Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: BenBella Books (May 19, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.6 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #4,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #11 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diets & Weight Loss > Vegetarian #18 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Vegetarian & Vegan > Non-Vegan Vegetarian #122 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diets & Weight Loss > Other Diets
The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook provides a large collection of recipes that are plant-based (no meat) and utilize a variety of whole foods. Although the word "China" is in the title, it's not an Asian food cookbook. Rather, it references a series of books by co author Leanne Campbell and features a wide range of dishes (typically, variations of unhealthier food such as Mac N Cheese). The book is bright and friendly, well photographed, well designed, and with nice breadth and depth in the recipes (which are very easy to make). The focus of the book is healthy food that is very quick and easy to prepare.The book includes meal plans, pantry lists, and then ends with measurements guide, dietary symbols, nutritional value, and an index. Recipes are single page, have bold orange titles, use italics and bold for the ingredients list, and steps are in numbered paragraph form (the easiest way to follow a recipe!). Storage time, substitutions, and tips are included as needed.The recipes break down as follows: Breakfast dishes, Sauces, Salad Dressings & Seasonings, Snacks & Spreads, Salads, Sandwiches, Pasta & Baked Dishes, Soups, Entrees, and Deserts. Recipes vary: Stovetop fruit crisp, tostads, pita pizza alfredo, poblano-corn quinoa cakes, mushroom tacos, island red bean stew, asian noodle soup, fuss-free pho, Southwest burgers, summer penne pasta saute, late summer potato salad, falafel, alfredo sauce, jerk spice rub, herbed orange vinaigrette, fresh apple muffins, apple pie granola, muesli, and many, many, more.Common substitutions for unhealthier ingredients are medjool dates for sweetness, non dairy milk (coconut, hemp, etc.) for milk, cauliflower for cheese, mushrooms for beef, and whole grains for flour, etc.
I have recently transitioned to eating a plant-based diet which necessitates learning new ways to cook and think about flavor pairings. I went to the library and checked out about a dozen vegan cookbooks and then bought those with the most interesting recipes. This cookbook has risen to the top of my list for several reasons.First of all, I do the majority of my shopping at a farmer's market so I come home with quantities of seasonal vegetables and then figure out what to make with them - kind of the opposite of the prescribed menu plans at the beginning of this cookbook but it works well either way. When I get home from the market I look in the indexes of my cookbooks and flag recipes containing the specific vegetables I brought home. Of the four cookbooks I use most, this one has the most thorough and usable index. One of the other cookbooks only indexes ingredients that are named in the recipe title or the introductory paragraph, not the actual recipe ingredients! Really. Since I don't read cookbooks like novels, that book doesn't get used much, but this one does!The second reason I love this cookbook is because it covers a wide spectrum of flavor exploration without requiring spices I've never heard of. Most of the interesting flavors come from imaginative pairings of herbs and vegetables. I can't tolerate (digest) more than a whisper of anything from the allium family (onion, garlic, shallots, etc.) and many cookbooks rely almost exclusively on loading up their unimaginative recipes with nothing but onions and garlic for flavoring. To be sure, there are plenty of recipes in this cookbook that call for onions and garlic but most of them include other primary flavorings so the dish still tastes great when I just leave out the allium.
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