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on 2 July 2012
Having been vegetarian for over 5 years, I decided to become vegan about 3 months ago. Feeding myself lovely vegan food was not a problem, but my omnivorous family were aghast at the 'weird' food I suddenly started to serve up at dinnertime. I began cooking two different meals, one meal for my two children and husband and a vegan meal for myself, but I found this exhausting and many days I couln't be bothered cooking for myself and would end up with a bowl of cereal. So I began investing in some vegan cookbooks, most of which have been brilliant, chock full of great ideas, but none of which were popular with my 3 and 6 year old children. So I tried this book on a whim, and it is fabulous.

The author begins with lots of advice on reducing your grocery bill and being organised enough to enjoy vegan food quickly without having to resort to cereal for dinner! The first recipe I tackled was 'Deluxe Vegetable Lasagna', which was gobbled up by the whole family. Result! Then 'Pasta e Fagioli' became a family favourite, and 'Sunday Supper Frittata' got the family eating tofu without even realising... The basic cooking recipes at the front are worth buying the book alone. I am currently simmering some homemade seitan, and despite being dubious about the 'Cheezey Sauce' I suddenly found myself with a permanent tub of it in the fridge ready to pour onto any number of dishes.

I made my monthly meal plan last night, ready for the beginning of the month shop as I do every month, and the majority of dishes planned are from this book. Just to clarify, I currently attend a well known slimming group and find that the dishes fit in with my healthy eating plan, so the recipes in this book may be cheap and cheerful, but are also healthy and satisfying. Absolutely brilliant!
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on 10 June 2013
A handy book. I have been Vegan for about a month now, and I have found this book to be very useful. It provides tips on shopping and stocking your cupboards cheaply. I have spent the last few weeks trying to internalise the 'cooking basics' at the beginning of the book, after which I will go on to tackle some of the meals.

The cooking basics, by themselves, have totally revolutionised my shopping styles. I am no longer spending big on meat substitutes; just two bakes seitan loaves diced can keep in the freezer and provide enough for a whole months supply; I am also amazed at how great the 'cheezee sauce' tastes, and find it as versatile at the seitan. The Peanut Sauce is a perfect marinade for my tofu, and I can use the excess in a stirfy. I have also learned to make my own vegetable stock, by collecting my vegetable trimmings in a tub in the fridge throughout the week. The chocolate brownies were simple and definitely do the trick. You can make expensive vegan treats such as chocolate and fudge go a lot further, should you decide to add these.

I don't have many complaints for this book. The first, and most obvious is that it is American and therefore features product names that we don't use in the UK. Secondly, some of the ingredients, such as nutritional yeast and wheat gluten, I could not find in the shops and had to order online. However, these ingredients feature pro;lifically in vegan cooking, so this is something I guess I will have to get used to. The final complain I would like to make, is that the book is 'vegan', but not necessarily healthy or environmentally minded. I have gone through a lot of olive oil and soya sauce following these recipes, and the authors suggest using supermarkets, tinned foods and overlooking organic products and the potential dangers of pesticides. Having said that, it IS after all about living Vegan on a budget, and I suppose that a vegan on a low income needs to make certain compromises on the journey of veganism.

I would definitely recommend to clueless cooks, new vegans and/or people on low incomes. This book will help you on the way to becoming a creative vegan shopper and cook!
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on 6 January 2011
I have been looking into going into the vegan lifestyle due to health problems like blood pressure which I wanted to control naturally through diet rather than taking medication. My doctor was happy for me to do this.

I was impressed by the information in this book on how to eat healthily and save money such as making batches of meals to be used on other days. I bought a rice cooker which was brilliant and my children actually said they liked eating brown rice so am hoping to make their diets healthier too.

the recipes are easy to make and adapt to your own taste
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on 27 September 2010
I only became a vegan recently so this book looked interesting for someone dealing with how to start the habits needed to change their diet, and it has been. The section at the front explains theories behind saving time and money and eating healthy nutritious, delicious and interesting food. Suggesting menu planning for the week and writing a shopping list based on that has made life so much more energy and time effecient. At home now we have one night a week for cuisine from a different country (indian, east asian, italian, mexican etc) and collect recipes to use each week. Far from making food boring its actually made use more creative with food, while saving time and money. I live with my Dad, who used to have meat with every meal, but is happy to follow my diet and has remarked on how good the food has been, and he hasn't even missed meat!
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on 24 December 2010
Being in the UK and this book being American I was a bit concerned I wouldnt be able to get hold of the ingredients. However all recipes have basic ingredients that are easy and cheap to get hold of, this is my first Vegan coobook and to tell the truth I can't think I'd need another it is so packed with super recipes!
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on 12 November 2011
This is a great book,there are plenty of delicious recipies plus some clever ideas to enhance the food on the cheap. It can be a little difficult with some ingredients if you dont speak American English.for example a dish that frequently comes up is "Seitan" The flour ingredient is glutin flour !! I had to go to a health food shop to sort it.
Highly recomended for anyone either starting out on this healthy way of eating as well as for old hands.
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on 18 April 2014
I bought this book recently as I am trying to be vegan for the first time. I have tried 5 or 6 recipes so far (as well as numerous ones from other vegan cookbooks which were a bit hit and miss) but from here they were ALL so delicious, even impressed my meat eating partner and family. Whether you are vegan or veggie or meat eating BUY THIS BOOK! It contains really tasty, satisfying meals which are both easy to make and cheap. (You really wouldn't guess that they were made cheaply, I think it's a nice bonus of not eating meat.)

As it's American it's worth noting some product translations- Cilantro = coriander, Canola oil = rapeseed oil, Arugula = rocket, and tablespoon = dessert spoon. I am also planning to buy a 'cup' measurer as would help slightly, though I have managed fine so far. Don't let this put you off though, many of the recipes are simple with basic vegetables and beans and ingredients you probably have in your cupboard or can certainly get from your local supermarket. (Last nights' dish contained a tin of haricot or butter beans, new potatoes, 1 lemon, black olives, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil and salt and pepper)

It is a brilliant, interesting book filled with loads of great tips, ideas and excellent easy recipes. Highly recommended. Well worth the money. BUY IT, JUST BUY IT!
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on 18 May 2011
Robin Robertson is like an American version of Rose Elliot, the UK's most established veggie cookery writer. What RR doesn't know about vegan food isn't worth bothering with, frankly! Her recipes are easy to follow and do what they say on the tin. Although this book is from the US, most dishes are easily do-able with a set of measuring cups (sold in just about every supermarket's kitchen section these days). Most ingredients are pretty easy too - if you get a bit confused do a Google search re alternative food names and brands. Seitan flour used to be hard to get hold of but is now finding its way into many independent health food shops - or buy it online from VeggieStuff's site or here on Amazon! I made the Big Stick Pepperoni yesterday for pennies and it tastes really good! Also, the Sour Cream is brilliant and so is the Bread Pudding Tiramisu -non-vegans are bowled over by both and they are not only relatively cheap to make but easy and yummy.
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on 9 March 2013
One of the best vegan cookbooks I have ever bought. I keep on using the recipes in this and the recipes are adaptable to whatever you have at hand or which is in season. I even get cravings for some of the recipes!
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on 4 September 2014
Love this book! Myself and my family have recently gone vegan and this has been a Godsend. I have used tonnes of recipes from this and without exception they have all been delicious, even our non-vegan friends have been impressed.
It's american but it doesn't take long to figure out the different measurements and different names for things.

It doesn't have any pictures which I know for some people is an issue, but it personally doesn't bother me.
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