105 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2010
My vegan daughter is often worried how to approach the subject of food substitutes for her friends who want her to be comfortable at parties where there's a lot of food. I am giving her this book to help her out on this issue. I didn't expect it would be so interesting to me, but I read half the book already - it is awesome! I can even see substitutions I can make for my own diet that would be more healthy and natural. Thank you for writing this not only for vegans but for their moms too.
51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2011
I'm a rather new vegetarian, but eating whole foods already as an omnivore and having skill in the kitchen makes that easy. I want to make the transition to vegan, and that's where I need help.
The realization that I needed help subbing things started with a recipe for burgers. Vegetarian burgers? No problem. Then after my husband announced his desire to go vegan, he bought some ready-made vegan burgers. While they were tolerable, I'd rather make my own. I'm a DIY kinda girl. And then it hit me... OH CRAP!!! EGGS!!! HOW DO I BIND IT ALL TOGETHER?! And that got me thinking even more... what am I to use for leavening in baked goods in place of eggs? What about moisture? While I knew there were vegan egg substitutes out there, mixed starches can't work for every way one would use eggs. I knew there had to be a way to do it yourself, and different applications for different types of subs. And considering I can't use dairy like yogurt or sour cream to sub for eggs, I was pretty desperate for answers. This book gives them to you. It explains which substitutes work best for each application, and lists plenty of them. It also gives some recipes and ideas for making the substitutions yourself. Now THAT is MY KINDA BOOK! Making my own "sorta yogurt" with my choice of "milk"? Awesome. I can use that in place of eggs in baked goods! Mixing flax seeds and water to sub for eggs? It'll replace your egg, AND it happens to be a great way to get your omega-3s (normally consumed in fish by most people)! I'm looking forward to find my own ways of veganizing foods I already know and love with the information this book has given me.
I'm NOT a fan of store-bought pre-packaged foods. I refuse to subsist on ready-made vegan alternatives, or constantly stuff myself with soy products. Once in a while, okay. While a vegan diet is very healthy, I feel it isn't if you're eating prepared foods all the time, or have a diet consisting mainly of soy. I liked tofu and soy milk even as an omnivore, but I certainly don't want it in everything I eat. Not only do I feel that overloading on any one food type can cause you to miss vital nutrients it may lack, but I'm wary of soy because I believe GMOs to be dangerous, especially when eaten so often. This book gives plenty of alternatives so that I'm not constantly stuck with soy, and there's even a section specifically on substituting soy. Fantastic. As a nice bonus, it also has a gluten substitute section as well. While I don't NEED that, it's handy for new ideas and broadening my horizons, and of course, escaping the ever-present WHEAT... another food we consume often. Example: I knew of Amaranth and Quinoa, but wasn't aware they were made into flours. Can't wait to try them. And COCONUT flour? I never knew such a thing COULD exist.
I have no complaints about the organization of recipes. The recipes may be useful (and some sound mouth-watering), but I feel the recipes aren't the main purpose. I almost never follow recipes anyway, but use them as mere guidelines or a source of ideas. I will try some of these recipes, but I'll likely alter them as well. For me, this book is a wealth of information, and a fantastic resource. Anyone else trying to make the transition to vegan or accommodate vegan friends/family will find this useful.
Also worth mentioning: This book also lists coconut oil as a substitute for butter/margarine or shortening, which was a pleasant surprise. I was a big fan of coconut oil even as an omnivore, and was perturbed at not seeing it mentioned in the other vegan cookbooks I just purchased! Coconut oil has been made out to be evil, (even by meat-eaters, oddly enough) because of saturated fat. Really? Saturated fat is not the enemy, cholesterol and trans fats are. Coconut oil has neither of these. Hydrogenated oils? No thank you. Constantly using even non-hydrogenated oils somehow solidified with various thickeners and starches by unknown means and alteration? Thanks, but no. While these things might be vegan, I'd rather not put more altered food into my body. I'm glad there's at least ONE vegan cookbook that mentions coconut oil. :)
77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2010
I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about vegan cooking (being one myself). I also own a very LARGE collection of vegan cookbooks! This book is definately a favorite of mine! It is extremely informative and very resourceful. It is great for the beginner vegan as well as the expert. Not only are there every type of vegan substutions that you could need, there are also delicious recipes as well! I am extremely happy with this book! Love and thanks to the wonderful writers!
67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2010
Wow! This book has increased my confidence in the kitchen tremendously! I've always been hesitant to dabble with cooking vegan meals because I was overwhelmed with the fact I didn't know where to begin. But now...my intro into eating vegan gets to begin with veganizing my favorite meals? Are you kidding me?? Awesome! I can't believe I never thought about veganizing things I am already comfortable with so this just blew the doors off my old way of thinking. I thought I had to scrap my old diet and 'turn vegan' thereby giving up everything I've ever known about food. Nope! This book has given me the hand holding I needed to give me the confidence to really start exploring the world of eating vegan. How marvelous is that?!?! And the cherry on top, the personality of the authors really shine thru on each page and the tone of this book is so great! It's truly as if I have the authors in my kitchen with me talking and walking me thru the experience telling me "Come on, you can do it! Get in here and let us show you how!"
