Top positive review
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Vegan need not be difficult or boring
on 19 May 2011
Easy Vegan, a delightful book from Ryland Peters & Small is the perfect "starter" vegan cookbook, ideal for someone setting out on their vegan journey, or someone with vegan friends or family who is looking for some inspiration on what to cook for them, or just someone looking for healthy eating inspiration.
As the subtitle suggests the recipes are easy, accessible and the vast majority can be prepared with ingredients from the supermarket. Often self-proclaimed "easy" cookbooks are often bland and boring; not with Easy Vegan which is bursting with great flavours. Curries, spicy sauces and zingy dips abound.
Nearly all the dishes are made from fresh, non processed ingredients, with no fake meats or imitations of non vegan foods. Tofu makes a few appearances, but the book is full of good healthy food that just happens to be vegan. The book helpfully points out foods that may contain "hidden" animal ingredients, such as egg in pasta or fish in Thai curry paste.
The book contains over 100 recipes arranged into 6 chapters of, soups, snacks and light meals, main dishes, sweet things and drinks. Each recipe is accompanied by a full page colour photo, and quantities (and ingredients) are given in both metric and cup measurements to cater for both UK and US readers.
Dishes that stand out to me are sweet potato and coconut soup with Thai pesto, artichoke tarator (a garlic and nut dip), pot stickers with orange dipping sauce. More substantial dishes include a winter dish of roasted carrots with barley risotto, a Keralan creamy vegetable and cashew nut curry or a smokey bean hotpot.
Puddings are fruit based, minimal and simple. However I would have liked to have seen some cakes and muffins in this section, to accompany the crumbles and cookies. Vegan baking is very easy and it is a shame there are not more recipes.
All in all Easy Vegan is a fantastic first vegan cookbook for all, regardless of whether you are vegan or not.