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342 of 350 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, nutritious slow cooker recipes you'll love - vegan or not!
Before I begin, let me make this clear: my husband and I are not vegans, or even vegetarians. So I hope you're pleasantly surprised to hear that upon opening this book for the first time, I literally bookmarked at least 15 recipes and couldn't decide what to make first. And even moreso, that our experiences thus far have been great. We've enjoyed the Italian Eggplant...
Published on September 20, 2011 by C. Lyons

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507 of 576 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Save your money; just read your slow cooker manual
I have never written a bad review for a cookbook before, but every time I look over at this one, I feel so ripped off. I have over 140 vegan cookbooks and this has to be the very worst I have ever seen.

Page 17, Dried beans from scratch: 1 pound beans, water, cook overnight. That's it! And that's not all: Page 18, Everyday rice: basmati rice, water, pinch...
Published on November 3, 2011 by Azura


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342 of 350 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, nutritious slow cooker recipes you'll love - vegan or not!, September 20, 2011
This review is from: The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour (Paperback)
Before I begin, let me make this clear: my husband and I are not vegans, or even vegetarians. So I hope you're pleasantly surprised to hear that upon opening this book for the first time, I literally bookmarked at least 15 recipes and couldn't decide what to make first. And even moreso, that our experiences thus far have been great. We've enjoyed the Italian Eggplant Casserole with Cashew-Tofu Ricotta and Pantry Pot Pie so much that we fight over leftovers. Last night I made the Whole Wheat Pumpkin Gingerbread and had a little sliver this morning - fantastic!

For a long time, I was not the biggest fan of the slow cooker because most of the recipes I found were comprised of processed ingredients and just plain boring and bland. And let's not forget the slow cooker recipes that require a zillion preparation steps, thus defeating the purpose of an appliance that is meant to save some time. Recently, though, that's been changing, as I've been compiling and developing a lot more recipes that fit my desire for flavorful, healthy recipes using wholesome ingredients. And that are quite easy to throw together. This book is a wonderful piece of that collection and I can't wait to try more of the recipes, because they all meet exactly what I'm looking for.

Besides great food, Hester delivers others requirements of a great cookbook: simple ingredient lists; clear, concise instructions (that even highlight the steps which can be completed the night before); and options for substitutions to meet various dietary needs.
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183 of 190 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favorite cookbook!, September 12, 2011
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This review is from: The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour (Paperback)
You won't be sorry if you buy this one! Not only does this book contain simple, delicious, and nutritious, 100% vegan receipes, but it is also put together extremely well. The arrangement of the ingredients and instructions on each page makes each recipe easy to follow. All recipes are limited to one page, with the ingredients in the left column, and instructions in the right.

I own another cookbook (Viva Vegan by Terry Hope Romero), and while it contains tasty recipes, I rarely use it because there are multiple recipes on single pages, requiring you to turn the pages to see the remainder of many of the recipes... Which is not a good thing because you have to stop what you're doing to wash food off your hands, remove the book from the stand, turn the page, and place the book back in the stand before you can continue with the recipe. A 2nd problem I find with the arrangement of the Viva Vegan book is it's simply hard to follow with my eyes. Every time I look away (to do the next step), it takes me several seconds to find and "refocus" on the correct place on the page. So I really appreciate the user-friendly format of THIS book by Kathy Hester!

There are so many great recipes in this book, that I had a difficult time deciding what to try first. I decided to go with the "Chik'n Cacciatore" (made with seitan), and my family LOVED it! Over the next couple of days, I made the "Mix-and-Match Jambalaya", and the "Baigan Bharta" (eggplant curry).... and both were followed by rave reviews!

Some prep time is required in the recipes (chopping and sauteing), but Kathy makes it a cinch, by breaking up the instructions between "The Night Before", and "In the Morning". This helps tremendously if you want to toss everything in the crockpot on your way out to work in the morning. That being said, you don't have to do anything the night before; if you have a few additional minutes to spare in the morning, you can do everything at once.

