Customer Reviews: Supermarket Vegan: 225 Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes for Real People in the Real World
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on January 6, 2010
and it was everything I was hoping it to be. Donna Klein is, by far, my favourite vegan author. I absolutely love that she does not use any meat, dairy, or egg replacements in her recipes. I own somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty vegan cookbooks and nine times out of ten I use her Vegan Italiano book because I know I can find things that are tasty and nutritous and many of the recipes are very easy to make.

Here she takes it a step further and gives us a whole book of nothing but convenience recipes without sacrificing imagination, taste, or nutrition. And the best part is that she takes into account that people do not have time to be running to the stores or specialty stores several times a week. I live in a pretty small town and while there is a health food store it can get expensive and confusing; especially when you are new to veganism or have a limited palate. She makes a point of using ingredients that are available in our major supermarket here in town and even telling you what it is, what it tastes like, and where you can find it in the store. Also, upon examination, many of the recipes seem to use staple spices, oils, and other items so that you don't have to worry about buying two or three new spices or oils for each new recipe.

I enjoy being able to eat many different types of cuisine and Klein has included many recipes using Indian or Asian inspired ingredients. But the most exciting part to me is that this seems like the kind of book that contains the vegan "meat and potatoes" recipes that I have been searching for in that a number of the recipes look basic and simple enough that you would consider them standard fare that most people will like and enjoy eating over and over. I also really like the nutritional breakdown of each dish.

I just drew up a meal chart for the next month using this book and we are not going to be eating the same thing once and I am not going to be feeling chained to the kitchen. In conclusion, if you are looking for one basic book that keeps budget, convenience, and timing in mind without sacrificing taste then this is the book you need to get. Given a choice between my other thirty books and my collection of Donna Klein's books I would choose those any day as long as they included this book.
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on February 12, 2010
I have been interested in health and eating whole foods for years, but just recently decided to go mostly vegan. I ordered a few cookbooks and was disappointed with the exotic ingredients they required..and was overall not very enticed by many of the recipes. I had this book on my wish list and decided to go ahead and order it, and I am SO GLAD I did!!!! I practically read the book front to back and literally want to try all the recipes!! My mouth was watering just reading them!!

Things I love about the book/recipes:
-Recipes are simple, yet creative and appealing
-Nutrition information is provided for every recipe
-Ingredients are every day food I know how to use
-Spices will help me branch out into other food flavors that I love to eat but have never cooked
-99% of recipes are easy and quick to put together with convenient suggestions for items like canned beans, however if you prefer to make your own beans you certainly can!
-Light on soy products like tempeh and seitan, and there is not a feeling of trying to recreate meat..but rather of just making delicious meals that don't need to look or act like meat!

There are also conversion charts and a helpful index.

I love this cookbook!! I am off to make my shopping list now...happy eating!
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on October 7, 2010
I'm a full-time student, part-time gymnast & work part-time. 3-4 days out of the week I'm only at home long enough to brush my teeth & shower. I was in desperate need of a cookbook that had quick recipes with easy to find ingredients that I can pack to go & sometimes eat without reheating.

I picked this book up when browsing at B&N, even though originally I was there to look through Vegan Express, but I found the ingredient lists in that book would require special trips to Whole Foods & that wouldn't fit my busy schedule.
So I looked through Supermarket Vegan even though I was weary about Donna Klein. I own Vegan Italiano & while tasty, the recipes really lacked the nutrition necessary for a strength athlete. But I was pleasantly surprised that nearly ALL of the recipes have a good amount of protein & also, unlike many other super-tasty cookbooks (Veganomicon with your delicious lemon potatoes, I'm looking at you), the calories per serving were reasonable for every day meals.

