I really like this cookbook. I was a little disappointed in it when it arrived, but I've taken the time to explore it and find that I like it more every day. However, it's not perfect.
This cookbook offers a good mixture of vegan recipes and nutrition basics that will be helpful to those new to the vegan lifestyle, especially parents that want to incorporate this type of eating into family meals. I have sampled several recipes that turned out very well, but not all of the recipes appeal to me. One recipe appears to be missing an ingredient. Accidents happen!
Why go vegan? The authors provide basics on environmental issues and ethics behind vegan choices, without being pushy. I like that and I think it will help non-vegans become more curious without being pushed away. I also appreciate the casual and friendly approach that is conveyed throughout the book. It felt comfortable.
The recipes are good, but not necessarily new or exciting. Many of the recipes are for home-style comfort foods that will appeal to families. These include recipes such as enchilada casserole, chili, French toast, and plenty of yummy desserts. If that's the type of food your family eats, and most probably do, this cookbook will help provide healthier alternatives to traditional recipes.
I love cookbooks with photos, but I'm sorry to say that the photos in this book disappointed me. The style seems outdated and I think it makes the food look bland. If I were flipping through this book in a bookstore, I would probably put it back on the shelf. The internet is filled with avid food bloggers that have mastered perfect food photography. I'm sure that not everyone will agree with me, but I'm a nut for good food photography and I felt this one was lacking. I'm sorry!
That said, the recipes that I tried turned out very well and were delicious. For my personal use, some of the better recipes in this book include smoothies, energy bars, granola, and Vietnamese banh mi. I tried several recipes, and will share my experiences with a few of them.
The first recipe that I tried was the Outrageous Granola. It included oats, nuts, dried fruit, and was flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, and maple syrup. It tasted as good as it sounds! It was easy to prepare and it turned out well. This was my first attempt making granola, and this recipe made it easy. My granddaughter also loved it, especially since she could help make it.
I also tried the Maple Mustard Greens. I'm always looking for a way to make me love kale, so I was anxious to try this. The dish also includes Swiss chard, which I love, and collard greens, which I have never tried. The recipe includes a full half cup of mustard, but it only serves 4 people. That's two full measuring tablespoons of mustard in one serving, which I admit worried me. I combined the mustard, maple syrup, and other seasonings and decided to lightly drizzle part of it over the cooked greens. I'm glad I did because a little really went a long way. It was really very delicious! The bonus was that I still had mustard sauce left over to use another night, which I gladly did.
The Chocolate, Fruit, and Nut Clusters were absolutely delicious and disappeared quickly. They are too dangerous to make again!
Page 170 includes a recipe for Olive Walnut Bread. The title sounds delicious, however the recipe left out the walnuts in the ingredient list and the directions. Plain olive bread sounded okay, but probably wouldn't be nearly as much fun for the taste buds.
I am enjoying exploring the recipes and I do like this cookbook better now than I did when it arrived, so I would recommend giving it a chance. There are honestly not a lot of recipes in this cookbook that I will try because my personal preferences are different, but the ones that I am enjoying are definitely keepers.