Vegetarian Journal 2005 Issue 1

book reviews

Benji Bean Sprout Doesn't Eat Meat

By Sarah Rudy

SK Publishing sent us a copy of their Benji Bean Sprout Doesn’t Eat Meat! with story and illustrations by Sarah Rudy. When we read the book aloud, our 6-year-old test subject was a little wiggly but quickly settled down to intensely listen to the story.

The book begins, “The new school year was here and everyone at school thought Benji was weird because he didn’t eat meat.” At first, this concerned us, as it might put ideas into kids’ heads that aren’t there. However, the peer pressure Benji feels is often real, and vegetarian families should keep this fact in mind.

Benji went home and told his parents that he wanted to eat meat. His parents took him to an animal sanctuary, where he learned to understand why his family didn’t eat animals. Then, his mom made Neat Loaf for the whole class, and most of them enjoyed it. As a result, the kids who had teased him and pushed him up against a wall became his good friends and asked to come over for supper. Oh, if only the world always worked this way.

This is a great book to open up discussions of peer pressure and differences. We highly recommend that your 5- to 8-year-olds read Benji Bean Sprout Doesn’t Eat Meat! If you want to promote vegetarianism to this age group, what better way than by giving the gift of children’s books?

Benji Bean Sprout Doesn’t Eat Meat! (ISBN 097283401-X) retails for $6.95. To learn more, visit, or call (916) 488-4150. Also, check out their Natural Kids Fun Activity and Coloring Book—Color Your Organic Veggies. Reviewed by Charles Stahler.

Vegan World Fusion Cuisine

By Mark Reinfeld, Bo Rinaldi, & the Chefs of the Blossoming Lotus

In the fall of 2002, Blossoming Lotus opened its doors on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. This restaurant offers international vegan cuisine and has now published the Vegan World Fusion Cuisine cookbook. You’ll find exquisite photographs as well as an incredible range of dishes in this volume. You might want to sample Pele’s Pineapple Mac Nut Salsa, Remarkable Melon Soup, Peaceful Pecan Vinaigrette, Hari Jiwan’s Thai Coconut Sauce, Amazing Grace Apricot Corn Bread Stuffing, Gaia’s Grilled Tempeh Reuben, Sergio’s Sunchoke and Fennel Calzone, Sicilian Seitan with Sundried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts, Shaka’s Vegan Cheezcake, or Baraka’s Baklava.

This book also offers many cooking tips, magical marinades and condiments you can prepare, charts for cooking grains and legumes, and much more.

Vegan World Fusion Cuisine (ISBN 0-9752837-0-7) is a 247-page hardcover book that retails for $24.95. It is published by Thousand Petals Publishing and can be ordered online from or by calling (888) 44-LOTUS. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

Buddha's Table

By Chat Mingkwan

I love Thai food, so I was quite excited to receive a review copy of Buddha’s Table. You’ll find a wide variety of vegan dishes in this book. (I found one crÍpe recipe containing an optional egg and a fried bananas dish that requires honey, which you can easily replace with rice syrup or even maple syrup.)

When preparing curry dishes, it’s difficult to buy curry pastes that don’t contain fish flavoring. Don’t despair—this cookbook provides recipes to make several varieties of curry paste, including Green, Red, and Yellow Curry Paste; Panaeng Curry Paste; and Massamun Curry Paste. From these bases, you can prepare a wide range of Thai main dishes.

Among the Salads, Snacks, and Appetizers, you’ll discover recipes for Green Papaya Salad, Glass Noodle Salad, and Pad Thai Salad. Soups include Hot-and-Sour Lemongrass Soup, Galangal Coconut Soup, and Bamboo Shoot Stew.

Finally, for Dessert, you might want to sample Banana Pudding in Coconut Cream, Crunchy “Ruby” Water Chestnuts, Sticky Rice and Mangoes, or Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruits.

Buddha’s Table (ISBN 1-57067-161-3) is published by the Book Publishing Company. This 192-page book can be purchased for $20 (including shipping and handling) from The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

Excerpts from the 2005 Issue 2:
Preventing Osteoporosis: Building Strong Bones Over a Lifetime
Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, discusses this condition and ways for vegans to keep their skeletons in top shape.
Vegan Biscotti
Debra Daniels-Zeller perfects egg- and dairy-free versions of these common coffee consorts.
Nutrition Hotline
What should vegetarians do if they don't cook or don't have time to do so?
Note from the Coordinators
Scientific Update
Vegan Cooking Tips
Quick Dips, by Chef Nancy Berkoff
Notes from the VRG Scientific Department
Interviews our dietitians granted, articles, and outreach; VRG provides materials to school food service directors.
Veggie Bits
Book Reviews
Vegetarian Action
The True Loves of Anna Briggs, by Ben A. Shaberman.
Look for These Products in Your Local Market

The Vegetarian Journal published here is not the complete issue, but these are excerpts from the published magazine. Anyone who wishes to see everything should subscribe to the magazine.

Thanks to volunteer Stephanie Schueler for converting this article to HTML.

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Last Updated
May 14, 2005

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