Also exciting is the use of canned beans (a wide variety is used in a LOT of recipes, good for me because I wanted to up my bean consumption) & frozen veggies (I rarely see a cookbook use them, I suppose frozen veggies aren't "foodie" enough). Totally a time saver & also allows me to stock up & make things when it's convenient for me. So many vegetables have died a slow death in my crisper waiting for me to have time to prepare them.
And very few of the recipes require any large amounts of prepping veggies (especially if you buy pre-chopped onions).

The variety of cuisines is fun too. Some comfort food, Southwestern, Chinese, African/Indian, Italian, simple "Earthy"/rustic recipes, and Southern.

Lastly, the dessert section is perfect. All but 2 of the desserts are fruit based (1 being veggie based, pumpkin strudel, and the other being Peanut Butter bars). Which is awesome in my opinion.

I cannot recommend this book enough to people that want to be healthy but are busy & constantly on the go. It's convenient, versatile, simple & well balanced. An absolute treasure.

Edited to review the recipes.

So far I've made
-Butternut Squash & Roasted Red Pepper soup (it was a bit too sweet, but perfect when I added pasta to it)
-Cauliflower & Potato soup (delicious)
-Three-Bean Barley Chili (delicious, the barley adds a "meaty" bite/texture)
-African Cabbage, Carrot, Potato & Chickpea Stew (delicious)
-Italian-Style Artichoke & White Bean Salad (so good)
-Couscous & Chickpea Salad with Olive & Walnuts (OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD)
-Bow-tie Pasta Salad with Peas & Sun-dried Tomatoes (delicious, only recipe I've made twice so far)
-Pot-Sticker Salad with Sugar Snap Peas & Carrots (very good, but I would rather a sweeter sauce) (served this with the sesame green beans)
-Pinto-bean Sloppy Joes (good flavor but I didn't like the texture of the filling, but I compare everything to Man-wich & everything veggie fails)
-Quick moo-shu Vegetables (very good)
-Cincinnati-Style Chili Mac (super yum)
-Quinoa pilaf with Dried Cranberries & Toasted Almonds (delicious)
-Sesame green beans (very good)

So out of 13 recipes there are only 2 that I won't be making again. Not a bad proportion.
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on January 29, 2010
The best thing I can say is that my two toddlers like the recipes.

This book has easy and good tasting recipes. I bought this book while looking for a vegetarian book. With in a minute of flipping it open I found several recipes that looked good with items I know. That doesn't usually happen with vegetarian/vegan cookbooks.

If the ingredients are not in my pantry, its something I am use to cooking with. I have yet to come across something that I have not used. A big plus.

I like some of the short cuts suggested in the book. Nothing is made from scratch. Its usually going to come from a can or bag if possible, but that isn't a bad thing. I am trying to cook healthier meals so I appreciate some of the short cuts. Most I have thought of, but others I had not. I was kind of annoyed with myself that I didn't think of some of the combinations. They are obvious.

Some recipes seem to lack veggies, with two much pasta or beans in the recipe. Maybe its just the ones I picked out. I don't know. Not a big problem, since I can always add or cook a side dish.

Overall I am very happy with this books. Its easy and quick to cook from and everyone likes the meals.
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on April 5, 2010
I borrowed a copy of Supermarket Vegan from my local public library. I was interested in the cookbook because I am trying to eliminate my use of "fake meats". After making "Black Bean and Avocado Wraps with Shredded Cabbage" and "Stuffed Pitas with Curried Chickpea Spread", I HAD to purchase this cookbook. The recipes are delicious and there are many more good ones to try. The added "bonus" of the nutritional information for each recipe sealed the deal for me!!!
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This is one of the easiest and most accessible vegan cookbooks I've ever seen. I'm not a vegan, but I want to make more of my meals meat-free for health and monetary reasons. I date a vegetarian, too, and I wanted more things we could eat together. I was very pleased by this book -- it fits the bill on all counts.

