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Friday, January 13, 2012

Book Review- Quick-Fix Vegan

Quick-Fix Vegan : Healthy Homestyle Meals in 30 Minutes or Less by Robin Robertson turns cooking vegan foods into something faster ,healthier and tastier than convenience foods using no animal products. She's also the author of Quick Fix Vegetarian.

As a lot of my readers know, my family are not vegans, but we try to eat a vegan menu a few days every week. We've realized a lot of the reason we eat meat is because it's convenient and easy. It's a health choice for my family.

So I have a lot of vegan cookbooks. My test for a good vegan cookbook is to see if my cheese loving, bacon adoring daughter likes the meals enough that she doesn't make herself a sandwich to supplement the meal.

One of the big things that goes over consistently well is meals that don't have meat substitutes, the flavor and texture come from fresh ingredients without trying to simulate meat. A lot of vegan cookbooks tend to take the path of substituting vegan meat alternatives in traditional recipes.

This one has lots of recipes that use good ingredients, frequently canned or frozen for convenience rather than using lots of those substitutes.

The tomato tortilla soup for example. A wonderful chili inspired soup with lots of tomatoes, beans, corn, and flavor that comes from the chili powder and cumin.

The Korean hot pot is a recipe I'm looking forward to trying. It does call for tofu, but also a lot of good vegetables and looks to be a cold-weather favorite.

Today we've gotten just huge amounts of snow, and I adapted the recipe for stovetop fruit crisp. The recipe originally calls for peaches, a mix of strawberries and cherries was perfect for the weather. While the top didn't crisp up as much as baked crisps, it was good.

There are also some recipes in here that look great for warmer weather. Chesapeake chickpea sandwiches uses chickpeas and sea veggies in place of crab for patties. The salty-tart rainbow rotini salad has dried cranberries for bursts of sweet and tart.

This book doesn't have lots of color photos. It does have a lot of great recipes that are well explained, and it's  going to be my go-to cookbook for our vegan meals for a while, especially for the soups and desserts. Because everything is quick to make, on nights we have a big pot of soup, I can see making a fresh dessert as well for a special treat.

Quick note: When cooking anything that calls for chile, the one we use is El Gaupo's Chile California Molido. It's mild and flavorful, and the rest of my family ups the heat with cayenne or hot sauce if they want to. We also use their cumin because I've been happy with the flavor of it.

You can get the book directly from the publisher, Andrews McMeel Publishing,

My reviews are always my personal and honest opinion. You can read more about my review policy here.

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