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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cookbook I've seen by far - vegan or otherwise
I have never been very skilled in the kitchen. I have picked up any number of cookbooks, and been immediately overwhelmed by the crazy-long lists of ingredients, oddball ingredients I knew I'd never use again, skipped steps where they just assume you know how to poach things or similar, and complex and involved directions. For more years than I care to admit (I'm in my...
Published on Jan. 6 2008 by Pseudo Nym

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good Cookbook, Not So Great as a Nutrition Guide
The Recipes in this book make it more than worth the money: they're simple and yummy, they don't require any kitchen equipment more exotic than a food processor, and they're based on ingredients the average person can easily obtain, even without a trip to the healthfood store. This is a great cookbook for the new vegan or vegetarian. Unfortunately, when the authors try...
Published on March 12 2001


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cookbook I've seen by far - vegan or otherwise, Jan. 6 2008
This review is from: How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet (Paperback)
I have never been very skilled in the kitchen. I have picked up any number of cookbooks, and been immediately overwhelmed by the crazy-long lists of ingredients, oddball ingredients I knew I'd never use again, skipped steps where they just assume you know how to poach things or similar, and complex and involved directions. For more years than I care to admit (I'm in my 30's), this has caused me to put the book down and once again postpone learning to cook. And the times when I tried anyway I have cooked up some serious disasters. I can't even express how embarrassing this all is.

After going vegan, I thought I was first going to have to learn how to do all the cooking processes I never learned, and then learn how to modify everything to make it vegan. So I knew I should do it but dreaded the process even more.

This book is full of simple but delicious recipes. It assumes nothing and gives you detailed instructions starting with the very basics. The ingredients are mostly common stuff like baking powder, apple sauce, and similar... the only exception I can think of being nutritional yeast, which is still a common ingredient when it comes to vegan dishes and easily found at most health food stores. There's a wide variety of recipes in there but I found that if I stocked up on some core ingredients, I had a base from which I could make a good portion of the dishes on a whim, without making a special trip to the market for needed items.

For the first time in my life, I am making yummy food at home, from scratch, without assistance! I am proving to myself and others that I can cook after all. And I've learned that you don't need prior cooking knowledge - you can learn to cook vegan to begin with, and then you won't have to un-learn anything else.

