo, and the Oktoberfest Kraut Burger. In addition, this book features recipes for bun and bread options, side dishes to go with the burgers, and even a few recipes for cookies and cakes.

The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet (ISBN 978-1-59233-476-6) is published by Fair Winds Press. It is 239 pages and retails for $19.99. Look for it in your favorite bookstore or online.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

The Everything Vegan Cookbook

By Jolinda Hackett with Lorena Novak Bull, RD

The Everything Vegan Cookbook features 300 vegan recipes, such as Fresh Mint Spring Rolls, Cream of Carrot Soup with Coconut, Cajun Collard Greens, Ginger and Pralined Sweet Potatoes, and Pumpkin Cream Pasta Sauce. Also included are Massaman Curried Seitan, Mexican Spice-Crusted Tofu, Rosemary Tempeh Hash, Foolproof Vegan Fudge, and more. Nutritional analyses are provided, and helpful tips appear throughout the cookbook.

The Everything Vegan Cookbook (ISBN 978-1-4405-0216-3) is published by Adams Media and retails for $15.95. Look for it in your favorite bookstore or online.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

Welcoming Kitchen

By Kim Lutz

Welcoming Kitchen is the kind of cookbook that many have been waiting for! Every recipe is allergen-free, gluten-free, and vegan. In addition, nutritional analyses — including calories, fat, carbs, fiber, and protein — are provided.

The cookbook starts off with a number of interesting sandwich spreads, such as a Roasted Fennel Spread and an Italian Hummus. Then, the Salads & Soups section features Ruby Coleslaw with carrots and purple cabbage and Kitchen Sink Soup, which works for any vegetable you like.

The Lunches & Dinners chapter allows readers to try Tacos made with roasted buckwheat (kasha), Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers, Artichoke-Portabella Risotto, or Pizza with a Polenta Pizza Crust.

The Muffins & Breads section serves up Peach Raspberry Muffins, Coconut Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins, Oat-Cornmeal Bread, and Sweet Potato Biscuits.

Of course, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! You can prepare Mixed Berry Crêpes, Doughnut Bites, Brunch Hash, Sunday Morning Pancakes, and numerous smoothies.

Last but not least, the Desserts section has Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Caramel Brownie Sundaes, Coconut Rice Pudding, and Chocolate Peppermint Cups.

Welcoming Kitchen (ISBN 978-1-4027-7185-9) is published by Sterling Publishing and retails for $17.95. Look for this book in your favorite bookstore or online.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

World Vegan Feast

By Bryanna Clark Grogan

World Vegan Feast serves up a wide variety of gourmet international dishes, complete with vivid color photos. Starting with brunch, you can try recipes for Korean Potato Pancakes, Creole French Toast with Hot Brown Sugar Sauce, or Crostoni Benedict with Vegan Pesto Hollandaise.

If you're looking for interesting munchies, there are Vietnamese-Style BBQ Subs and Baja-Style Tempeh Tacos. Then, add on a soup, such as Peruvian-Inspired Sweet Potato Chowder or Golden Cauliflower Dal Soup.

This book has tempting pasta dishes, such as Greek-Style Lasagne and Singapore Noodles. Some bean/legume-based recipes include French Cassoulette, Persian Eggplant Stew with Yellow Split Peas and Lime, and Lentil and Rapini Stew with Spicy Vegan Sausage.

World Vegan Feast also features entrées using soy products or seitan. These include Vegan Scottish Pot Haggis, Vegan Salmon, Seitan Wellington, and Vegan Coq au Vin. You can pair these dishes with sides like Green and Gold Quinoa Pilaf or Sicilian Winter Squash with Mint and Garlic.

And of course, there are delicious desserts. Sample Swedish Ginger Balls, Russian Chocolate Torte, Almond Café Latte Cake, Ukrainian Cherry Dumplings, or Mexican Bread Pudding.

These are not quick-and-easy recipes. Also, nutritional analyses are not provided, even though most dishes do not appear to be high in fat. Helpful icons indicating whether a recipe is gluten-free, is soy-free, or can be prepared in 30 minutes or less are included.

World Vegan Feast (ISBN 978-0-9800131-4-6) is published by Vegan Heritage Press and retails for $19.95. Look for it in your favorite bookstore or online.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy

By Afya Ibomu

The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy begins with fundamentals about veganism. Then, the author addresses health and nutrition issues, discusses how to read food labels, and provides a basic guide for dining out.

The majority of the book, however, is devoted to unique recipes from a range of cultural traditions. Try Satisfy My Soul Grits and Tempeh Sauxsage for breakfast, or consider Buffalo Tofu, Creole Red Beans and Rice, or Chimichangas for dinner. Serve these entrées with Al Greens, Coconut Collards, Hush Pups, or Sweet Baked Beans.

As for desserts, be sure to try the Hood Rich Brownies, Rice Nut Krispies, and Karamu Corn.

Color photos are included. Nutritional analyses are not provided. Please note that some dishes are high in fat, and honey is an option in a few recipes.

The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy (ISBN 978-0-9770092-2-0) is published by Nattral Unlimited. Order this book online at

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.