Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press; Original edition (October 28, 2005)
Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (517 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #129,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #22 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diets & Weight Loss > Vegan #84 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods > Budget #220 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Cooking
I love this cookbook! I am not a cook (I do most of my cooking using the microwave) and I don't really know what I'm doing, but I still love this book! The directions are really simple and straightforward, and there's a section on stocking the vegan pantry, which is something that has always escaped me. Now that I have onions, garlic and potatoes handy, I can actually make some of these recipes without going shopping. I think that is the greatest beauty of this book--the ingredients are usually relatively cheap (although spices cost a bit at first if you don't already have them) and most of them aren't very exotic. I live in a rural-ish area and our mega-grocery has most of the ingredients that appear in the book (the other ingredients are within a 30-minute drive, so we're good to go). Moskowitz keeps cheap and simple in mind, so even if the recipe calls for fancy kitchen equipment, she'll often give a punk rock alternative so you can make the recipe without having to spend a lot of money at a yuppie kitchen store.The only things about this book that I'm not crazy about are: 1) There are a couple of typos or inconsistencies that leave you wondering which you're supposed to follow, although I'm sure you can figure it out if I can. 2) For microwave professionals like myself, it can be hard to decide what a "medium onion" or "large russet potato" looks like. Now that vegetables are genetically altered, the classic medium potato looks kind of shrimpy. I like having ingredients listed in standardized measurements. 3) Possibly due to problems related to item 2, I made the falafel (the uncooked falafel tasted rockin!), but it didn't stick together in the cooking oil. So I had this dough that took a couple hours for me to make, and I put it in the oil and it disintegrated.
This book changed my life.Now, since there are approximately 26,742 other reviews that say the same thing, let me explain before you dismiss me entirely. I'm 26 and had been vegetarian since I was 19. From the very beginning, I knew that veganism was the goal I wanted to aim for. I had read the books and had all the pamphlets. I knew "Why Vegan?". But I kept putting it off. After 7 years, it was clear that I had made veganism an unreachable goal in my life. I had blown the concept of vegan sacrifice to insane proportions, falsely inflating the importance of cheese and ice cream to my well being. I understand now that without this book, I might never have made that leap of faith.When I first came in contact with Isa's food ideas, I was under oath to try one recipe a week for eight weeks. I completed this goal, and went far beyond. In fact in the subsequent months, if I cooked from a recipe it was almost always from VwaV. The food contained within isn't just good vegan food. It's good food period. Ms. Moskowitz has balanced the book very well between the deceptively simple and the "Oh my god, I MADE that!" (well ok, I was a pretty novice cook at the time, but there are some fun challenges). When making these recipes, I found new flavors and discovered a lot of flavor complexity that I hadn't found in any cookbook, veg*n or not.To touch briefly on the writing of the book and it's format. Basically there is an introductory paragraph before each recipe that can range from a one liner about how good the recipe is to an anecdote about where the recipe came from and memories associated with it. You will also find helpful sidebars scattered throughout, written both by Isa and her helpful cat, Fizzle.
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