Book Reviews

Gluten-Free Tips and Tricks for Vegans

By Jo Stepaniak

Some vegans need to be on a gluten-free diet for health reasons, and this book will be tremendously helpful to them. To start off, you'll find a list of gluten-containing grains and related foods that should be avoided. Next, there's a list of gluten-free grains and related foods vegans can use instead. You will also find a chapter on gluten-free baking basics and recipes for a GF all-purpose flour mix, GF pizza crust, GF pie crust, etc.

In the recipe section, you'll find 70 different dishes to prepare from breads to breakfasts to soups and salads to gravies and main dishes. And of course, you'll find a selection of desserts you can prepare at home.

Some of the recipes include Vanilla-Currant Scones, Gluten-Free Chapatis, Breakfast Grits, Tri-Color Quinoa Salad, Millet Chili, Miso White Sauce, Spinach and Chickpea Curry, Pad Thai Mashup, Glazed Lemon Pound Cake, and Super-Fudgy Brownies. Nutritional analyses are also provided.

Gluten-Free Tips and Tricks (ISBN: 978-1-57067-331-3) is a 160-page book. It is published by Book Publishing Company and retails for $12.95. You can purchase this book from the Vegetarian Resource Group catalog, online, or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

Peace & Parsnips

By Lee Watson

Chef Lee Watson has more than 20 years of restaurant experience and it shows in this cookbook. You'll find a wide range of creative vegan dishes that you will want to share with family and friends.

Start your day off with a Plantain Breakfast Burrito with Pico de Gallo or Scrambled Tofu with Buckwheat Pancakes and Avocado Butter. Consider serving soup for lunch such as Braised Pumpkin and Butter Bean Soup with Orange Chili Oil or Zen Noodle Broth. You might also want to throw in a salad such as Braised Cauliflower and Puy Lentil Tabbouleh or Charred Fig and Arugula Salad with Lemon Tofu Feta.

For your main meal, start off with a variety of side dishes including Turkish-Style Spinach with Creamy Tofu Ricotta, Tamarind and Coconut Milk Mashed Sweet Potatoes, or Sesame and Sweet Corn Pancakes. Some entrée dishes include Eggplant and Tomato Nut Roast with Macadamia Mustard Sauce; Persian Fava Bean, Seitan, and Green Herb Stew; and Maple and Orange-Glazed Tempeh with Bok Choy and Soba Noodles. You will also find an entire section of curries and another featuring burgers!

Of course, you don't want to skip dessert. You can try preparing Raw Blueberry and Macadamia Cheesecake, Dark Chocolate and Beet Brownies, or Raw Spiced Apple and Date Pie.

Peace & Parsnips (ISBN: 978-1-61519-321-9) is a 336-page book filled with photos. It is published by The Experiment and retails for $25.00. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

Raw Cakes

By Joanna Farrow

The beautiful photo on the front cover will inspire you to prepare one of the raw cakes found in this book. Whether you follow a raw foods diet, or simply want to add more raw food into your meals, the desserts in this book look gorgeous.

You'll find 30 cake options including Salted Pecan Brownies, Apple & Cardamom Crumble Cakes, Apricot & Butternut Cupcakes, Peach & Coconut Cream Cakes, Mango & Pistachio Chocolate Fridge Cake, Chocolate Mud Pie, Tangy Lime & Avocado Plate Pie, Strawberry & Vanilla Cheesecake, Fresh Ginger & Oat Bars, Clementine & Apple Tartlets, and Almond & Walnut Fudge.

Please note that some recipes are high in calories and should be eaten in moderation.

Raw Cakes (ISBN: 978-1-84601-526-7) is a 64-page hardcover book. It is published by Spruce and retails for $12.99. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.


By Leinana Two Moons

If you're vegan and crave "bacon," this book is for you. Find a variety of vegan recipes that have a bacon-y flavor, minus the fat and cholesterol.

To start off, you'll find recipes for making bacon, including Seitan Bacon, Tofu Bacon, Tempeh Bacon, Coconut Bacon, Eggplant Bacon, Carrot Bacon, and mushroom bacons. Another section offers breakfast dishes including Bacon-Stuffed French Toast, Maple-Bacon Doughnuts, and Bacon and Cheddar Scones.

Some soup recipes include Smoky Split Pea Soup with Bacon and White Bean and Bacon Soup. You may want to serve one of the salads with the soup including Cobb Salad with Eggplant Bacon, Broccoli and Tempeh Bacon Salad, or German-Style Potato Salad with Bacon. There are also sandwich recipes good for a hearty lunch.

Creative side dishes include Cauliflower Bacon Gratin and Bacon Fried Rice. You can serve these with one of the main dishes including Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Shells, Bacon and Butternut Squash Galette, or Smoky Bacon Mac and Cheese. Finally, end your meal with a dessert that includes bacon such as Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies or Bacon-Wrapped Dates.

Bacon-ish (ISBN: 978-1-941252-24-6) is a 168-page book. It is published by Vegan Heritage Press and retails for $21.95. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

PETA's Vegan College Cookbook

By Marta Holmberg and Starza Kolman

This book has 275 easy and cheap vegan recipes suitable for college students that have access to a microwave oven. For breakfast you can try Freshman Frittata or English Breakfast Sandwiches. And if you're looking for some new sandwich ideas, make Poultrygeist Pita or Bangin' BBQ Tofu.

College students can easily get their hands on peanut butter and this book has a section devoted to it. There's Super Quickie Peanut Sauce, Finals Week Fudge, and Peanut Butter Cup Pie. Ramen noodles are also quite popular. For example, enjoy Ancient Japanese Noodle Secret Salad. Finally, another food item featured in its own section is potatoes. Enjoy German 'Tato Salad, Deviled Potatoes, or Piz-Tato.

You'll also find a variety of salads, including Cray Cray Cranberry Chick'n Salad, Spicy Watermelon Salad, and Slice of Life Chef Salad. You may want to make a soup, stew, or chili to go with your salad. Find recipes for "No Tie Necessary" Thai Tomato Soup and Cheapskate Chili and Bean Stew.

For dinner you may want to prepare Cute-Cumber Sushi Bowl, No-Beef Stroganoff, The Burning Bibimbap Bowl, Better than the "Bell" Burrito, Guac Wraps, All-Nighter Nachos, or Vegan Mac 'n' Cheez.

The snack chapter offers recipes for Pumpkin Muffin in a Mug!, Chili "Not" Dogs, Poor Man's Pizzas, Stadium Corn Dogs, and Stuffed 'Shrooms. You'll also find some drink suggestions, sauce recipes, dips, and of course, desserts such as Fake Blonds, Georgia Peach Cobbler, and Blueberry Pie Dump Cake.

PETA's Vegan College Cookbook (ISBN: 978-1-4926-3554-3) is a 336-page book. It is published by Sourcebooks and retails for $14.99. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

What a Fish Knows

By Jonathan Balcombe

How often has someone told you "I'm almost vegetarian. I just eat fish"? They tell you that fish don't feel pain and are not as sophisticated as other animals. Balcombe's new book might change their mind. Using scientific references, this book was written on behalf of all fish. After all, over a trillion fish are killed worldwide each year.

Topics covered include what a fish sees; what a fish hears, smells, and tastes; what a fish feels; how fish breed; and the impact of overfishing.

What a Fish Knows (ISBN: 978-0-374-28821-1) is a 288-page hardcover book. It is published by Scientific American and retails for $27. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.