158 of 160 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2012
First I must say I am not a vegan but I am trying to eat less meat and I am working towards a mostly plant based diet. I have been waiting for Chloe's book for so long, I pre-ordered and was thrilled when I received it. I had made some of Chloe's recipes that she had posted on her blog and her Facebook page and they were absolutely delicious and so easy! I am not a beginner but these recipes could easily be handled by someone with less experience. I made her maple roasted brussel sprouts with toasted hazelnuts last night and they were fabulous! I am looking forward to making a cinnamon chocolate chip cookie recipe tonight. There are so many things I love about her book that I don't know where to start; her recipes are clearly written and her food is just delightful, everything I have made has turned out well and makes me even more excited to try something new. Another great part of her recipes is that they don't call for items that are hard to track down. I haven't run into a single ingredient that I haven't been able to find locally. She has a great variety of foods and they honestly all look delicious. I am not into vegan/vegetarian cookbooks that (heavily) rely on tofu and meat substitutes and hers doesn't either. There are a few recipes with tofu but many are hearty without always having a meat substitute. The photographs are beautiful and I love that she included a dog biscuit recipe too! I can easily see this becoming a favorite of mine. One more point that I was happy about, she didn't overlap her recipes that appeared on her blog in her book. Only one that was featured on the blog was in the book that I can recall so be sure to check out her blog for more. The pad thai recipe on there is so tasty and really comes together in minutes (start to finish it was MAYBE 20 minutes) and there is a lovely creme brulee recipe on there as well as other entrees, sweets and sides. Just fabulous and highly recommended, Chloe's food is so delicious and easy!I truly hope she will write more cookbooks.
*March 19: I just made her Chocolate Beer cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Buttercream for St. Patrick's Day and they were hands down the best cupcakes I have ever made! They were such a success, moist and so rich with flavor I couldn't believe how well they turned out and everything came together so quickly compared to making them with butter and eggs. Chloe's recipes just work and she really makes it easy to incorporate vegan meals into your diet. No sacrificing flavor, just delicious healthy food!
*April 15: Everything I have made continues to be amazingly delicious! The penne alla vodka is so tasty and pairs perfectly with the garlic knots, I don't miss the cream at all. Her five minute salad comes together in just that and is so full on flavor for just being a handful of ingredients. This week I am going to make her peanut noodles, Caribbean vegetables, chimichurri tacos and vanilla ice cream! Chloe's cookbook is a favorite in my collection and I reach for it every week. I love cooking vegan foods and love eating them because of this cookbook. I am more adventurous in the kitchen and have incorporated many more vegan meals into my diet because every recipe has worked and even more importantly, they continue to be fabulous.
*October 19: I continue to reach for this and everything has still continued to be delicious! The peanut noodles are in a regular rotation and the recipe doubles so easily, it is wonderful having a big batch to munch on hot or cold whenever the mood strikes. The tacos and ice cream are fabulous, as are the Caribbean veg. Chloe's vanilla ice cream recipe is my go to and is a cinch to whip up in the blender. Out of everything I have made, only one didn't turn out to be awesome. It wasn't a bad recipe at all (thankfully all of her recipes are well written and clear), it's flavors just weren't right up our alley for some reason. This is a perfect way to incorporate more plant based meals into your diet. It's not intimidating and doesn't call for any complicated techniques or hard to find ingredients. This was not my first vegan cookbook but I wish it was. I have a large cookbook collection, and there are only a handful that I consistently reach for and I am happy to say this is one of them!
102 of 105 people found the following review helpful
Have waited so long for this cookbook and highly recommend it. It does NOT disappoint. A few friends and I chose different recipes to make for a week end get together and every single recipe turned our GREAT. There wasn't a single failure. They tastes as great as the photographs shown. Whomever did the photography, you did a GREAT job!
This is not just for vegans! We have evolved into veganism, and have friends who are meat and potato eaters, who love GREAT vegan food. And that is one reason I will highly recommend this vegan cookbook. It has GREAT recipes that taste as good as the photo shows.
Please read the Foreword written by Neal D. Barnard M.D. because it has some valuable information to dispel concerns some may have in regard to getting getting enough protein and other nutrients when eating vegan.
