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The Gentle Chef Cookbook: Vegan Cuisine for the Ethical Gourmet
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This guy has taught me to cook and to cook REALLY GOOD FOOD, that happens to be vegan. So often, vegan cookbooks teach you to cook food that doesn't look like food. This man teaches the techniques to cook food that looks like food on your plate and taste's like food in your mouth.

He's a master at Seitan. And, it's Seitan that doesn't come out tasting like dry bread or mushy bread. My favorite is the Rack of Ribz. I've fixed them as ribs and I've also altered the recipe to turn them into kabobs cooked on the grill with a north African basting sauce. They are chewy and the correct mouth feel--like ribs. I also love the vegan filet mignon. I've used it to make pot roast and chicken fried steaks.

You will also like being able to make you own vegan Mayo (for much less money than that outrageously priced vegan Mayo in the stores), make your own palm oil free "buttah" and your own Worchesthire Sauce for much less money than you pay for vegan in the store (and it's a dead on match in terms of taste).

Seitan, Mayo and "buttah" is not the only thing he offers! Try the vegan cheeses and try the Coconut Cream Pie!

I've been following Skye on his website and on FB for several months and have learned so much. I literally credit him for teaching me to be a really really good cook. He's taught me the techniques I needed to transform my cooking into something very special. This is a must have book! Before I bought the book from Amazon, I purchased 5 of the CD sets--one for myself and four for gifts. This is a remarkable book and Skye Michael is a remarkable compassionate human being!
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
UPDATE: Having tried many more of the seitan recipes, in the book and the website, one thing for sure, is that when you try the recipes, if you follow the instructions, as written, you will not be disappointed.

Every single recipe is turning out to be well worth the effort, which, to me, is pretty unusual for a cookbook. Normally, not every single recipe is great, but, they are turning out to be and on top of it are cruelty free.

You don't have to worry about the old time method of preparing seitan, and it is quick and easy to put together. It literally takes, at the most, 15 minutes, to measure, mix, wrap up, or set the water to boil. The only thing that takes the time is the baking/steaming or boiling and then allowing the texture to firm up in the refrigerator (usually around 8 hours - but, we sometimes can't wait that long - it is still good).

The more you "practice" with the recipes and techniques, the easier it becomes and you KNOW they will come out.

The Ribz are so easy and actually do "rip-apart". The swedish meatballs, excellent! and the Roast Turk'y with stuffing was our Thanksgiving main dish. The Roast Beaf came out really good and made a great French Dip sandwich, with the Aus Jus sauce (which was very "meaty" tasting).

We just tried the seitan burgers and pastrami recipes, on the author's website, and I have to say that you definitely won't miss fast food takeout burgers. These are better than the Morningstar grillers burgers and are homemade, no preservatives/artificial flavors and you know exactly what went into them.

Any new vegetarian/vegan, should pick this book up, as it will definitely make the transition easier, or just check out the website and get a feel for the recipes.

Original review:
I literally just baked 4 seitan roast recipes from the book, all at once, today. I made the Greek Gyro Roast, the Baked Hammy, the Herb Roasted Chik'n, and the German Bratwurst. I halved several of the recipes, and it still made a significant amount. One was supposed to be shaped into sausages (the bratwurst)and steamed, however, the recipe was very forgiving, for me.

This is, honestly, the first time, I have ever made homemade seitan, and it did not have the immediate "wheat gluteny" taste. The texture for each roast was tender, as promised. The author gives detailed instructions for preparation, that are very easy. I was able to ask the author, through e-mail, from a link on his website, on how he came about what method he uses to prepare the seitan, and he was kind enough to answer.

I usually justify my collection of vegetarian/vegan cookbooks, as cost effective, in that if you find at least one good recipe, in a book, it usually costs that much for one dinner out, so, I feel you honestly get your money's worth with this. We have paid for dinners with just three small slices of seitan, for a lot more than what this book costs.

My absolute favorite cookbook and standby, has been The Grit's Vegetarian Restaurant cookbook, and, to me, this one is on the same level. The recipes really do produce a great product and are cost effective, in that you can freeze them for up to 3 months.

I know there are many more recipes to try in this book, however, I personally feel that the biggest reason to purchase it is for the seitan recipes. Hopefully, this author will continue to create more of these great recipes to share!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is the one cookbook that I can't put down! I admit it. I am a cookbook junkie. I have hundreds of them. Why do I have so many? The problem I find is that with most cookbooks, you will find a handful of "go to" recipes that you'll want to create over and over again, but the rest never get you drooling. That's not the case with "The Gentle Chef Cookbook". In Skye-Michaels brilliant book, I found myself marking almost every single page with post-its as the recipe I want to try next!

It doesn't matter if you are an amateur cook like myself, or an experienced chef, Skye-Michael takes you on a culinary adventure, from all of your favorite comfort foods that you grew up with all the way up to sophisticated cuisine and not only veganizes them, but gives you clear instructions to ensure your success.

It also doesn't matter if you are a vegan, vegetarian or omni, the food stands on it's own merit regardless of the protein source. Even if you are not vegan, and you want a healthier diet, or if you are thinking about making the transition and don't want to give up your favorite foods, with this book you won't miss the animal proteins.

This has to be hands down the most comprehensive book on making seitan I have ever seen. With Skye-Michaels recipes not only is it easy and fun, but the results are sensational not to mention delicious! There are whole sections on roasts, sausages & seitan specialties like Seitan Mignon. My Thanksgivings will never be tasteless again! I just made the "Roast Beaf" the other day and brought sandwiches of ultra thin slices with No-Eggy Garlic Mayo, (also in the cookbook) for my co-workers (one vegetarian and one omnivore) and they both loved them. The omni asked if I would teach his girlfriend how to cook like that! Tonight I am making Chik'n Seitan so I can have cutlets ready to make myself some scrumptious Chik'n Parmesan tomorrow night!

