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Short-Cut Vegan: Great Taste in No Time Paperback – May 5, 2009

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Editorial Reviews Review

Vegetarian magician Lorna Sass pulls another carrot out of the culinary hat with this book. (Of course it's a carrot--this is a vegan cookbook!) This short and snappy book will wow you with Mushroom Barley Soup that cooks in 15 minutes, an almost instant Chickpea Curry, an inspired Vegetable Paella, Tortilla "Sushi," and more. In addition to the recipes, Sass names specific products useful for making speedy, tasty meals and recommends ingredients to keep in the pantry and freezer so there's always something to work with in the house. To prove that quick, good eating doesn't depend on recipes alone, Sass offers time-saving principles: adapt them and you'll quickly move from needing recipes to easily creating your own. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In a world awash in cookbooks, many of them vegetarian, this one by an award-winning author of many other cookbooks (e.g., Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure, LJ 8/94) stands out. Handsome and well designed, it offers recipes that are truly quick and easy to prepare without being boring or predictable. All recipes are vegan?no dairy products or eggs are used. Sass begins with "Ten Strategies for Short-Cut Vegetarian Cooking." These include the use of high-quality prepared foods and of "secret" ingredients for intense taste. Following is a section on stocking the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer with staples. Sass stresses the importance of using the right tool for each preparation and cooking task. The 100-plus recipes include preparation times and storage hints. Highly recommended for cookery collections.?Carol Cubberley, Univ. of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; Reprint edition (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061741116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061741111
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lorna Sass is fondly known as "the Queen of Pressure Cooking." She is also a widely published food writer and an award-winning cookbook author. Check out her new blog:

Lorna became interested in pressure cooking during the mid-eighties when most Americans had either never heard of this magical appliance or were afraid of it! Her COOKING UNDER PRESSURE, published in 1989, became a best-seller with over 250,000 copies in print. The 20th-Anniversary revised edition of COOKING UNDER PRESSURE came out on November 3,2009.


During the nineties, Lorna wrote numerous vegan cookbooks, recognizing that a vegan approach to food created a much smaller carbon footprint. This was decades before cookbook authors were writing about the connection between food and sustainability. Her RECIPES FROM AN ECOLOGICAL KITCHEN was published in 1992! Her NEW VEGAN COOKBOOK was nominated for an IACP Award and her latest title in this category is SHORT-CUT VEGAN.

Her fourteenth cookbook, WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY, published in 2006, was awarded the prestigious James Beard Award in the "healthy focus" category. Her latest cookbook, WHOLE GRAINS FOR BUSY PEOPLE, focuses on quick-cooking recipes for cooks on the go.

Lorna has often found herself ahead of her time. While studying for her PhD in medieval literature at Columbia University, she wrote four historical cookbooks that were published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art--decades before anyone was studying food history!

Lorna's food articles have been published in dozens of prominent newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Gourmet, and Bon Appetit. In addition to her own blogs, she has blogged for The Huffington Post and Green Fork, and wrote a monthly recipe column for

She is a member of Slow Food, The Author's Guild, and the Women's Culinary Alliance and an alumna of Les Dames des Escoffier, an organization of the top women in the food industry.

Lorna's current passion is to make healthy food available to all, and she is especially eager to help people grow their own food on rooftops and in community gardens in NYC.

For further information, visit

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

176 of 177 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've long been a fan of Lorna Sass' work. When she started publishing her cookbooks, "vegan" was still considered a fairly odd cooking style, so all the book titles used the word "vegetarian." When I first discovered "Lorna Sass' Complete Vegetarian Kitchen" was totally vegan, I snapped up a copy, and it's become a tried and true reference at our house. We've learned through experience that her recipes always work. This has been especially helpful to my husband, as he learns to cook. He's not an intuitive cook (he describes himself as a developing cook), but he can follow a recipe, so when recipes are good, his cooking is good. I like that! We actually own four of Lorna Sass' books.

