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The Vegan Planet: 400 Irresistible Recipes With Fantastic Flavors from Home and Around the World (Non) Paperback – January 7, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 154 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With 400 recipes, this is probably the biggest vegan (no animal products-meaning dairy- and egg-free) cookbook on the market. It's also one of the best. Robertson (The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook) is a likable guide to possibly unfamiliar ingredients such as flaxseeds and sea vegetables, and the recipe choices are almost overwhelming. Robertson relies on the usual trick of digging into ethnic cuisines (Thai-Style Leaf-Wrapped Appetizer Bits, Baked Sweet Potato and Green Pea Samosas are among the appetizers) for vegetarian options, but she also innovates in clever ways, as with Here's My Heart Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette with hearts of romaine, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm and celery hearts. Some of the most versatile options appear in a chapter dedicated to sauces and dressings, such as Eggless Hollandaise and Vegan B‚chamel Sauce. Chapters on breakfast ideas, sandwiches, wraps and burgers-with six different veggie burger options-ensure that all bases are covered. Occasionally, Robertson relies on packaged products like the soy sausage and mozzarella that appear in "Sausage" and Fennel Cannelloni, but most of these recipes simply make the best of vegetables, legumes and grains. A cogent foreword by Barnard (president of the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine) reports the startling fact that Americans-apparently misled into believing that switching from red meat to white will improve their health-now eat one million chickens every hour.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This ambitious new cookbook from the author of The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook offers dozens of imaginative vegan recipes inspired by a wide range of cuisines, from Five-Spiced Portobello Satays and Lebanese Fattoush (bread salad) to Cajun-Style Collards and Moroccan Fava Bean Stew. There are also vegan versions of such meat dishes as shepherd's pie and chili, as well as sandwiches like Curried Chicken-Less Salad and Seitan Reuben. Robertson's style is more down-to-earth than Crescent Dragonwagon's in Passionate Vegetarian, but Dragonwagon's book, which includes recipes made with eggs and dairy products, complements Robinson's. For most collections.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Non
  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press; New edition edition (January 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558322116
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558322110
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book makes an excellent gift for someone just starting to explore the vegetarian lifestyle. Surprisingly, it is also an excellent resource for the tried-and-true vegan.
For those just familiarizing themselves with the vegan diet, the author explains all potentially new terminology and describes common ingredients used in vegan food preparation: tofu, seitan, and miso for instance. For the most part, his recipes use readily-accessible ingredients, available in most supermarkets. In the rare cases where exotic ingredients are called for, the appendix lists mail-order sources for those who may not live near a natural food store.
The book starts with an excellent first chapter on nutrition. The author notes that a vegan diet provides all essential nutrients, though without proper supplementation it can be deficient in vitamin B12. This deficiency is often considered by those reluctant to switch to a vegetarian diet as the "Achilles Heel" of a vegan diet. In fact, having just one easily-remedied deficiency makes the standard non-vegan diet look pretty awful in comparison. While a standard dairy-and-meat-based diet may not be deficient in vitamin B12, it is certainly problematic in its propensity to cause heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, and a wide range of other serious illnesses. In fact, as the author points out, a comprehensive set of long-term studies on diet and health done at Cornell University indicates that 80 to 90 percent of all cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other forms of degenerative illness are directly linked to the consumption of meat and dairy products. Talk about an Achilles Heel!
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Format: Paperback
I'd been a long-time lacto-vegetarian and recently decided to take the plunge and cut out the dairy as well, and in doing so, decided that I needed to find some new cookbooks to go along with this lifestyle change. Though many of my vegetarian cookbooks offer some vegan recipes as well as some vegan alternatives for non-vegan recipes, I was still finding that I didn't have much to draw from. Not every vegetarian recipe can be easily substituted for, and not all vegan substitutions come out tasting all that great. After hours spent at bookstores sifting through vegan cookbooks and asking myself "how many of the recipes from each will I actually, truly try making?" I settled upon Vegan Planet, and I'm quite glad that I did.

I love that this book is more than mere recipes. For example, the whole first chapter is called "Vegan Basics" and includes several worthwhile informational tidbits. Robertson includes descriptions of differences between each of the various meat alternatives, such as seitan, TVP, and tempeh, and various ways to buy and cook each. Also included in this first chapter are sections on stocking the vegan pantry with a list of staples every vegan should have in their kitchen, a section on what it means to buy organic, and a section on how to avoid hidden animal products. Robertson also addresses vegan health concerns such as making sure you're getting enough protein, and the infamous vitamin B12 issue.

As for the recipes themselves, with 400 recipes to choose from I'm sure everyone could easily find dishes they enjoy in this weighty tome. Some recipes I would recommend are the Udon Noodles in Shiitake-Ginger Broth, the Tofu and Vegetable Lo Mein, the Yuba-Wrapped Seitan and Vegetable Rolls, as well as the various pizza recipes.
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By A Customer on July 7, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've made a load of the recipes in this book and many of them are very decent indeed. Nonetheless I think there are some things about this book that haven't been touched upon by other reviewers that you need to know...
1. No pictures. Maybe because I'm used to more lavishly illustrated British cookbooks (Delia Smith, Jamie Oliver, Gary Rhodes etc.) that the complete absence of pictures hits so hard, but I do think the book would be better with some nice photos. It looks so dated without them, like the sort of cookbooks my granny has...
2. No nutritional information. Which I thought was odd for a book espousing the health benefits of a Vegan diet. It would have been very useful to have some kind of nutritional breakdown for each recipe.
3. Authenticity, or lack thereof. The 'Fantastic Flavors from Around the World' have been desperately Westernised :-( The Thai soup is nothing like a Thai meal, the Indian foods contain celery and sweet potato... Personally I would have preferred to see recipes more sympathetic to their country of origin. In the breads section for example one of the side notes babbles on about some traditional flatbreads from around the world, however NONE of these are offered as recipes and instead the usual variations of banana/seed/nut breads are trotted out again. The sesame & cumin flatbread is fantastic mind you but once again it's a poor interpretation of an Indian naan bread.
4. 400 recipes eh? More like 300 with a number of variations. Shame that. Still most of those 300 are good.
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