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The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night

The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night [Kindle Edition]

Mark Bittman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Following up on his bestselling diet plan, VB6, the incomparable Mark Bittman delivers a full cookbook of recipes designed to help you eat vegan every day before 6:00 p.m.--and deliciously all of the time.

Whether you call it flexitarian, part-time veganism, or vegetable-centric, the plant-based, real-food approach to eating introduced in Bittman's New York Times bestselling book VB6 has helped countless people regain their good health, control their weight, and forge a smarter, more ethical relationship with food. VB6 does away with the hard and fast rules, the calorie-counting, and the portion control of conventional diets; it's a regimen that is designed to be easy toa dopt and stick to for a lifetime. 

When Bittman committed to a vegan before 6:00 pm diet, he quickly realized that everything about it became easier if he cooked his own meals at home. In The VB6 Cookbook he makes this proposition more convenient than you could imagine. Drawing on a varied and enticing pantry of vegan staples strategically punctuated with "treat" foods (including meat and other animal products), he has created a versatile repertoire of recipes that makes following his plan simple, satisfying, and sustainable. 

Breakfasts, the most challenging meal of the day for some vegans, are well represented here, with a full range of hot cereals, whirl-and-go-dairy free smoothies, toast toppers, and brunch-worthy entrees. Lunches include hearty soupls, sandwiches, beans, grains, and pastas to pack along wherever the day takes you, and more than a dozen snack recipes provide the perfect afternoon pick-me-up to banish the vending-machine cravings that can undo a day of eating well. Dinners are flexitarian, focusing on vegetable-forward meals that are augmented by a range of animal products for fullest flavor, satisfaction, and nutrient density. A chapter devoted entirely to "building blocks"--make-ahead components you mix and match--ensures that a flavorful and healthy meal is never more than a few minutes away.

If you've thought of trying a vegan diet but worry it's too monotonous or unfamiliar, or simply don't want to give up foods you love to eat, Bittman's vegan and flexitarian recipes will help you cook your way to a new, varied and quite simply better way of eating you can really commit to...for life.  

From the Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 13999 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (6 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F1W0EHG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,369 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Denis Vukosav TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
‘The VB6 Cookbook’ prepared by Mark Bittman is a book that likely two years ago I would not have noticed, but due to health problems for which I had to completely change my diet this great chef who prepares extraordinary vegetarian meals immediately caught my eye.

The most important thing about Bittman’s cooking is that he makes his dishes in a way that besides being healthy they look delicious.

Bittman encourages creativity and variations, and it’s not using too many extraordinary ingredients which make his recipes accessible for anyone.

Therefore if you are a vegan or would like to try something vegan, and most of all like to experiment in your kitchen give it a try to Mark Bittman’s ‘The VB6 Cookbook’ you won’t be sorry.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars my fault, didnt read discription properly 26 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
OK, I you can be a vegan before 6, you may as well be one 24/7. Some good recipes, but just don't see the diet working
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  74 reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible and Delicious! 8 May 2014
By Judith Clements - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mark Bittman makes eating a plant-based diet accessible and delicious. The basic structure of his recipes is elegant--not a one too many ingredient, not one less. The recipes also allow for one's own food preferences and creativity with his lists of variations on the basic recipe as a guide. For example, Green Apple Stir Fry with Cashews notes the variations: Plum Stir fry with Pecans; Apricot Stir Fry with Almonds (yum!); Cantaloupe Stir Fry with Pistachios; Grapefruit Stir Fry with Coconut; and Pineapple Stir Fry with Hazelnuts. For anyone venturing on a plant-based diet, this book is essential and provides a 4 week Vegan Before 6 eating plan. For me, who already eats vegan, this cookbook is an exciting addition to my collection--and the 4 week plan gives me an abundance of recipes, ideas and inspiration. Mark Bittman is a major player in changing the way we eat for the health of ourselves and our planet.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Title says it - Cooking for a Vegan/Flexitarian Way of Eating- Approach though is a little narrow 8 May 2014
By Dan Sherman - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book adds a number of recipes to Bittman's 2013 book that argued we should basically be vegans during the day, eating high quality (i.e., not a lot of processing) plant based food, and then consider adding moderate amounts of meat, poultry, fish and dairy to our meals at dinner (dessert included). This approach derive's from Bittman's own experience (told here and in his earlier books) of being a rather unhealthy middle age man who was given the choice of eating better or going on a lifetime drug regime.

The approach of eating more of a plant-based diet makes good sense, both for health reasons and also the environmental/animal welfare issues presented well in Bittman's "Food Matters" book. This book recaps the VB6 book and then presents a good set of recipes to help implement this way of eating (I prefer not to use the word "diet," given its connotation of short-run approaches to weight loss). Like all of Bittman's cookbooks, the recipes are very clearly written, with lists of (usually not hard to find) ingredients and then necessary steps to prepare a dish, along with estimates of preparation time. There are perhaps 100 basic recipes here (organized around breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, and dessert) with 2 or 3 variations presented for each one. Bittman is a wonderful writer, and each recipe is introduced with a short paragraph that usually makes it quite appealing.

Bittman here and elsewhere (including pages of the New York Times) argues for (mostly) plant-based eating with minimally processed food. I suppose my only issue with this book is that it puts a particular structure on when you are vegan and when you are not. Someone might, for example, like to have eggs at breakfast and not wait until 6 to have some cheese. I would think you could still eat this mix of foods throughout the day and meet the goal of less meat and better quality food if you are watchful.

