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Vegan Express Paperback – February 12, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (February 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076792617X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767926171
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Atlas (Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons) defies the stereotype of convenience vegan food as being heavy on rubbery, unappetizing substitutes for normal ingredients. Though many of the dishes require only around half an hour to make, they skew more toward fresh vegetables and herbs rather than to faux meat. Spicy, flavorful recipes such as Curried Chickpeas with Chutney Bulgur and Salsa Orzo and Black Bean Salad send a clear message that one can cook vegan meals that satisfy even nonvegans. Atlas does use the basic protein alternatives (seitan, tofu and tempeh) as well as vegan cheeses and creamers at times, but these are incorporated so skillfully that people who usually turn up their noses at them will have no grounds to object. The book has strong international flair, with tofu replacing eggs in a Middleeastern Shakshouka and standing in for paneer in the Indian Tofu Aloo Gobi, as well as traditional meatless favorites like Pasta Puttanesca and Pad Thai. A few snacks and desserts are included, but most of the recipes are for dishes that, with a simple side, comprise a meal, facilitating speed, and Atlas sprinkles helpful tips on menu planning and variations throughout. The lack of photos to emphasize the food's appetizing potential is disappointing, but vegan, vegetarian and health-conscious omnivores just might be convinced after trying it out. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Think cooking vegan takes too much time? Then get in the vegan fast-lane with Nava Atlas! With Vegan Express, you can deliver delicious, healthy vegan meals to your table in a flash. Nava's culinary wisdom shines through in these creative, wholesome vegan recipes that are short on time, but big on flavor! Before ordering yet another veggie pizza, pick up Vegan Express instead... your taste buds will thank you!”
—Dreena Burton, best-selling author of Vive Le Vegan!, The Everyday Vegan and Eat, Drink and Be Vegan

Vegan Express is the perfect answer to great food preparation. It’s the only cookbook you need in your kitchen.
—Howard Lyman, author of Mad Cowboy and president of Voice for a Viable Future

Vegan Express is the perfect match for today’s busy health-conscious cooks.”
—Robin Robertson, author of Quick-Fix Vegetarian and Vegan Planet

Customer Reviews

I like the book and have found some good recipes in it.
The recipes are very clear, easy to follow, and, most importantly, work.
R. Heller
I highly recommend this cookbook for any and all vegans.
Mercedez Floral

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 93 people found the following review helpful By S. Voisin on February 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll admit that I'm a little biased because I shot the photos for this cookbook, but I'm very happy about how it came out and recommend it without reservation for anyone looking for quick, healthy meals that don't require a trip to the health-foods store for ingredients. Some of the things I like about it are...

1. It has a light, airy layout that's fresh and appealing and filled with Nava's delightful illustrations.
2. The 160 delicious recipes take less than 45 minutes (and often less than 30) to prepare.
3. Each recipe has a nutritional analysis.
4. There's a pantry supply list tailored to the recipes in the book.
5. Menu suggestions accompany most recipes.
6. Most ingredients are available at your local supermarket.
7. Each page sparkles with Nava's wit and wisdom. I enjoyed reading about how her family, led by her 10-year-old son, became vegan.

Some of my favorite recipes are Pink Bean, Quinoa, and Spinach Soup; Seitan and Polenta Skillet with Fresh Greens; Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Cashew Butter Sauce; and Our Favorite Chocolate Cake. The cashew butter sauce, in particular, has become a staple in my kitchen.

Probably what I like best about this book is that it is busy-person tested. Nava wrote it while raising a family and working on her graduate thesis, a sure sign that these recipes fit right into a hectic lifestyle.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Cathe VINE VOICE on May 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I hear the word "express" in the name of a cookbook, I immediately think packaged mixes, fake meat products, and premade ingredients. So I was pleasantly surprised to open Nava Atlas's latest cookbook to find lots of quick, easy meals that can made from whole, natural foods.

For busy vegan families, "Vegan Express" can't be beat. The recipes really are quick, delicious, and healthy. My family really loves soup so we started with the Nearly Instant Corn Soup made with coconut milk and curry paste. It was impressive enough to serve company while being ridiculously easy to make. Nava listed the White Bean and Escarole Soup as one of her personal favorites so I had to give it a try. She was right - it was yummy, even with kale substituted for the escarole.

