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on April 8, 2005
...it is an informative book on healthy living. Besides numerous nutritious recipes for breakfast and brunch, baked goods, sauces, spreads, soups, main courses and other things, Burton provides advice for "Feeding Your Vegan Baby & Toddler" which is divided into age groups for 6-9 months, 9-12 months, 12-18 months, 18-24 months and 2+ years. In the section "Additional Notes for Feeding Baby" Burton discusses organic foods, prepackaged foods vs. home-made and food preparation tips.

Another helpful section that offers practical information is "Cooking Guides & Notes" where the author provides guides to cooking grains and beans and other "Cooking Notes." A comprehensive glossary is also useful.

Burton's support of hemp foods is a welcome addition to this recipe book and will hopefully encourage other cookbook authors to feature this nutritious food in their books. Not only does Burton include a section on "Hemp Foods," but she also mentions the importance of hemp in the Introduction.

"This is one of the few cookbooks you will see that features hemp products. Hemp seed nuts and nut butter provide complete protein and essential fatty acids that we can only get from our diet. Hemp seed oil is also rich in the essential fatty acids." (page 14)

Another interesting aspect of Burton's book involves the relatively small number of recipes that contain soy. Burton's reason for minimizing her use of soy is simple. "I suspect that many vegetarians and vegans rely a little too heavily on soy, and while I still include it in my family's diet, no one food should be consumed excessively." (page 14) Burton also includes numerous wheat-free recipes and recipes which feature a wheat-free option.

It's nice to see that vegan recipe books are becoming more popular. Vive le Vegan! is one of the better vegan cookbooks that I've seen as it not only offers a good selection of easy-to-make, nutritious meals and snacks, but it contains lots of other important information as well. Those who turned to vegetarianism due to a love of and respect for animals will want to get a copy of Burton's book and consider taking the next step to veganism. As Eric Marcus points out in the Foreword:

"Many people assume that concerns over cruelty can be addressed by becoming a lacto-ovo vegetarian, and buying free-range eggs and organic milk. Unfortunately, welfare standards for these foods are utterly lacking. And, just as troubling, these foods depend on slaughter every bit as much as their factory farmed counterparts. There is simply no such thing as animal agriculture without suffering and killing - the economics just don't allow it."

Vive le Vegan! will be of interest to everyone looking for interesting, nutritious, cruelty-free recipes.--N. Glenn Perrett
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on April 17, 2005
I borrowed this cookbook from our library and love it. The recipes are simple and delicious. I made the Sweet Potato Curry dish for a potluck and received a lot of compliments. I like the format too. The font is very easy to read and the text is not crowded; it's easy on my eyes. She puts comments at the beginning of every recipe, which I really like to read. Also, she includes notes and alternatives in the margins, also wheat-free notes. It does not use a lot of tofu. I have been a vegetarian for 15 years and have used many cookbooks. I have three children under the age of 5 so simplicity and healthy foods are a priority when I cook for my family. This book is one of my favorite cookbooks because it helps me simplify my busy life.
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on February 18, 2005
This is a terrific cookbook!! I tried several recipes from this cookbook as a culinary student taking my final baking and pastry class and they were great, they even converted to larger yields without a problem. Especially good is the recipe for homestyle chocoalte cip cookies, they are as good or better than the butter and eggs type, even my non-vegetarian friends in class were impressed. Other recommended recipes include the coconut lime cookies, three bean curry tomato soup and miso-curry roasted potatoes.
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on December 11, 2004
I bought this cookbook about 2 weeks ago and have since made several recipes out of it, all of which have turned out great. My favorite is the canellini bean and yam hummus, which is SO good that I could eat it daily. This is a great cook book for anyone, whether youre a new vegan, longtime vegan, lazy vegan or not vegan at all. The recipes in the book are for the most part simple, dont rely too heavily on soy and dont require the use of really obscure ingredients. I also like that most recipes are wheat free or have wheat free options. This cookbook is definitely going into my rotation.
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on October 19, 2005
I am so glad I bought this book because now I finally have truly good recipes for vegan sweets. Dreena, unlike other authors that shall remain nameless, actually TASTED her cookies and brownies before putting them in a cookbook! I have made the Peanut "Better" Cookies, Double Chocolate-Almond Explosion Cookies, and the Fudgy Brownies, and they were all delicious and had great texture. I promise you can not tell the difference between these and butter & eggs recipes. I also made the Chipotle Veggie-Bean Burritos (alas, woman cannot live on cookies alone) and they were great. Get this book, as well as her other one, The Everyday Vegan.
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on July 27, 2006
When I was handed this cookbook and saw the word "vegan" in the title, I scoffed. Vegan recipes? How complicated can that be? Granola Soup? Soy-Carob Casserole? Ha! But oh, how I was soon eating those words - and eating some truly succulent vegan meals.

Vive le Vegan! is a follow-up to Dreena Burton's first cookbook, The Everyday Vegan, which featured vegan cooking as something that can be done at home. Having had children since the release of Everyday Vegan encouraged Burton to make an updated vegan cookbook, slightly more family oriented. The recipes in Vive le Vegan! are designed to take less time out of a parent's busy schedule, and there is even a back section of the book devoted to bringing up your own little baby vegan. It contains year-by-year advice on what vegan foods are best for the baby at that time, as well as how they are prepared. Burton raised both of her children using this very schedule.

