Most helpful critical review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
MOST of the dishes are fantastic.. layout could be better.
on April 19, 2012
I've tried about a third of the recipes in this book since getting it and most were just amazing. Some of them are even weekly staples for me (the hurry-up Alfredo, for instance, gets made weekly). There were a few recipes I just didn't like at all and won't be making again, but the good far outweigh the bad. The recipes I enjoyed the most include the Stuffed Banana Berry French Toast, Sweet Chili Lime Tofu, Miniature Napoleons with Eggplant Creme, Moroccan Spiced Root Vegetable Home Fries, Smoky Miso Tofu, and the Blueberry Grunts. There were a few I didn't like too much, including the Nearly Raw Tahini Noodles (too earthy tasting for my likes), Baked Mac and Cheeze (there's a better version on her food blog called Mac and Cheeze take 2), and the Creamy Broccoli Dal (much better with a few tweaks).
Lauren has a vast collection of great recipes on her blog as well and most of the recipes that I've tried in her book are winners as well. There is a serious problem with the layout of this book. Some recipes span 2-3 pages, which can be a major hassle in the kitchen for those of us with only two hands. I make it a practice to read the entire recipe before cooking and make sure now that if ingredients and direction span more than one page to group the ingredients based on stages in the recipe to avoid any time wasted or mistakes. Hopefully if this book undergoes a revision for a future edition this will be taken into consideration. The physical book itself isn't very kitchen-friendly.
I would definitely recommend this book to people who enjoy being in the kitchen and have the time. Most of the recipes aren't ready in 30 minutes, despite what the recipe says, but are definitely worth the extra time when dinner doesn't have to be on the table on such short notice. Those that are ready in less than 30 minutes definitely don't skimp on flavor. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who is trying to go soy-free or isn't a fan of tahini as many recipes call for either or both. Substitutions can be made but I haven't made that many since everything I've made is fantastic as presented. This isn't a perfect vegan starting point, but it's a nifty addition to an experienced cook's library or for someone who wants to start incorporating more vegetables in their diet.