From Publishers Weekly
This friendly cookbook makes (mostly) vegan cooking approachable with simple recipes and straightforward descriptions of more exotic ingredients, and makes it of-the-moment by focusing on using local, seasonal ingredients. More than 230 recipes—each fits on a single page—are organized into spring, summer, fall and winter chapters and showcase the produce that should be available at a given time of year. While there's some typical vegan fare, like seitan bourguignon or scrambled tofu, many recipes play with expected ingredients in interesting ways: marinated tofu with ginger cashew dipping sauce; quinoa and black bean salad with apricot lime dressing; and spicy coconut pumpkin soup. The desserts are especially appealing, with options such as fresh fruit tart with almond crust; chocolate pecan pie; and banana coconut chocolate chip cookies. Although it's surprising that a book so focused on avoiding processed foods would feature processed ingredients in some recipes—the lemon berry cream pie calls for purchased lemon snaps; a savory deep-dish pie uses frozen pie crust—occasional shortcuts like this make the collection even more approachable. (Sept.)
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Walters advocates a fully vegan regimen as key to good health. For her, clean food means less processed food, more whole grains, no dairy products, and certainly no meat, but she insists that food offer plenty of appealing, assertive flavors if it is to satisfy consumers. She believes in the healthy virtues of thorough chewing, disciplined eating, and balanced living. These recipes will not surprise those comfortable in a tofu and brown-rice environment, but she contributes some useful new ideas for such dishes as Caesar salad and surprisingly rich chocolate desserts. Some of Walters’ ingredients may be difficult to obtain outside big-city organic markets, but in this age of Internet shopping, online sources are always an option. In a unique approach to book production, each of the four seasons into which the cookbook is divided appears on a different color of paper stock. --Mark Knoblauch