This is a recipe book for cooks who have a lot of time to plan and execute elaborate multi-dish dinner parties to impress non vegan friends and relations.
There is a section of advice on ingredients and techniques at the beginning, then the book is divided into a series of sections each of which gives a menu followed by recipes for a complete nutritionally balanced dinner party meal. A number of these menus sound to me like food you would encounter in a Vegan American home at Thanksgiving.
It does have features I haven't encountered in other cook books. It gives a 'cook's notes' list of advance preparation to save time, along with a suggested order of cooking so everything is ready at the same time.
However, many of the recipes use American ingredients like 'hominy' and 'collard greens', which may not be readily available in English shops. Alternatives are not given.
The recipes do sound exciting, exotic and very voluptuous, so if you are bored with your usual dinner party fare and want a challenge - this recipe book is for you.
If you are a nervous new vegan, this is the sort of book you should perhaps consider buying a few years down the line.
on 15 February 2007
I really love this book. Yes, the recipes are a bit more complicated than most other cookbooks, and yes, you do come across some ingredients that are not readily available everywhere in the world, but I tend to adapt recipes as I go along anyways, and this book has been a very good source of inspiration for me.
I find that many vegan cookbooks go for the same old stews and 'homey' foods, which are nice, but may ultimately become a bit boring, and - let's face it - aren't very impressive when it does come to cooking for non-vegans. This book gives a nice selection of fairly posh nosh, and some of the dishes are cooked over and over again in this household.
There is a soup section at the start of the book (the borscht is luurvely!), and then there is a section of set meals, consisting of several dishes (For example African Groundnut Stew, Spicy Sauteed Spagetti Squash, Ginger-baked Tofu and Quinoa and Millet Pilaf), which go together well. Obviously the police won't come round if you only pick and choose the bits you want to make.
I would agree with the previous reviewer that 'The Voluptuous Vegan' is not a book for the 'beginner' vegan or for everyday recipes, but if you have to cook a fancy christmas meal for your meat eating family, this is the book to consult!
on 22 June 2010
Recipes are good and everything I have made has worked well. Although the title says "Sinfully delicious" the food is healthy (it's Vegan for goodness sake!) Some of the recipes are quite complex and are a pleasure if you enjoy cooking. The book is arranged as menus which is a plus if you want to cook a special/big meal because you have everything and you know it will taste good together but means you have to flick through a lot of book to just cook a main-course, say. Having said that the index is very comprehensive so you can just use that. Downsides for me are, the printing, which is grey and a bit small - there is so much white space left on each page why not make the text bigger? And secondly, there are no British alternatives given for the American ingredients, although each recipe has a bit of a description/backgroud at the top of the page and sometimes you can work out what sort of thing you are looking for from this. Generally I am pleased with this book, and would recommend it for when you want to cook something a bit special.