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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2011
Inspired by reading a one-star review of Veganomicon by a reviewer who hadn't even picked up the book, I thought that if people who haven't even touched a copy can write a review, then I can too! Not only do I have it, but I've made at least 50 recipes from this book and it is far and away my favorite. I could go on for characters about my favorites, but this book definitely has something for every person and every occasion. From really homey, filling recipes like Creole Stuffed Peppers and Snobby Joes to new flavors and combinations for my taste buds like the Broccoli-Potato Soup with Fresh Herbs and Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelized Onions and Sage Crumb Topping. It's also got plenty of really simple, inexpensive, and quick recipes like Basic Broiled Tofu, Baked BBQ Tofu, Chickpea Cutlets, Basil-Cilantro Pesto, and Sweet Vidalia Onion Sauce. All including ingredients you can find in most supermarkets. And the desserts are really impressive and drool-worthy (Smlove). It's definitely not just for vegans as I've had several meat-eaters ask me for the recipe for the Spinach Linguine with Basil-Cilantro Pesto and Artichokes and my mom's favorite, Pasta Della California.

Just trust me, I'm really broke, picky, vegan, and not too generous with praise - if you get no other vegan cookbooks, this is The One.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2008
This is a great cookbook! Every recipe I've tried has been great...well, except for the chick peas with BBQ sauce wrapped in kale leaves, which is was not so hot - but I had kale and there's only so much to be done with it - and they get an A + for originality on that front! The way the book is written if hip and clever. Just a warning that grandma might be a wee confused by it! I have made the coffee-chocolate bundt cake - which is so moist and several other desserts which were all well received. I only have a few tiny complaints - one being that the spice amounts are too low - I have doubled the spices in all the recipes I've made and I think the results have been perfect and would have been pretty bland if I'd stuck to the book - but that's nothing unique to just this cookbook. The only other issue is that sometimes the amount of food made is too much and it's hard to anticipate. For instance, I made a lentil stew recipe that made so much that I was eating it every day for a week. Granted it was good, but now I know for sure to cut it in half.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2007
i can't say enough good things about vegan with a vengeance. it remains by far my favorite cookbook. i was hoping veganomicon would surpass it as my new favorite but unfortunately that has not been the case. i have cooked about ten recipes from it so far and i have only REALLY liked a few of them. i think it's just different tastes - a lot of these recipes feature pumpkin or fennel flavors, which i'm not that fond of. the few i have seriously enjoyed are the chickpea cutlets which are AMAZING and the sloppy joe recipe is pretty delicious.

one big negative about the cookbook is that there are so many typos and errors in the book it drives me CRAZY - nothing worse than preparing some ingredients and then not knowing when to add them (see: mustard sauce recipe, spicy fennel tempeh pasta recipe, mushroom gravy recipe..). bad editing! hopefully this will be resolved in subsequent printings! but in the meantime, i have a book i spent $20+ on with recipes i can't really use. how annoying is that?
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
I got this book as a gift - although I had it on my wishlist because my husband and I hate vegetables and I was desperately trying to find a delicious way to reduce our meat intake and begin enjoying vegetables like many other adults do.

Yes, many of the recipes are not "healthy" but many are significantly healthier. I very much appreciated the introductory sections on the "How To" of everything - as someone who doesn't eat too many vegetables in the first place, I had no idea how to cook 1/2 of them. The recipes are clearly written and easy to follow. The writing style is much more like a blog than a complicated book and we're actually eating meat-free meals on a regular basis now.

Highly recommended - even if you aren't vegan (oh and the lemon coconut cake is to die for! I never thought a vegan cake could be any good - I was SO wrong.)
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2007
The Chickpea Cutlets recipe in Veganomicon is the most innovative, amazing, easy recipe I've come across in my 6 years as a vegan. Isa and Terry have taken the world of Vital Wheat Gluten to new heights. These cutlets are savory and perfectly chewy. Please make these and serve them with mashed potatoes and greens for the heartiest meal you've had in a long long time. Vegans, vegetarians and omnivores all rave about these delicious, crispy cutlets.

There are many other amazing recipes in this book as well. So far, my favorites are: Prospect Park Potato Salad, Double Pea soup with Roasted Red Peppers, Snobby Joes, Herb Scalloped Potatoes, Yucca Tortillas, Blueberry Brownies and Rumnog Pecan Cookies.

All the recipes are easy to follow and the book contains many helpful hints that are great for beginners and even accomplished chefs.

I could go on, but my hand hurts already. This book rocks!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2007
What a great cookbook!

I've cooked vegan food for years -- I never eschewed meat or dairy, but I had friends with lots of different dietary restrictions and I always make sure to have some complete and tasty vegan dishes on the menu. I used cookbooks like The Voluptuous Vegan (excellent!) and the Millennium Cookbook to learn different types of vegan recipes. However, my experience had always been limited to one or two party-style dishes; it was okay if they were complicated and had four sub-recipes because it was just once a month for a dinner party or whatever.

But recently I decided to go vegan and I wanted to expand my repertoire. I wanted to learn how to keep up a stream of varied tastes and nutrients without having to spend 3 hours in the kitchen every morning and evening. Veganomicon was one of the cookbooks I recently got (the other, also 5 stars, was Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian). I can't say enough good things about it. Sometimes the writing can be a little bit fatuous, but that is more than made up for by the excellent instructions: they'll tell you "now is when you start prepping the rest of the ingredients." The recipes run the gamut of tastes and flavor combinations (Indian, Japanese, American, etc.) so you don't get bored with the flavors. And while there are definitely some "party" recipes, there are also a lot of simple, straightforward weeknight dishes that are filling and tasty. Just last night I was wondering to do with a bunch of kale I had gotten in my delivery produce box, so I made the miso soup with mushrooms, kale, and udon. (Except I didn't have udon, so I used Lebanese couscous instead....)

