By Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda

This gourmet cookbook features vegan recipes from the chefs working at Candle Café's three restaurants in New York City. The chapters are divided by festivities and you will find beautiful photographs throughout the book.

The Super Bowl Menu includes dishes such as Wheat Ball Heroes (made with seitan) and Stout Brownies. To celebrate the Lunar New Year you may want to prepare Grilled Bok Choy with Sesame-Ginger Sauce or Maple-Roasted Kabocha Squash and Pickled Lotus Root. On Valentine's Day you can serve Molten Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis.

An Easter Brunch is featured including French Toast Coffee Cake and Quinoa Vegetable Cakes. Passover Seder dishes are also offered including Sweet Potato and Apricot Tzimmes. Please note that most of the recipes in the Passover section would not be acceptable to European Jews, who traditionally do not eat legumes, tofu, or seitan during Passover. These dishes could be served during other Jewish holidays.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Tempeh Fajitas or Caramel Flan. On the 4th of July, serve Creamy Crunchy Cole Slaw, Baked Maple Pinto Beans, or Chile-Crusted Grille Corn.

When Thanksgiving rolls around, your family might enjoy Wild Rice and Cornbread Stuffing or Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Ice Cream. During Christmas, treat your friends to Roasted Cauliflower and Fennel Soup with Truffle Oil, Potato Gratin, Spiced Bread Pudding, or Gingerbread Molasses Cookies.

On New Year's Eve you can serve Vegetable Black-Eyed Pea Soup; Beluga Lentil Salad with Green Beans, Grapes, and Champagne Vinaigrette; and Truffle Tofu Medallions with Wild Mushroom and Pinot Gris Sauce.

Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe (ISBN 978-1-60774-647-8) is a 176-page hardcover book. It is published by Ten Speed Press and retails for $22.99. You can purchase this book from your local bookstore or online.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.


By James McWilliams

James McWilliams divides this book into two broad themes. The first few chapters discuss the moral problems with eating the animals people claim to care about. This includes a look at leading individuals in the food movement who constantly downplay or ignore the ethical implications of eating meat. Later in the book McWilliams explores life on small, nonindustrial farms and shows that they too have many problems. Finally, the author concludes that we have a dysfunctional food system and the most effective way to act is to stop eating animals raised for food we don't need.

Some of us know individuals who think factory farming is wrong; however, many of these people keep eating animals that they believe have been raised the "right" way. To them, the right way might include organically, locally, seasonally-raised, etc. Numerous people have bought into this mindset. You see this when you view shelves of "humane" eggs and organic milk in stores. The author asks, "How can we claim to care about an animal's welfare and then support the killing of that animal?" Unfortunately, people choose to ignore this question. Also, the author states, "We have to include the entire cycle of life and death in our analysis of animal agriculture." The fact is that most animals from small farms end up in industrial slaughterhouses.

The Modern Savage also talks about the environmental issues related to raising animals, difficulties related to raising animals in your backyard, disease issues, and more. McWilliams strongly believes we need to make the human-animal emotional bond a central point of discussion in our larger debates about ethical eating and food reform.

This work focuses on topics that should be addressed by the public more often today. A copy of this book belongs in every library.

The Modern Savage (ISBN 978-1-250-03119-8) is a 304-page hardcover book. It is published by Thomas Dunne Books and retails for $25.99. You can purchase this book from your local bookstore or online.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.


By Brenda Davis, RD and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD

Vegan dietitians Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina have outdone themselves! They have published a comprehensive edition of Becoming Vegan that is described as "the complete reference to plant-based nutrition." I can't think of a better description for this book. In 612 highly-readable pages, Davis and Melina explain everything that readers will need to know about vegan diets. This fully referenced edition was created to complement Becoming Vegan, Express Edition (reviewed in Vegetarian Journal, issue 4, 2014). This comprehensive edition provides a more in-depth look at vegan nutrition that will be helpful to health care professionals and to anyone who wants to delve into this area.

This is not a dry, academic text, however. Many of the same techniques that made the express edition so accessible are used here. The book features tables, bulleted points and sample menus to help organize and present information. Chapter topics include reasons for choosing a vegan diet, health benefits, protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, vegan diets in the life cycle, weight issues, sports nutrition, and menus.

I highly recommend Becoming Vegan. Comprehensive Edition and know it is a book that I will often refer to.

Becoming Vegan. Comprehensive Edition (ISBN 978-1-57067-297-2) is published by Book Publishing Company. It has 612 pages and retails for $29.95. Look for this book in your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD.


By Melissa King

This cookbook has over 50 recipes featuring nut milks and nut butters that are gluten-free and vegan (except for the occasional use of honey; however, maple syrup is given as an alternative). You can save money by making your own nut milks and nut butters at home.

Nut milks in this book include Chocolate Cashew Milk, Strawberry Brazil Nut Milk, Vanilla Hazelnut Milk, spiced Pistachio Milk, and others. Use these milks to prepare items such as Spiced Chai Milk.

Enjoy making Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, Maple Cinnamon Macadamia Spread, Cinnamon Pecan Butter, and other nut butters. Recipes are also given using nut pulp including Grain-Free Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes and Maple Vanilla Almond Granola.

For breakfast, consider baking Banana Walnut Baked Oatmeal Muffins or Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Donuts. You can also prepare a nut-based smoothie such as Mixed Berry and Kale Smoothie.

You'll also find baked and unbaked treats. Try Strawberry Tarts with Cashew Cream, White Chocolate Coconut Fudge, Almond Butter Mousse, or Flourless Almond Butter Blondies. Frozen desserts include Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream or Pistachio Ice Cream.

This book includes colorful photos. Also, please keep in mind that these nut milks are not fortified.

DIY Nut Milks, Nut Butters, and More (ISBN 978-1-61519-230-4) is a 224-page book. It is published by The Experiment and retails for $19.95. You can purchase this book from your local bookstore or online.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.


By Gigi Pandian

This mystery continuously refers to vegan cuisine. The main character, Zoe Faust, is an herbalist and secret alchemist. She moves to Portland, Oregon, to start a new life; however, due to some unique circumstances, her life actually goes back to the way it was long ago. Zoe is unpacking her belongings and finds herself in possession of a strange little stone gargoyle. She quickly learns that the gargoyle is a living being and it needs her help to stay alive. Readers won't want to put this book down.

The Accidental Alchemist (ISBN 978-0-7387-4437-7) is a 350-page book. It is published by Midnight Ink and retails for $14.99. You can purchase this book from your local bookstore or online.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.