By Nicole Axworthy and Lisa Pitman

If your goal is to save money and have greater control over the quality of food you eat, this book will teach you to make vegan basics at home. Photos are included and will inspire you to get started.

Among the recipes are Sweetened Condensed Milk, Whipped Cream, Cashew Coffee Creamer, Coconut Yogurt, Cultured Nut Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, Frozen Yogurt, Quick Rise and Shine Cinnamon Rolls, Toaster Pastries, Caesar Salad Dressing, Spiced Apple Sauce, Tomato Ketchup, Maple-Masala Mustard, Shake-and-Bake Herb Breading, Chai Spice Mix, Thai Green Curry Paste, Quick Caramel Sauce, Lemon Curd, Thin Mint Sticks, Caramelized Chai Popcorn, and Cookie Dough.

DIY Vegan (ISBN 978-1-250-05871-3) is a 248-page book. It is published by St. Martin's Griffin and retails for $25.99. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.


By Richa Hingle

Richa Hingle both wrote the recipes and did the beautiful photography in this vegan cookbook. She grew up in India and is a food blogger.

Chapter one introduces all the common ingredients used to prepare the delicious recipes in this book. She even explains how Indian food is traditionally served.

Chapter two serves up breakfast ideas, including Spicy South Indian Tofu Scramble, Mom's Chickpea Flour Pancakes, and Indian Spiced Milk Tea. The next chapter offers small plates such as Baked Potato Samosas, Potato Quinoa Patties, and Onion Chile Fritters.

Chapter four includes Sides and Dry Vegetable Curries, including Roasted Cauliflower and Radish, Sweet and Sour Pumpkin, Okra in Sesame Coconut Sauce, Mushrooms and Greens, and Potato Tomato Curry. Chapter five highlights dals (lentils and beans) with dishes such as Yellow Lentils with Spinach, Brown Chickpea Curry, Split Pea and Bean Soup, Butternut Coconut Red Lentil Curry, and Kidney Bean Curry.

One-Pot Meals and Casseroles features Makhani Vegetable Pot Pie and Quinoa Cauliflower Biryani. You'll find Main Dishes also such as Royal Tofu and Cashews, Mango Curry Tofu, Goan Tempeh Curry, and Kofta Balls in Nut-Free Cream Sauce.

Chapter eight provides recipes for flatbreads including a variety of Naan, Vegetable-Stuffed Parathas, and Dosas. The dessert chapter includes Cashew Fudge, Pistachio Cardamom Cookies, Doughnuts Soaked in Sugar Syrup, and Saffron-Infused Creamy Pudding.

The final chapter includes chutneys, spice blends, and basics such as Indian Chai Spice, and how to make Nondairy Yogurt and Vegan Paneer.

Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen (ISBN 978-1-941252-09-3) is a 288-page book. It is published by Vegan Heritage Press and retails for $22.95. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.


By Alan Roettinger

This cookbook is written by a private chef and serves up over 100 recipes using almond milk. The recipes are vegan and would be useful to anyone who is lactose intolerant. Nutritional analyses are included, as well as basic ways to prepare almond milk at home in case you don't have access to commercially-produced almond milk. Keep in mind that almond milk made at home will not be fortified.

Here are some of the recipes included in this book: Chocolate-Tangerine Smoothie, Cappuccino, Blueberry-Buckwheat Pancakes, Cream of Tomato Soup, Ranch Dressing, Linguine with Olive Sauce, Vegetable Pot Pie, Creamed Greens, Ethiopian-Style Yams, Cinnamon-Cardamom Rolls, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate-Orange Truffles, Mocha Sauce, Caramelized Figs with Almond Cream, and Chocolate-Almond Ice Cream.

The Almond Milk Cookbook (ISBN 978-1-57067-326-9) is a 156-page book. It is published by Book Publishing Company and retails for $12.95. You can purchase this book from The Vegetarian Resource Group at or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.


By Will Bonsall

Will Bonsall has been growing the food he eats for 40 years. He owns several acres in western Maine; however, he only grows food on a few acres. His primary gardening goal has been to be eco-efficient. Eco-efficiency describes the ratio between an organism's intrinsic food energy and the food energy (or soil fertility) required to produce it in the first place. That said, Will promotes local, organic, vegan farming. He does not use manure or items such as plastic mulch. He greatly minimizes his use of petroleum products as well.

According to the author, soil fertility is very important. One needs to compost as if it mattered when gardening. Chapter One in Part One of this book provides specific details on how Will composts. According to Will, "My compost, in conjunction with green manure rotations and mulch, is intended to supply all the needs of my crops and soil in which they live." Green manure is created by leaving uprooted or mown crop parts to wither on a field so that they serve as a mulch and soil amendment. Chapter Two talks about green manures. The next chapter in Part One describes mulch. For example, Will uses shredded leaves. Other chapters in this section of the book include Minerals and Grassland Improvement and Management.

Part Two of this book is The Seed. Chapter topics include Sexual Propagation: Why and How, and Asexual Propagation. Part Three covers The Crops. The first chapter discusses a wide variety of vegetables you can grow. Other chapters share information on growing grains, pulses, and permacrops.

Part Four discusses The Garden in Context including subjects such as Rocks, Water, and Land; Smaller Footprints; and Pests and Diseases. Note that it is this last topic where the author admits to not clearly following a totally vegan lifestyle. He will on occasion kill garden pests, although he tries to avoid doing that.

Part Five is titled Using the Harvest, which includes Milling, Baking, and Sprouting; Freezing; as well as Fermenting, and More. The back of the book talks about tools you can use, as well as valuable resources such as seed sources. The book also has over 200 color photos.

Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening (ISBN 978-1-60358-442-5) is a 400-page book. It is published by Chelsea Green Publishing and retails for $34.95. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.


By Peter Burke

For those of us who live in communities that are too cold during the winter months to continue gardening outdoors, this book offers a way to grow salad greens indoors all year-round.

Peter Burke's method does not entail the use of lights, pumps, greenhouses, and other complicated equipment. Instead, you can grow soil-sprouted greens simply using soil and compost placed in trays or planters. These can then be placed on your windowsills or on a cupboard.

Step-by-step instructions and photos are included. Details are provided for various types of sprouting including sunflowers, pea shoots, broccoli, amaranth, French lentils, fenugreek, red Russian kale, purple radish, and many others.

Recipes are also provided at the end of the book. Most are vegetarian and others are vegan. Some of the vegetarian recipes can be easily made vegan by substituting vegan cheeses for dairy-based products. Among the recipes are Radish Relish; Tempura; Quinoa; Sweet Pea Sprouts and Veggies; Agni Soup; Dal with Sprouts; and Soba Noodles, Sprouts, and Veggies.

Indoor gardening can certainly be a fun family project. Let your children choose different greens to sprout and then watch them grow! The sprouts will also add beauty to your home.

Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening (ISBN 978-1-60358-615-3) is a 208-page book. It is published by Chelsea Green Publishing and retails for $29.95. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.