Even if you're not vegan, go ahead and buy this book. It never hurts to learn more ways to prepare vegetables, grains, fruits, beans, etc. And as one of my friends put it -- "why would you ever NOT bake vegan once you learn how to do it properly? It tastes the same and it's just so much better for you!"
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2007
Forget all the stereotypes you may have heard about vegan food being, bland, funky textured, and boring. This book will shatter them forever...really. Coming from someone who once thought the only way vegetarians got their protien was from rubbery tofu, I can tell you I've been transformed.

I've cooked many recipes from this book for hard core meat eaters. Not only did they practically lick their plates clean, they actually wanted the recipes.

The recipes are creative and delicious. There is something for everyone in this book. Isa and Terry have a writing style is fun and unpretentious. There are many great cooking tips that will come in handy for the beginner or the experienced cook alike.

I could go on and on and on and on. But I won't. Get a copy of the book and see what I mean. One of my personal favorites is the Manzana Chile Verde. Yum!!

What I do not recommend however is bothering to pre-order anything from Amazon. I got my copies weeks after people who ordered once the book was already in stock. I ordered back in April. Just wait until it becomes available to avoid being frustrated.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2007
Yes! Another fantastic vegan cookbook from Isa and Terry. I can't wait to try everything. The Mac Daddy recipe is as creamy and tasty as traditional Mac 'n Cheese, and their selection of soups is so exciting! And of course, their desserts are the best I've ever tasted...even before I became a vegan.

Also, very important, I am the only vegan I know, so everyone I cook for is definitely all into their meat/cheese/eggs dependencies, but I find I consistently win people over with the recipes from Veganomicon, Vegan with a Vengeance, and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I bought my dad a copy of this book for his birthday because he has been such a big fan of their other recipes. And my dad is (was?) about as far from vegan as you can get!

As other reviewers have said, I really appreciate the parts that talk about prepping veggies and preparing grains. It's what makes this cookbook really great for new vegans (or even vegans like me who have relied on frozen/processed foods for way too many years.)

Long live Veganomicon!
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2008
The good:
The cookbook is well-organized and offers a lot of helpful tips on what to stock in your pantry and on cookware. It definitely inspires people to cook. I love the Betty Crocker feel to the book.

The bad:
There are some recipes that list ingredients in the beginning, but don't use them in the recipe. The cooking times on some of the grains(kasha, quinoa) are too long and the grains come out over-cooked. The same is true for the veggies. The recipes I've tried so far aren't very good. For example, the Roasted Brussels Sprouts were awful. I love brussels sprouts, I love roasted veggies, and I love spicy Indian food, so I thought this would be a slam dunk, but it was grainy and bland. I also found the campy tone to be off-putting for such a professional cookbook.

The verdict:
Great idea, great concept, but average tasting food and overcomplicated recipes. I really wish that it had more simple, delicious recipes that are meant for the average cook. I'm going to stick with it and try a few more recipes and I will update if my opinion changes.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Two Christmases ago, I came to own the Veganomicon when my mother, absolutely distressed by the worn copy of Vegan with a Vengeance I kept out on the kitchen counter, gifted a copy to me. I was excited, overjoyed even. As an owner of not only VwaV but also Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, I was incredibly excited to have yet another one of Isa's cookbooks to give a whirl. I spent much of Christmas day pouring over the front pages of the book, reading about how to properly stock a vegan pantry, what tools are best for cooking (in general), and how to prepare my veggies, and I put the book down only when called for dinner that evening.

Only a month ago did I pick it up again for a second look. I flipped through pages of recipes I'd dog-eared on the long ago Christmas day, looking for something new to try, decided upon the vodka sauce from the penne vodka recipe, and set to work while my gnocchi (from VwaV) cooked.

I should confess here, as I do in all of my vegan cookbook reviews, that I am not a vegan. Hell, I'm not a vegetarian. But I buy and enjoy Isa's cookbooks anyway, because the recipes have always served me well; vegan cooking is a great way to stretch a budget and get your daily recommended servings of veggies, not to mention its inherent environmentally-friendliness. In my household, we try to eat vegan at least twice a week, and Isa's recipes are absolutely excellent -- I've served several dishes and numerous batches of cupcakes at office luncheons, potluck dinners, and to my meat-and-potatoes parents without complaint and usually to rave reviews.

And I think, with that in consideration, not being a vegan is why I can't really just cook my way through the book like I can with VwaV or VCTOtW. The heft of the book makes it kind of daunting for a weekend vegetarian, and the book seems more specialized, more sophisticated than VwaV's pizza, potatoes, and basic tofu recipes. This is for the serious vegan who's looking for their own version of The Joy of Cooking; anyone looking for a vegan book that they can turn to religiously, this book is it, as the name clearly implies.

Since the night I adventured to make the vodka sauce, I've tried a few other Vcon recipes, and like every other recipe by Isa, it's been a success. Still, the sheer weight of the book remains daunting and insurmountable; the complexity of the recipes and/or ingredients isn't really high, but the heft of the book makes just writing down the ingredients on my shopping list feel Herculean in effort. VwaV was a great cookbook to transition me away from meat-eating and was a lot of fun; this book is Serious Business.

As such, for a tried-and-true vegan, this is a five star book. This is an every day vegan cookbook; a Bible for vegans, if you will. For those who are gradually wading into veganism or who just dip their toes in every now and again, it can be difficult to muster the courage or strength to pull it down from a high shelf, open it up, and go to work. The recipes are solid, absolutely, but if you're looking for an occasional cookbook, I'd recommend VwaV instead.

It still gets four stars, however, because it's EXCELLENT for pressing tofu.
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