The Vegan Family Cookbook Paperback – Dec 1 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Serious in intent and plain in presentation, this is a subdued cookbook for vegans (no meat, fish or dairy) who cook three meals a day and need a reliable cache of ideas. Oregon professional chef McCarthy spent 10 years amassing these recipes to sate his own family's desire for "real food" as they were settling into the vegan way of life. The result is this comprehensive selection that spans all parts of the meal. There are vegan versions of familiar family dishes, such as macaroni and cheese, vegetable quiche pie, lasagna florentine and French toast, which feature such traditional substitutes as egg replacer powder, varieties of tofu and vegan cheese. Some recipes flash with originality (e.g., Moroccan Red Lentil Soup), but others (e.g., Acorn Squash with Molasses) are reliable standbys with no vegan-offending ingredients in their original incarnation. A glossary and list of items in "A Well-Stocked Vegan Pantry" are serviceable, but lack the explanations and idiosyncrasies that make cookbooks and their writers memorable. By emphasizing the everyday aspect of preparing food, McCarthy concentrates on large-scale coverage rather than culinary openness and creates a book that speaks to the converted or nearly converted vegan. (Nov.)
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Top Customer Reviews
Easy to follow recipes.
Came on time and we are benefiting from it.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
One last thing: This cookbook is better than a few of the other "simple" cookbooks (an exception being Vegan With a Vengeance, which is just astounding). If this is the genre you're shopping for, including the aforementioned, this is one of the very best.
He takes everyday recipes and makes them vegan friendly, which is wonderful. I know some of the vegan cookbooks out there are making food into art, but in this crazy modern world how many of us have time to make 20 ingredient recipes with item we have to order? The Vegan Family Cookbook takes care of that. Often the recipes have around 5-6 ingredients commonly found in every grocery store, and small prep times. Yes, a few are special occasion, and one or two recipes in the entire book contain items you might have to send away for, but these are the exception, not the rule.
This book is a delight, and I can't wait to make more food from it!
P.S. Also, if you don't have How it All Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tayna Barnard, treat yourself to that, too. It's still my favorite, along with its two sisters, The Garden of Vegan and La Dolce Vegan, but the Vegan Family Cookbook is a close second!
1. Recipes call for ingredients that are available at your regular grocery store. The only ingredient I've needed that I know I can't find at Safeway is nutritional yeast, and that's okay because I bought a huge jar of it at Whole Foods awhile back.
2. The ingredients are not expensive, and it's easy to see where substitutions could be made if you don't have something on hand.
3. The recipes do not take a really long time to make, which makes them practical for weeknights when everyone is tired from being at work & school all day.
4. The format is very easy to follow, making this perfect for getting your kids or spouse to help with the meal.
5. These recipes are great for new vegans or non-vegans who want to start eating more meatless, dairy-free meals. These foods will be familiar to people who have unsophisticated palates. There is a lot of "comfort food" in this book.
I have made over 25 recipes from this cookbook so far, and every single one of them has been a 5-star or 4-star recipe in my food log. That's a much higher average than almost every other vegan cookbook I've used regularly.
It makes an ideal intro to basic vegan cooking, offering short, concise recipes that rely on items you would find in a well stocked vegan pantry.
Our son, who just turned 12 has really taken to the book, <a href="[...]">cooking from it</a> every weekend. I only wish this book had been available when I was 12...
One minor quibble would be the lack of pictures, and use of canned food where fresh might be better (canned green chiles?), but this is family food, not a Thomas Keller coffee table book ;)