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2011
This book is wonderful. It is divided into sections by what you are looking to substitute, and before the recipes (which are awesome) it lays out why you would want to substitute said ingredient and how to do so. The authors give various options for substitutions and then give an example of HOW to "veganize" a typical recipe based on the ingredient(s) in question.
I have been a vegan for 12+ years, so I really wasn't all that interested in how to substitute things in recipes. I was interested in the recipes, and they don't disappoint! The Cheesy No Cook Sauce is worth the cost of the book alone! Everything I have tried so far has been delicious. And, even though I have been a vegan for a while, I still read the "substitutions" guides with interest and was reminded of and learned a few things, so experienced vegans shouldn't discount the book because they think they have been there done that. This book is perfect for both newbies AND experienced vegans alike!
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2011
Although I've been surrounded by many Vegan's in my family & friends circle, I never quite understood why they were truly making that life choice, until I began to read "The Complete Guide to Vegan Substitutions". Not only are there fabulous, easy to understand (and substitute) recipes, but each section starts off with a nice piece of writing, explaining why the Vegan option is helpful to EVERYONE's life. I found this to be very comforting and it sure makes it easier for me to cook vegan meals for myself & my family. The charts that break down all of the substitutions are also very handy! With a little understanding, even non-Vegans can be successful Vegan chefs!
p.s. The book itself looks absolutely adorable! <3
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2012
I've been a vegetarian for nearly 4 years. And while I fell off the vegan wagon, I still prefer to cook many vegan recipes. I got this cookbook to supplement my collection of 25+ vegetarian/vegan books & it's the only one I'm now re-listing for sale.
The recipes contain a lot of specialty ingredients that while easy to find (thanks to the great sites on the Internet) are expensive. I have found that other authors create delicious recipes, made from whole ingredients, that cost <$5 for the entire recipe. (The best one out there is Robin Robertson.)
The quality of the recipes are so-so. I didn't HATE any of them but none were ones I would try again later.
Finally, the substitutions were intriguing but again, you can find some of this info in other cookbooks (like Robin Robertson's "Vegan Planet" or "1,000 Vegan Recipes") or otherwise on the internet.
IMO, this cookbook is fine but not worth the rating it received from Amazon & I think that others can find better cookbooks (one more time - try Robin Robertson!!)
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2011
Everything about this book is beautiful: its cover, design, shape, the
quality of the paper it's printed on. The pictures are also inviting
you to join in on the fun in your own kitchen, to expand or revive
your knowledge of vegan cooking and baking.
The substitution charts are helpful and condensed, clear and concise,
but never boring.
The recipes are the fruit of a colorful imagination, balanced in its
choice of ingredients, with spices that are always perfectly measured.
Among me and my husband's favorites are the Berry Suisse Bircher
Muesli that makes for a nourishing and colorful breakfast, the Pear
and Cauliflower Curry, and the Lemon Tart in Twisted Graham Cracker
Crust. I like to serve the Basic Soymilk Mayo with crudites, and to
make the Basic Peanut Milk in order to use it in Pulp not Fiction
Muffins, and also the Banana Chutney to prepare the Quick Bread of the
To make a long story short, this book, just like 500 Vegan Recipes by
the same authors, will not get to catch any dust on a bookshelf, but
will definitely be stained with chocolate, cinnamon, curry powder and
other kitchen-y messes.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2011
This is very nice cookbook for those who can have soy. However, for someone like me, who cannot, there are not many recipes to choose from. It is filled with Tofu recipes which I am unable to use. I give it a 4 because I do think it is very nice for those who can use tofu/soy and it has a wonderful section on replacement in recipes of vegan foods for those calling for non-vegan ingredients. If you have a soy allergy I would stay away from this cookbook.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2011
Being new to the vegan world (15 years as a vegetarian), I have been amazed at the shift that's been required to move to a plant based diet. Over the years, I've accumulated tons of vegetarian recipes and was concerned that I would have to shelve them as a result of my new way of eating. Well, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitution saved the day. Not only does it give practical tips on how to substitute for all those dairy and egg ingredients, but there are chapters on gluten, soy, sugar, and meat; plus the recipes are amazing! I got this book on Thursday and by Monday I have already cooked out of it four times. I love beautiful food and there are a lot of pictures that draw you into the food and invite you to try the recipe. The only thing that I find a bit challenging is that the book is organized by the ingredient being substituted. I'm still getting use to it, but if you are using the cookbook for mostly substitution ideas, instead of the recipes, it's a perfect layout.