Customer Reviews: Big Vegan: More than 350 Recipes, No Meat/No Dairy All Delicious
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on September 20, 2011
After purchasing this over a week ago, this book is really capturing my heart. It relies on whole food ingredients, does use some of the more unusual ingredients without going overboard, so I feel like I'm stretching myself without being overwhelmed. Most of the recipes also feel simple, though I could imagine they might be overwhelming a touch for a novice cook. This is also a rather large compendium, much like 500 Vegan Recipes or 1000 Vegan Recipes, and it covers a variety of basics, but it doesn't spend too much time or space re-making a lot of the basic vegan dishes there are dozens of recipes for everywhere. Yes, there are some of those the author offer her spin on, but a greater percentage is offering recipes that seem like they should be vegan standbys already.
I've already made a recipe out of each one of the chapters; so far the French lentil soup, blueberry wild rice salad, pistachio tabbouleh with pomegranate, pita bread, and slow cooker farratto have been favorites of mine, and the apple-beet slaw has been a favorite of my husband. I'm looking forward to making Korean tacos with "instant" kim chee for dinner tomorrow.
If you're looking to cut back on oils, many of the recipes I've tried have held up well to reducing the amount of oil called for. If you're gluten free there are quite a few choices available. For a vegan looking to make more than just the newest macaroni and "cheese" dish however, this book offers a lot of new choices to try and while some may require a trip to Whole Foods or a global cuisines grocery, the technique, for the most part, isn't overly fussy for someone with moderate kitchen experience.
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on September 22, 2011
What I really want to stress about this cookbook is that these recipes aren't some meek, vegan compromise. Robin Asbell really commits to her choices and I love how bold her dishes taste. I'm not a vegan. I love all kinds of food and I've been around the world many times and tasted a lot of it :). Our son became interested in vegan cooking and we bought this cookbook for him, resigned to just eat whatever bland pablum it churned out and keep quiet about it. But, happily, we were SO wrong!
Again... Bottom line - this food tastes great!
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on December 14, 2012
I've been vegan for nearly 20 years and I have over 100 vegan cookbooks. I'm always trying new stuff. THIS is one of the best vegan cookbooks I have tried so far. Not just reliable and easy to follow, but superlatively delicious. One of the tricky areas in vegan cuisine is "cream sauces," and the "Creamy Triple-Mushroom Fettucine" is out of this world. "Big Vegan" is the one I go to for the Wow Factor.
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on October 18, 2011
Robin's passion is food, GOOD FOOD, healthy food. This book with "no meat, no dairy" might be scary to those who use cheese (for example) to flavor their dishes. You do have to shop "whole" foods; you do need to have access to a co-op or good supermarket with an organic and/or healthy foods section. And if you're a traditional everyday cook, such as I, you do need to enter boldly and fearlessly to expand your repertoire of how to cook healthfully. I consider cooking vegan like finding a new place to explore, meeting new people, trying something new. The book is content-full, quite beautiful and covers the gamut from breakfasts to desserts and everything in between. Highly recommended.
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on June 11, 2012
This is my most used cookbook, because there's such a wide variety of recipes that I can always find something to suit my mood. I admit that it has been hit or miss--but with far more hits, many of which have become staples I make over and over again, and some of the misses were due to my own error (substituting ingredients incorrectly, etc.)

My favorites so far are the Peanut Butter and Jelly Banana Muffins, Crispy Sesame Kale, the Creamy Broccoli Soup, Roasted Potato and Rosemary Pizza, Veggie-Edamame Pot Pies, the Creamy Artichoke Pasta al Forno, the Creamy Collards with Cornmeal Dumplings, and the Pistachio Thumbprints. To me, having just these recipes would make buying the whole book worthwhile!

My only complaint is that the binding isn't holding up well and the book will probably tear in two if I keep using it so much.
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on July 13, 2013
This book is divided into sections (breakfast; soups, desserts; main courses, etc), which makes it easy to find recipes, or to just explore. The only downside to this book--but it's a major one!--is that the recipes themselves yield dishes that are not particularly tasty. For instance, when I have made recipes from this book and also from the Real Food Daily cookbook, the RFD dishes are MUCH more tasty. I've had this book for about a month, and I've made about 10 dishes. So, there may be gems in here that I have just not yet made. But so far? Meh.
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on April 1, 2013
I became a vegan on Superbowl Sunday of this year. I immediately realized that I had no idea how to feed myself without animal products besides eating big bowls of cold salad everyday. I was scouring amazon the very next day hoping to find something to help me revitalize my love for food and cooking with my new diet. Big Vegan was not the first Vegan cookbook I bought nor will it be the last. But it is one of the best. Unique all plant based recipes, raw delicious appetizers. Comfort foods prepared in ways I never would have imagined and not a meat substitute in sight. A must have for any Vegan Kitchen.
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on January 9, 2012
I have recently become vegan for health reasons. I had searched through vegan cookbooks, most checked out from the library, not finding many to my liking. On the whole, I find many of them rely heavily on processed vegan food products in their recipes. I was looking for cookbooks that take a whole food approach, as few processed ingredients as possible yet offered interesting and delicious dishes. I found just that in Big Vegan. I have had the book for one week and have done about 80% of my meal planning from it - that says a lot. The recipes are varied and everything has been delicious. The front section is informative and includes discussion on nutrition and ingredients. I highly recommend this book for any vegan, experienced or new.
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on January 12, 2012
Robin Asbell is a fantastic chef, teacher and cookbook author. I've been waiting for this cookbook for months. And the wait was well worth it. The recipes I've tried are delicious and appreciated by everyone, whether vegan or omnivore. Some recipes are simple and call for using one pot. But don't expect to open a few cans and throw meals together. Get out your knife and get ready to chop! Robin uses fresh, real food ingredients in every recipe. Yes--you will need to shop for spices and foods you might not have used previously. But the results are well worth it. My husband and I have had the pleasure of taking three cooking classes from Robin. You can learn to cook like her by following these recipes. Whether you've been thinking about reducing the amount of meat you eat, or moving from vegetarian to vegan--go for it. And go for this cookbook.
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on November 11, 2014
This is a great cookbook. I received it as a gift and subsequently bought a copy to give to someone else. All of the recipes I've tried, with the exception of one, have been very good and I will use them again. I did have to go out and buy some of the ingredients, but once you have them in your pantry you can use them for many recipes. The only drawback for me is the lack of pictures. While there are a few, I like a cookbook that has a picture for each recipe so you know what you're getting. That being said, it says a lot that at the moment it's still my favorite cookbook, despite the lack of pictures.
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