22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Not as 'Isa' [easy] as the title suggests,
This review is from: Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week (Hardcover)
I'm a huge fan of Isa Moskowitz so was always going to buy this book. It's her most beautiful yet, looking like a 'proper' cookbook on the shelf in the shop where I bought it. The layouts, graphics and photography are so fun and colourful and do make the food look exciting.
My main impression of it is that it doesn't, in my opinion, live up to its title. It's meant to contain 'easy' recipes but every single one that I've looked at that I might want to try requires a specialist ingredient (e.g. coconut oil, seitan), extensive preparations (a creamy soup I liked the look of requires me to soak cashews for several hours) or ingredients that you need to Google to find out what they are known as in the UK. (That's my other main gripe - I waited months for the UK version and it still asks you to buy 'collards', 'navy beans' and 'Frank's Hot Sauce'. I should have just bought the US edition! It's like the UK publisher just changed the price from $ to £ on the dustjacket and sent it to print - why didn't they actually adjust it to a UK audience?)
I think a lot of people will enjoy this book, and as a vegan I'm happy to see such a beautiful vegan cookbook on the shelves. It's just that there aren't many recipes I'd want to try. I like recipes where I'm likely to have most of the ingredients already in the kitchen, and not have to take a trip to a specialist supermarket to buy the rest. I also like to be able to throw things into the one pot, leave them to cook, then eat them, rather than having umpteen things going on at once and having to plan ahead to soak or marinate things for hours.
In 'Isa Does It' many recipes are complicated by additions, such as a soup that looks pretty good but it also asks you to prepare seitan in a specific way to go on top. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's very nice and would look impressive at a dinner party but these are meant to be EASY recipes. They are not. If you want straightforward vegan recipes I'd recommend buying Isa's 'Appetite for Reduction', which isn't a diet book despite the title, but rather one that is full of easy soups, stews, chillis and more.