The book has a wonderful Vegan Pantry section, with items even the grocery stores in my area of the California Sierras carry. There is even a good Gluten Free and Soy Free Cooking area that I appreciated because we have friends with gluten and soy food sensitivities. Its the first vegan cookbook I have purchased where the author has taken the time to have this section in a cookbook. Now for the recipes.
The Avocado Shitake Sushi was a big hit with my sushi family and friends. And so easy, that even my eight year old neighbor helped make these delicious sushi rolls which were all eaten within 15 minutes. Should have made more. The Jalapeno Cornbread Poppers with Whipped Maple Butter (vegan butter) on page 29 also were gone as soon as I set them out. I quickly made more. People didn't even know these were vegan. The Sweet and Sour Party Meatballs were awesome and two male meat eater friends asked for the recipe, they loved them so much.
On page 43 is a killed recipes for Wontons with Apricot and Mustard Sauce. These are as good as any filled wontons we have had in the best Chinese restaurants in San Francisco. Being well traveled, they are better than many we have had outside of California and even the states. It's the grated fresh ginger, garlic and shredded carrots that make them work so well. Add in the apricot jam with Dijon mustard for dipping the wontons and I promise you, you will be hooked!
Being native Californians who even make homemade sourdough bread with starter, that was started in the 1920's by relative here in the Mother Lode, we LOVE the Cheesy Broccoli Soup with Sourdough Bread Bowls on page 51. It's the nutritional yeast that gives the soup the cheesy taste and consistency. While the recipe calls for soy,almond or rice milk, this can be made without the milk,if you aren't near a store, by taking some of the vegetable broth and thickening like you would for gravy.
One of my favorites is the Curried Lentil,Squash,and Apple Stew on page 55. I love anything curried. And the mix of apple, squash and lentil work well. If you are new to curry dishes, and are unsure about spicy foods, simply start out with half the amount of curry powder, then taste. Then add more if desired.
With spring here and summer around the corner we will be making the Mandarin Peanut-Crunch Salad with Crispy Wontons on page 59. Instead of peanuts we use almonds we toast, since we have friends with children who are allergic to peanuts. Am so glad to see Chloe using wonton wrappers which we get in the produce section of the grocery store, since we use these sliced and made like cooked noodles when we make soups, and even pasta dishes.
The Tuscan Bean and Greens Soup on page 66 is one like we make all year round. Her recipe has a head of escarole, roughly chopped. You can also substitute chopped cabbage, kale, and even fresh, whole leaf spinach. Chloe has such awesome recipes that newbies and seasoned cooks will love!
Because we have a big vegetable garden and because our family and friends LOVE vegetables, Chloes vegetable section is so much fun. My family LOVED the Coconut Mashed Yams with Currants on page 73. Will make this again for a potluck dinner I have been invited to, because it's so luscious and delicious. Shows that vegan can be delicious food that even non vegans will love. The Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts on page 81 should make a brussel sprouts lover out of any former brussel sprouts hater. If you don't have hazelnuts available use walnuts or almonds as these worked for me as well.
Her chapter Eat With Your Hands which begins on page 93 is so much fun. It's a chapter some children of friends loved as well. Her Chloe's Award Winning Mango Masala Panini on page 101 is one the kids have asked to make again. Fresh mangos or frozen mangos are used. The tamarind paste may be harder to find locally, but Amazon.com sells it. If you are near an ethnic store you can buy Tamarind pods and make your own paste.
Yes, she has some excellent recipes for things like burgers. Her Double Double Drive Thru Burgers on page 103 are really good and were loved by even the meat eating burger folks. It was her Falafel Sliders with Avocado Hummus I loved best, but that's because I am a big cooker and eater of middle eastern foods. Also try her LA Style Chimichurri Tacos. Even our meat eating friends loved these.
Her Noodle chapter is great. I challenge anyone to make her vegan Mac and Cheese, and then say its not as good or even better than the milk cheese style mac and cheese you may have been eating for years. A friend made her Sweet Potato Gnocchi with sage Butter and now we are hooked. Like when we first had sweet potato fries and were hooked. Another friend made the Country Meatloaf on page 161 and her picky kids LOVED it!
Am not a big eater of sweets, but she has some excellent desserts, which two friends made. Again this cookbook is so wonderful and the recipes do not taste odd or weird. One could easily find these in a top rated restaurant.