Not in the mood for a hot soup, the book offers a large selection of salads - both as main dishes and sides. We really liked the Thai Tossed Salad coated in Coconut-Peanut Sauce and the refreshing Cauliflower and Carrot Salad. I'm looking forward to trying the Warm Potato and Black Bean Salad with Red Peppers and Artichokes as well as the Creole Coleslaw.

There are plenty of hassle-free entrées to choose from. I have my eye on the Paris-inspired Seitan and Mushrooms in Paprika Cream and the Tortilla Casserole topped with homemade vegan sour cream. Pasta dishes include Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Olives and we just loved the Creamy Pasta with Asparagus and Peas (an excellent dish for spring!) Kid-friendly meals include five kinds of pizza and three versions of the Big Quesadilla. Each entrée includes suggestions for side dishes and serving ideas.

We love beans of all kinds so we really enjoyed the section: Glorious Grains and Bountiful Beans.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. Heller on March 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
I had never tried Nava's recipes before and received this book as a result of a contest, so decided to review it on my blog. I tested seven recipes. I loved every single one!

From the review:
"Vegan Express provides an antidote for the kitchen weary by proving the truism untrue after all: turns out you can prepare fresh, healthy, vegetable-rich dishes in less time than it takes to watch the evening newscast! Every recipe in the book, from appetizer to dessert, takes between 30 and 45 minutes from assembling the ingredients to digging your fork into that first steaming mouthful (and many take even less time)." (To read the full review, see [..]).

The recipes are very clear, easy to follow, and, most importantly, work. They are also flexible enough to allow the cook some leeway in customizing the flavors as desired. In recipes where I preferred more spice (we are spice hounds in our house), I simply increased the amounts in the original. In others, I liked the results just as they were.

I absolutely loved the Very Green Veggie Pesto Pizza, the Nearly Instant Thai Corn Coconut Soup, the Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cake, and the Butterscotch Mousse Pie.

I'd highly recommend this book to anyone looking for foolproof, easy, varied recipes that are kid and adult friendly--and take almost no time at all.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. M. VINE VOICE on July 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
My spouse and I own all the requisite vegan cookbooks, but this one holds the beloved #1 spot in our kitchen. (Vegan with a Vengeance used to be #1 for us, but Vegan Express won out because its recipes are just as tasty, more whole-foods based, and lightyears faster.) Vegan Express has become our go-to cookbook for everything: fast weeknight dinners, leisurely weekend brunch, cooking for visiting in-laws, even baking a chocolate birthday cake for a vegan friend at a party full of omnivores. (On that note, this cookbook's fast, easy recipe for chocolate cake is AMAZING! So rich, no one at the party could believe it was vegan.)

Here's why Vegan Express is the best cookbook we own, and why I would give the author, Nava Atlas, a hug if I ever met her:

1) Time: These recipes are fast. Most take 20-30 minutes, including prep time, and there are some in each chapter that take (no joke) only 10 minutes. We are always amazed at how quickly these recipes come together. Although we have an extensive collection of vegan cookbooks, I can say with certainty that Vegan Express is the best for busy people and families. Nava knows what she's doing here: she has two teenage boys herself, so prepare yourself for some seriously fast, seriously good food.

2) Balanced Meals: Besides being über-quick, what we love most about this cookbook is that many of its recipes are one-dish meals, meaning they incorporate a grain, protein, and lots of veggies in a single dish. Sometimes all you need to do in addition to the recipe is cook a pot of rice (but I would still consider that a one-dish meal because rice is easy and can cook while you do other stuff).
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More About the Author

Nava Atlas is the author and illustrator of many vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, most recently Wild About Greens, Vegan Holiday Kitchen, Vegan Express, and Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. Her earlier books include Vegetarian Family Cookbook and The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet.

In addition to cookbooks, Nava also produces visual nonfiction books including The Literary Ladies' Guide to the Writing Life (2011;, exploring first-person narratives on the writing lives of twelve classic women authors, and commenting on the universal relevance of their experiences to all women who love to write. Secret Recipes for the Modern Wife (2009) is a satiric look at contemporary marriage and motherhood through the lens of a faux 1950s cookbook.

Nava is also an active fine artist specializing in limited edition artist's books and text-driven objects. Her work is shown and collected by museums and universities across the U.S. You can see her work at Her home is in the Hudson Valley region of New York State, where she lives with her husband and two sons.