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Showing 1-10 of 132 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
VINE VOICEon October 8, 2009
This is an extremely sincere high-end vegan cookbook. In the past, vegan cookbooks produced average to sub-average results and include recipes that involve either mixing vegetables (cooked or raw) in various combinations, using frozen pie dough and wonton skins in a couple obvious ways, and simplistic tofu/tempeh recipes that don't taste very good. There are a few breakthrough high-end vegan cookbooks lately from inspired chefs, such as "Great Chefs Cook Vegan," compiled by Linda Long, "Vegan Soul Kitchen" with Bryant Terry and now this one.

This book is more comprehensive than the other two because it goes gives vegan chef bios (many of them vanguard and brilliant)and important vegan restaurant history as well as rationale for eating vegan and ways to use new-to-newish vegan ingredients, such as Gardein (vegan "meat" products; chicken breasts, chicken strips, and beef strips), Earth Balance (vegan butter in solid form), Vegannnise (vegan mayo), Field Roast Italian Style seitan sausages, New Chapter All-Flora probiotic capsules (to culture homemade cashew or macadamia cheese and give it a sharp flavor), tempeh bacon, precooked udon noodles, vegan mozzarella, etc . Also, for people who haven't cooked vegan, recipes are included for ingredients for more involved recipes such as cashew butter, hazelnut milk, Asian slaw, the use of ground flaxseed in baked goods as a substitute for eggs, and new ones such as chipolte cream and tofu ricotto.

Most people would probably enthusiastically eat vegan if they had access to meals of this quality. So, the challenge is to learn how to cook at this level, how to use the unique ingredients, until it becomes easy.

One challenge of vegan are the tofu, tempeh and seitan preparation, because of their high protein content; a couple winner recipes here are Old Bay tofu cakes and cornmeal encrusted tempeh. Recipes with new meat-substitute products bring a welcome level of sophistication and ease to vegan cooking. Additionally, there are presented a number of great unusual grain recipes using quinoa, spelt flour, etc.

For those who haven't cooked vegan or vegetarian, this book will give you contemporary "how-to" that will make your first efforts worthy endeavors and bring your skills to produce multi-level and exotic flavors quickly. No oddball vegan results here. Working from this book is cooking with vegan master chefs, you really can't go wrong. It is the sort of book beginners should cook their way through. By the time they get to the last page, they will be a master vegan cook with a sophisticated repetoire... a very nice endeavor indeed.