If you have a family member headed off to college, friend/family getting married, single friend wanting to learn to cook healthy, or an older person who wants healthy fun food, consider giving this as a gift.
UPDATE March 27 2012:
This past week two friends asked for the Coconut Mashed Yams with Currants recipe and one asked for the Award Winning Mango Masala Panini because her kids who had eaten them at our place wanted her to make them. Then my neighbor who had been at our cooking party when we made a bunch of her recipes, asked for the Falafel Sliders with Avocado Hummus recipe. When non vegan friends and neighbors ask for recipes you know they are good.
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2012
I became vegan three years ago, after years of vegetarianism, because I am disgusted by the oppression, enslavement, and senseless murder of animals. From hearing Chloe talk about her love of animals and the associated reasons for becoming vegan, I believe that is what inspired her to write a vegan cook book. I do not think she considers herself to be a health guru. I know that she talks about this book from a health perspective, but that's because, well, a vegan diet IS comparatively healthy. "Health" is a relative word: is a potato healthy? When compared to what? It's not as healthy as kale, but it's healthier than french fries. Though Chloe does not shy away from oil or refined flours, a vegan diet is still one that is devoid of cholesterol, that is remarkably low in saturated fat, and that CAN be healthy, especially when compared to meat, milk, and eggs, and YES, even with the inclusion of indulgent recipes like the ones in this book. Personally, I don't purchase white flour, so all of the desserts I've made from this book so far have been made with white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour, and it's made no difference whatsoever. I cannot wait to try the mandarin orange salad this week, but I won't be adding the fried wontons. It's little things like that that make this book so versatile.
I have tons of vegan cook books, most of which are on the healthier side. I was ready for something different. I cook most of my meals and use overly processed foods very minimally. I have a diet that most would consider healthy. I don't eat a lot of sweets, eats tons of beans and veggies and whole grains, choose whole wheat over white, don't drink soda, rarely eat candy or sweets- the whole nine yards. However, sometimes you just want to sink your teeth into a mouth-watering bowl of fettuccine alfredo or bake some delicious cookies. When I have guests over, I think about the best way to present my love of animals and vegan lifestyle to them, and sorry, but it's not through beans and rice! I do not subscribe to the notion that one must live a life completely free of sugar or oil. Instead, I mainly eat healthy meals, and occasionally indulge. And let me tell you...this is THE book if you want to indulge. And anytime I feel there is too much oil in one of the recipes, I simply reduce. I know people say you don't buy a cookbook to rewrite the recipes, but in this case, the recipes are so clever and delicious that simply using less oil or whole wheat flour instead of white does not mean you get anything less from buying the book.
I recently had friends over and made the creamy scalloped potatoes with thyme, and they were just delicious. Exactly what I remember scalloped potatoes tasting like, and the base of the cream is ground cashews! That, my friends, is what makes a vegan diet healthier than the typical standard American diet. The cornbread poppers with maple butter were another huge hit, as were the baked donuts, and OH MY GOD the Caesar salad with maple wheat croutons! Quite possibly my favorite.
I've also tried the skillet black eyed pea meal, which was a little more on the healthy side- any time a recipe calls for sauteing onions and peppers in oil, I use a little water or veg broth instead. The saag aloo and chana masala were good. The ginger-nutmeg cupcakes were labor intensive and good, though I was surprised they are one of her most popular recipes, as I've definitely had better cupcakes. They were good, just not AMAZING like I expected. I just made the fudge for Easter dessert- I am not big on chocolate, but it's exactly everything fudge should be.
Overall, this is the perfect book to impress your guests and your taste buds. The pictures of food are impressive and thorough. I can't wait to try everything else!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2012
I saw Chef Chloe speak last week at a local bookstore. She talked about the extensive testing process she used to make her recipes delicious, faithful to traditional non-vegan versions, and simple to make. Based on what I've made so far, she has succeeded!
In fact, this book is my new favorite cookbook. I would recommend it as THE must-have cookbook, and I have them all: Veganomicon, all of Colleen's, Kramer's, Spork-fed, Tal Ronnen, you name it. The ones I've named are great, but Chloe's Kitchen is at a higher level. The recipes are simple and incredibly delicious, and they don't use obscure, expensive ingredients or call for elaborate techniques. Most of all, they are all things I want to make!
