BOOK REVIEWS

VEGAN/VEGETARIAN MOTHER & HER BABY

By Roman Pawlak, PhD, RD

According to the author, Vegan/Vegetarian Mother & Her Baby was written for pregnant vegetarians, for parents of vegetarian children and teens, and for health professionals. Health professionals may be especially appreciative of the research-based information that is included. Consumers who read this book may understand more about nutritional needs of pregnant and lactating women, infants, children, and teens. Topics covered include growth of vegetarian/vegan children, use of soy products, and sources of important nutrients. The chapter on vitamin B12 was especially thorough. Information was presented using a combination of text, figures, and tables. Since this book does not include meal plans or food guides, readers may want to supplement this information from other reliable books or websites such as www.vrg.org.

Vegan/Vegetarian Mother & Her Baby (ISBN 978-1-62620-175-0) has 242 pages. Contact the author at romucha@hotmail.com for purchasing information. It is on Kindle for $9.99.

Reviewed by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD.

TEFF LOVE

By Kittee Berns

Vegan Ethiopian food is delicious and now you can use Teff Love to prepare this cuisine at home. You'll find a recipe to make injera (Ethiopian bread). For breakfast you can prepare Ye'shimbra Duket Kita (Savory Chickpea-Flour Pancakes) or Ye'beqolo Genfo (Creamy, Cheesy Corn Grits with a Spicy Seasoned-Oil Drizzle).

Another chapter features spicy red sauces and stews, including Ye'Atakilt Wot (Potatoes, Carrots, and Cauliflower in a Spicy Sauce), and Ye'misser Wot (Red Lentils in a Spicy Sauce). If you don't like spicy food, one chapter highlights mild sauces and stews, including Ye'Ater Kik Alicha (Split Peas in a Mild Sauce) and Ye'atakilt Alicha (Stewed Cabbage, Potatoes and Carrots in a Mild Sauce).

The section on cooked vegetables and casseroles offers Ye'Abesha Gomen (Tender Stewed Collard Greens) and Ye'Zelbo Gomen Be'Karot (Tender Kale with Carrots, Onion, and Mild Spices). You'll also find cold dishes such as Ye'Kaysir Atakilt (A Salad of Tender Roasted Beets and Fresh Herbs in a Citrus Dressing) and Azifa (Tangy Lentil Salad). Finally, a section on beverages and sweets includes Telba (A Roasted-Flaxseed Shake) and Mocha Teff Brownies.

Although nutritional analyses are not provided in this book, most of the recipes do not appear to be high in calories. You will find color photos.

Teff Love (ISBN 978-1-57067-311-5) is a 192-page book. It is published by Book Publishing Company and retails for $19.95. You can purchase this book from The Vegetarian Resource Group at www.vrg.org/catalog or your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

VEGAN PRESSURE COOKING

By J.L. Fields

Pressure cookers have come back in style and this new vegan cookbook offers a variety of one-pot meals you can prepare at home. You can quickly make Apple Pie Steel-Cut Oats or Pumpkin Spice Porridge for breakfast.

For lunch or dinner try Curried Mung Bean Stew, Black-Eyed Pea and Collard Green Chili, Fava Bean Risotto, or Seitan Swiss Steak. Some delicious sides include Bok Choy, Mushrooms, and Onion with Tamari Lime Dressing; Steamed Kabocha Squash; or Rosemary and Thyme Brussels Sprouts.

You will also find recipes for preparing Basic Seitan or Vegan "Pepperoni" Sausage. Dessert options include Fruit and Nut Rice Pudding and Easy Applesauce.

Vegan Pressure Cooking (ISBN 978-1-59233-644-9) is published by Fair Winds Press. It has 176 pages including beautiful color photographs and retails for $22.99. Look for this book online or in your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

SUPERFOODS FOR LIFE, CACAO

By Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD with Joshua Ploeg

Cacao beans are the dried seed of the fruit of the cocoa tree. These beans are used for making cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and chocolate, as well as cacao nibs and cacao powder. Cacao was first cultivated as early as 300 CE by the Mayans and was brought to Europe about 400 years ago. Cacao is recognized as an excellent source of flavonoids, which may reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases. Cacao also contains significant amounts of copper, magnesium, and iron. These are just some of the facts that I learned from Superfoods for Life, Cacao.

Matt Ruscigno, a vegan registered dietitian, has teamed up with Chef Joshua Ploeg to create a collection of vegan recipes using cacao powder, cacao nibs, bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and other cacao derivatives as well as explanations for cacao's superfood status. Matt's short readable chapters focus on topics such as cacao's nutrient content, chocolate's effect on mood and physical performance, and cacao's potential role in lowering risk of heart disease and stroke. All information is based on the most recent research and references are included.

Recipes include both sweet and savory dishes. Some of the more intriguing recipes include Rich Borscht with Cacao Accent, Crowd-Pleasing Bell Pepper Pizza (crust and sauce are made with cocoa powder), and Chocolate-Cocoa Za'atar Pesto Balls. I tried the Surprisingly Succulent Baba Ghanoush, which combined melted bittersweet chocolate with the usual ingredients for this eggplant dip. The baba ghanoush had a mildly sweet, somewhat savory flavor that tasters could not pinpoint as having chocolate in it. Cocoa Jerk Tofu was made with unsweetened cocoa powder. The sauce reminded me of a mole sauce and had a complex mix of flavors.

If you're intrigued by the idea of cooking savory dishes with chocolate or want to learn more about the benefits of cacao and its derivatives, Superfoods for Life, Cacao is a great resource.

Superfoods for Life, Cacao (ISBN 978-1-59233-610-4) is published by Fair Winds Press. It has 192 pages and retails for $18.99. Look for this book in your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD.

STREET VEGAN

By Adam Sobel

Having spent my childhood 30 minutes outside of New York City, I have fond memories of street food found on city corners. Add in all the wonderful food trucks today, and you can find a wide variety of vegan options.

Adam Sobel is the chef/owner of the vegan food truck Cinnamon Snail. This is his first cookbook and it's very creative. Note that these are not quick and easy recipes; however, your time and effort will be rewarded.

For breakfast you can try Maple Mustard Seitan Strips, Fresh Fig Pancakes, Poached Pear-Stuffed French Toast, or Shredded Root Vegetable Hash Browns. Beverage options include Coconut Star Anise Milk, Pistachio Milk with Clove and Rosewater, and Peppermint Hot Chocolate.

Enjoy appetizers such as Truffled Potato and Fried Onion Pierogies, Pan-fried Kimchi Dumplings, and Chimichurri Tempeh Empanadas. Next, you can prepare soups such as Live Habanero Tomato Soup and Thai Coconut Curry Soup.

Among the wonderful main dishes are Pecan-Crusted Seitan, Raw Pizza, Ginger Island Tofu, and Jalapeño Roasted Corn-Stuffed Red Quinoa Croquettes. Be sure to add some of these sides: Lemon-Soy Watercress, Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, Kimchi, or Lemon-Garlic Swiss Chard.

Of course, your meal is completed with dessert! You'll find Peanut Butter-Chocolate Ganache, Macadamia-White Chocolate Twinkies, Raw Chocolate Pudding, Live Pumpkinish Pie, and Chocolate Sambuca Cookies. There's also a chapter devoted to vegan donuts. Enjoy Mexican Hot Chocolate-Glazed Twists, Roasted Chestnut Cake Donuts, and Black Tea Twists.

Street Vegan (ISBN 978-0-385-34619-1) is published by Clarkson Potter. It has 272 pages, includes color photographs, and retails for $25. Look for this book online or in your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.