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4.6 out of 5 stars141
4.6 out of 5 stars
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It is so refreshing to find a vegan cookery book that uses 'normal' ingredients and gives sensible honest advice. I love this book. I am a fairly new vegetarian and want to go a step further and become vegan. The money I have wasted on so called 'vegan cookery books' doesn't bear thinking about and none of them have inspired me to take the next step. Isa's book is wonderfully refreshing. There are of course American names for some of the ingredients but once you've sussed that cilantro is corriander, escarole is endive, sriracha is hot chilli sauce and kasha is buckwheat then you've basically cracked it. The recipes are dilicious and are guided as Gluten-free, Soy-free and under 30 minutes which helps when you want something quick and easy to make. You don't even notice that the recipes are all low fat because they are really tasty.
I can thoroughly recommend this book.
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on 27 July 2011
I've already got a couple of Isa's books - and while the recipes are good,the layout and cross referencing drives me nuts. However the layout on this one is clean, and the cross referencing is minimal. The Hummus recipe is one of the best i've ever tasted (how can anyone get hummus wrong I hear people cry - well I have!), and the red wine and kalamata tempeh (I made it with seitan) is delish. Having the calorie count per serving really helps too. Only point to note is that this is an American cookbook, and needs some translation for UK users - so a tablespoon is a uk dessert spoon, arugula is rocket leaves, cilantro is coriander, shortening is cookeen or trex and canola oil is rapeseed oil. The cookipedia web site is a useful reference for translating.
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on 22 December 2013
This book gives some amazing recipes - I have to say I was a bit sceptical reading some of them but I gave them a go and they were amazing - tasty and filling. I can't be doing with half a lettuce leaf food - these were big healthy calorie counted delicious meals. An American book so I had to google a couple of things but all in all highly recommended.
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on 15 June 2013
When I am just a shadow of my former self and everyone's whispering "if anything, she's got TOO skinny", this book will be the reason why. I'm not even vegan, I just figured that maybe eating less animal might be a semi-decent way to lose some weight without trying too hard, and lo and behold - I was right! The recipes here are scrumptious, and that's not even an exaggeration. I'm yet to make a duff one, and I must have cooked half the book by now. Hottie Beans & Greens and Mango BBQ Beans are both amazing and now weeknight staples in my house, with big steamy spoonfuls dumped over baked sweet potato. Black-bean, Zucchini & Olive Tacos are as good as everyone else who's reviewed the book tells you they will be (and that's far better than I was expecting - delicious, basically). I also really loved the Carribean Curried Black-Eyed Peas with Plantain (def worth making the extra effort to find the plantain - it makes it), as well as the Canellini & Mushroom Paprikas, Miso Udon Stir-fry, Upside Down Lentil Shepherds Pie, Eggplant Provencal, Kidney Bean and Butternut Jamba Stew, Aubergine Chilli Bean Mole - there's so many great dinners in here and they're all quick, cheap and really good for you. Many of the recipes even possess that most magical property of tasting even better reheated next day than they did fresh, and that's about the highest praise I can give out. Yes, more pictures would be nice, yes, there are many Americanisms, but to get hung up on these tiny details would be to miss out on one of the best cookbooks I own.
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on 8 February 2011
This book is a brilliant. I already have several of Isa's cookbooks but I had some reservations about low fat cooking, thinking it might be bland or a bit 70s boiled lentil-y vegan. However, everything I have made from the book has been super tasty and filling. The author states at the beginning that the recipes are designed for weeknight cooking and that they are pretty fast to make, I'm not the most amazing cook in the world but with this book I have been cooking when I get home from work. I love Isa's commentary and the hints and tips throughout the book. Highly recommended!
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on 28 July 2014
I have finally found the holy grail of low fat cookbooks. This is real food that will fill you up and make your belly happy, oh, and it just so happens to be vegan. I've been on the 5.2 diet for a while, mainly for health longevity reasons (although losing weight is also a bonus) and I must admit I struggle with the lack of food on a starvey day whereas the hubs has found it easy. This book has really helped me stay on track on starvey days, the salads really fill me up and are surprisingly satisfying. Nutritional information is included for each recipe. The recipes are perfect for any day of the week, i don't just limit them to fast days. They may be low in fat but they are full of flavour. My favourites so far have been:
Everyday Quinoa Chickpea Salad - full of protein and good things and the dressing made from a blend of cashews, balsamic vinegar and other stuff is gorg, I've always hated bottled dressings from the supermarket, this is heaps better.