So far I've made:
chocolate creme brulee: it is the most delicious thing I've ever made, and I've made some good stuff! And so easy. It literally takes ten minutes to prepare, and then it sets in the fridge for a while. I can't wait to impress everyone I know with this stuff! I made it a second time with vanilla instead of chocolate, and it was just how I remembered classic creme brulee to be!
baked donuts: the texture was perfect, the ingredients are common, and they are just so simple.
warm spinach-artichoke dip: I thought I had died and gone to the Cheesecake Factory. It tastes like it is full of cheese and mayonnaise, but there is none of either! And very little fat, to boot. It's like appetizer alchemy.
I guess I haven't made that much yet, but I have plans to make so much more. It is just so refreshing to see recipes with less than ten ingredients. I want to make the stuffed shells, "Orange you glad I made crispy tofu," double-decker burger, her award-winning panini, the cakes, the tomato galette.
One last thing I love is the organization of the book. There's a noodle chapter and a chapter of things you eat with your hands. It's so awesome!!
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2012
I've tried a couple of vegan cookbooks before and was put off by the long list of ingredients, new to me, that I would need to purchase in order to make a dish. I first learned of Chloe Coscarelli by, yep, watching Cupcake Wars, and loved her enthusiasm and (seemingly) easy recipes. Now that her cookbook is out, I am delighted to find out that the recipes really ARE easy, no long list of ingredients to hunt down all over town, and the process is similar to meals I cook myself, only without the animal products/by-products.
If you are looking for a vegan cookbook to get you started on your journey, or would like to add some vegan dishes to your omnivore repertoire - this is the book for you.
78 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2012
I rarely ever write reviews, but felt moved to do so about this book. I have many cookbooks and lately have gravitated toward vegan cooking in an effort to eat more healthy. However, I have found that just because it can be classified as vegan doesn't mean that the recipes in a cookbook are healthy. This cookbook, Chloe's Kitchen, is no exception. Ironically, the person who wrote the forward, Neal Barnard, M.D., talked about the importance of a low-fat vegan diet, but then the recipes contained in the book he is recommending are swimming in oil. In one recipe (the Grilled Pesto Pizza) for example, the crust had oil in it, the pesto sauce had oil, the sweet potatoes were roasted with oil, the kale was sauted in oil, and then more oil was added when preparing the pizza on the grill. Come on, really? Unfortunately, most of the recipes are quite similar with their liberal use of oil. If the recipe doesn't contain a lot of oil, then oil is either drizzled or brushed on the top to make sure oil ends up on the finished product. The only way I would consider some of these recipes edible is by substituting non-stick spray, broth, or just plain old water for the oil. I find no mention of fat reducing techniques in the book, so I marked one star off for the excessive oil use and no hints as to how to cut back if the amount of oil is too much for you.
I deducted another star for the lack of nutritional information for the recipes. I normally prefer to have this listed and it should be the standard, just as it is required for products sold in stores. The lack of nutritional details may be due in part with the fact that with so much oil, white flour, and sugar, the recipes are high fat and high calorie. Perhaps this is something the publisher did not want to make obvious, so therefore, no details about exactly what you are getting per serving. I did not deduct a star, but a recent trend in cookbooks is to have many pictures of the author in the book. While this is sometimes laughable, I've come to expect it and don't really hold it against them. I'm sure for the most part it's the publisher's idea and not just an ego trip by the author.
Now, before you think I am totally against the book and the author, there are some good points and that is why I gave it three stars. The pictures of the food are big and very appealing. The recipes are organized well, the instructions are detailed, and the printing is clear and large enough to follow without having to put your nose right in the book. I have made several recipes (with modifications for the oil as mentioned above) and have been satisfied with the results. I have marked many more of the recipes as "need to try."
Would I recommend this to others, yes, but only if they know how to adapt recipes to their own needs.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2012
Wow! This is my first comment ever on a product I've purchased from Amazon. So I know this book must be good. I've just transitioned over to being vegan. Over the years, I've been on a strict diet and having celiac disease as well as other health problems, it left me very limited to foods. So when I finally gave up meat, I searched high and low for vegan cookbooks that will pretain to my health and cooking needs. Let me tell you guys this, being a college student and on a budget, even I can make these meals for myself, family and friends. I just recieved my book today in the mail, and I CAN'T WAIT to start cooking! I just finised browsing the book and I've already booked marked some recipes to try.
