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Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You: More than 100 Delicious One-Pot Meals for Your 1.5-Quart/Litre Slow Cooker Paperback – August 1, 2013
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About the Author
Kathy Hester is the founder of the blog Healthy Slow Cooking (http://www.healthyslowcooking.com) and author of The Vegan Slow Cooker, Vegan Slow Cooking for One or Two, Oatrageous Oatmeals, The Great Vegan Bean Book, The Easy Vegan Cookbook, and The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot. She writes for various online health and cooking websites, including Bright Hub (http://www.brighthub.com), Divine Caroline (http://www.divinecaroline.com), Everything Mom (http://www.everythingmom.com), and The Healthy Hostess (http://www.thehealthyhostess.com). She lives in Durham, NC with her partner, two cats, and one dog.
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The recipes are designed for using a 1.5-quart or liter crockpot, so they're perfectly proportioned for smaller households.
The book is organized as follows:
* Chapter 1 provides a nice overview about how to use your slow cooker effectively
* Chapter 2 focuses on making what Hester calls "pantry staples" -- things like tofu sour cream and nut ricotta that you might want to have on hand for other recipes
* Chapter 3 focuses on breakfast
* Chapter 4 focuses on dips that can be eaten as appetizers or a main meal
* Chapter 5 focuses on soups
* Chapter 6 focuses on stews, curries, and chilis
* Chapter 7 focuses on sandwich and taco fillings
* Chapter 8 focuses on one-pot risottos, pastas, and pasta sauces
* Chapter 9 focuses on full-meal dishes
* Chapter 10 focuses on drinks, syrups, and desserts
There is also a list of recommended shops to order your spices from.
For any recipes that are soy-, gluten-, and/or oil-free, there is a designation at the top of each recipe page. It seems like quite a few are all three.
What I also really like about this book is that hardly any of the recipes call for pre-cooking ingredients. When I use my slow cooker, I'm all about saving time, and I love that you can make most of these recipes by just tossing the ingredients into the pot. Hester does recommend that you pre-cook your onions, but, conveniently enough, she provides a recipe for how to cook them in your slow cooker, and then freeze them so you have them on hand when you need them.
The directions don't involve a lot of steps, which is nice, too.
Chapter 1 also gives some really useful pointers about meal planning on a smaller scale, and here Hester talks about how you should plan out your recipes so that you use up all your ingredients. For instance, if one recipe calls for using just half a can of beans, she encourages you to find a second recipe to make that week that will use up the second half.
As I mentioned in my review title, I also really like how this book uses whole foods, with only a few processed ingredients.
Last night, I made the Pumpkin Caramel Breakfast Barley, and it turned out great! Tonight I'm making the White Bean Quinoa Gumbo. I snuck a taste of it earlier, and it looks to be another winner.
Also, if you need a small slow cooker recommendation, this one is great: Proctor-Silex 33112Y 1-1/2-Quart Portable Oval Slow Cooker. I also just got this Crock-Pot SCCPMD1-BL Hook Up Double Oval Connectable Entertaining System, 1-Quart, Metallic Blue and think it will be perfect to get two recipes going at the same time.
As I use this book more, I'll be sure to update my review. For now, I can already tell that I'm going to get a lot of use out of this -- and my hubby won't have to suffer through endless leftovers! :-)
I give this book only four stars, because I didn't like the formatting of the Kindle version. One recipe per page or one recipe on a two-page spread works well. These recipes are all over the place, and it just makes them hard to follow on the Kindle ap on my iPad. I also dislike the font and the overall look of it. A cookbook should be especially appearling visually, and I thought this book wasn't. I end up typing out the recipes I want to use into the MealBoard ap or into Evernote to make them easier to follow. I wish I could just use them from the book more easily.
Overall, this is a great cookbook. I can't wait to try more of the recipes, especially: Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Burrito, White Bean Barley Soup, Italian Seitan and Pepper Soup, & Italian Seitan Coins with Mashed Cauliflower and Gravy.
I wanted to try some new things and swap out some of my meat-full dinners for meatless ones, but almost all the recipes call for a lot more labor than the "set it and forget it" type of slow cooking I would have wanted to see in this book. Many of the recipes call for pre-cooking ingredients or adding more ingredients to the slow cooker to cook for 30 minutes to an hour AFTER the standard 7-9 hour cooking time. I don't know about you, but I'm a grad student and am unlikely to have that kind of time. What is worse, some recipes only call for using the slow cooker for an hour or less -- with the desserts, that's feasible, but with other dishes, I might as well just cook the thing on the stove for 10 minutes instead.
I've also found that many of the recipes incorporate pricey (read: astronomically expensive on my budget) ingredients like unusual spices that I know I won't use very frequently. And I don't know if it's something to do with my beloved little slow cooker or what, but the proportion of liquid ingredients in the recipes is frequently much less than you'd need to properly cook a dish. In the beginning, I followed all the recipes to the letter and they came out scorched on the bottom and uncooked on the top. I think the book was probably tested using an oval slow cooker, which I don't have -- I have the tall, round kind. I also don't own a food processor, so you should also be aware that many of the recipes require that piece of equipment as well. For the life of me, I have no idea how this cookbook got so many positive reviews. Save your money and just use the interwebs.
The variety of vegetables used is amazingly educational and, while there are "standard fare" recipes, Ms. Hester brings in Italian, Indian, Thai and Southern USA dishes to broaden your food experience for the adventurous.