Customer Review

80 of 102 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Heavy reliance on commercial dairy substitutes, January 8, 2011
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This review is from: Veganize This!: From Surf & Turf to Ice-Cream Pie--200 Animal-Free Recipes for People Who Love to Eat (Paperback)
I have yet to make any recipes from it - so keep in mind I have no first-hand experience - but I would highly recommend someone look through the book themselves instead of blind-buying the book. It uses a large amount of prepared vegan substitutes (which is a huge pet-peeve of mine). The book opens by listing some recipes for gluten or fruit flavored as meat substitutes and then goes on to cheese substitutes. Some of the cheese subs themselves call for pre-packaged vegan sour cream or pre-packaged vegan cream cheese. The vegan goat cheese calls for sour cream, cream cheese, and soy feta.

A good number of the other recipes have similar issues. Some of them call for multiple types of Teese or Cheezely (neither of which have I ever seen). There is a ranch dressing recipe that calls for vegan sour cream, veganaise, vegan cream cheese, soy milk, soy creamer... and then the spices.

Overall this is probably the most disappointed I have been in a vegan cookbook in a long time. Maybe I will find some recipes to try that will impress me and my tune will change but I wanted to give a heads up to folks that they may want to inspect the book themselves before blind buying.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 10, 2011 12:53:11 AM PST
J. Bonner says:
I'm glad to have found out about this problem through your review because I know now not to order the book. I live in the UK and it's difficult to find any kind of vegan cheese, let alone sour cream etc so I'll save my money - cheers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2011 10:15:23 AM PST
Ryan Full says:
Aside from my preference that a recipe not use commercial pre-packaged items as its base - I have the same problem as you. I have very little access to all the substitutes that might be easy to find in a metropolitan area. Those that I can find locally are of course expensive and greatly increases the cost of all the recipes.

Posted on Jan 12, 2011 11:27:51 AM PST
Atomic says:
This is obviously not an everyday, week night cookbook, but a collection of really amazing and creative recipes. It does not deserve one star because the ingredients are inaccessible to you. Also, the only really BIG dairy substitute it depends on is MimicCreme. She gives you a recipe to make your own cheese substitute. What is the difference between this book and Tal Ronnen's (which uses more processed foods)? Oprah's approval?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2011 1:15:52 PM PST
Ryan Full says:
I'll politely disagree with you on the deserved rating and usage of dairy substitutes. You are correct, a number of recipes call for MimicCreme and she does in fact give a recipe that can stand in for MimicCream.

However, the ranch dressing recipe I cited earlier calls for vegan sour cream, cream cheese, veganaise, and soy creamer. If one is going to be purchasing and making that many substitutes than the individual could simply follow the instructions on any pack of ranch seasonings. Several of the fake meat substitutes call for the usage of a purchased Better Than Bouillon No Chicken/Beef Base paste. So it goes beyond simply the dairy substitutes.

You are correct that my accessibility to certain ingredients might be better or worse than another person - which is why I specifically recommended someone look at the book before blind buying. Perhaps they have easy access to all the ingredients and don't mind using more expensive items for the bases of their recipes. In that case they might like the book.

As for Oprah's approval, it isn't something I typically consult before picking up a cookbook. Thanks though for mentioning that Ronnen's book uses a bunch of processed foods, I will be sure to avoid it!

Posted on Jan 13, 2011 7:00:45 AM PST
What exactly is "pre-packaged" and how is that different from "packaged" or "processed"?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2011 7:08:52 AM PST
Ryan Full says:
Sorry for being unclear in my language. I was using all three words interchangeably.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2011 1:07:43 PM PST
S.Morisson says:
Thanks for the heads up on this book. I too was thinking off purchasing it but although I am in a major city these substitutes are darn near impossible to source. I love reviews like yours. Honest. Thank you

Posted on Mar 17, 2011 8:28:18 AM PDT
"It uses a large amount of prepared vegan substitutes (which is a huge pet-peeve of mine)."

mine too. I am not a snob requiring that everything be made from scratch, and not above squirting a bit of ketchup into a recipe if i think it will make it better, but I don't live in a major city so it's a royal pain in my ass to find special vegan dairy replacements.

Sounds like the title might work better as "Veganize This if You Live Next to a Grocery Store That Sells Every Major Vegan Dairy Replacement Known to Man!" Not as catchy as the original though.

Thanks for this review.

Posted on Sep 6, 2011 7:36:47 PM PDT
bookhooker says:
So glad to have read your review in advance. I'm going to try Lick It: Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams by Cathy Olson. The recipes in it look much simpler and cleaner.

Posted on Oct 25, 2011 6:25:25 PM PDT
Christos says:
I just got this book out of the library and I feel the same way. Strongly enough to seek out and write a comment.

If I'm conscientious enough about my health and diet to give up meat, then I want to know full well what ingredients are going into my food. Using products like vegan chicken and beef flavouring as well as the assortment of other pre-made products just defeats the purpose.

I'm also not crazy about the fact that she boast about her vegan Twinkies on the back of the book and then omits it from the book. Bad form.
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