Customer Review

120 of 139 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly what I had hoped., April 12, 2012
This review is from: Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes (Paperback)
As a vegetarian I am always looking forward to healthy recipes that are plant based. Both lowfat AND low calorie. I was disappointed by the lack of completely healty recipes and the addition of high caloric ones. The French Toast recipe alone has 61.5 grams of sugar per serving! That is about three times as much as you should consume in an entire day, if you are a woman. I would not recommend this book to those individuals who are trying to trim their fat. Lowfat often times means high in sugar and I believe this book is a prime example of that. There are numerous recipes that have agave in them and although most people think that agave is a healthier alternative to sugar it really may not be. [...] is a great source for information about it. One other small issue I had with the book was the minimal ingredient "recipes". Just a few of them but enough to bother me. The Salsa Chickpea Lettuce wraps contain canned chickpeas, a jar of salsa, some bell peppers, and lettuce. That is not a recipe to me. Rather a suggestion of a few ingredients to layer together. One recipe called "Quick Fruit Sauce" is merely a jar of jam that is processed with some water in a food processor. I am not trying to be super picky here but had I peeked at the book before I had purchased it I am sure I would have passed it up in favor of a healthier one. I believe the review at the top of the front cover, which claims the cookbook's low-fat, plant based dishes promote health in a delectable and wholesome way", is a bit misleading. I really wanted to love this book but I just didn't. If you are not watching your calories and want a cookbook with super simple recipes you might like this one.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 12, 2012 7:26:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 12, 2012 7:27:57 PM PDT
valpro says:
I don't know if it's necessarily fair to give this book a low rating on the basis of it not being low calorie. That's not what the title says. For some people (like in my case as a woman who is trying to watch her weight), a low calorie book would help. But for someone like my husband, a naturally lean vegan guy (as many vegan men are) who still has to keep his fat levels low as there is hereditary heart disease in his family, I have no issue with having some moderate-to-high calorie, low-fat unrefined vegan meals for him. He'd look emaciated if he simply ate my low calorie salads. I can simply serve myself smaller portions to help me manage my weight. As long as the book keeps its word about being low fat then I'm not going to hound the author for that. As far as sugar goes, fruit also has a lot of natural sugar, but that's not a bad thing. If it's all from added sugars or large quantities of agave, then I might also not be interested... as I'm looking for a more whole food based book.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2012 8:56:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 12, 2012 8:59:28 PM PDT
AuntieB says:
Good points. But I bought the book under the pretense that it would be healthy. My dad and older sister are diabetic. I wrote the review the way I did so that if someone was interested in purchasing it for health reasons they would have more information. Although cutting the fat from the diet is very important for weight loss and heart health, cutting the sugar is important for weight loss and to keep the pancreas working properly. Hopefully my review will help someone decide whether or not this book would be a good one for them. I also don't consider 3 stars a low rating. I consider it rather neutral.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2012 3:52:56 PM PDT
Hi Becky! I think you may have confused my two cookbooks. The Salsa Chickpea Lettuce Wraps, Quick Fruit Sauce, etc. are not in this book, they are in my first book, The Happy Herbivore. Thanks for the feedback, however.

Posted on Oct 9, 2012 11:41:36 AM PDT
Tree says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2013 10:59:12 PM PST
NutriMom says:
Tree, something to consider is that some nutrients are fat-soluble. Our bodies require some fat. A diet too low in fat can be dangerous. Of course, whole food fats (nuts, seeds, avocado) are preferable to added oils (a processed, more concentrated fat than a whole food.)

Posted on Jun 20, 2013 11:45:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 20, 2013 11:56:17 AM PDT
mdefields says:
Actually, while I do wish that the Happy Herbivore cookbooks didn't use sugar in any of the recipes, I do have to say that you are just completely in error about the amount of sugar in the French Toast recipe. I looked up the French Toast recipe in my copy of The Happy Herbivore (the real cookbook you are reviewing here) and it only has 3.9 grams of sugar per serving. The Marmalade French Toast recipe in Everday Happy Herbivore has 28.1 grams of sugar due to the use of apricot marmalade. Not sure where you got 61.5 grams of sugar per serving. Not even close! Also, MOST of her recipes are low in fat AND sugar. If you are looking for sugar-free desserts, do what I do and buy a sugar-free dessert cookbook. Also, you mention they are high-caloric recipes. What the heck do you consider high in calories? A one dish meal for even 394 calories is not high in calories. There are very few recipes in The Happy Herbivore over 400 calories-and there are plenty of recipes under 100 calories to balance them out. This is a healthy, vegan cookbook, not a diet cookbook for anorexics. Finally, as a relatively new vegan, I really appreciate the tip-type recipes that are included in the books.

Posted on Feb 3, 2014 2:54:26 AM PST
Duffer. says:
Thanks Becky. I was about to order this but hoped the reviews would shed some light on the specific contents. Yours did. I too am a vegetarian but not looking for sugar laden recipes.

Posted on Aug 2, 2014 11:05:45 PM PDT
n j g says:
Interesting. Reading this review convinced me this is the ideal book for me and my partner, who would never think of experimenting with tins and jars found in the store cupboard. Fruit sauce by whizzing jam and water together ? Fantastic ! Why didn't I think of that ?
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