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The Best of Vegan Cooking Perfect Paperback – March 1, 2009
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Offers an inspiring and mouthwatering glimpse into the remarkable diversity and elegance of plant-based cuisine, and into the future of food on this planet. This cookbook gracefully celebrates the emerging glory of vegan cuisine a cuisine that is proving that kindness and awareness are also tasty and healthy. -- Will Tuttle, Ph.D., author, The World Peace Diet
Destined to become a classic. But I hope it will become a series. Priscilla Feral and Friends of Animals vision brings a community together to create a book that is more than the sum of its parts! Added between the lines is pure passion for plant-based ingredients. -- Linda Long, author, Great Chefs Cook Vegan
When you feel good, life is a lot easier, and the vegan food in this book makes you feel great.-- Bart Potenza and Joy Pierson, Candle 79 and Candle CafÃ©, New York City ---- Bart Potenza and Joy Pierson, Candle 79 and Candle CafÃ©, New York City
Priscilla Feral's The Best of Vegan Cooking is a collection of 84 vegan recipes gathered from various sources, including many well-known chefs. The layout is colorful yet clean, which makes the book inviting and easy to read. Appetite-whetting color photos of many of the dishes are included as full-page inserts.
The book is definitely geared towards parties and entertaining, though most of the dishes are simple and quick enough to cook for weeknight dinner, often with just a few ingredients. The most notable exception is the incredibly fancy-looking vegetable carousel torte with pommes souffles filled with peas.
The book is focused on vegetables, fruit, berries, whole grains and legumes. Tofu is included in some recipes, but TVP, seitan and fake meats are all but absent. Only a few recipes require specialty ingredients. There are quite a few salads, most of them quite hearty. Some flavour combinations are fairly unusual, such as the watermelon and tomato salad.
Italian flare is prominent, with a number of pasta recipes (including sweet potato gnocchi) and as many as six risottos. Other ethnic dishes are a minority but they include an Asian miso tempeh nori soup, Mexican tortillas, succotash and an Irish stew.
No trendy vegan cupcakes are included, but the dessert chapter features several cakes, a cheesecake, parfaits, puddings and chocolate truffles. There is also a separate section for ice creams and sorbets, including things like cantaloupe sorbet and peanut butter coconut ice cream (one of the very few high-fat recipes, although it uses light coconut milk).
Recipe Testing Results
The tester's favorite recipe was the wonderfully burgundy-hued blueberry-pomegranate sorbet, which also features in the cover of the book. A highlight among the savory dishes was mashed potatoes with celery root - simple, but surprisingly delicious, even judged by someone who does not particularly care for celery!
The cauliflower "steaks" were enjoyable, though quite a lot of work if prepared according to the recipe. Another cauliflower dish, gobi matar (cauliflower and peas with Indian spices) was tasty, though could have used a little more spices and might have been better without the red onion.
The Best of Vegan Cooking shows that healthy, compassionate cooking can be flavourful and exquisite - often very simple too. If there is anything that would have made the book better, that would be having more great recipes, and perhaps more information (e.g. metric measurements, adaptations/variations and such).
The Best of Vegan Cooking can be heartily recommended for all vegans and vegetarians, especially those who don't want to rely on store-bought tofurkey and veggeroni. It would also be a great fit for omnivores who want to learn to cook wholesome meals that pack a punch of flavour, especially when entertaining guests.
Besides being omnivore-friendly, the book is also quite allergy-friendly. Obviously everything is free of dairy and eggs, and most recipes are gluten-free and soy-free (although not marked as so). Nuts are only used in a few dishes. --Suite101.com, Oct 19, 2010 by Maija Haavisto
Top Customer Reviews
Listen to the title of this recipe: Himalayan Red Rice Salad with Cranberries. The words alone are delicious. This is a classy and classic dish that I can't seem to get enough of. You will impress people at a potluck with this one. (I also recommend serving it from a dark purple serving bowl, if you have one.)
I also suggest Aunt Trish's Pasta e Fagioli (hearty and healthy), the Sweet Potato Salad with Crystallized Ginger (mmmmm...), and the Butternut Squash Soup (so, so tasty).
