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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Cheers for The Vegan Table!, June 19 2009
This review is from: The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasion (Paperback)
Compassionate Cook's Colleen Patrick Goudreau has blown me away with her new cook book: The Vegan Table: 200 Unforgettable Recipes for Entertaining Every Guest at Every Occasion. The color, design and layout of this cook book is as fun as the parties you'll have thanks to Colleen's festive recipes and menus. This isn't entertaining isn't for fringe or niche groups, it is for normal people who like to gather with friends and family - just like everybody else.

Colleen's desire to create a cook book on vegan entertaining came out of a passion to offer ideas, tips, and tools for occasions that have become meat-, egg-, and dairy centric. She has remained true to her mission of compassion and offered recipes and menus for the holidays that are free of animal exploitation.

One of the things that I love most about Colleen's book, The Vegan Table, is the organization of the book. Not only are the menus and parties systematically grouped by season but also by the size and formality of the occasion. Colleen has recipes and menus for romantic (or platonic) dinners for two, casual meals for four to six, and formal dining from six to ten. And if that is not enough there are menus for special occasions and excuses to party which include buffets, appetizers and finger foods.

Want to fancy-up your party? The seasonal design of the of the menu extends beyond cooking adding simple design touches to your home when you entertain. Not only that but ever wonder what flowers you can include on your plate? Colleen lets you know what flowers are edible.

Some of my favourite recipe ideas are: frushi (aka fruit sushi), blackberry pecan crisp, beet bundt cake, strawberries and wine, honeydew melon in coconut milk, and truffles. Hmmm, are those all desserts? Pumpkin curry, panini with lemon-basil pesto, butternut squash risotto with toasted sage, and lots of pizza ideas look great too.

One of the most challenging aspects of vegan lifestyle can be getting together with friends and family for traditional holidays such as such as Thanksgiving, Passover and Eater. Colleen shows us there is more to Thanksgiving than turkey, more to Passover than eggs and more to Easter than ham. Menus that truly honor gratitude, freedom, and renewal honor the traditions while eating compassionately and also offer tips on how to diplomatically handle these get togethers.

The Vegan Table is not only a cook book for cooking, it is also a really good read. Side bars throughout the book discuss the intimacy of food, eating consciously, love potions, food lore, tips for stress free entertaining, toasts for all occasions, the familiarity of vegan food, tips for vegan etiquette, vegan cocktails, consciousness raising, embracing our ethics, reclaiming food traditions, throwing parties, and survival tips for vegans as well as their family and friends

Congratulations to Colleen, a long-time vegan and animal activist for empowering people to make informed choices about food while totally and unequivocally debunking the myth that vegan food is boring.

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