This book has helped me immensely, and really changed the way I think about cooking and being vegan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Includes entrees, soups, sauces, breads, salads, & desserts, July 6 2004
This review is from: How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet (Paperback)
Self-described "lazy vegetarians" Sarah Barnard and Sarah Kramer are two long-time friends who decided to "go vegan" as a result of their love of animals. Together they have collaborated to bring aspiring vegetarians How It All Vegan!: Irresistible Recipes For An Animal-Free Diet in order to help them make the transition from a meat-based to a meatless diet. The recipes include entrees, soups, sauces, breads, salads, and desserts which can provide the makings of terrific menus for any and all occasions. From Sparkling Homemade Ginger Ale; Garlic Dill Cream Cheese; and Stuffed Spaghetti Squash; to Maple Buttersque Icing; Zesty Cheese Spread; and Spiced Chai Tea, How It All Began is completely "kitchen cook friendly" and is additionally enhanced with vegan friendly recipes for cosmetics, hair products, pet treats, and even household cleaners.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Improving my non-vegetarian/vegan household's diet, June 11 2004
By 
Mad Midwest Maggie "MMM" (Southeastern, WI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet (Paperback)
How highly you will rate this book depends on where you are coming from. I bought this book because having tried to be vegetarian twice I knew that I become overly dependent on cheese and eggs when I stop eating meat. My husband once said that he never knew a vegetarian that never ate vegetables! So this time I thought I'd try finding whole meals that were based on real food and seeing if I couldn't crowd out my SAD diet with better meals. Overall, I find the recepies easy, inexpensive (although I think Braggs is pricy), and interesting enough that I plan on trying many of them, though I don't think there are enough main dish meals for this to be an only cookbook. Those that are long time vegans will not be surprised by most of the content but those that are new and looking for something a bit more introductory may enjoy this as much as I do. I always adjust recepies to my taste anyway so if some of these are not spicy enough, that's fine with me because it leaves room for improv. I don't understand why there are recepies for "milks" that only make two cups, who would go though all that bother to make two cups of milk? At the same time, as a egg replacer the flax eggs in the back of the book tells you how to make up 6 eggs worth at once but in the front mentions what it takes to make just one egg's worth but not how (that info should be together). It is so quick and easy to make up just one or two "eggs" from flax, I would never make them days in advance. As far as the design of the book, it is cute and there is great value to the idea of displaying vegan dishes in a 50's syle pearls and shirtwaist dress way, it promotes vegan dishes as being, well, non-weird and wholesome (which they are, of course.) However, if they wouldn't have used any of the photos of women cooking for men since there weren't any of men cooking for women it would have been much better. Also the typeface chosen for the recepie titles is hard to read (k's look like h's). The lack of an index is bad too, but I'm not the first to say it. And does the photo of the lovely authors with their piercings "go with" that 50's theme? Not quite (but they do look so friendly.) Really though, I think the book is extremely helpful, useful, and I will get much more of my money out of it than many other cookbooks. Thank you Ms. Barnard and Ms. Kramer!
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4.0 out of 5 stars helpful, Aug. 18 2003
This review is from: How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet (Paperback)
this book was quite helpful to me when i first became vegan seven months ago. it was very nice to have something to read through to get the basic idea of how to make vegan food, when i have always been just making vegetarian food previously. it was very beneficial in getting over the initial frozenness of not knowing where to start. truthfully, though, i believe i have only used one or two recipies in this book. granted, i don't cook much and like to improvise when i do, but it has been mainly gathering dust on my shelf ever since.
the recipies often seem too simple for my more sophisticated adult tastes. however, when my boyfriend picked it up he was extremely excited and planning on using it very often (although that hasn't happened yet). i would say that the recipies are great for people who would rather put fewer ingredients into something, good for those with naturally simpler tastes, great for many younger or single guys, and probably great for those with kids. however, truthfully whenever i ponder using a recipie from this book, i find myself deciding that it just looks like it wouldn't be as interesting to my palette. don't get me wrong, i'm not a chef and don't even enjoy cooking much, i just like to have interesting and different things when i cook for myself (yes, i love gourmet food), and i'd rather cut up and throw in one or two more items real quick than call it quits when i've done the minimum to make the recipie work.
however!
this book is a great resource for ideas on how to make natural homemade house cleaning and body products, etc. that are simple and vegan. there is a surprising variety of recipies for a wide variety of items, such as lotions, shampoo, facial masks, deodorant, bug repellant, etc. the book also contains a few animal treat recipies, and a list of 45 household and health things to do with vinegar. it has 9 pages of vegan no-nos to look for in products, things that we wouldn't necessarily recognize otherwise, along with what they are normally in and alternatives.
i really didn't like the staged old-timey pictures...they generally depicted a woman doing the household work with a smiling male counterpoint standing by and watching. however, i'm sure it was more in the spirit of trying to be old-fashioned than anything.
a book i have used more (and which i have found to be wonderful and invaluable--i am never concerned about not finding something i'd want to make) is vegan planet by robin robertson. however, how it all vegan is a really good thing to have around, too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars this is an incredible cook book!!, March 9 2003
By 
Beth Williams (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet (Paperback)
I just became vegan (after 7 years of being a vegetarian). I thought the transition would be difficult, but it has been INCREDIBLY FUN. I think a lot of the reason is that i have this book. I have made some incredibly tasty fun food and am enjoying the hell out of this book. My roommates (who eat all animal products) are raving about my cooking. I can't recommend this book more highly. I own four vegan cookbooks and this is my favorite.
The best part about this book is that it is practical and gives great advice based on daily life. For example, many recipes call for "anything goes vegetables" where you add vegetables (from a certain list they provide) that will work. This is extremely practical if you want to whip something up without going to the store first and you have options already at home. Also, many recipes suggest "this is a great one if you have leftover rice" etc. I am learning not only how to make great food, but also to be efficient and stretch my groceries farther as well.
