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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on June 14, 2010
This book is very beautiful but many of the recipes are scary as they include overly packaged non-fresh ingredients that I guess are manufactured by the authors. Basically the book is a well-designed advertisement for the 'gardein products'. To me a 'conscious cook' is somebody who buys local, fresh and non-overly-packaged food. This is not a cookbook for anybody concerned about their carbon footprint as the products in the recipes have to travel quite far to reach your supermarket shelves. But kudos to the designers for making such an attractive package --it definitely lured me in! I think a better title for this book would be the 'Quick Cook' because that seems the point of using the products included in most of the recipes. Quick, easy... but I think food has to be about more than that.
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on January 18, 2010
This cookbook is amazing if you don't mind putting in a lot of time. The recipes involve a lot of prep work and are more 'gourmet' than I expected - not the kind of meals you can whip up in 20 minutes for dinner. Most take some advance prep (ie soaking nuts overnight for cashew cream) - which, if you can get in the habit of doing that, is fantastic because the food is delicious.

There are a lot of ingredients in here that the average person likely doesn't have. I already had a very raw / vegan friendly kitchen with lots of stuff that most people have never heard of, and I still had to go on the hunt for some of the ingredients. In Canada the 'Gardein' which he calls for in several recipes is very hard to find.

The ideas and presentation are great, pictures for pretty much every recipe which I love. Just a bit time consuming, but delicious. The celery root soup is INCREDIBLE.
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on December 17, 2009
The Conscious Cook is a beautifully designed book with great photography. However, the recipes are far too elaborate for my liking. I also prefer to avoid meat-like substitutes and there are a lot of dishes that are mimicking meat which isn't my style. This book definitely has recipes that will wow people and make for an impressive dining experience... I just don't have the time.
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on April 4, 2010
I am not sure why one of the reviewers stated that this book has meat dishes because is absolutely DOES NOT have any meat recipes. I have made many of the recipes from this book and every single one has turned out fabulously! His salads and complimentary dressings are incredible in flavor, color and texture. The soups he created are soothing, rich in flavor and leave you wanting more. The entrees are a journey for your taste buds and if that isn't enough, the desserts are delectable. I served my meat eating family and extended family these recipes and they loved them! The salads and soups are incredibly easy to make and not time consuming at all. I love the fact that I can make 1-2 of his salad dressings at the start of the week and use them throughout the week on the salads he has created or on my own creations - very versatile. Yes, some of the entrees are time consuming, but take as much time as any gourmet meal would. So, if you looking for a complete cookbook that provides you with simple and quick meals then half of Tal's book, the soups and salads, are for you. If you are looking for a variety of amazing and inspirational gourmet vegan recipes than this book is definitely for you. Thank you Tal for such an inspiring book.
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on November 23, 2009
the recipes in this book are too gourmet for me...and not as healthy as I would have liked. I prefer my dishes simple. I like to taste the individual tastes from my ingredients. For me there are too many spices and ingredients needed to make these dishes. Some ingredients are not easy for me to find: smoked paprika, tempeh bacon, gardein etc. I'm sure the recipes are delicious, just not that easy for me to gather up all that is needed to make.
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on October 7, 2009
I was struggling to find a way to cook a meal that is both healthy and tastes good. Then I found this cookbook and suddenly had all the answers! The pine-nut-and-basil seared Gardein 'chicken' was incredible, and easy to make as well. You have to get this cookbook!
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on August 17, 2010
My mother-in-law bought this book awhile ago and cooked us some great recipes out of it. So I decided to get my own copy. We are vegetarians who eat dairy and eggs, so I was unfamiliar with some of the ingredients, but I found most of them at a health food store. If you intend on buying this book, you definitely need to be willing to do the same. But the recipes are delicious and Tal provides some interesting background info on veganism as well as staples needed to make the recipes. His writing style is honest, never preachy or didactic.

If you're vegan/vegetarian or omnivore and want to try some new gourmet cuisine, I recommend this book!
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on October 12, 2010
This book was nicely laid out with great articles and amazing sounding recipes which I have mostly yet to try because he uses ingredients the average person wouldn't likely have in their pantry and are time consuming.
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on November 20, 2015
this book was for someone who is vegan. The person enjoyed the recipes and sad it was educational and informative.
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on November 23, 2014
The recipes in this book make delicious meals, but they are not suitable for everyday quick meals. As others have said, they are quite involved, with some ingredients that may be hard to find if you are not in a major metropolitan area. The recipes seem like they are geared for restaurants where there are armies of prep cooks. I have found that the time estimates given for the recipes are about half of what they took me, and I'm an experienced home cook. I may experiment a bit to see if some shortcuts are possible. Two of the dishes are going to become regulars at our house because they were so good: the split pea soup and the paella. I am not a huge fan of using products like Gardein in gourmet recipes, and I certainly wouldn't serve such a dish to guests, but there are enough recipes that don't use such ingredients to make this book worthwhile.
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