I was a bit apprehensive that this cookbook was going to be mainly a promotion vehicle for Gardein because it has been pre-featured on their website, but it is not. It is an excellent vegan cookbook, probably the best quality and most comprehensive one on the market.
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on October 6, 2009
This book is a must-have for anyone who entertains the occasional vegan or has a family member that is vegan. More importantly, it is likely the best resource out there for those who wish to 'wow' a meat-eater with vegan dishes. These dishes will blow you away, and Tal pays well deserved respect to some of the leading vegan chefs in the world (so a reader has the benefit of their expertise as well). You will not be disappointed with this book - the information is compelling, the photos are exceptional and the dishes are to die for.
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on October 15, 2009
I'm so proud to have this cookbook in my kitchen. The recipes are easy to understand, well-written, and creative. Plus the photos and page designs are stunning. I served a few of the Gardein dishes recently to some meat-eater friends and they didn't know it wasn't chicken until I told them after! Whole Foods now carries the Gardein products, but make sure to ask your local stores to carry them. A few of the dishes I have made so far, corn chowder (flavors to die for!), "Chicken" Piccata, Chopped Salad, Grapefruit Salad, Endive Quinoa Salad with Oranges, Quinoa with sweet potatoes and tomatillo dressing (the presentation looked amazing!) this dish will truly impress your dinner guests! Can't wait to make more! I highly suggest you buy this book if you are looking into eating healthier, but still want knock-out flavors and beautiful fine dining presentations. He has tons of delicious substitutes for dairy, meat and fish, and you won't be able to taste the difference!
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on October 6, 2009
This is, by far, the most beautiful cookbook I've ever seen. The photography is stunning, the design is flawless. The recipes? They are incredible. Creative, delicious, and highly satisfying, the dishes in this book are any foodie's dream. No Thanksgiving table will be complete this year without an Oven-Roasted Banana Rum Cheesecake with Spiced Pecan Crust and Maple Rum Sauce!
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on October 8, 2009
The Conscious Cook is everything I want in a cookbook: it is unintimidating, encouraging, beautiful, clear, and educational (but never boring.) It is full of personality! I love learning about the chef's own preferences, and I really appreciate the positivity with which he lightly touches upon veganism. I also appreciate that unlike my countless other lovely cookbooks, this one provides endless soyless options! I have tried a couple of the recipes already and am inspired by how shockingly easy they were to prepare and make look stunning. Thank you!
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on October 31, 2010
A new neighbor's kindness introduced me to The Conscious Cook. He arrived at our door with a container of creamed asparagus soup as we were busy moving in to our new home. As he left he said, "oh, by the way... there's no cream or milk products in this soup." Later, as we sat down to eat, my husband kept remarking, "this is one of the best soups I've ever eaten." The next day he arrived with yet another container, this time, a chicken tortilla soup. Again, my husband raved, "this is one of the best soups I've ever eaten." I knew I must see if our neighbor would share his recipes. He was happy to share and showed me Tal Ronnen's book. He has taken the cashew base used for soups in the book and had fun creating his own soups with it. He has even used almonds in place of the cashews, with excellent results. We are not vegan in our home, but the soups were so delicious that it piqued my interest. I enjoyed the cookbook so much that I've now ordered several copies for family and friends. My sister-in-law, who is lactose intolerant, was thrilled to learn of the delicious nut-based soups. Of course, the book includes much more than soups. It is beautifully presented and a pictorial treasure. I look forward to eating my way through it as soon as the boxes are all unpacked!
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on November 3, 2009
I ordered this book after seeing it on Oprah. I am not a vegetarian or a vegan, but I don't really like to eat meat. My husband is a huge carnivore and hasn't been at all interested in becoming a vegetarian (certainly not a vegan)- but he's open-minded and he loves to cook (which I don't like to do). When we first looked at this book I seriously considered sending it back. The dishes seemed complicated and called for a lot of ingredients I'd never heard of and didn't think would be available in my small town... but I changed my mind and found that (almost) all of the ingredients were available at my regular grocery store! So my husband and I chose an entree recipe and together we cooked it up one day for lunch. I prepped most of the items (which I like to do) and he cooked everything on the stove. The meal was absolutely fantastic!! My husband loved it too and we had plenty left-over and each time he eats it again he exclaims how great it is!! We're very excited! (We made the Seitan Sausage, Artichoke and Oyster Mushroom dish- only I used baby portabellas since oyster mushrooms couldn't be found.) My husband LOVES sausages and eats them almost everyday in some form... but he tastes no difference in these vegan sausages! We're looking forward to making more dishes together since not only are they delicious, but we've enjoyed this new activity together (and I don't have to worry about my kitchen being contaminated with bacteria all over the place- like I do when my husband makes meat dishes in there- I'm very happy about this too!). We highly, highly recommend this cookbook. The recipes may appear complicated and time-consuming but it turned out to be easy and fun :) AND after my husband tasted the vegan butter (Earth Blend), he's decided to eat that now instead of the regular butter he's been eating by the 1/2 stick a day for his entire life before now! He doesn't taste any difference. This has definitely all been a welcome surprise to us both :)
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on October 6, 2009
This cookbook is seriously one of the best I've ever used. The recipes make it so easy to choose healthy and humane foods. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on October 6, 2009
Wow! That pretty much sums up The Conscious Cook. I recommend this book to anyone -- from the hardcore vegan to the most unrepentant carnivore. This cookbook is a homerun. A masterpiece.
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on October 6, 2009
Great photos. You never thought vegetarian food could look and taste this good.
Lots of substitute products that I would never of known about.
Easy to follow and a pleasure to read.
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