this is a great book for any beginner or expert in veganism. You WILL NOT miss dairy in these recipes. They are OUTSTANDING.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Feb. 15 2003
By 
Kate (Burlington, VT) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet (Paperback)
So many people make the assumption that if you're a vegetarian or vegan you only eat healthy foods with weird ingredients. That's not the case and many would rather die than make a chocolate cake with the main ingredient being dates (and trust me, I've seen a TON of recipes like that).
For those people, there's this book. While the authors certainly don't overlook health, they do offer options for those that want to eat food that's pleasing to everyone, regardless of dietary choice. Many of the recipes can be made with household basics, instead of having to plan a special shopping trip, and most are very simple to make (so if you're looking for gourmet, this probably isn't it).
While I usually try to look for at least one negative quality when I review, I'd say this doesn't *have* negative qualities. There's something for everyone while still adhering to the qualities of a vegan diet. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have the nutritional contents of each recipe, however, for those who *are* health-conscious.
Eat up and enjoy!
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2.0 out of 5 stars no one will take this book off my hands, July 22 2002
By 
sarah (vancouver island, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet (Paperback)
Even the most fanatical vegans among my friends get tired of the pedantic (and awkwardly written!) tone of this book. Further, there is no table of contents and instead of a recipe index there is a glossary of animal products. Thus, there is no way to look up recipes short of leafing through entire chapters. This is nearly impossible for vegan dishes since practically any recipe can be either a side dish or an entree, and many could double as sauces, stews or spreads.
Everything is reasonably yummy, but quite simple and limited in range. It is typical non-gourmet vegetarian cookery: lots of conventional dishes where all the naughty ingredients have been replaced with soy products, lots of one-pot concoctions, and several pages of... smoothies! (Who can't invent their own smoothies?) The attempts at Asian fusion cuisine are pretty amateur (recommending stir-frying in olive oil? Woks are supposed to be HOT and olive oil smokes and tastes strong!).
The only parts of this book that really impressed me were the recipes for mock animal salads (chicken salad, egg salad, etc). Very good imitations, but made almost entirely of soy so I feel unbalanced eating them.
For beautiful, diverse recipes that are most often vegan, I'd recommend the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vegan Comfort Food, Feb. 14 2002
By 
Sonia Morin "kitty66" (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet (Paperback)
Forget for a moment whether vegan and vegetarian diets should be adopted for health reasons, animal rights reasons, or not at all, and take a close look at this cookbook. The basis of this volume is comfort food. Some of the titles include Amazing Apple Pie, Chocolate Pecan Brownies, Banana Bread, Momma Sarah's Matzo Ball Soup, Sarah's Delicious Chili, Classic Spinach Lasagna, Savoury Shepherd's Pie, and Vegan Sloppy Joes. This is all hearty food that's easy to prepare. Even hardcore meat eaters will identify with the normalcy and lack of weird recipes or ingredients in these recipes .
Generally quick to prepare, these recipes require no difficult-to-locate ingredients. The presentation is quirky and fun, with retro graphics and helpful tips including how to serve meals that will make the family want to eat together, getting kids interested in new foods, and a general (but very thorough) overview of veganism. There is also a section on making your own household cleaners (including 45 things to do with vinegar), creating your own health and beauty products, a great alternative ingredient and substitution list, and a complete appendix listing vegan "no-nos".
For seasoned vegans and vegetarians alike, "How it all Vegan!" is a manifesto of great tasting, fun to prepare recipes that are both thought-provoking and consciousness-raising, but the lack of preachiness will leave Mr. and Mrs. Meat-and-Potatoes coming back for more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A DEFINITE MUST HAVE!!!!!!!, Jan. 26 2002
By 
"tiaphillips" (The Twin Cities, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet (Paperback)
I am a Vegan.
When I checked this book out from the local library I had no idea what it had in store. I am usually one of those people who can follow a recipe and still mess up a good meal. This book is amazing once you start cooking from it. It is beyound helpful and has just wonderful alternatives to eggs, butter and just pretty much any cooking or baking necessity.
There are recipes for whipped cream, a wonderful Lasagna and sooo much more. In the back of the book the two women have all the listings for animal-derived products which helps the new Vegan/Vegetarian to read and understand labels on products that can otherwise be very difficult and confusing!!!
There are recipes for making your own delicious dairy-free ice cream and I absolutely love Cootie's Coconut Cookies. The smoothie's are wonderful as well as main course meals (which are very simple).
If you love to be in the kitchen and enjoy all types of Vegan/Vegetarian foods you MUST have this book!!!! The foods are flavorful, easy to prepare (when you have all of the ingredients) and prepares the new as a well as the old Vegan/Vegetarian for a new world of tasteful adventures in the kitchen. It is nutriously educational. I have many Vegan/Vegetarian Cookbooks and I have to say this one tops them all.
Enjoy :)!!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to be Vegan!, Aug. 29 2001
By 
T. Sharkey (Florida, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet (Paperback)
This is my first Vegan cookbook. I currently eat a mostly vegetarian diet, however I do eat seafood occasionally. I would love to drastically reduce the amount of dariy and eggs in my diet. That is the reason for buying a vegan cookbook. I really was at a loss on how to subsitute for these items. I am really happy with the list of substitutions for not only dairy and eggs, but also for refined sugar and salt. They even list alternatives to regular peanut butter, white flour and mention different types of oils, beans, tofu and their uses. I remember trying to make something out of a block of tofu in the past and it tasted awful. I recently made the tofu turkey recipe and it tasted really good. The miso gravy was wonderful, something I think anyone would like. The recipes are easy to make and the ingredients can be found in almost any grocery store. Try the Ban-ini recipe, a soy milk, banana, and tahini smoothie. I'm addicted! This book will definately help me to cut way back on the dairy and eggs. Can't wait to try more recipes!!
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How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet
How It All Vegan! Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet by Sarah Kramer (Paperback - Sept. 1 1999)
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