Simply put, this is an EXCELLENT cookbook, whether you are a new vegan looking for simple, yet tasty and satisfying recipes that do not contain hard-to-find ingredients (which is common in vegan cookbooks)... or whether you're a long-term vegan, looking for a nice variety of easy to prepare, delectable dishes!
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507 of 576 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Save your money; just read your slow cooker manual, November 3, 2011
By 
Azura (Louisville, KY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour (Paperback)
I have never written a bad review for a cookbook before, but every time I look over at this one, I feel so ripped off. I have over 140 vegan cookbooks and this has to be the very worst I have ever seen.

Page 17, Dried beans from scratch: 1 pound beans, water, cook overnight. That's it! And that's not all: Page 18, Everyday rice: basmati rice, water, pinch of salt, cook. Page 25, Preserve-the-harvest diced tomatoes: "tomatoes to fill your crock," cook, freeze. Page 26, Beyond Easy Baked Potatoes: you guessed it; put potatoes in slow cooker and cook. Page 27, All-Occasion Roasted Garlic: Add 4 to 6 heads garlic and cook. Really? A whole slow cooker to cook 4 heads of garlic? Page 35, Brandied Cranberry Sauce: brandy, cranberries, sweetener, cook.

Page 59, Creamy Potato Soup: potatoes, water, non-dairy milk, 1 clove garlic, and a little seasoning. Couldn't anyone come up with that on their own? Even the Cheater Chili another reviewer mentioned, is a joke: 3 cans beans, 1 can corn, 1 can tomatoes, and chili flavorings. Anyone could do that on top of the stove in less time than it would take to clean the slow cooker!

Page 131, Sweet Herbed Beets: beets, water, herbs. Page 142, Southern-Style Green Beans: green beans, water, seasoning. Page 143 Vodka and Dill-Glazed Baby Carrots: carrots, water, vodka, seasoning. Page 189, Big Pot of Grits: grits, water, margarine. Page 190, Big Pot of Oatmeal: oats, water, non-dairy milk. Page 191, Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal: See previous recipe and add pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices. Also, two other recipes wasted on changing the flavor of oatmeal. Page 211 Earl Grey Poached Pears: pears, tea, sweetener. Page 216, Spiced cider: apple cider and spice, duh. Page 217, Cardamom Hot Chocolate: non-dairy milk, chocolate, cardamom, sugar.

I don't consider these to be vegan recipes. They are foods everyone prepares, whether they are vegan or omnivore. These so called recipes have not been adapted for vegans . . . they never, ever, contained animal products!

True, there are other more extensive recipes, but it is advertised as having 150 recipes. I think that is very misleading. And as other reviewers have mentioned, the more extensive recipes just say to add faux meat.

I only paid $11.00 for the book and got free shipping so it's not worth the trouble to send it back, but if I had looked through the book before purchasing it, it would not be a part of my collection. Any other slower cooker book would serve better; just substitute faux meat, non-dairy milk, and margarine when the original ingredients are specified.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not "set it and go" nor "fuss-free", March 4, 2012
By 
Keira (Lansing, MI) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour (Paperback)
I hate to leave a bad review for something that apparently a lot of other people love, but it just didn't work for me. Here's why:

1) Recipes require more than one day of prep. At the beginning of the book are some recipes for special crockpot-ready "chicken" and "beef" seitan. The reason they're at the front of the book? Almost every other recipe in the book calls for using one of these meat substitutes. The author recommends setting aside a day and making a huge batch of seitan to store and use for the recipes. I'm not knocking cooking in bulk, but it's really frustrating to try to use a cookbook only to see that the recipe that you want to try requires a main ingredient that you should have made some other day. And heaven help you if you do take her advice and spend a day making a huge batch of seitan and then have it not turn out correctly. To make it more annoying, the seitan that her recipes produce are for use in the crockpot only and not recommended for grilling or frying.