Often vegan cookbooks have the goofiest, weirdest flavor combinations possible (think "The Adventures of Captain Cumin and His Loyal Sidekick Agave Nectar"), are prohibitively ethnic, or feature ingredient lists you won't find anywhere on the planet except mail order from Kaly's or the fanciest Whole Foods-ish supermarkets if you fortunately happen to live somewhere really trendy. I'd utterly despaired of finding a cookbook that actually looked like how normal people ate. While it does expect that your supermarket is reasonably well-stocked, meaning that if you live in Schoenschoen, Kansas, you might have some problems finding its ingredients, I didn't see anything really out of the ordinary in it. Moreover, there weren't any ingredients in it that I had not at one time actually purchased at my local supermarket here in Idaho.

Best of all, the recipes were quite good. I've already made several things in it, including a barley and lentil bean dish that tasted really good and will be making a future appearance on my table. Some of the recipes I made I did some big substitutions, but they really do lend themselves to experimentation and I didn't suffer for the lack of this or that in the larder. If you're missing something, chances are you have something else that'll work in a given recipe just fine.

The science sounds somewhat outdated, namely in the "complete proteins" arena; the author puts a whale of a lot of stock in the concept but I was under the impression that it wasn't the end-all be-all she was claiming, but maybe that's just how I read her introductions. The food itself is marvelous and looked very nutritious. Seasonings are kept to a light hand. She uses whole grains, but also a lot of convenience foods like canned goods. I didn't notice much in the book that'd require an unusual amount of cooking time or prep work. Some party foods are also introduced and I liked how she got around the whole cheese and dairy situation for dips and other finger foods.

All in all, I haven't ever seen such an easy to use vegan cookbook. Definitely recommend for beginners and even for old-timers, and for those who have to avoid dairy products for health reasons.
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on January 6, 2010
I have tried 2 recipes already for lunches, YUM! I really like the how she has suggested substitutions to cook from your pantry. There is a calore/fat/sodium guide for each recipe. Most recipes seem pretty quick and easy, dinner in under an hour. Not a lot of soy/tofu recipes. As a working mother I will be using this cookbook daily.
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on August 8, 2011
I've had this book for some time now and have made quite a few recipes from it, but I've never been totally "wowed" by any of them. There are a couple of good ones that I make from time to time (Spicy Red Bean Dip and Lazy & Hungry Garlic Pasta are two of them), but the rest of the ones I've made have been one extreme or the other: too bland or too overpowering. A lot of the ingredients are used over and over (marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red bell peppers, balsamic vinegar), just different incarnations of the same flavors. Certainly not a bad book to have in a vegan cookbook arsenal, just perfectly average.
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on March 20, 2011
As a mom of two young kids and running my own business I don't take the time to write reviews often. This book made me get up early to sing its praises. I purchased this cookbook two weeks ago and have made 6 dishes from it. Of those six ALL of them would be considered 'do overs' in our home. The recipes are simple but incredible. My husband is a confirmed carnivore and he hasn't complained once because the recipes are just that good. Klein does a few things in her book that really helps me out. 1: she doesn't use a lot of soy (I personally believe that we are over 'soyed'). 2: she doesn't use those weird meat stand-ins like TVP or tofurkey stuff. 3: You really can find these ingredients anywhere. 4: These recipes are fast. Really fast.

I just bought two more of this book to give as gifts and her gluten free vegetarian book to try. Buy it. It's worth it.
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on February 9, 2010
I'm new to the vegan recipes and I found this book very easy to follow, the author even tells you how long each step should take. The recipes I've made so far have been well accepted by my family and have not taken more than 30 minutes to prepare. Sometimes I've had to substitute due to what I've got in my pantry, but the meals have still turned out well. As for finding the ingredients in my local supermarket; yes, they've been easy to locate (in south-eastern states). I gave this a rating of 5 stars because in my opinion it lives up to its claim, my only complaint is there are too many recipes made in the mexican/southwestern style and my family doesn't like those recipes. Other than that, this book is easy to follow and easy to use as either a new vegan or one that just wants to shop in a general supermarket rather than a whole foods market.
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