This book contains a great deal more than just incredible seitan recipes such as: Cheeses, breakfast fare, appetizers, spreads, dressings, soups, gravies, desserts, etc.! Check out the "Look Inside" feature to see a complete table of contents. Besides delicious American dishes, Skye-Michael also takes you on a gastronomic tour of the world as he creates dishes from different countries.

While this book doesn't contain pictures, you can go to his website and see photos of all the mouth watering recipes that you will soon be able to devour once you pick up a copy!

Thank you Skye-Michael Conroy for giving me back my passion for compassionate cooking! The food in this book is exquisite and I look forward to every evening when I get out of work, get into the kitchen and make another remarkable dish, whether it's "Bangers & Mash" or "Coconut Cream Pie", not only will it be insanely delicious, but it will help us all. For the animals, for our health, for the planet, for our taste buds, this book is revolutionary. I can't wait for the next book!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I've learned a LOT from this guy, and I was already a pretty darned good vegan cook. I'm always on the lookout for really deep, innovative work on vegan cooking, but what one usually encounters is the same old stuff. Enough of that. I know how to do a salad and make a smoothie. Teach me something new. Skye Conroy really delivers on this. Much, much to learn from him that can really enrich, really deepen your abilities in the kitchen. I don't think vegan cooking will ever be the same after this book!!! Really a spectacular achievement. If there is one indispensable book in the kitchen of someone who wants to prepare delicious, healthy, innovative meals, this is it. Conroy goes beyond the basics and delivers a lot of "news you can use" to take your cooking to a whole other level, but he's clear enough that even a novice will be able to follow what he has to say. In fact, that's probably the best thing about this wonderful book. It teaches, clearly, succinctly, what one needs to know to cook healthy, compassionate, delicious meals. In three words: Nom Nom Nom
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This cookbook is aesthetically pleasing and is a companion to Skye Michael Conroy's website "The Gentle Chef". I've tried many of these recipes, myself, before the cookbook came out. They are DELICIOUS and easy for a beginner in cooking Vegan recipes. I must say, though, that Skye wins the prize on his Seitan recipes. Others I've found were not easy and came out a very strange texture. He has a few methods, my favorite is the baking method and it comes out SO DELICIOUS every single time when I follow the recipe. The best thing of all, you can have tasty foods, feel like you are not missing ANYTHING, and every recipe is CRUELTY FREE! It is sure to turn the most die-hard meat eater into considering alternatives. Now I am so happy I have a copy of his recipes for my own collection to take right into the kitchen with me. Delivery and packaging were excellent. SO WORTH more than what I paid.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I'd give Skye's cookbook 100 stars if I could!

Since I got it, I haven't bought a single pre-packaged processed meat/dairy alternative. The recipes are so easy and each time I try a new one, I think, 'this is my favorite!' but they're all so good that it's honestly really hard to pick just one. The carving board smoked turk'y is my go-to meat alternative with the ribz in a close second. The coconut crème pie is to die for and I get rave reviews every time I make it for a family get together or a dinner party. Everyone is always so surprised that it's 100% vegan and that's the best compliment ever!

I've also lost weight since I started using the recipes in the book because they leave me so satisfied that I find myself getting fuller faster and eating much less to satisfy my cravings. I didn't know that being vegan could taste so good! These recipes taste better and are much cheaper to make than anything you could buy-plus you know exactly what you're putting into them and making your own food is so satisfying! I've done so many second takes while eating some of the foods because they all taste so very real and if I hadn't made them myself, I'd be concerned that someone had slipped some animal products in without me knowing lol.

Do yourself and your family a favor and buy this book!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have been using The Gentle Chef recipes for awhile now...I must say that the seitan recipes are my favorite and ALWAYS turn out great. I in fact, don't make any other recipe from any other chef. Everything is delicious, you should definitely buy this book! :)
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is by far the best cookbook I've ever had. Everything I've made so far gets five stars. I'm not all that into cooking but with foods like these it's definitely worth the effort. Highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to make extraordinary vegan food. My non-vegan guests finally rave about the foods I make.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is more than just a cookbook. It is a culinary adventure and the next best thing to attending a culinary academy at a fraction of the cost. You not only get amazing recipes but the step by step instructions to complete them with success. The CD is a great companion to the cookbook and allows you to see beautiful pictures of the finished product. Your friends and family will be amazed with your creations be they vegan, vegetarian or carnivore! Be prepared for shocked looks and rave reviews on your skills at creating the many mouth pleasing feasts available in this book. Even my carnivore guys proclaim the seitan, "fake meat" in their terms, a huge success. Skye is a genius in the kitchen with a passion for animals, the planet and great food. Join the gastronomical adventure along with many of us who aspire to be gentle chefs! Bon Appetit!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a must have for newbies to the experienced gourmet! I have been following Skye-Michael's blogs for a while now and have never been disappointed. Not only did it take him two years to perfect one of the recipes (he won't settle for anything but the best in terms of texture and taste), but it also includes info on vegan ingredients for the newbies. There are easy recipes to make vegan basics like butter, 'cheese', mayo, etc and info on storing to maintain the best quality. And I've discovered that it's a lot cheaper to make vegan condiments than to buy them. Amazing cookbook! My family and friends, vegan and non-vegan love everything I've tried. In fact, when I have to take something to a potluck, every one is always surprised that I don't bring a salad or a big bowl of vegetables. I bring one of the recipe's from the book and it's opened some minds. I have to say it again, an amazing and must have for the vegan, or any kitchen! Recipes include breakfast lunch and dinner favorites such as bangers and mash to Shepherd's pie and filet Mignon. There are many other cultural recipes as well. Had to share:)
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