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Better Than Vegan: 101 Favorite Low-Fat, Plant-Based Recipes That Helped Me Lose Over 200 Pounds Paperback – December 3, 2013

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Better Than Vegan: 101 Favorite Low-Fat, Plant-Based Recipes That Helped Me Lose Over 200 Pounds + Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year + The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes
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Browse cookbooks for gourmets and food-related reads that inspire in Foodie Favorites for Spring.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1939529425
  • ISBN-13: 978-1939529428
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Better Than Vegan is the Holy Grail of human diets. Read, learn, and thrive."
—Howard Lyman, author, Mad Cowboy and No More Bull!

"Chef Del has battled his own dietary demons and emerged triumphant. His deliciously healthy recipes are victories for all of us who care about eating well."
—Rory Freedman, co-author, Skinny Bitch

"Chef Del has just expanded your repertoire of healthy, hearty, delicious dishes. His creative instructions on cooking without animals or oils will move you quickly along to a better life."
—Dr. John McDougall, MD, and Mary McDougall, creators of the McDougall Program, and bestselling authors of The Starch Solution

"The key to achieving optimum health is getting the right food onto your plate. Better Than Vegan could help you do that!"
—Alona Pulde, MD and Matthew Lederman, MD, co-founders of Transition To Health: Medical, Nutrition, and Wellness Center

"After Chef Del offers his very relatable, fascinating story of struggle with his weight, he valiantly swoops in with the ultimate solution -- a low fat, whole food, plant-based diet. I highly recommend this book as you will fall in love both with the magnificent and healthy recipes as well as their charming creator."
—Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition and host of What Would Julieanna Do?

“As Chef Del Sroufe points out, health doesn't come from a ‘vegan’ diet, it comes from a ‘whole-food, plant-based’ diet. This is a vegan cookbook that I can wholeheartedly endorse for my patients.”
—Dr. Heather Shenkman, MD FACC, interventional cardiologist

About the Author

Del Sroufe's passion for cooking began at eight years old and never faded. In 1989 he went to work for one of Columbus’ premier vegetarian restaurants, the King Avenue Coffeehouse, where he honed his craft as a baker and chef. Sroufe opened Del’s Bread, a vegan bakery, before beginning vegan meal delivery service in 2001, serving eclectic plant-based cuisine to Columbus residents. During this time, he developed what became a very popular cooking class series, sharing many of the delicious recipes he had created over the years.

In 2006, Sroufe joined Wellness Forum Foods as co-owner and chef, where he continued the tradition of delivering great tasting, plant-based meals to clients in Columbus as well as throughout the continental U.S. Sroufe also joined The Wellness Forum as a member where, after a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, he has lost over 200 pounds on a low fat, plant-based diet. He continues to teach cooking classes at local venues like Whole Foods, Community Recreation Centers, and The Wellness Forum. Sroufe is the author of Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, a vegan cookbook companion to the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives.

Glen Merzer is coauthor with Pamela A. Popper, PhD, ND, of Food Over Medicine, with Howard Lyman of Mad Cowboy, with Howard Lyman and Joanna Samorow-Merzer of No More Bull!, and with Chef AJ of Unprocessed. Merzer is also a playwright and screenwriter, having most recently completed a screenplay from Mad Cowboy. He has been a vegetarian for 40 years and a vegan for the last 20.

