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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great when you need to indulge!, April 8, 2012
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This review is from: Chloe's Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way (Paperback)
I became vegan three years ago, after years of vegetarianism, because I am disgusted by the oppression, enslavement, and senseless murder of animals. From hearing Chloe talk about her love of animals and the associated reasons for becoming vegan, I believe that is what inspired her to write a vegan cook book. I do not think she considers herself to be a health guru. I know that she talks about this book from a health perspective, but that's because, well, a vegan diet IS comparatively healthy. "Health" is a relative word: is a potato healthy? When compared to what? It's not as healthy as kale, but it's healthier than french fries. Though Chloe does not shy away from oil or refined flours, a vegan diet is still one that is devoid of cholesterol, that is remarkably low in saturated fat, and that CAN be healthy, especially when compared to meat, milk, and eggs, and YES, even with the inclusion of indulgent recipes like the ones in this book. Personally, I don't purchase white flour, so all of the desserts I've made from this book so far have been made with white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour, and it's made no difference whatsoever. I cannot wait to try the mandarin orange salad this week, but I won't be adding the fried wontons. It's little things like that that make this book so versatile.

I have tons of vegan cook books, most of which are on the healthier side. I was ready for something different. I cook most of my meals and use overly processed foods very minimally. I have a diet that most would consider healthy. I don't eat a lot of sweets, eats tons of beans and veggies and whole grains, choose whole wheat over white, don't drink soda, rarely eat candy or sweets- the whole nine yards. However, sometimes you just want to sink your teeth into a mouth-watering bowl of fettuccine alfredo or bake some delicious cookies. When I have guests over, I think about the best way to present my love of animals and vegan lifestyle to them, and sorry, but it's not through beans and rice! I do not subscribe to the notion that one must live a life completely free of sugar or oil. Instead, I mainly eat healthy meals, and occasionally indulge. And let me tell you...this is THE book if you want to indulge. And anytime I feel there is too much oil in one of the recipes, I simply reduce. I know people say you don't buy a cookbook to rewrite the recipes, but in this case, the recipes are so clever and delicious that simply using less oil or whole wheat flour instead of white does not mean you get anything less from buying the book.

I recently had friends over and made the creamy scalloped potatoes with thyme, and they were just delicious. Exactly what I remember scalloped potatoes tasting like, and the base of the cream is ground cashews! That, my friends, is what makes a vegan diet healthier than the typical standard American diet. The cornbread poppers with maple butter were another huge hit, as were the baked donuts, and OH MY GOD the Caesar salad with maple wheat croutons! Quite possibly my favorite.

I've also tried the skillet black eyed pea meal, which was a little more on the healthy side- any time a recipe calls for sauteing onions and peppers in oil, I use a little water or veg broth instead. The saag aloo and chana masala were good. The ginger-nutmeg cupcakes were labor intensive and good, though I was surprised they are one of her most popular recipes, as I've definitely had better cupcakes. They were good, just not AMAZING like I expected. I just made the fudge for Easter dessert- I am not big on chocolate, but it's exactly everything fudge should be.

Overall, this is the perfect book to impress your guests and your taste buds. The pictures of food are impressive and thorough. I can't wait to try everything else!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 14, 2013 6:02:03 PM PDT
Susan Ob says:
Your comment just answer my questions and concern about other reviews complaining about how "unhealthy" her recipes are. You mentioned on your review you use whole wheat pastry flour and that worked great. The reason why I want to buy this book is to make the desserts, cakes, cupcakes, so my question for you is, when using the whole wheat flour do you use the same amounts stated in the book's recipes or you make some adjustments on the amounts of the flour, liquid, fat, etc?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2013 6:16:59 PM PDT
Vegan Girl says:
Susan, I use exactly the same amount with no problems. I keep all the measurements the same. White whole wheat flour is much more similar to regular flour, so that is a good option to try.
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