A few things you should know about me before reading my review:
1) I have never written a review for a cookbook on Amazon
2) I'm not a vegetarian - although I eat a primarily plant-based diet and my family is moving in that direction.
3) I am health conscious and while we create our weekly menus based on that value, we are not fat or calorie phobic. We try to focus on whole foods and I believe in well balanced, good tasting meals.
4) I love to cook and do so for my husband, who is open to plant-based eating but also enjoys a great cheeseburger from time to time. And I cook for our 5 year old daughter who can at times be hard to please.
5) And I adore cookbooks. I actually read them cover to cover. And I feel like after years of doing this - as well as cooking from them (a lot!) - I have a pretty good idea of not only what I like, but what will taste good and what makes an appealing recipe.
6) I have no affiliation with the Sexy Vegan. In fact I didn't know he existed until this cookbook popped up in the "Other Customers Viewed" section of Amazon last week.
I just got this cookbook yesterday. So you might wonder why on earth I'm writing a review already. But I wanted to write because I saw a review saying that there was nothing appealing in this cookbook. Now, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, and I'm in full support of that. But I just wanted say that I couldn't be more excited to dive into this cookbook. I read it cover to cover yesterday and stopped marking recipes that I wanted to try because I was marking too many pages for it to be a worthwhile endeavor.
I did make the Peanut Butternut Squash Soup last night and I (and my family) LOVED it. I was so curious about the flavor combination so I thought that was a good recipe to start with. It was a simple recipe, easy to through together and made for an easy dinner with a side salad. If this is any indication of the rest of the recipes, buy this book! It was that good.
Other recipes I want to make (soon!):
1) My Balls (these look great!)
2) New England Blam Chowder (a cashew cream base with oyster mushrooms - I'm in)
3) Sambar (I'm a sucker for Indian flavors and this looks incredible)
4) The Grilled Cobb (I have never before thought to grill lettuce - or avocados - and I must say I'm intrigued)
5) The Tuna Melt (my daughter and I ADORE tuna salad - but with concern for the mercury content and our path toward a plant-based diet, we need a good substitution. I like the idea of the homemade relish)
6) Black Bean Burger with Kajillion Island Dressing (I think I might be more excited about the dressing, but that shouldn't be taken as a knock on the burger recipe).
First of all, as I mentioned above, I am new to the Sexy Vegan. And I have to say, I laughed my way through the cookbook. Now, if you are easily offended, perhaps the read may not be so funny. But I like a little levity in my life - and it made me laugh out loud.
Second, I like that the recipes primarily use whole foods - and foods that you can find just about anywhere. And he doesn't rely on overly processed soy foods like vegan cream cheese, tvp or faux meats like Gardein, etc. (I'm not saying things like Gardein are inherently terrible, I just don't like recipes that rely on them.) I like that the author has recipes for cheese sauces made from scratch and recipes for his own meat stand-ins ("meat"balls, italian sausages, tempeh bacon, seitan, etc.), but he uses tempeh, tofu, and/or vitalwheat gluten as the base of these. And while this is certainly not a low-fat cookbook, I didn't feel like the author relies excessively on added fats. (I also think the recipes could be adjusted to decrease the fat content if you so desired).
Third, I really like that this cookbook makes vegan food accessible for everyone. You don't need to be a vegan or even vegetarian to enjoy this cookbook. I think it would be perfect for someone / a family that wants to include more meat-free dishes into the rotation, but needs them to be familiar (and taste good). There have been a few cookbooks over the last year or so that have done this and from my perspective, this is a great thing.
I'll repost once I've made a few more things, but for now I'm thrilled with my purchase. (And suspect I will use this cookbook a lot.)