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Customer Reviews

Thanks for sharing, Glen and Del!!!!!
Thomas Calabro
Great information and recipes, written in a clear format and very easy to follow.
Sandi M.
I have a large collection of healthy vegan cookbooks and recipes.
Caroline Coulston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Linda Countertop on December 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I try them all... I have shelves full of vegan cookbooks but there are only a few that get to this level for me and it is mostly because of Chef Del's very clever use of pureed cauliflower to make sauces that turn into mayonnaise (the best I have tried yet), hollandaise, and alfredo sauce. Crazy... I never thought of using cauliflower- no fat super low calories. Just awesome. If you are following a low fat no fat Esselstyn plant based diet for heart health, etc. this will be a great edition to your library for go-to recipes. And if you are just looking for some creative, easy, well designed additions to your repertoire, this is your cookbook.
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Nutrition Scientist on December 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It’s hard to eat healthy if the food doesn’t taste good. Chef Del Sroufe saves us by giving us delicious recipes based on food that is good for us. Del is one of the new breed of chefs that understand what nutrition science tells us: to live a long and healthy life we need to eat whole plants and avoid not only animal products (vegan) but also avoid added oils and go light on the sugar and salt (better than vegan). Experts have found that 70% to 80% of Americans die of preventable diseases caused by their diet that includes meat, dairy and oil. Sadly most old-school chefs seem to be stuck on their training that incorporates flesh, butter, cheese, and oil into everything. Not Del.
With the superb story-telling of Glen Merzer, we learn of Del’s battle with obesity, even while on a vegan diet. Only when switching off the oils and high-sugar content foods was Del able to lose weight. And to the critics who complain that there are no calorie counts with the recipes, they are missing the point. With Del’s better-than-vegan diet, you don’t have to count anything. Good bye to the Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers style of counting and portion control which has a poor success rate. With a whole food plant-based diet, you can eat until you are comfortably full every meal and still reach your optimal weight.
I liked Chapter 2 that clearly spells out what should and shouldn’t be eaten and touches on the motivations of restaurants and the misleading nature of the FDA Daily Values. I especially appreciated Chapter 3 where Del shares his chef’s training advice on how to set up your kitchen with tools and basic food stocks.
And then there are the recipes. Wow. From basics like burgers, tacos, and pasta to more exotic dishes like curry, mushroom bourguignon, and bibimbap, this cookbook has it all.
Read more ›
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Audrey Quick on December 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
While I am a huge kindle fan, this is one book that you should definitely opt for the hard copy version (actually, a soft paperback). There are pictures of just about every recipe, and they are definitely drool worthy. I don't think that translates well on the kindles except maybe the tablets. I'm sure the book and recipes would look great on the kindle, but you'd miss out on all the lovely photos.

I found Del's story very powerful and moving. Glen Merzer does an excellent job with the narration.

I'm just starting to work my way thru the recipes, but so far everything I have tried has been a winner in my house, which includes an 8 year old critic. It is rare for me to say that about a cookbook. I love that these are all low-fat, plant-based recipes, and that they don't include oil. While I have gotten quite good at removing oil from other cookbook recipes, I really like that I don't have to adjust the ones in this cookbook. Everything has been full of flavor, Del is amazing with his herb/spice combinations.

Many recipes easily lend themselves to variations and I find just a hint of what else I can do with them to be so helpful. With this cookbook, Del isn't just giving us the recipes he's used to lose over 200 pounds, he's giving us blueprints to create our own dishes.

This is fast becoming one of my favorite cookbooks!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Arlene B on December 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
I received Chef Del's book about a month ago and since than I have really enjoyed making several of his recipes. I especially like his Best Date Syrup Ever and the Cauliflower Puree because these can be used in so many of his other recipes. Some of my favorites have been his Creamy Dijon Vinaigrette, Cocoa Almond Smoothie, Chilled Sweet Potato Bisque, Del's Stuffed "Beast" with his Baked Tofu and Sweet Potato Pudding, which is good hot or cold. Many of his recipes would be good to serve to guests or to take to a potluck. He said to use his recipes as templates and change them to your liking. I made his Best Mushroom Gravy Ever and found it went well over a cooked white potato. I decided to blend the gravy in a blender until smooth and than I added diced cooked white potato, steamed diced carrots and sautéed chopped onions and mushrooms, which can be sautéed without liquid since the mushrooms provide liquid. This made a great mushroom soup which I took to a potluck warmed in a Crock-Pot.

I am so glad all his recipes are plant-based and that he does not use any oil. Besides all his healthy recipes, I think all the information in the front of the book is very interesting and informative. The health information is wonderful. I really like the list of "What to Avoid" beginning on page 25. I think following this information can improve health . His optimal diet which is low-fat, plant-based with lots of fiber is so important. Also his tips on seasoning, substitutions and cooking techniques is very helpful.

I enjoyed reading about his struggles and successes. This book is beautiful with many great pictures. Since all the ingredients in the recipes are in blue print with the directions in black print, the recipes are very easy to follow. Also, one of my favorite colors is blue. Hope this review is helpful.
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