Book Reviews

The Asian Vegan Kitchen

By Hema Parekh

The Asian Vegan Kitchen offers readers a wide variety of innovative dishes from nine Asian nations. Among the 200 vegan recipes are Indian Mushroom and Green Pea Curry made with Almond Gravy, Japanese Sukyaki, Chinese Kung Pao Tofu, and Thai Spicy Green Papaya Salad. Also, there are Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Burmese Split Pea Fritters, Indonesian Stir-Fried Tempeh in Coconut Milk, Malaysian Fragrant Lemongrass Rice, and Korean Tofu Kimchi.

This cookbook includes 32 beautiful color photos as well as a glossary of ingredients. Nutritional analyses are not provided.

The Asian Vegan Kitchen (ISBN 978-4-7700-3069-6) is published by Kodansha International. This book retails for $19.95. Order it online or purchase it in a bookstore. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

Vegan Express

By Nava Atlas

Nava Atlas has authored many vegetarian books, and Vegan Express lives up to her usual high quality. This latest offering features 160 vegan recipes that can be prepared relatively quickly. You'll find chapters on soups; tofu, tempeh, and seitan; grains and beans; pasta and noodles; pizza, quesadillas, and wraps; salads; side dishes; sauces and salad dressings; and desserts.

Notable recipes include Pink Bean, Quinoa, and Spinach Soup; Tofu Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower and Potato Curry); Lentils with Greens and Sun-Dried Tomatoes; Seitan Chow Fun; Creole Coleslaw; and Butterscotch Mousse Pie. Several color photos of dishes grace this book, and nutritional analyses and menu suggestions are provided.

Vegan Express (ISBN 978-0-7679-2011-1) is a 248-page book retailing for $18.95. It is published by Broadway Books. Purchase this book online or in your local bookstore. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without

By Mollie Katzen

Mollie Katzen, author of the bestselling Moosewood Cookbook, has written a new book promoting vegetable-based dishes. Approximately 75 percent of this cookbook is vegan-friendly. The remaining recipes are vegetarian, and several of those can be made vegan by substituting vegan cheese for dairy cheese, rice- or soymilk for cow's milk, vegan margarine for butter, and so forth. Two recipes in the book call for fish sauce (and don't specifically state to use a vegetarian version of fish sauce); however, the instructions also indicate that you can use soy sauce instead.

Recipes that are especially unique include Arugula-Pecan Pesto, Grilled Eggplant and Portobello Mushrooms with Miso-Apple-Wasabi Glaze, Braised Brussels Sprouts in Maple Mustard Sauce, and Bitter Greens with Sweet Onions and Sour Cherries. Several pickling dishes are also included.

This book is terrific for vegetarians trying to add variety to their menu and would make a wonderful gift for anyone trying to consume more vegetables. Also, Katzen's hand-drawn illustrations and handwritten recipes give the book a charming and casual feel.

The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without (ISBN 978-1-4013-2011-8) is a 144-page hardcover book retailing for $22.95. Look for this book online or in a bookstore. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

My Sweet Vegan

By Hannah Kaminsky

Here's another fantastic vegan dessert cookbook written by an imaginative young author. The incredible dessert recipes and color photos will make your mouth water.

Recipes that stand out include Golden Glazed Donuts, Black Bottom Blondies, Peanut Butter Bombs, Chai Cheese Cake, Marshmallow Mud Cake, Peach Melba Layer Cake, Self-Frosting Peanut Butter Cupcakes, Baklava Tarts, Strawberry Spirals, and Coconut Custard Pie.

Also, the book includes an ingredient guide with specifics on foods used to prepare the desserts.

My Sweet Vegan (ISBN 0-978-0-9791286-1-5) is published by Fleming Ink Publishing. It has 184 pages and retails for $22.95. You can order this book online or purchase it from your local bookstore. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.


By Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, the authors of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, have once again produced a creative vegan cookbook, this one featuring more than 250 recipes. They state, This is an all-purpose cookbook, in which you'll find recipes you wish you'd grown up with.

Some of the creative offerings in this book include Greek Tofu Benedict, Creamy Asian Pear and Tempeh Salad with Wasabi Dressing, Chickpea Cutlets, Seitan Piccata with Olives and Green Beans, Pumpkin Saag, Scallion Flatbread, Chocolate Chip Brownie Waffles, and Jelly Donut Cupcakes. Also, there are beautiful color photographs of some dishes.

Another wonderful aspect of this book is the inclusion of helpful icons next to each of these recipes. These indicate whether the dishes are soy-free, gluten-free, or low- or reduced-fat; if they can be prepared in fewer than 45 minutes; and if they are supermarket-friendly (using common ingredients found in mainstream markets). For example, the recipe for Chestnut-Lentil Pâté is soy-free, gluten-free, and supermarket friendly.

Veganomicon (ISBN 978-1-56924-264-3) is published by Perseus Books.

This hardcover book retails for $27.50 and can be ordered online or in bookstores. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

Vietnamese fusion vegetarian cuisine

By Chat Mingkwan

On occasion, I've had the opportunity to dine in a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant; generally, the staff members knew little English. Therefore, it was difficult to ask many questions about how the dishes were prepared. I've always wanted to see a vegetarian Vietnamese cookbook published, and now there is a terrific one.

Vietnamese Fusion Vegetarian Cuisine is a vegan cookbook with lots of information about the ingredients necessary to prepare the dishes. If you're fortunate to live in an area with Asian markets, you should have no problem finding all the ingredients. You can also shop online for many items.

This book offers recipes for various dipping sauces commonly found in Vietnamese cuisine. You'll also find instructions on how to prepare Fresh Spring Rolls, Bamboo Shoot Dumplings, Vietnamese Coleslaw, Papaya Salad, Hot-and-Sour Soup with Pineapple and Tamarind, Stuffed Cabbage Soup, Pho (noodle soup), Clay Pot Vegetables, Tofu Stew with Coconut Juice, Rice Cupcakes with Savory Fillings, Banana and Tapioca Pudding, Vietnamese Iced Coffee, and much more.

Beware that nutritional analyses are not provided in this cookbook and some recipes are deep-fried. On the other hand, many recipes are lowfat. Also, sugar is commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine.

Vietnamese Fusion Vegetarian Cuisine (ISBN 978-1-57067-207-1) is published by the Book Publishing Company and retails for $14.95. The paperback book includes some color photos. Look for this volume online or in your local bookstore. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

The Gluten-Free Vegan

By Susan O'Brien

Oftentimes, when you tell someone you're vegan, they'll say, What can you eat? Now, imagine being vegan and also unable to consume gluten. Thankfully, there's a cookbook catering to the needs of both vegans and those on a gluten-free diet.

The Gluten-Free Vegan offers 150 recipes, including appetizers, soups, salads, main and side dishes, breakfast foods, baked goods, and desserts. There's also an introduction to what you can and can't eat on a gluten-free, vegan diet.

Recipes that stand out include Mock Tabbouleh Salad (made with quinoa instead of bulgur), Almond Cheese (prepared with almond pulp), Kale with Peanut Sauce (using brown rice vinegar, wheat-free tamari, and agave nectar), No-Meat Meatballs (made with mushrooms, brown rice, mashed potatoes, and nuts), and Brownies (made with brown rice flour and quinoa flour).

The Gluten-Free Vegan (ISBN 1-60094-032-3) is published by Marlow and Company. This 256-page book retails for $16.95 and can be purchased online or in bookstores. Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.