Friends keep asking me what to get for someone who has just started cooking or turned vegan. Hands down, this is the one and only book I recommend. I bought it four years ago and still use it weekly. It has fool-proof cornbread, hummus, split pea soup, tacos, masoor dal, Thai noodle salad, oatmeal cookies---all the vegan stand-bys. For breakfasts, the scrambled tofu is good, though I had bad luck with the french toast and sourdough pancakes. I really appreciate the nutritional information provided for each dish. The pantry-stocking pages are excellent, as is the overview of nutrition and veganism. For beginners, the book's chief asset is its brevity: my first vegan cookbook was too big, and it took me way too long to sift through it and plan the week's meals. This has everything you need for months of great cooking, without much fuss. And its wide pages lay relatively flat, which makes it easier to use in the kitchen. A must for the new vegan or cook in your life.