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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2008
If you are seeking a complete cookbook to cooking vegan, then you may want to add another to your collection, but if you are seeking easy yet imaginative recipes that will help you add more seasonal produce to your diet, then you have hit the mark.

The author begins with a good primer, which includes an introduction to the various vegetable "families," solid explanations of various cooking techniques (at last, I understand braising!), and a quick chart on basic seasonings to use (combinations of spices, herbs, and basic pantry items) to create certain ethnic flavors. The latter may have been brief, but I had never seen this in a cookbook prior, and plan to reference it in the future.

The chapters/sections are of course broken down by season, each with a brief one-page intro that lists out the correlating in-season items. Always a useful thing to have on hand! The recipes are refreshingly simple: not too many ingredients, brief yet thorough instructions, just one recipe per page with room for notes, and good sized print for those of us who are visually impaired.

Keep in mind; this cookbook is really about vegetables and fruits, so it isn't filled with grain and pasta dishes, tofu, or meat substitutes. As someone who cares more about adding more of the green and fibrous stuff to my daily regimen than following a particular diet (beyond dairy-free of course!), this was a refreshing change from your average vegan or vegetarian cookbook. I also liked that just a handful of recipes used soy.

Local Bounty has soups, sauces, salads, and hearty "sides" aplenty. For an extra treat, there are some sweet recipes that randomly appear as bonuses throughout the book. Those who think that vegan desserts should use fruit, unrefined sweeteners, and whole grain flours for a slightly healthier reward, will be doubly pleased.

Really, I was about to start dog-earing the pages for recipes to trial, but I would make less of a mess dog-earing the pages I don't want to make! This is definitely a go to book for when I have gone out on a limb and purchased a "new-to-me" in-season ingredient or an abundance of an old favorite that has been stockpiled from overflowing local farmers, or when I just crave some simple vegetable and fruit dishes ... which is just about every day!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2010
This book is designed in a rather unique way, not by type of produce but by season. The introductory chapters include a brief tour of the vegetable kingdom and common cooking techniques and spices used in preparing these vegan recipes. The author has a wonderful page titled: Simplicity. She stresses that cooking from scratch is not as difficult as the packaged food industry wants us to believe. It really doesn't take long to chop up some vegetables and add seasonings. By omitting the heavy flavors and textures of milk, cheese, and butter the flavors of the produce and spices can really stand out and what better way to show off your garden's bounty than a simple, vegan recipe!

Each Season's chapter has a brief introduction which includes lists of which produce would be found early, mid and late season. The author uses produce that is found in most temperate regions so even though my early spring starts in late February here in Georgia and my sister's in May up in Vermont we can both find snow peas growing in early spring.

The recipes include side dishes like Summer Squash with Basil, soups such as Vegetable Barley, deserts like Mixed Berry Compote, and even a wonderful Roasted Garlic and Herb Sauce. I have a few head of garlic in my garden and can't wait to try that last recipe once a harvest it!

Overall, I highly recomend this cookbook to help spotlight the seasonal produce found in your region. Eating locally is a great way to reduce our environmental impact on this planet and vegan recipes really highlight the flavors and textures of the produce.

Disclaimer: I was provided with one copy of this book in order to write my review. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2008
I have her first book Accidental Vegan. I am always shocked that few vegan have heard of it. This current book is better. Think of Alice Water from Chez Pannisse if she had been a vegan. This book teaches you what to do with seasonal produce. I feel much more confident. I like the fact that most of the recipes are low fat or can be made low fat easily.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2014
You just have to read her words in Simplicity, after the Introduction. It is the essence of her message that we can strive for in cooking vegetables, that are themselves the stars of the dish, not the elaborate or time consuming effort to change them into something else.

It reminds me of the early days of Weight Watchers to make a dish like oatmeal. It took about 25 minutes, a host of ingredients, stirring over the stove, off the stove, etc. I felt like a crazed woman trying to recreate oatmeal, which I was.

For me it's about honoring the vegetable, enhancing it with a light touch, enjoying the small effort, and being grateful to Nature for bringing this bounty from Terra for my health and pleasure.

This small recipe book does that for me.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2008
Whether from one's own garden or from a farmer's market featuring locally grown fruits and vegetables, season produce is an ecologically responsible way to buy food -- and the most effective and economical way to create palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, nutritious dishes for every meal of the day. Drawing upon her more than twenty years in the food business, Devra Gartenstein has compiled an impressive collection of recipes in "Local Bounty: Season Vegan Recipes" using the kinds of seasonal ingredients a good farmer's market will offer to a discriminating customer. Other benefits include the fact that ripe produce is at its best flavor and highest nutritional value, transportation from farm to consumer requires the least amount of fossil fuel, small-scale farmers often use fewer pesticides than the larger corporate farms, foods in season are more economical to purchase than imported foods out of our local seasons, buying locally helps the local economy and are the best way ordinary families have of avoiding the problems crated by the globalization of the food industry. The recipes in "Local Bounty" range from Sorrel with Spring Onions; Summer Stuffed Cabbage; White Beans with Garlic Scapes; and Brazilian Collard Greens; to Chard and Chanterelles in Wine Sauce; Chai-Spiced Mulled Cider; Leek and Parsnip Saute; and Seitan Shepherd's Pie. A welcome addition to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cookbook collections, "Local Bounty" is an enthusiastically recommended selection for personal, family, and community library cookbook shelves.
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on September 26, 2013
This book has fantastic recipes but the kindle edition is formatted in an awkward way. The index only shows the contents as they appear in the book and without links to where you can get the recipes, forcing you to have to guess where to find the recipe. The page numbers are also not useful in the index as kindle users do not see the page numbers. Thankfully there is still text search.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2013
If you grown your own or just want to know what is in season at the store this is the book.
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The Accidental Vegan
The Accidental Vegan by Devra Gartenstein (Paperback - January 20, 2009)


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