But what I'm most excited about are the sorbet recipes. (I ate sorbet in obnoxious quantities last summer.) Here's another gorgeous title: Blueberry-Pomegranate Sorbet. A beautiful picture of this is on the front cover. I plan to dig into these once the weather warms a bit.
The Peanut Butter-Coconut Ice Cream (page 93) was a big hit with the kids and they helped make it too, it was so easy.
I even see my friend Carol from CA bought the cookbook too, so it must be AMAZING cause she is a hard sell.
I didn't even realize that it supports Friends of Animals which has some great programs............
Definitely a good buy.
Best of Vegan Cooking changes all that - by enticing the reader/cook to try something new. This is veganism as most people, unfortunately, have never seen it - fresh produce and herbs that you already know (or maybe some that you've seen, but haven't yet tried) put together in delicious ways. There are also a few tofu recipes, to answer the ever-burning question, "I want to try tofu, but what can I make with it?!"
Although you don't have to be vegan to appreciate these recipes, this is the cookbook I recommend to new vegans, especially those who are frustrated with the high cost and mediocre taste of veggie dogs and non-dairy cheese, those who are tired of having to shop all over town for "special" ingredients every time they cook, and those who simply want to eat healthy, natural, whole foods. Although most of the recipes are easy to make, this is not a "dash and run" convenience cookbook. Expect to cook, but expect to enjoy it - and expect to love the results.
Not an experienced cook? There is a handy glossary in the back - so don't worry if you're not exactly Julia Child. The recipes are color-coded and organized in a nice way, with gorgeous photos throughout. This is by far one of my favorite cookbooks.
Do YOU know how to make authentic mexican tortillas?
What about spicy BBQ tofu sandwiches for grilling with guests?
Or (one of my favorites) a meatless Irish stew whose leftovers kept me fed for days?
I didn't. Now I do! And now I'm full. Five stars for flavor.
The recipes look so delicious, easy to make and healthy that several of us are planning a pot luck - making recipes from this book and sharing them. And of course we would have to complement it with some of the wine pictured on the back cover.
I brought the book to my office and shared it with my non vegan friends who liked it very much and made copies of many of the recipes. One friend, Anna, told me that she would eat "everything in the book." She said the recipes are healthy, hearty and look easy to make for her and her (finicky) husband who wants "hearty". They also resonate with her Italian heritage. Anna's favorites are Farfalle with Broccoli Rabe; Pasta with Basil Pesto and Linguine with Raw Nut Pesto and Tomato Sauce. Anna was also impressed that many of the recipes do not contain soy since she is allergic.
I love the Baby Artichokes Provencal style - would be great with pasta. The deserts also look tempting - the yummy Kiwi Parfait or the Chocolate pudding with berries. ( I am a berry addict) Oh - there is also home made ice cream - Vanilla mint chocolate chip - vegan of course.
Bottom line, the great thing about this book is that the recipes are cruelty free. At the risk of sounding like a preacher, I am vegan because of the animals - because no animal has to die for us to eat happily and healthfully. As the inside of the book states - veganism is a way of life - in harmony with the planet.
bon appetit, - and joyful eating to you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great recipes that are easy to follow and delicious!! Highly recommendedPublished 23 months ago by steve
Good simple recipes and very beautiful and appetizing pictures. Highly recommend.Published on July 28, 2014 by Anna Marie Wendt
I chose the five star rating because I love all the great new ideas I got from using this bookPublished on October 6, 2013 by jennifer fletcher
I love it. This review is from a person who is an excellent amateur home chef in the Euorpean style of cuisine AND an enthusiast of cookbooks of many types, interests, and... Read morePublished on August 11, 2013 by Publicly posted as
After receiving the wonderful "Dining With Friends," as a gift, I was more than thrilled to find this gem as well. Read morePublished on February 12, 2013 by V. Kaye
Have done a few of the recipe and its all been great. My comment is the author photo. I know, silly but the photo is so unflattering and odd. Read morePublished on February 10, 2011 by MMK
I've been a vegan for ten years, and as a native NYC dweller, it's often been easier not to cook my own meals. Read morePublished on October 21, 2010 by Edita Birnkrant