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The Urban Vegan: 250 Simple, Sumptuous Recipes from Street Cart Favorites to Haute Cuisine Paperback – Oct 1 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Three Forks; First edition (Oct. 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762752815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762752812
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 19 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #405,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This cookbook provides recipes that are not only easy but truly delicious. My adult son, not crazy about cooked spinach, loved the recipe with chick peas and tomatoes along with spinach. Over rice, this makes for a super meal and left overs for a few days. With a busy life, not loving cooking, I find I look forward to using this book every time. Confetti Quinoa was superb. A solidly written, easy to use book and the recipes can easily be doubled for large numbers. Additional information is included and I found this most interesting. Love the book!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rowena E. Symons on June 10 2010
Format: Paperback
This book looks and sounds great, but that's about where it's greatness ends. The recipes sound good, but they are complicated, or use ingredients i don't have (or don't know what they are!). The book is terrible to navigate because the recipes are not divided up into practical easy-to-use chapters, but say things like "cafe culture", "the melting pot", and "saucy vegan". If i were having a dinner party, didn't mind the expense, and had tons of time i would use this book, but that scenario just never happens! I wish i hadn't bought it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 41 reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
great new cookbook Oct. 16 2009
By L - Published on
Format: Paperback
I just happened upon The Urban Vegan at my local "booksellers" and did not realize it was so new, it is copyrighted for next year! Lucky me! I loved the tone of Dynise's voice in her introduction. It was if she was articulating my thoughts exactly but much more mellifluously. I do not have any vegan friends so to read her words was really cool.

I am sure this cookbook/lifestyle guide/armchair international adventure will do very well. I made the Cauliflower-Chickpea Tagine tonight (adding potatoes since I am wheat free at the moment) and It Was Amazing. Tomorrow I am cooking up the Pumpkin Risotto with Sage and Sundried Tomatoes and have my eyes on the Chickpea Paprikash for next week. Yum! I am sure I will not run out of "What's for dinner?" for a long time to come. Thanks Dynise!
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
I think this is my new favorite cookbook! Oct. 7 2009
By bekki - Published on
Format: Paperback
I flipped through this in my local big box bookstore and came to the realization that I wasn't leaving there without it, even with knowing I could save a good bit by ordering online. Every single recipe looked SO delicious and inspired that I couldn't resist--after spending well over an hour drooling over what to make first I realized there were no pictures, something I normally notice immediately but this book just looked so tasty I still don't miss them at all. I love how inspired the recipes are while maintaining a surprising simplicity in preparation. Even the "Haute Cuisine" section with slightly more sophisticated flavor combinations (Like a Raspberry Tamarind sauce-Yum!)aren't daunting enough to make them seem like a major task to attempt. I look forward to wearing this book out over the next few weeks.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful addition to the cookbook shelf Oct. 4 2009
By John P. Plummer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The last year or two have seen an explosion of new vegan cookbooks, and it can be rather overwhelming to try to choose among them. However, The Urban Vegan should be on everyone's list. Dynise Balcavage's fine cooking sense and surprising flavor combinations will make this book appealing to all kitchen adventurers, vegan or otherwise. So far, we have made two recipes - the Hearty Adzuki Bean Soup, and the Spaghetti with Eggplant - both of which were fantastic. Having followed Balcavage's blog for some time, I am confident that the rest of the book's recipes will be equally wonderful. Get it now!
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Variety, adventure, and delicious flavors Nov. 11 2009
By Alisa Marie Fleming - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have followed Dynise's blog, the Urban Vegan, for a few years now. Though it didn't surprise me that she had put together a cookbook, and I knew the recipes would be tasty (I had tried a couple from her blog before), I really had no idea what to expect. With my mind wide open, I was amazed by the culinary depth and creativity in The Urban Vegan cookbook. Dynise proudly displays the global food influences she has gained living in the major metropolis of Philadelphia and traveling to thirty different countries (and counting as she reminds us!).

At first, I had a bit of trouble choosing what recipes to make. Not because they didn't sound enticing, but because a good majority of the recipes in this cookbook do call for soy in some form. Dynise uses soy flour as her main egg substitute in baked goodies. Though she does offer some other options for egg substitutes in the beginning of the book, I was a bit confused on how I would swap them out (for flax seeds would I need to reduce the liquid in the recipe or add more, and in which recipes would that be a fair substitute for?). And of course, since it is a vegan cookbook, there is liberal use of tofu, soy creamer, TVP, and other soy products. I have nothing against the bean, but we stock a very limited amount of soy products in our household (just miso and soy sauce - I never have soy flour on hand), since it really upsets my husband's stomach. I don't consider this a downfall of the book though, since it is our own dietary preference, and the author certainly makes no soy-free claims.

Luckily, there were still several soy-free or soy-reduced gems within that both my husband and I could enjoy. In fact, I did start by making use of that miso (we actually used a soy-free light miso) in the Miso-Sesame Dressing. It was a deliciously light and flavorful vinaigrette!

For my second taste of this cookbook, I made the Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin. This dish was so good (and SO EASY), that I devoured half a pound of Brussels sprouts by myself, in one sitting.

With simple successes like these, I can guarantee that I will be trialing more recipes from The Urban Vegan Cookbook. In fact, the Super-Sonic Sunflower Squares, Curry Cashew Casserole, Foil-Roasted Beets with Wasabi Vinaigrette, Oven-Roasted Potatoes with Basil-Fennel Cream, and Michelle's Peanut Butter Graham Balls are already on my "to make" list.

The Urban Vegan Cookbook Vitals:

The recipes in The Urban Vegan vary widely in complexity. There are extremely simple recipes that can be whipped up in mere minutes using common pantry food, and there are Sunday afternoon type recipes that might entice you to use several new-to-you ingredients.

There are 250 recipes within, yet the print is easy to read, and the page count is kept to a respectable 227 pages. They really did an excellent job with the layout.

The chapters have a less traditional format. Titles like "Café Culture," "Soup Kitchen," "Happy Hour," "Lunch Cart," and "House Party," form the chapter subjects rather than your traditional, appetizers, entrees, desserts type of format. I love this fun format, but admit I had some trouble re-finding a recipe that I didn't know the exact title of.

There are no pictures in The Urban Vegan, but that is just fine with me. I never require pictures in a cookbook and appreciate the lower cost without (this jam-packed book is just $16.95 retail!).
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A great vegan cookbook for non-vegans Nov. 12 2010
By First Time Mom - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not a vegan. In fact, I'm the opposite; an omnivore. So why did I buy this book? My vegetarian friend and I decided to go vegan for a couple weeks to "cleanse" our bodies of some bad habits and see if eliminating dairy and meats (for me especially) would give us more energy and some ideas for restructuring our diets.

I am the one who likes to cook and I wouldn't call myself a novice in the kitchen either. I purchased three vegan cookbooks on the market - popular, well-known books - and this was one of them. I tried recipes from all the cookbooks and this book HANDS DOWN was the only one that made me forget that I practicing a lifestyle far from my norm. The food is good, very good. I've made the sloppy joes, the paella, scones, and a couple other recipes. I've had to buy TVP and nutritional yeast for the first time in my life, and both items enhanced the recipes in this book.

Many of the reviewers of these vegan cookbooks are vegans themselves and, no offense, but I imagine that living the lifestyle might make you immune to the textures and tastes that the rest of Americans are eating. I don't give five stars lightly. This book is making me seriously consider moving towards a plant-based diet and neither of the other two vegan cookbooks did that. Buy this book. You will forget that the meat and dairy are missing.

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