on 10 April 2014
Being Vegan isn't hard but being Vegan and having some hearty meals can be a bit of a pain.
Before this book I was sometimes afraid to experiment with different beans and ideas, basically stuck in a rut of I'll have this recipie I like and that one I like but not try anything else.
Then I got this book and everything sounded so tasty (there are only pictures for every few meals and not for everything), Isa has a little blurb before the recipie that always makes me laugh and you can tell a lot of time, care and attention has gone into this book.
Yes the measurements are all USA but to be honest I haven't found that it matters too much, I just go with the measurements anyway and it seems to work out.
Finding some of the ingredients hasn't been hard but a bit stranger than the norm, for instance I could only find Jamaican Curry powder at my local spice shop and it took me forever to find corn meal here in the UK (Did not realise it is Polenta), Nutritional yeast can easily be bought on Amazon in a 3 pack and lasts for months.
I have tried at least 25 of the recipies here and only disliked one, everything else has been so hearty and tasty.
A little tip from me, Isa tends to use cashew cream in a fair few of the recipies, I found that making a massive batch in the blender then freezing it (it freezes really well) and then when frozen whacking it with a hammer to break it into pieces meant that I always had it handy without sitting and soakng the Cashews for hours. Just add a couple of blocks to your recipie and give it an extra 5 mins.
So if you want a new Vegan cook book with loads of awesome recipies then go on and buy this.
Also check out Isa's series on YouTube for Breville where she shows off a few of these recipies.
on 15 February 2014
I have all of Isa's books and they are all great. She really is one of the best vegan cooks out there. This book is beautiful. It has a lot of pictures along side the wide range of recipes. So far I have made 12 recipes and the have all been delicious. I will certainly make them all again. So the rosemary chocolate chip cookies were wonderful. The sinfully wholesome waffles were fantastic. I loved the Chandra malai kofta and the tempeh meatballs with spaghetti and spicy slurpy sauce. The tofu mushroom stroganoff, lentil a roni, dilly stew with rosemary dumplings, coconut chana saag, smoky Incan stew and meaty beamy chili were also wonderfully tasty. If you want a vegan cookbook you won't go wrong with this book. I can't recommend it highly enough and I can't wait to try out some more recipes. It is worth noting there is a British and American version. I have the American as I prefer using cup measures and this is the version I have based my review on.
on 27 December 2015
Plus points: Just what I needed: a huge selection of recipes that are easy to put together and all just amazingly delicious. Whereas before it used to take me hours to make a vegan meal worthy of the name, the ideas in this book show how you can make a satisfying, interesting meal that appeals to even the fussiest of diners. One of the other reviewers has kindly left a list of some of the recipes she tried, so you can see for yourself if you like the look of them.
On the down side: Some of the ingredients are a little tricky to find and might put you off because you have never used them before, and at first it might seem like a bit of a gamble: for example if you make your own seitan (vegan meat) and you don't like it, will all that gluten powder go to waste? Also, to make it cost-effective, I've had to bulk buy a lot of ingredients - a kilo of raw cashews... don't tell my partner. So, it seems tough to justify the initial outlay, but I think that if you are becoming vegan, you shouldn't just jump in with both feet anyway, but ease your digestive system in progressively, so that means you can start with the ingredients you think are going to be the most useful in the long run, and build up your pantry like that. I've tried a fair few of these recipes now and they are really all delicious, so you can trust the writer. If you are unsure, check her website and try a few of her recipes there.
If you are new to veganism, this would be a great book to start with, as the recipes are unfussy and delicious. If you are a long-term vegan and looking for some fresh ideas, this would also be an excellent choice.
WARNING: I bought the kindle version and it's basically PDF scans of the book. There is no way to search for ingredients or recipes, there are no chapters and there is no index at the beginning so you can't skip to the sections you are interested, also there is no way to bookmark or highlight text. You have to laboriously go through the entire book and somehow remember the pages you like and the page number, then use the annoying little slider thing at the bottom of the page to get back to the approximate place... All stupid and time-consuming. Invest in the paper version of this book, or wait until a real Kindle version comes out.
on 12 February 2014
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.
on 3 February 2014
From the moment you open Isa Does It you realise you are holding a special book, and that delicious dinners await!
The styling of the book is lovely. It's well laid out and benefits from loads of really tempting photos of the finished dishes,(something that often lacks in vegan cook books!)
