Monday, 3 September 2007

cookbook reviews

(I have also posted these reviews on Amazon)

Alternative Vegan by Dino Sarma-

This is a vegan cookbook with a difference- it doesn't rely on meat substitutes and instead has recipes showcasing how tasty vegan food can be. There's a very helpful guide to kitchen equipment at the beginning and it's great for beginners or experienced cooks alike. The basic recipes section really *is* basic, with few ingredients and simple instructions, but innovative ideas that work really well. Even the advanced section is easy to follow. Variations are offered for many of the recipes if you dislike or don't have certain ingredients, and the author encourages you to adapt recipes to your own tastes rather than stick rigidly to the recipes, which is great. This book is a great all-rounder, but particularly good for anyone with soya allergies or anyone who just wants a vegan cookbook that's a bit different from the rest. Highly recommended. 5/5

Vegan with a vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz-

I bought this cookbook on the merit of the chocolate chip cookies that a friend brought to a party (they were AMAZING, every bit as good if not better than the ones I used to buy from cookie bars in my pre-vegan days!) and her recommendation, and I haven't been disappointed, since everything I've tried yet has been just as good! Both the sweet and savoury recipes in here are outstanding, and there's something for all tastes, from exotic curries to old, pre-vegan favourites like pizzas. As well as great recipes, she also offers tips on having a well stocked pantry and the best kind of equipment to buy and use. It's a great book for beginners and experienced cooks alike. 5/5

The wholefoods diabetic cookbook by Pat Stevenson-

I bought this book and I'm very unimpressed indeed. There is a lot of diabetes health information, although I knew all of this already and just wanted some new recipe ideas, but unfortunately, as a cookbook it's very poor indeed- there aren't very many recipes, and there are whole pages dedicated to things which should really IMHO just be footnotes. One "recipe" for example is for "lighter side of blt" which is basically telling you to make up a blt using shop-bought faux bacon and wholemeal bread... as if that isn't glaringly obvious! There's a couple of okay recipes thrown in, but lots of fillers. If it's recipes you're after, buy a regular vegan cookbook instead, and just avoid using sugar and processed "white" foods. 1/5(as a cookbook)

How It All Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard-

More than just a cookbook with tasty, easy-to-follow recipes, it also has sections on kids lunchboxes, homemade cleaners and toiletries, nutrition advice, and non-vegan ingredients to avoid to name but a few, making it a great first cookbook for a new vegan. 5/5

Easy vegan cooking by Leah Leneman-

Does exactly what it says in the title with fairly simple yet innovative ideas. It's divided neatly into sections(ie legumes, nuts etc) making it easy to browse, and has some nutrition advice in the foreward. My only gripe is that I find myself adapting a lot of the recipes to taste, as they can be fairly bland and require a little more seasoning for a spice-fiend like me! Most of the recipes are very healthy, but I'm of the strong belief that wholemeal flour can ruin the taste and texture of sauces and cakes, I just switch it to white and they turn out lovely! 4/5

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