The book I most recently acquired is a revised edition of "Short-Cut Vegetarian," now more appropriately titled "Short-Cut Vegan: Great Taste in No Time." This is really more than just a collection of quick recipes, it's a guide to setting up your kitchen with the supplies you need to create fast, healthy and delicious vegan meals. She gives detailed information on how to efficiently stock the pantry -- shelves, freezer and refrigerator -- with basic essentials. There is also helpful information information on kitchen tools, food storage and food prep. She gives recipes for preparing flavor-enhancing condiments to have on hand, but also recommends store-bought equivalents if you prefer to take the easiest route. The recipes are an assortment of inviting combinations such as "Orange-Scented Lentil Ragout, "Cabbage and Potatoes in Mustard Sauce," "Pasta With Broccoli Rabe and Olives," and "Pineapple-Ginger Ice." Each recipe is accompanied by personal commentary that expands and enriches it.
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174 of 175 people found the following review helpful By Brian Sharp on February 20, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every cookbook I own has a focus. Some are ethnic cookbooks. Some are gourmet cookbooks. Some are comprehensive references.
This cookbook's focus is speed. Every recipe lists the "prep time" and "cook time", and for almost all recipes those times are each between 5 and 15 minutes.
Each recipe consists of a short list of ingredients, and the preparation directions are clear and super-concise. Occasionally, one ingredient in a recipe will be a product of another recipe, which is usually a pet peeve of mine in cookbooks, but such ingredients are rare and always have store-bought equivalents if you don't want to prepare them yourself.
Many of the recipes can also be converted from leftovers into a different form -- the quinoa / potato / corn / pepper pilaf easily becomes a stew with a couple cups of water and some veggie stock powder. This is especially handy if you primarily cook just for yourself (as I do.)
I only have two complaints about the book, and they're not major. The first is the lack of all photography, although it sure makes the cookbook unbelievably inexpensive, so it's a fair trade.
My second (minor) complaint is that either I'm a slow cook, or her prep times assume that the ingredients are already as specified -- a recipe will call for chopped carrots, diced pepper, diced tofu, etc. and I think the prep time assumes you already have it all diced and chopped. Either that, or it's simply that I'm chopping everything by hand rather than with a food processor. Either way, the recipes generally seem to take me roughly 150% to 200% of the time she allots. Since I'm not a professional chef (to say the least) I can totally accept that this is just me being slow.
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71 of 71 people found the following review helpful By E. Elliott on May 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
My copy of "Shortcut Vegetarian" is in tatters after 10 years of constant use. Perfect timing for a re-issue. The recipes are delicious, fast, healthy, interesting AND easy to prepare. This is one of the only cookbooks I own where I have tried and enjoyed almost every recipe. Most recipes are followed by useful variations and accompanied by Lorna's friendly and useful comments. The preparation and storage tips for many of the ingredients are short and to the point. This slim and lightweight book is packed with great recipes and ideas!
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By terry harmon on January 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm a vegeterian. I don't eat meat, dairy, eggs or fish. It's been very difficult to cook for my family. I finally found this book which has excellent recipes. My husband is not a vegetarian but, seems to love all the meals I've been preparing lately. He is now considering on becoming a vegan too. The recipes are super easy and the ingredients can be easily found at the supermarket.
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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Karen D. Craig on October 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Since I own hundreds of cookbooks, it's rather difficult to actually use them all, especially on a regular basis. However, I LOVE this one, and it's used quite regularly. Some of the recipes have become family favorites that we make often. The recipes really are easy too! Good food fast & easy!
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Tina on July 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Short-Cut Vegan appears to be a re-issued book. I am glad that HarperCollins has decided to make it available as this book is a little gem.

I have been heading more and more towards being vegan, however, as I am an extremely lazy cook, the recipes cannot take very long or be too complicated or involved - enter Short-Cut Vegan cookbook.

This little cookbook is great, great, great! From its compact and convenient size, to its easy to read recipes, that are quick, fun and yum! tasty! I ended up making 7 recipes in the first few days I received it.

As mentioned, the recipes are super easy and quite fast to make and there is a very nice variety of vegan meals to select from. The Spinach with "Toasted Coconut and Black Mustard Seeds" was delish! and I loved "the Unlimited Waffle Mix" (try the Sunflower Seeds version).

The only thing I miss in this book were the pictures. There are no pictures of the "end result" which, for someone with my limited gifts in cooking, could use as a handy guideline to make sure that what I am making looks remotely like its suppose to!

Still, this is a great little cookbook.
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