I like how the book is divided into sections like "comfort food" and "hand held food", as well as your usual soups, salads, pasta etc.
A big focus in this book is making food that's satisfying, and Isa says this is done by putting emphasis on three things: char, creaminess and complexity.(also things that often lack in vegan recipe books!)
As with all Isa books there are very detailed instructions with each recipe, and tips to either help you cut time, or make substitutions if you can't get all the ingredients. (you kind of feel like your'e getting a mini cooking lesson with each recipe you read!)
The ingredients used are generally easy to find, although a few recipes do use seitan, which is tricky to get here in the UK (however there are plenty of recipes that don't use it).
Cashews also feature a fair bit, but for those who can't eat cashews there's a helpful page which suggests substitutions for various ingredients ie Sunflower seeds in place of cashews.
I love how the recipes are mostly quick and not very labour intensive, so are perfect for weeknights, (but let you still feel you're making a special dinner.) I feel this book is equally suited to new and experienced cooks.
So far I've only made the kale salad, and leek potato soup, but I know that there are lots of new favourite dinners in this book just waiting to be made, and I can't wait to try more!
I was given this book on Mother's Day, and I absolutely love it.
It is a 'real' cookery book. It contains beautiful pictures of the recipes. The whole layout is bright, engaging and colourful, and it makes me want to get into the kitchen and cook - even when I'm tired!...
At first glance, some of the recipes looked as though they were not the kind of thing I would usually make for my family. But I've given it a chance, and started working my way through the recipes and as of yet, not a single one has disappointed. The book has made me more adventurous in what I cook and what I am willing to attempt to cook. Friends who are not vegan, have also enjoyed what I've made.
Yes, sometimes what is written down seems to be American, but it isn't too hard to figure things out with the aid of the internet.
All in all, this book is great and the recipes are very good. I'm really pleased with it.
on 25 February 2014
When my partner and I became vegan, we bought a few different cookbooks to try out. Isa's books Veganomicon and Appetite for Reduction soon became our favourites because of their diverse range of easy-to-follow, delicious, and healthy recipes. However, Isa Does It is just in a completely different league. I really can't believe it, but this book has completely transformed me from a reluctant and mediocre cook (at best!) to a keen enthusiast - I look forward to making dinner every night so that I can try out a new recipe! I've never experienced anything like it; somehow every recipe that we've tried has resulted in restaurant-quality, incredibly satisfying, beautiful meals the like of which I never would have dreamed could be created in our kitchen. Isa has designed the book in a way that makes you feel as if she is right there in your kitchen, serving as your friendly and supportive guide so that even the more daunting-looking recipes become manageable. The ingredients are generally easy to get and she gives you useful tips on kitchen equipment, veggies to keep in stock, and how to make creamy sauce out of cashews or sunflowers. She has also included helpful guidelines for substituting common allergens in the recipes, which is great for us as my partner is allergic to nuts. There is an easy metric conversion chart at the back so measurements are no problem. Isa, I can't tell you how grateful we are to you for writing this awesome book!
on 13 January 2016
BEST vegan cook book I own!! The chocolate zucchini Bundt cake is AMAZING even without the ganache!! Made one for my daughters 10th birthday.... Kids loved it. Have omni's asking me for the recipe. Soooo moist and delicious!
Can't wait to make more stuff from the book!!
on 13 April 2015
I turned fully Vegan on 20 Feb and this was one of the books I bought to get me started, it's now the only book I'm using. I would highly recommend, I and my daughter have loved 95% of the recipes I've tried and with some I get to the stage where I think 'no, this isn't going to work' but it does everytime and the flavours are fantastic, far far better than when I was a meat eater, there's no reason for me to turn back now.... Yes, you do have to purchase new ingredients but for me that's part of the fun, I love going to the Whole Food Market, my local health store or plain old Sainsburys with my shopping list and walking straight pass the refrigerated aisles hunting for something new. Still enjoying a new recipe every day with tons left to try, you can't go wrong
on 11 June 2015
You need this book!! Even if your not vegan the recipes in here will appeal to many many people. The beauty with Isa is you just know every dish will be crazy delicious. Quite a few recipes rely on seitan and tempeh but I've decided to follow her instructions and make my own seitan. I'm really excited about her sloppy joes with coconut creamed spinach!! Also, if you google "fresh tempeh UK" a great little business will make you a double batch of tasty tempeh and post it out to you! Vegan has never been so easy, tempting or greedy!! Yum!!