Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vive le Vegan by Dreena Burton

While I admit to not having much basis for comparison, it's my opinion that this cookbook is perfect for people like me who are new to vegan cooking and want easy, tasty meals, snacks, and desserts. There are a ton of good recipes as well as lots of useful information, such as cooking times for grains and beans and a whole section on the benefits of hemp. I made the "Peanut 'Better' Cookies" and the "Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies" and they both turned out delicious. I'd like to make the banana pancakes and lentil soup soon, too. I'll have to go shopping to make a lot of the recipes in this book, but that's more a reflection on my family's pantry than on the book! I love that it's all whole foods and there's a great variety of grains and protein sources. Though I don't have any trouble with wheat, I think it's great that most of the recipes are wheat-free or could easily be made wheat-free. It's also really cool that very few of the recipes use "fake" vegan products. A couple of them use vegan cheese and/or vegan ground round, but for the most part there's no attempt to imitate non-vegan food--the recipes are great, healthy meals on their own.

There's also a large section on raising vegan infants and children, explaining how and when to introduce different kinds of solid food (based on advice given by the author's midwife). I don't have reason to use that yet, but I expect to someday, and it seems like a really good resource. Overall, I'm thrilled to have received this book as my first vegan cookbook.

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