From Publishers Weekly
When Gentry opened her first vegan restaurant, Real Food Daily (RFD) in Santa Monica, Calif., in 1993, naysayers said a meat-free, dairy-free restaurant with a focus on organic produce would never make it. But Gentry knew she could serve "real food"—satisfying, nutritious and delicious cuisine—without animal products. Three RFD restaurants later, she presents this cookbook, a reflection of what she has learned about seasonal, organic, macrobiotic and vegan cooking. Gentry doesn't break new ground—sandwiches made with tempeh instead of meat, and nut cheeses like cashew cheddar will be familiar to most vegans—but she provides clear and comprehensive directions on how to make them more interesting and flavorful. For example, she adds tofu ricotta cheese to her Reuben sandwich and enhances Lentil-Walnut Pâté with fresh basil and thyme. Gentry explains the basics without preaching or condescending to readers, and discusses nutritional benefits without unnecessary jargon. Beginning cooks and those new to veganism will find much to enjoy here. (Oct.)
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This vegan cookbook springs from Gentry's experiences at her Southern California restaurant chain. Gentry has attracted a host of followers to her vegan lifestyle by cooking with carefully chosen and imaginatively seasoned fresh, organic ingredients. In making pasta salad, Gentry uses spelt pasta rather than the customary wheat version. With this salad's julienned peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, olives, and toasted pine nuts in balsamic vinaigrette, one needs no extraneous meat. Soymilk substitutes in many recipes for cow's milk, and tofu cheese makes up for the absence of dairy cheese. She transforms hackneyed green bean-canned mushroom soup casserole by steeping fresh green beans in vegan mushroom gravy and topping them with homemade fried onion rings. Tempeh substitutes for meat where necessary. Since many devoted vegans avoid refined sugar, desserts call for maple syrup and swap in vegetable oils for butter. Gentry advocates using only seasonally available fresh ingredients, preferring not to prepare any dish that calls for an item not immediately locally available. Mark KnoblauchCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved