I really wanted to like this book. I love beans, and I love the wide and wonderful variety of ways to prepare them that this book promises. I also love how the book is quietly vegan without ever uttering the word, implying a world where animal exploitation just doesn't exist. However, I just can't make these recipes turn out!
I am not an expert cook by any means, but with most of the time if you give me a good recipe I can make it turn out pretty good. Maybe I have chosen poorly, but I am now 0 for 4 with the recipes I have tried out of this book. Let me describe my experiences:
1) Pinto Bean Enchiladas - This recipe turned out bland, watery, and soggy. After conferring with some people who know enchiladas, they all agreed that the enchilada sauce portion of the recipe was out to lunch. It was edible, but not make-again category.
2) Pat's Baked Navy Beans - Edible, but a little bland and uninspiring. There are better baked bean recipes out there.
3) Curried Garbanzos - Starts off promising, but the end result is soupy and a little odd tasting. Again, there are far better garbanzo curries out there.
4) Navy Bean Balls with mushroom gravy - The bean balls were decent, despite the almost complete lack of spice, but the gravy was hideous. I couldn't even eat it.
Based on the experience of these four recipes, I find that this book has recipes that are bland, overly complicated, time consuming, and often skip over essential preparation details.
The biggest problem with this book is that the recipes sound tasty yet they just don't turn out, either from lack of skill by me, or a lack of instruction from the author. Either way, I will be sticking to my more trusted books from now on, and saving this one for when I'm feeling more adventurous than hungry.