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Vegan Yum Yum: Decadent (But Doable) Animal-Free Recipes for Entertaining and Everyday [Paperback]

Lauren Ulm
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Vegan Yum Yum: Decadent (But Doable) Animal-Free Recipes for Entertaining and Everyday + Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook: 304 + The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet
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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Health Communications; 1 edition (1 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0757313809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757313806
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 16.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 136,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so yum yum... 18 Jun 2010
this book got everything...very good easy to do recipes with ingredients found in every "vegan" cupboard, even in UK which is good for an US cookbook, and wonderful photography made by the author herself for every single recipe. Can't stop cooking from it, everything I tried was so easy to do and so good at the end. Buying it I kind of knew what to expect from someone who does such a beautiful blog but it ended to be even better than I expected. There are breakfasts, brunchs, main dishes, appetizers, salads, sides dishes, light meals, soups, pasta, desserts, sauces, dips, spreads and even drinks and cocktails... I'm so happy with this book, never felt that excited since I discovered Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbooks.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for impressing your non-vegan friends! 9 Mar 2011
By thombol
After following the Vegan Yum Yum blog avidly, for some time, I was delighted this book was published! This is my fool proof fall back book for when I have non-vegan friends round for a special meal, and want to show the true delights of veganism. Some recipes appear to have loads of ingredients, but when you break them down, they tend to be things you more than likely have in your cupboard. The pictures are beautiful, and there are many great day to day recipes (the broccoli lentil dahl and smokey miso tofu are particular favourites, and sesame roasted kale is quite amazing!). This is not my most used vegan cookbook, but definitely one I get pleasure from reading, and everything I have cooked from it has turned out beautifully. This is certainly a book to show to people who think all vegans eat is lentils and brown rice!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Photos and Tasty Food... 2 Jun 2012
... But if you're expecting healthy vegan food this is not the book for you. These recipes are decadent feasts and snacks for indulgent weekends and dinner parties. This is probably my favorite 'Food Porn' book, the photos are the most salivating I've seen. And the recipes I've tried have worked out well generally (coconut lime tofu went a bit funny, but that may be my fault) but most recipes do contain salt, sugar and oil or (vegan) butter.

If you're looking for recipes to impress non-vegan friends, buy this book.

It is worth buying alone for the in-depth guide to making vegan crumpets. I'm salivating just thinking about them...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  123 reviews
72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fun and yummy resource 30 Oct 2009
By handfuls - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this cookbook! Since I follow her blog, I wasn't sure whether this cookbook would be worth my time, but it's been wonderful. Lots of recipes and lots of information are packed into this book. I own a lot of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, and this one offers truly different and exciting recipes, as well as serving as a resource for basics (like pancakes) and standbys (like a new take on the tofu scramble).

My favorite recipes in this book: blueberry waffles with lemon icing; stuffed banana berry french toast; aloo matar; caramelized leek and spaghetti squash polenta with white sauce; dal makhni; delicata squash stuffed with cherry-almond couscous; chana samosas; sesame ginger seitan dumplings; crispy sesame kale; black bean soup; spicy tomato chickpea soup; baked mac and cheeze; hurry up alfredo; lime peanut noodles with seitan, kale, and carrots; pad see ew; blueberry grunts; and sheera. As you can see, I had quite a lot of favorites!

One of the things I really appreciate about this book is the variety of recipes and ingredients. Ulm has a CSA, and says that a lot of her recipes were created based on what she got from it on a given week. I have one too, so I'm able to enjoy her recipes that involve lots of seasonal vegetables, farm-exclusive delights like delicata squash, and the experience of having so many leftover veggies and clippings that vegetable stock is the best use of resources. Then there are plenty of recipes with more basic ingredients, that can be found at any grocery store, even in my small college town. The more hard-to-get ingredients I can find a little ways out of my way at natural food stores.

It's true that some of the ingredients are unusual -- my closest grocery store seldom carries bok choy or kale, let alone Chinese broccoli and whole Indian spices -- but these recipes all include helpful substitution suggestions and I find cookbooks like Veganomicon to be much worse in this regard, especially when it comes to prices and explaining their function/necessity in the recipe. (And as I said above, I get plenty of kale from my CSA!)

Rather, my biggest problem with this book is that I'm lacking a lot of the equipment that she has, and there is not much in the book itself to help. What's the use of "readily available and budget-friendly ingredients" if I can't make the recipes without investing in specialty equipment? While I have a well-stocked kitchen (lots of pots and pans, mixing bowls, good knives, a blender, a food processor, a chopping bowl, a mortar and pestle, a pastry knife, various baking and loaf pans) most of my cooking equipment is basic and on the low end. But according to this book, I can't make a number of her recipes and drinks because the motor on my blender isn't fast enough. In fact, she says that only a Vita-Mix, a piece of equipment that would cost me as much as a month's rent, may be the only blender good enough. And there's nothing suggesting she tried it on other blenders. I don't appreciate being told that a recipe "may" require a Vita-Mix. Didn't she have testers who couldn't afford one? Couldn't she have tried it with a food processor? Can I have a hint of whether trying to blend these ingredients would be a waste of my time and money? Couldn't she include suggestions on what to do if you don't have a microplaner, a spice grinder, or a mandoline?

My only other complaint is minor, which is that I love reading cookbooks, and while this one was essentially well-written, it was a lot like a blog. Not a big surprise, but I like a bit more formality and editing from my recipes. Not that I'm demanding a formal paper, just that a consistent voice, structure, and confidence on the part of the author likewise instills confidence in me about the recipes. The background was usually interesting, and the alternatives and suggestions were helpful, but sometimes felt like I wasn't reading a completed recipe. I don't want the author's casual assurance that "this will taste great, I promise": I would hope you would think everything in your recipe book tastes great! And it certainly does, so don't be wishy-washy about it.

