Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Little Vegan Cookbook

Fair Winds Press has a new vegan cookbook out. It's called The Little Vegan Cookbook, and while the book is, indeed, diminutive in size, it's big on content. The small book, which is larger than pocket size but small enough to toss into a purse, contains 500 vegan recipes culled from other Fair Winds-published books by vegan authors we all know and love.

You'll find recipes from J.L. Fields, Joni Marie Newman, Celine Steen, Tami Noyes, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Josh Ploeg, Gerrie Lynn Adams, Megan Roosevelt, and Matt Ruscigno.

There are chapters for apps, breakfasts, sandwiches, main courses, salads/soups/sides, desserts, and beverages. Throughout the book, there are photos spreads featuring tiny postage stamp-sized pictures of many of the recipes.

And everything LOOKS SO GOOD. I had a hard time deciding what to try first, and what I chose really just came down to recipes that called for ingredients I had on-hand.

First, I made the Tahini Noodle Bowl — pasta (I used gluten-free rice penne) tossed with a creamy soy-tahini sauce and sauteed tofu, broccoli, carrots, green peas, and edamame. It was a super-healthy bowl-style meal that really hit the spot. Look at all the green! I felt really good about myself after I ate this.

And then, on the Fourth of July, I made the Creamy Potato Salad to serve as a side to our grilled veggie dogs, corn, and grilled squash. Paul's super-picky about potato salad (and all food, really), and he likes his potatoes cooked until their practically mashed potatoes. And he doesn't like much mustard, so I cut the mustard back quite a bit. Still yet, this was a solid, classic potato salad that did not disappoint. I love the bits of celery and red bell pepper for color and crunch.

As with all cookbooks I review, there are just too many delicious recipes and not enough time. My wish list includes the Seitan Sandwich with Fried Pickles, Fiesta Soy Curl and Rice Casserole, Indian-Style Black Bean & Veggie Burritos, Not Beans on Toast (breakfast beans are served on waffles!!!), and the Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies to name a few. 

As amazing as the recipes look, I do have two small complaints with The Little Vegan Cookbook. One is an issue of aesthetics — fitting 500 recipes into a tiny book means using tiny print. And while my vision is 20/20, I'm guessing that people with vision impairment might struggle to read the fine, small print. Maybe it would have been better to make it a giant book and call it The Big Vegan Cookbook?

Also, while the recipe authors are credited in the back of the book, I'd also like to see each recipe author's name attributed to their own recipes throughout the book. As it is, there's no indication of which author is responsible for which dish. I recognize a number of Joni, Celine, and Tami's recipes in the book without even needing a byline, but that's because I'm a vegan cookbook nerd (and I have all of their books!). 

All that aside, it's worth checking this book out for the recipes alone. Maybe just make sure you have your reading glasses handy.


George Fernandez said...

Hi! Nice blog .You have done a great job. Keep on vegan recipes

Susan said...

A good concept, though a shame the layout isn't a little more reader friendly and they don't credit the author of each recipe. Still, would be a great book to give people a feel of a number of different authors. :) I suspect I have a large number of the original cookbooks... we are fellow cookbook nerds. ;)