What I like about Chloe's book is that these are ingredients that you can find in your local grocery store, or ANY store. You don't have to go searching for ingredients you've never heard of or haven't seen before. Maybe just a few ingredients, you may have to get online or at a health food store. But the most part about is that the ingredients are very easy to find. Chloe has a website as well. And I've made the Mexi Cali Sliders and Beach Cookies one day for my family, and wow, let me tell you guys....I wished I had saved me a slider and a cookie! Because after I finished making the dishes, they were gone SO FAST! And my family are ominvores! So you know Chloe's wesbite recipes as well as recipes from her new book, are sure to please even the "Meat and Potatoes" kind of person! I'm so happy that Chloe has camed out with this book! It's for everyone! Chloe has proved that you can eat healthy, meat-less meals, that are tasty and delicious without sacraficing flavor and taste. If you haven't purchased this book, BUY IT! You won't be dissapointed! I promise!
Update: 3/21/12-I made Chloe's Mac and Cheese as a side dish for Dinner last night. My family went WILD! The Mac and Cheese was so creamy and full of flavor, just the right amount of texture, crisp and browning of the dish! My Mom thought I was joking when I told her it was Vegan and she asked me seven times over Dinner if I had used animal products and I told her no. My Dairy loving family LOVED the dish so much they've asked me to make it on Thursdays now! Next recipe I make will be the Spinach Artichoke Crostini! I can't wait! Once again, Chloe's book proves that you can still have your favorite meals, snacks and desserts animal free and STILL have great tasting flavor AND the meals are far more healthier than fast food! Chloe's blog is amazing as well! Guys go and get this book! You won't regret it!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A friend who knows I'm vegetarian recommended this book -- and I'm so glad I ordered it! I had never heard of Chloe before but love a good cookbook, and this ones has fresh, healthy recipes that are easy to make and that don't call for unusual ingredients that are hard to find.
I've only made a few things from this, but each one has turned out to be delicious!
There are two negatives that I see with the book, which is the reason for my four-star review. The first is that each recipe doesn't give the prep time or cooking time required at the top of the recipe. I have to skim through the recipe in order to figure out how much time I think it'll take, which requires a bit more work when planning a meal. I always prefer it when cookbooks provide this information for those of us who are time-pressed.
The second downside is that not all of the recipes are super healthy, and I was surprised by how many call for white flour, vegan butter, and/or deep frying. I know that being vegan doesn't necessarily equate with being 100% clean in your eating all the time, but I had assumed that the recipes would use whole wheat flour, etc.
Overall, though, it's a great book with lovely photos! I'm really glad I got it!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2012
My non vegan friend made cupcakes and Avocado Pesto Pasta using recipes from Chloe's website, and brought them to a potluck we were having. So so so good. This took me to ChefChloe's website, and via newsletter learned about this book release. Went to a book signing to get my copy and to see what Chloe was all about. She is adorable, bubbly and enthusiastic about her recipes. I have real appreciation for her taking some "favorites" and veganizing them. Moreso, I really really appreciate the simplicity of ingredients - both the quantity and ease of finding. Being someone who works fulltime, has a husband who is not a vegan (but must eat like one for most dinners), and being a vegan for over two years now - this book was the PERFECT cookbook for me get at the time. The color photo's are lovely as well - encouraging a lot of " I could make that!" sentiment as people were flipping through it at the book signing.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2012
I just purchased this cookbook yesterday. Last night, we made BBQ Pineapple pizza using Chloe's recipes for dough and BBQ sauce with her sweet tomato ketchup recipe. It was wonderful!!! I can honestly say, that there is not one recipe in this book that we will not try. Today, I made fire-roasted artichokes with garlic oil. This cookbook is not skimpy on flavor. I am freezing buckeyes in the freezer and cannot wait to take them out and dip these little peanut butter balls in some melted vegan chocolate. This Chloe is amazing. I purchased her cookbook on my Kindle Fire. It is indexed super well, so it is easy to move through the links to switch back in forth between recipes. Love, Love, Love.