2) The book relies far too heavily on meat substitutes. There's a lot you can do with a crockpot and some grains and veggies, but this author uses fake meat heavily as a crutch in her recipes. I'm not opposed to meat substitutes in general. I love some Morning Star sausage patties now and then. But reliance on fake meat instead of offering up one of the many other protein-rich vegetarian ingredients out there is lazy and a turn-off for a lot of vegetarians.

3) This cookbook claims to be a "low fuss" and "set it and go" cookbook. That's 2 lies for the price of 1 right there. While there are your standard breakfast casseroles and oatmeal concoctions designed for overnight cooking, many of the recipes here have a 2,3, or 4-hour cook time that won't work for anyone looking for dishes that can be left unattended for 6-8 hours. It's my impression that a lot of people who use slow cookers are looking for recipes that can be tossed in the pot and left to cook overnight or during the workday. You simply can't do this with most of these recipes. Many also require extra fussing like stirring and adding ingredients throughout the cooking process. If someone has the time and willingness to cook a dish that needs a lot of supervision, why not just use the oven/stovetop, especially given that most of these recipes would take far less time if done that way?

4) Cook times are longer than listed...a lot longer. I have a newer slow cooker, which the author states generally tends to cook food faster than the older models she was basing her cook time on. I found that the recipes I cooked took far longer than she indicated, usually at least 2 hours longer.

5) When all was said and done, the recipes I tried just weren't that good. They were mushy and/or watery and generally not very flavorful.

Sorry that I can't give a more positive review because I really wanted to love this cookbook. Sadly, it fell far short of what I was looking for.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vegans and carnivores alike will adore the recipes in this book!, September 15, 2011
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This review is from: The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour (Paperback)
This book is a MUST have for anyone seeking easy to prepare, delicious and healthy meals (the fact that they are vegan is the non dairy icing on the cake). I was given a slow cooker over a year ago and was not inspired to plug it in until I purchased this book. In the week and a half that I have owned the book, I have already made several recipes with great success (Thai Curry Tofu, Creamy Corn Chowder, and Chana Saag-oh my!).I am especially fond of the way the recipes are set up and tasks divided into "the night before" and "in the morning". On busy days, I usually settle for a quick, cold sandwich for dinner. No longer. I am giving copies of this book to friends and family. Vegan and carnivores (and every possibility in between) alike will adore this book!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like taking a cooking class for your slow cooker!!!, October 13, 2011
This review is from: The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour (Paperback)
I was a tester for this cookbook, so I've tried many of the recipes within. It was truly like taking a cooking class. From this wonderful cookbook, I've learned:

How to cook dry beans in the crockpot, how to use the crockpot as a rice cooker, how to make and freeze bouillon cubes, amazing mouth-watering hot chocolate, chai concentrate (so much cheaper than packaged!), a "sausage" made without soy or gluten, prepping and freezing fresh tomatoes, roasting garlic, seitan from scratch, yummy quinoa and oatmeal morning recipes that make it EASY to start the day with hot breakfast--including a chocolate oatmeal which is perfect for a romantic morning, how to bake in the crockpot (which is especially wonderful in warm climates or on hot summer days when one doesn't want to heat up the whole kitchen,) how to make snack mixes and granola in the crockpot, amazing easy tapioca pudding, etc.!

Favorite recipes other than the above include a sweet potato and chard dal, balsamic onions, gingerbread, cornbread, sweet herbed beets, white bean and kale stew, veggie soup, pot pie, cheddar sausage bread, smoky bean dip, roasted veggies, cranberry vanilla quinoa, Asian greens, vanilla maple pumpkin latte, and chana saag (Indian greens and chickpeas. Is your mouth watering yet??

There are some recipes using "fake meats" in this cookbook, but there are so many recipes that don't involve them at all as you can see above. The vast majority of the recipes I tested had none whatsoever! If meat substitutes ain't your thing, substitute beans or just omit those recipes. I was thrilled to be a tester, because I learned so much!!! Every recipe I tried was delish, and now the crockpot is a major part of my cooking life. I plan to buy a few copies for holiday gifts, even giving some to carnivores...as I've never seen a slow cooker cookbook like this one!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this cookbook!, January 24, 2012
This review is from: The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour (Paperback)
This has got to be my favorite cookbook in years.