Big fat Taco Salad - my favourite salad in the world ever because it has tortilla chips in it! Even my children dig this salad. The slightly lower in fat version of Guacamole, "Guacamame" made from a blend of avocados and edamame beans is awesome, tastes just like the real thing. I hated the salsa dressing, however. It tasted like vinegary tomatoes so I won't bother with it again.

Mango Bbq beans - a big hit with the kiddos and quite easy to make. Just a smidgen of agave and a whole mango provide the sweetness.

Jerk Asparagus - made this several times when British asparagus was at it's prime and man, is it spicy! That's a good thing though.

I've made other things that I wouldn't make again but nothing has been in edible. Overall it's a winner. I have most of Isa's books and although this isn't my favourite, it's definitely the most used as I can't live on a diet of cupcakes alone, I did try. Ingredients are all easily found in supermarkets and health food shops, she tends to use the same blend of spices for several of the recipes so you won't find yourself buying some random ingredient and never using it again. There are not pictures for every recipe but there is about 6 pages in the middle of the book with photos, but I can live with that.
As a lifelong omnivore, I found these dishes incredibly satisfying and I didn't miss the meat.
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on 1 March 2011
Another brilliant book from Isa. I love it already even though I haven't cooked many of the recipes yet. As is her previous book Veganomicon, it is humourous and accessable and full of interesting recipes and tempting pictures. I even enjoy reading it when I'm not cooking.
There are some great tofu recipes, some of which I've tried and I've also cooked silkie chickpea gravy (very versatile) and sprout and potato hash. I did find,that with the sprout and potato hash it was hard to saute it in just one teaspoon of oil. Isa does mention using a non stick spray as well and I'm not sure if this is an oil and water spray you can make up yourself.I think that using a tablespoon of oil per recipe for four would still be low fat as that would only work out as thirty calories each.
As well as there being loads of combinations of foods I would not have thought of, there are a few unusual things that you might not know or that might be hard to get in some areas. Yuca I think, is a yam like thing and I think they've got it in my local asian supermarket. Cilantro, I googled when I bought Veganomicon. In Britain we call it coriander.
This is an enjoyable book whether you are vegan or not and is a great way for carnivores to cut down their consumption of meat.
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on 11 July 2012
Seriously, she never lets me down. Bought Veganomicon and LOVED it! Then foolishly brought Happy Herbivore by some other author and sent it back the day it arrived and brought this instead and man, am I glad I did. Just had Jambalaya Stew with Sweet potato drop biscuits... YUM!!! Wish I could have all of her books right now.. it's defiantly a work in process. She just seems to have such variety and is so down to earth and chatty, can't praise her enough. Droopy salads and everyday-pasta is an absolute thing of the past.
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on 6 July 2011
Like other reviewers I too have been glad to find a book that uses easy to find ingredients and meals that you can prepare in 30 mins or less. If you have a bit of extra time (marinating etc) then there are options for this too. The only downside would be for some the lack of photos for each recipe (this seems to be the norm for many US cook books) but it is only a tiny downside and didn't spoil the book for me personally.

At the beginning of each chapter Isa Chandra has written some useful tips and suggestions which are also amusing and informative.

Being a bit of a spice lover there is plenty in this book for me to try with dishes from around the globe. Just make sure that you do a quick google for an alternative to some US names eg Eggplant - Aubergine / Collards - Spring Greens / Yams - Sweet Potatoes etc etc.

Another book I will return to on a regular basis as I improve my vegan repertoire of dishes.
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on 13 November 2012
I have all of Isa's books and I thought Veganomicon would take some beating. Well it would as it's huge and is like a vegan food bible! AFR is more accessible and great for weeknight cooking. I was sorry to see that a previous reviewer found the Hottie Greens and Beans disappointing, as this has already become one of my fave recipes from this book - my meat eating boyfriend loves it too. Can I give all of you veggie and vegan cooks a tip, if you are new to the game? Casseroles, stews etc are ALWAYS better after they have sat in the fridge for 2 - 3 days. The flavours develop beautifully. Especially things with beans in.
To get back to the book - if you're veggie or vegan, buy it - there are some splendid recipes in there. My current faves, apart from the greens and beans - Pad Thai salad (the dressing is sublime!) and the mega - fragrant Jamaican blackeyed bean curry. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I do!
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