This is a very good cookbook for vegan dishes before 6 and good dishes for dinner that don't use too much meat. It is a great cookbook for what it is (and can be enjoyed by most people, whatever their eating) but for me is a bit narrow. I prefer the approach in Bittman's Food Matters book (and cookbook), which really is pretty much the same but without the element of being vegan and then possible switching at dinner.

Whether or not you go for this specific approach to eating or prefer something a bit more flexible, it is a great resource of good recipes that can only help quality of your eating.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The VB6 Cookbook Companion 19 May 2014
By M. Hill - Published on
Mark Bittman's cookbooks have yet to disappoint and this companion of his earlier edition of The VB6 Cookbook is no exception. If not familiar with the concept, the idea is to eat vegan during the day and dishes using a small quantity of meat, cheese or eggs for the evening meal. Whether to head off possible health problems or make diet adjustments for current issues, this book offers clear suggestions/solutions in a user friendly, and of course, delicious way. The concept is stated, but I take a more flexible approach as to which meal I consume meat - or whether I consume any on a day-by-day basis.

The book contains over 350 recipes (115 basic recipes with variations) divided through chapters organized by meal - Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Dinner and Dessert. There is also an essential chapter called VB6 Building Blocks that contains 15 make ahead recipes for use during the week like Big Batch Brown Rice and Grains, All-Purpose Tomato Sauce, Everyday Salad Bowl, Your Own Salad Dressing, Big Batch Cooked Vegetables, etc. Utilizing some or all of these preparatory recipes is yet another tool smartly included to help the user work efficiently so cooking meals is less time consuming. Also within the book are information and ingredients recommended to have a pantry ready for action organized in three ways - Unlimited, Flexible and Treat.

Specifics for the book construction - this is a hardback book made with quality paper that when a page is splashed, remains undamaged if the spill is wiped up promptly. The binding is tight and it will take some time for it to relax so for the time being the book is not willingly laying open on the counter top, so a cookbook holder is in use.

I counted 33 full color pictures with the majority of them located in the Dinner chapter where they really matter. Most of us know what oatmeal should look like so not photograph is necessary, but that is not the case with some main dishes, so a shot of the finished Mussels in Coconut Broth or Red Paella with Scallops dishes is appreciated.

Except for headings, the text is printed in black ink which makes the small font size used for the recipes, mostly 8 and 9 point along with a little 10 point, as easy to read as possible. The comprehensive index makes locating any recipe quick and easy, and I am surprised how often I don't find one in a cookbook.

I tested the Mushroom Nut Burgers over Greens and as suggested in the recipe, made more than one batch of the burgers and froze them for future meals. The seasonings were excellent, so I made no adjustments -- and the burgers delicious. Next I prepared the Walnut Banana Bread which uses whole wheat flour, cooked brown rice, ripe bananas, walnuts, and, among other ingredients, 3/4 of a cup of maple syrup. The expense of maple syrup probably dictates I won't prepare this sweet loaf often, but it did not disappoint.

Southwestern Bean Dip with Peppers whipped up quickly and is a great replacement for the commercial bean dips I normally purchase. The Tofu Jerky was a happy surprise. The taste satisfies when only something spicy (like barbecue potato chips) sounds good, yet it is reasonably healthy and protein dense. Finally, I prepared Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie, substituted ground turkey breast for beef or lamb. The inclusion of half a head of chopped cabbage added a subtle flavor component and made the reduced quantity of meat less noticeable.

Not surprisingly, I encountered no problems while preparing any of the recipes I tried, and was pleased with the results and will make them again. And, there are many more dishes I look forward to testing. The recipes in this book are not filled with exotic ingredients that require extensive searching in specialty shops. The author clearly wants to offer delicious solutions to a healthier way of eating and make it accessible to all. I am impressed with this well thought out cookbook.
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hope you don't have a job because your new one is cooking! 22 May 2014
By Matthew C. Haas - Published on
In theory I think this is a great idea, and will probably have to make ahead a lot of stuff. The recipes sound delish. I am a big fan of Mark Bittman. Here's the caveat. I've read the introduction, sounds great. I've just read the breakfast recipes and the shortest amount of cooking/ prep time is 20 min with some being closer to an hour! Who has time for that in the morning? I work full time and hate doing dishes. Also, being that I'm cooking for one,I could not imagine how much it would cost to use the menu ideas as each meal contains different fruits and veggies every day for a week. I foresee a lot of rotten veggies or quite a bit of repetition. The book also seems heavy on the reliance of soy products. I thought soy was the new no no ?
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Regrets 4 Jun 2014
By Jeremy Hunter - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I want to kiddie pool my way into veganism, which is so obviously the right/healthy/ecological thing to do. However, the Carne Asada-loving part of me despairs at a life of kale drinks and quinoa cakes. I'm a huge fan of Mr Bittman's "Vegan Before 6" idea. The initial chapters of this book are a great framework for thinking about eating healthy…like the notion that Italian pasta is a "once in a while" dish not an everyday one.

However the recipes are a serious letdown. Page after page is devoted to smoothies, which barely qualify as "food" in my book. Call me old fashioned…

There's more than significant space devoted to recipes which aren't vegan at all. This is a huge letdown, because I was eager to hear more from the author about how to make good vegan food that doesn't taste like raw organic cardboard with Bragg's amino acid liquid sprinkled on it.

You could've done better than this, Mr Bittman!
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