I don't understand the 1 star review ragging on the photos. It's not true that a good camera is all anyone needs. The beautiful photographs also show her understanding of composition, presentation, lighting, and photography generally. I like this in a cookbook and personally it instills further confidence for me in the book's author! Yes, it's true that beautiful photos don't make a cookbook inherently good as some reviews certainly seem to be suggesting, but the recipes in this book are amazing enough that the photos are a wonderful bonus and a treat to have hard copy!

Like other reviewers, I appreciated her casual attitude when it came to veganism. I am a vegan myself, but that doesn't mean I enjoy being condescended to about what a horrible thing it is to eat animal products. This is a book of delicious animal-free recipes, and that's that.

Essentially, all of my problems with it were anticipated from reading her blog. And all my excitement about it too! I'm so glad that this book is finally in print. If you have any trepidation about buying this book, look over her blog and decide whether you would like having a lot of these recipes and a lot of recipes in a similar style in print to keep in your kitchen. I for one love it!
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not even Vegan and I love this cookbook and the recipes 4 Nov 2009
By L Stein - Published on
I purchased this book as a gift for my daughter for her 15th birthday. I liked that each recipe had a picture, knowing that would make it easier for my daughter to choose a recipe to try. I still do most of her cooking and had been very confused as to how to meet her vegan requirements and make something for her to eat other than stir fried vegetables. Over the past couple of weeks we have made about 10 different recipes and everything has been outstanding! Lauren's combination of tastes, textures and spices are clearly tried and tested! We love her chickpea/artichoke salad, black bean soup, rainbow rice and creamy risotto! Everything has been Yum Yum! We look forward to making our favorites each week and have multiple recipes marked to try for weeks to come.
46 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good recipes, but book itself is poor quality 23 Nov 2009
By LSS - Published on
I've been a longtime fan of the author's blog and was really looking forward to her cookbook. Indeed, the recipes I've tried so far have been very good - my favorites so far are the hurry up alfredo, the sesame broccoli tofu, and the baked chana samosas. However, my book arrived already looking tattered and worn, and the pages started to fall out after using the book for the first time. I stopped at a local Barnes and Noble to check their stock of this book and all of them seemed to have similar issues, so I don't think it's just my copy. It's a shame the publisher didn't see fit to put more work into making a cookbook that is both tasty and functional.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The more I learn, the more I realize... 2 Feb 2011
By Ultigirl - Published on
just how lucky I was that this was my first vegan cookbook.

I could just make the recipes as written and end up with something truly delicious.

In fact, at times, I could mess up the recipes (Grilled pear, walnut and cabbage salad AND brocoli dahl come to mind) and still end up with something truly delicious.

My second vegan cookbook taught me what a privilege that is. With that second book, I have to taste and re-season every component of every dish. I think if I had bought that second book first, I would have decided that vegan cooking was either too bland or way too hot or just too much work.

What a pleasure it is to be able to trust VeganYumYum. What an abomination it is that the other cookbook has the same score on Amazon...over binding issues? It makes me sad because that cookbook could turn off future vegans, instead of arming them to grow as cooks.

Which brings me to my second point, I learned skills that allowed me to be a home cook, like how to dry-fry/pan-fry tofu. I learned to make a roux. I get how to use nutritional yeast for yummy goodness.

I don't buy cookbooks to read through extensive culinary analysis of food cultures. In fact, I honestly rarely have time to read anything more than the recipe (ah, third vegan cookbook, how you tricked me into reading about the cultural history of empanadas with your long, long recipe-like intros).

So, I appreciate Ulm separating "side bar" issues from recipe information. Again, as a young cook, I need that simplicity. It helps me focus on what I need to get done.

I didn't even realize Ulm's informal tone in her sidebars until I read another Amazon review. I think the informal tone likely arises because Laura is a cook, not a chef. In fact, the book reads like the cookbook of my childhood: the amazing, local-cooks-only, kitchen institution that is Creme de Colorado. It is a book for cooks by cooks. If an informal tone is a sin, I'm happy to eat so well here in Hell.

Creme de Colorado was one of my mom's bibles. She was and is an amazing cook. She was always armed with her favorite "go-to" books: Colorado Cache, Creme de Colorado, Colorado Collage... Her cookbooks are filled with quick, penciled-in warnings (Good!, Skip, Amazing!) as well as all the necessary notes (more chili powder, 1/2 the cheese, etc.)

In fact, I'm lucky enough to have one of her go-to books, complete with warnings AND notes (though this Velveteen Rabbit-esque gift is less cookbook, more piles of pages as the binding gave out ten + years ago).

I feel like VeganYumYum very well could be the annotated cookbook I give to my kids. As of yet, the only warnings fall along the lines of good, omni fave and awesome. My notes include how not to screw up next time. If the VeganYumYum I give my kids is a pile of pages, it's a pile of pages. At least I know they will find great food in the heap.
43 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK 15 Jan 2010
By VegHead - Published on
Everyone will have varying tastes re: what they like to eat + this review is a reflection of my personal food interests. If you like to eat wheat, tofu, seitan, soy milk, or processed sugar, the recipes in this book are for you however, if you want to steer clear of those food items, I would not recommend this book b/c most of the recipes contain a few of these food items. I liken this book to eating @
"Millenium" Vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco...the focus of which is tofu or seitan, rather than focusing on inventive ways to create meals without tofu or seitan. Just voicing my personal preferences.
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