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Customer Review

76 of 90 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing collection of recipes, September 23, 2011
This review is from: The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour (Paperback)
I agree with the reviewer who complained about the heavy use of fake meat products in this book. It's a trend I've come to expect from vegan cookbooks, but still hope against. I'd have rather seen more focus on vegetables and beans. Those recipes are present too, but I wish they filled more of the book. Instead, we get a lot of very modern, too-hip, meat-modeled dishes - a style of cooking that I think to be a fad that will eventually pass, not the future of vegan cooking.

The thing that really confuses me, though, is the presence of a number of recipes for breads and baked goods. Why on earth would I make banana bread or brownies in a slow cooker, when oven-cooked ones are 45 minutes away? And honestly, some of the pictures, like the pizza crust and focaccia, don't look appetizing at all. In fact, I'd say less than a quarter of the recipes even sound like dishes that I would enjoy.

I would probably return the book, except that it was inexpensive and does have a handful of recipes I might actually use. The breakfast recipes are especially promising. I haven't yet used a slow cooker to wake up to a hot and hearty breakfast, but now I just might start.

I hate to insult the author and I hope this book finds an audience. But while I think the world needs a great vegan slow cooker cookbook, this isn't it, at least for me.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 23, 2011 11:23:02 PM PDT
Sarah says:
I have this on my wishlist, but I am also concerned about all of the "fake" meat. After becoming vegetarian and now, almost vegan, I don't want anything I eat to resemble meat---meat has been rendered disgusting to me after watching "Earthlings." I try to avoid soy and gluten, so if this cookbook has a lot of soy and gluten in the ingredients, maybe I should pass it up. However, I was happy to hear of a vegan slow cooker cookbook, as I have yet to use the slow cooker that I got for Christmas last year. I bought Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romero's Veganomicon cookbook, and so far, I like the recipes. I made the vegan lasagna last week, and it turned out really well. Unfortunately, I had to use firm tofu for the ricotta cheese substitute; I used Daiya "cheese" for the mozzarella cheese substitute---and that takes awhile to fully melt.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2011 10:54:16 AM PDT
ChillBill says:
That's the good thing about being vegan as compared to being someone who enjoys the Western diet, a vegan can mix it up and still come up with a pretty satisfying dish. Personally I like the fake meat. It's "real" meat that I'm not into. But if you don't want to use fake meat simply don't use it in the recipe. I'm sure it would be still as good without it. The same goes for soy and gluten. While I'm not intolerant to gluten, I do tend to try and stay away from too much soy. So if a recipe calls for, say, soy milk, I'll simply use almond milk instead. I do it all the time when making things and everything turns out just fine. I just received this book and looking forward to trying many (if not all) of the recipes. Those times come when I just can't slave away in the kitchen putting together a meal and the slow cooker comes through like a champ.

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 2:21:04 PM PDT
I was about to order this book til read it had fake meat products among some of their recipes. This fake stuff is pretty horrible and I am shocked that a true vegan or vegetarian would even consider using them So no sale

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 10:25:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 27, 2011 11:00:52 AM PDT
Sarah says:
@ ChillBill, I agree with using almond or rice milk instead of soy milk. However, I noticed a lot of vegan recipes do have gluten in them. I'm not really sure what I can substitute for the gluten products (I mean for the seitan; I use brown rice or quinoa/corn flour noodles for pasta substitutes). While I don't have full-blown Celiac's disease, my facial skin will break out if I eat gluten/wheat products. Even with Enzymedica digestive enzymes, Gluten Ease, it still seems to give me trouble. BTW, do you like "Amy's Kitchen" frozen meals? They're pretty good, and some of them are fortunately all three---vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free.

I saw that there's another vegan slow cooker cookbook available on Amazon, so I'll have to compare, but I totally agree---nice to have meals that come together nicely without spending hours in the kitchen (though I'm actually very passionate about cooking, so if I have the time and energy, I actually enjoy and look forward to cooking/meal preparation). I just want to put my slow cooker to good use since I asked for it for Christmas before becoming vegetarian/vegan.

I try to get my friends to watch "Earthlings," though I forwarn them ahead of time about how emotionally intense/disturbing the content is. I think people would become vegetarians/vegans in droves if they were forced to watch that movie. Completely changed me.

Posted on Oct 7, 2011 12:49:19 PM PDT
your comments are not insulting . they are the much needed direct opinions. THANK YOU. I too am tired of recipes that try and mimic meat. If your looking for the flavor of meat...Go eat a steak. I'm looking for veg based recipes myself, and getting a bit tired of my redundant flavors.(stilling loving different mushrooms in different methods). At the same time, I don't want to go to great lengths at finding ingredients. Simple, but flavorful recipes would be great, WITH OPTION to make better by adding XYZ,...that would be a good book..Option to "STEP IT UP A NOTCH!"

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 14, 2011 2:09:14 PM PDT
Booklady says:
I agree I like the fake meats and agree and add a "for crying out loud" simply leave it out.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2011 9:51:36 AM PDT
Lola says:
I was a tester for this cookbook, and my family doesn't use meat facsimiles. What I did like is the option to make our own seitans ect. with organic ingredients in our home if we so choose. Often times we either leave the "meat" out and substitute with other protein options such as tempeh for example. The author encourages you to fine tune the recipes to your dietary preferences, often giving you ideas as to options that may be a good fit. I like that.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2011 11:37:39 AM PDT
The problem with that is, that most recipes with this approach are low in flavor without the meat substitute.....So it isn't as simple as "leave it out". If the writer isn't a vegan by some natural selection process(haha), What I mean is if they're working to be a vegan for reasons other than preference, then they are often looking for meat flavor, and rely on that flavor for the food. We don't need more of this redundancy that takes up resources to produce and stock book shelves. And as far as Temphe.....I can go on forever with a bunch of "eager to make a profit" companies bombarding consumers that chose to be vegan. If you like the fake meats, great! this book sounds like it is for you, and you certainly are not alone, Buy it! But don't push to pass it for what it isn't. There are those that don't want fake meat, and RELY on dishes to stand on their own without it. I use lentils, mushrooms, and nuts to add flavor. It doesn't taste like meat, but sure adds flavor and texture. Enjoy!

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 12:55:15 PM PDT
c.hayville says:
You asked why someone would make banana bread or other baked goods in a crock pot? Well you must not live in a hot climate! During the summer the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven!! So if I can make bread or cake or whatever without heating up my house I'm happy as can be...
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