I packed away my crockpot when I stopped eating meat 15 years ago. Over the years I've looked for vegetarian or vegan slow-cooker recipe books, but was seriously disappointed by the offerings -- nothing very interesting or creative. Lots of beans and chili and soup, but not much else.

When I found this book, I was thrilled. Not only are there tasty recipes for things you would anticipate (the aforementioned beans and chili and soup) but there are oodles of recipes for things you probably hadn't guessed you could veganize in your crockpot. Lasagna? Check. Bread? Check. Granola? Check. Enchiladas? Check. Pasta dishes? Check. And on and on and on...

I've made many recipes from this book, and every single one has been delicious. Main dishes, side dishes, and more. Yesterday I slow-cooked a batch of "Fall Harvest Fruit Butter" (apple/pear/pumpkin). The house smelled incredible all day long, and the end result was fantastic.

I noticed that some other reviewers complained that the book is too reliant on "fake meat." Um, folks, if you don't like fake meat, leave it out. Or substitute tofu/tempeh/seitan. Some other reviews mention that some of the soups were too watery. I agree; I've been reducing the water by a cup or two when I make soup. Again, it's easy to adjust to your preferences.

If you like to eat, and you're a vegan, and you have a slow-cooker, you should get this book. Really, just do it.
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76 of 90 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing collection of recipes, September 23, 2011
This review is from: The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour (Paperback)
I agree with the reviewer who complained about the heavy use of fake meat products in this book. It's a trend I've come to expect from vegan cookbooks, but still hope against. I'd have rather seen more focus on vegetables and beans. Those recipes are present too, but I wish they filled more of the book. Instead, we get a lot of very modern, too-hip, meat-modeled dishes - a style of cooking that I think to be a fad that will eventually pass, not the future of vegan cooking.

The thing that really confuses me, though, is the presence of a number of recipes for breads and baked goods. Why on earth would I make banana bread or brownies in a slow cooker, when oven-cooked ones are 45 minutes away? And honestly, some of the pictures, like the pizza crust and focaccia, don't look appetizing at all. In fact, I'd say less than a quarter of the recipes even sound like dishes that I would enjoy.

I would probably return the book, except that it was inexpensive and does have a handful of recipes I might actually use. The breakfast recipes are especially promising. I haven't yet used a slow cooker to wake up to a hot and hearty breakfast, but now I just might start.

I hate to insult the author and I hope this book finds an audience. But while I think the world needs a great vegan slow cooker cookbook, this isn't it, at least for me.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Watery, relies too much on vegan "meat", January 3, 2012
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This review is from: The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour (Paperback)
I have never been inspired to write a review for a cookbook until this one. I consider myself a consistently good cook. One who can improvise and substitute and create on the fly, yet this cookbook has reduced me to near-tears twice now. The Pear & Cardamom Bread Pudding? Left me with a pile of disintegrated, gelatinous "bread" that only got more wet the more I cooked it. This is the same recipe that advises that the ascorbic acid (vitamin C) sometimes found in applesauce will curdle non-dairy and dairy milks alike, so please cook the bread pudding with WATER instead if your particular brand of applesauce contains ascorbic acid. WATER? You're going to soak bread in WATER and come out with a successful and tasty bread pudding? I don't think so. How about making your own applesauce or buying a brand that does NOT contain ascorbic acid. However, the "night before" prep for this recipe asks you to soak the chopped pear in the juice of half a lemon. HELLO?? That's going to curdle your milk too!

The Creamy Potato Soup was never NOT mashed potatoes, no matter how much water I added, and the next day it was just a chunk of solidified potato. I could have breaded it and fried it it was so dense. Nearly every recipe calls for some sort of fake vegan meat, either seitan or over-processed, pre-packaged sausages and such. A true, creative, innovative vegetarian or vegan cookbook does not rely on these types of proteins. Let's not forget the awkward, unnecessary and contradictory prep instructions that the author makes sure to include. So much is cooked before it's ever put into the crock pot that I'm not entirely sure why we're putting things into a crock pot in the first place.

