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The Vegan Planet: 400 Irresistible Recipes With Fantastic Flavors from Home and Around the World (Non) Paperback – January 7, 2003
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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 Bchamel 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.
Top customer reviews
The recipes are generally simple and typically use very common ingredients. (I have no interest in becoming a chef in any sense of the word!) It's great to be able to pick up the book and find a recipe that uses whatever happens to be in my refrigerator and pantry (no matter how empty they look!) using the index to find recipes with those key ingredients. And the best part is that the result is delicious! Last week I found some sweet potatos in the fridge, so checked the index to see what I might be able to do with them and found the Red Bean and Sweet Potato Curry, which indeed turned out to be excellent, even without the green bell pepper. Now, if I don't have an ingredient a recipe calls for, I add it to the shopping list because with this book, I know I'll be able to put it to good use.
As vegans, my wife and I have several vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, but this one quickly became our favorite and has made us more adventurous and expanded our repertoire considerably. The beauty of the recipes we've tried so far is that even our carnivorous friends don't miss meat when they dine with us on the sumptuous meals prepared from the recipes in this book. Since becoming vegans, we've found dining out much more challenging, but this book has come to our rescue with an incredible variety of easy-to-prepare recipes that ease the pain of cooking while adding amazing flair to our mealtimes. This cookbook is a worthy addition to anyone's kitchen bookshelf.
There is a lot of very helpful general nutritional information in the first chapter, however, that I found useful for vegans and omnivores alike. Robertson discusses everything from protein sources, to B12 requirements, to vegan Omega 3 and 6 sources. She also includes in this chapter (called "Vegan Basics") names of hard to recognize animal products and tips for "stocking the vegan pantry." There are many more sections throughout the book that discuss the names, flavors, uses and nutritional content of a variety of grains, beans, vegetables, etc. which introduced me to wonderful foods I had never tried before, such as quinoa or sea vegetables.
"Vegan Planet" is perfect for staple recipes like chili (among other chili recipes, there's a Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili that is one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted!), Mashed Potatoes (even these are special, because of the parsnips she has you add; these potatoes have consistently earned me rave reviews), or Vegan Shepherd's Pie (my favorite recipe in the book and a big hit with my super meat-loving in-laws). There are also great breakfast recipes (for e.g. French Toast and Tofu Scrambles), an interesting "world cuisine" section with recipes for Chinese, Indian, etc. food, and a very complete dessert section. Soups, salads, appetizers, and faux "meaty dishes" or "creamy dishes" (e.g. the wonderful Alfredo Style Fettuccine) are also included.
The recipes are so easy that the lack of pictures never bothers me. Last Christmas I was cooking dinner for my family with such a bad cold that I literally could not smell or taste anything I was making. Nevertheless, my mashed potatoes and everything else from this book still came out perfectly (or so I was told :)). Everything I have tried to make from this book has come out well, and I'm not an expert cook by any means. "Vegan Planet" always uses simple and common ingredients that almost anyone will recognize and be able to find at their local grocery, and on the other hand I also think it does a wonderful job of introducing great foods that many Americans don't typically eat (e.g. quinoa).
I LOVE this book and give it as a gift all the time, to vegans, vegetarians, and relatives who ask "what can I cook if you're coming to dinner?" I have also given it to relatives looking to lower their cholesterol (since cholesterol is only found in animal products, and vegan diets have been proven to often dramatically lower people's cholesterol and even reverse heart disease!). My mom, whose high cholesterol prompted me to gift her with this book, has told me several times how much she appreciates having a source of delicious, cholesterol-free recipes at hand, although she is not vegan.
My other favorite vegan cookbooks: If you're a real foodie or into gourmet cooking, I would recommend the "Millennium Cookbook" or "The Artful Vegan;" if you like funky, fun recipes try How it All Vegan" or "The Garden of Vegan." If you just want a general overview of veganism, try John Robbins' "Diet For A New America."
In addition to all of the excellent, varied, extremely tasty recipes are numerous helpful tips--from how to soak beans, to making non-dairy whipped topping, to an acceptable substitute for grated parmesan cheese.
Before purchasing this book, The Meditteranean Vegan was my favorite Vegan book, and while I'd still recommend it, Vegan Planet just has sooooo many, many recipes with varied Ethnic inspirations (Indian, Hispanic, Italian, Middle Eastern, American) you just cannot not go wrong. There is something here for everyone's tastes as well as something here for every meal--breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, desserts, drinks (alcoholic and non).
Personally, I love to bake and to share my baked goods w/ family and office mates. In the past, my vegan baked goods left much to be desired PLUS, people hear "vegan" and are immediately turned off. That's not been the case w/ the desserts I've made from recipes in Vegan Planet. So far, all of my vegan "goodies" have received rave reviews. My non-vegan co-workers have been quite impressed w/ the taste and generally cannot believe they are enjoying a treat that does not contain butter, eggs, or cow's milk.
Get this book. You will NOT be disappointed!