As a non-vegan, I find it hard to believe that you can make "normal" vegan food. I mean normal as in simple things that you can pronounce and that don't take a whole day to prepare. The author explains that most people share my presumption that cooking vegan translates into preparing gourmet cuisine. But Vive le Vegan! contains simple recipes like chocolate chip cookies and rosemary potatoes. At the same time, Burton stresses that the recipes are not so simple that they lack taste.

I was curious about just how simple these recipes could be, so I tried them. A great aspect of this cookbook is that most of the ingredients can actually be found in a grocery store. Some newer grocery stores even have health food sections for some of the more specialty ingredients. Looking through the recipes, I noticed a few ingredients I doubted could be found anywhere but a health food store (but once you buy yourself, say, a pound of hemp seed nuts, they become part of your cupboard and are available for the next recipe).

The book itself is of a fine quality. Although lacking photos, the recipes are easy to understand, even for the non-vegan like myself, who has not yet been acquainted with kamut grain. Each recipe also provides variations and substitutions for wheat-free methods. As well, it provides a clear and concise glossary, and a chapter on hemp foods.

The only difficulty with this cookbook is the alarming recipe names: Chipotle Corn Black Bean Soup may indeed be simple, but sounds intimidating. As well, I was a tad put off by Hemp Sprinkle until I realized it was a salad dressing. But again, the non-vegan will learn to be comfortable with these recipes as they start with the very basic, familiar ones, then work their way up to that Millet-Amaranth Porridge.

Can a cookbook have a moral? I am no longer judging books by their covers, nor vegans by their titles. Vive le Vegan! I concur.
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on February 17, 2007
I bought this at first because it was recommended on a vegan site I often visit, and I'm glad I did! The recipes are clear, easy to make, usually involve simple basic ingredients, and are both tasty and healthy (i.e. they don't contain a lot of oil, which many vegan baked goods do). The only thing that isn't readily available is hemp seed nuts, but I've substituted other nuts with no problems. The Lenitil Sunflower Pie is particularly good--its on my regular rotation of meals now. I only wish this book was longer--but I will definitely check out other of Dreena Burton's books.
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on September 25, 2011
I have been cooking from VLV since my oldest son was a baby. He's almost 8 years old now, so I thought it was high time to finally sit down and write a review for this fabulous cookbook.

What I love the most about this book is that the ingredients are healthy, the recipes are quick and easy, and the prep time is minimal. Not to mention the fact that every recipe I've made (and I've made quite a few!) has been absolutely delicious.

From the breakfast chapter, the Apple Oat and Banana Bliss Pancakes are staples in our home. You may be tempted to avoid the Millet-Amaranth Porridge in the chapter because it might sound too "healthy" - but don't! It's SO delicious. My family of four devours it. It's comfort in a bowl, and a nice change of pace from oatmeal. Plus, it's a good way to introduce two grains that, if you're like me, stare at you from your cupboard every time you open it because you don't know what to do with them. :)

The Muffins and Baked Goods section of my book has lots of splatters in it from all the use it has gotten. I turn to it often when I want to make something sweet, but still good-for-you. I know the Banana Oat Bundles and Blueberry Bounty Buns recipes by heart. They are so darn tasty, and great for breakfasts on the go or to stick in a lunchbox as a treat.

The Cannellini Bean Yam Hummus is so good and I often serve it to guests. I do not buy store bought hummus any more because there really is no comparison once you've made this. Also, the Lemon-Herb Tofu is luscious. Other dishes in constant rotation in our house are the Chipotle Corn Black Bean Soup, Chickpea Ratatouille, Chipotle Veggie-Bean Burritos (one of my absolute favorites, especially with the Creamy Avocado Cashew sauce- mmmm!), Rosemary Seasoned Tofu Balls, and Veggie Stirfry with Spicy Almond Sauce.

Worth the price of the book alone are the Chocolate P-Nut Butter Squares. They are out of this world. Decadent yet healthy (odd to use those two words together, but it's the truth!) her desserts satisfy but don't leave you feeling weighed down. The brownies are perfect, and her Chocolate Chip Cookies are to die for.

Thank you, Dreena, for all the wonderful recipes and for helping me to feed my family well.
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on December 16, 2006
Vive le Vegan was the first vegan cookbook I bought when I decided to become a vegan. It has never let me down. Most of the recipes are fairly simple, quick, and use wholesome, healthy ingredients. I am partial to desserts so I must admit I've made a lot of Dreena's desserts. They are definite crowd pleasers for vegans and non-vegans alike. I appreciate the fact that she doesn't rely on white sugar to sweeten them. Many of the desserts are easily made gluten free. Some of my favorite recipes are the Cannellini Bean Yam Hummus, Morrocan Chickpea Patties, Chinatown-style Veggie Spring Rolls, Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookes, and Peanut Better cookies.
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on May 1, 2006
Wonderful, wonderful cookbook! My oldest daughter and I have used it over and over again. We particularly like the snacks, treats and hummus. I have become more confident in baking and making treats because of this cookbook. This is something I would recommend even to non-vegans.

And Dreena is so helpful if you ever have questions about her cookbooks and more!
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