Unfortunately, I made my shopping list based on about three more of these recipes this week, and I certainly don't expect much from it. I will amend my review if these meals turn out to be anywhere near "intensely flavorful" or "fuss-free", but from what I have experienced this far, I don't expect that anyone in my household will be devouring anything that comes out of this cookbook.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I never knew that cooking in a crock pot could be so delicious!, November 20, 2011
This review is from: The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour (Paperback)
When I first heard about this book, I didn't even own a slow cooker. But I've been a fan of Kathy's blog, Healthy Slow Cooking, ever since I learned that she can whip up the most enticing oatmeal recipes in her slow cooker. (Rather, in one of her many slow cookers!) She drew me in with her recipe for Carrot Cardamom Oatmeal (inspired by Indian Carrot Halwa), and she kept me coming back to her blog every day with recipes like Vanilla Fig Oatmeal Topped with Baklava Fillingand Pear Applesauce Cake Oatmeal. Although you can make any of her recipes on the stove top, since Kathy created them in her slow cooker, how could I not get one? I first made her Slow Cooker Kheer Oatmeal back in March, and I think I ate this for breakfast everyday for two weeks! It was just that yummy!

When my copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker arrived in the mail, I had to stop what I was doing, rip open the package, and start picking out recipes to try! I was completely floored by the stunning collection of intensely flavorful recipes and gorgeous photographs nestled within its pages. (Kudos to photographer Bill Bettencourt. The photo of Balsamic Brussels Sprouts is downright sexy!) While I couldn't wait to dive in to each and every recipe in this book, quite possibly the most exciting find for me was the recipe for Tea-Scented Tofu, which I made with Mountain Rose Herbs Lapsang Souchong tea. This tea's strong, smoky fragrance is reminiscent of a campfire, and it enveloped our home throughout the night. I never imagined that I'd ever be making my own smoked tofu, but the results were so much more delicate and delicious than anything store bought, I don't think I can go back to eating packaged smoked tofu again.

Inspired by the mouthwateringly appealing photo on page 119, and being a fan of sweet-and-sour dishes, with my homemade Tea-Scented Tofu all ready to go, I set out to make the recipe for Sweet and Sour Smoked Tofu. Prepared with just a few simple ingredients, this dish was colorful and flavorful.

Before becoming vegan (many moons ago), my boyfriend and I would dine out weekly weekly at an elegant (read pricy) restaurant. During these hedonistic excursions into gluttony, we'd polish off two bottles of chardonnay and indulge in the most decadent appetizers and entrees. The Eggplant Rollatini appetizer is the dish I remember most fondly. Each forkful of Kathy's Italian Eggplant Casserole with Cashew-Tofu Ricotta was every bit as delicious and transported me back to a very happy place and time.

It would never have occurred to me that one could make bread in a crock pot. Nor would I have ever thought of making cornbread with fruit. Again, Kathy amazed and delighted me with her Scrumptious Strawberry Cornbread recipe. Its perfect tender crumb and sweet corn flavor pair perfectly with strawberries. A little shmear of Earth Balance Coconut Spread, and I was on cornbread cloud nine!

Dessert in a slow cooker? Yep, you can make that, too! I'm a rice-pudding fool, and Kathy's luscious Mango Coconut Rice Pudding not only tasted sensational, but the whole house smelled like coconut while it was cooking!

No need to worry if you've never cooked in a crock pot before. The Vegan Slow Cooker contains all the handy tips and slow-cooker basics you'll need to start creating moutwatering recipes for everything from simmering soups to decadent desserts. So dust off your mother's crock pot--you know, the one that's been sitting idly in your cupboard for ages--or buy yourself a new one. (They're not outrageously expensive.) Just hink how nice it will be to wake up to a hot breakfast or have dinner waiting for you when you come home from work! With The Vegan Slow Cooker, you'll be able to start enjoying delicious home-cooked meals that are ready when you're ready to eat!
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