Reviewed by Claudia R.

“It’s all pretty simple: if it comes from or was once a plant, it’s vegan, and if it one had a face, fins, wings, or feet, forget about it. ” Beverly Lunn Bennet & Ray Sammartano, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Cooking

I’m not vegan, I’m a veg-head, which means I include fins in my diet, but vegan recipes offer even more variety to my lifestyle ‘diet’, which is why I offered to read and review TCIGTVC. As the title promises, vegan cooking is broken down in simple, easy to understand terms. Readers are supplied with a breakdown of why and what vegan cooking/eating is and should be considered. Terminology is defined, substitutions offered, as well as cooking basics in the first chapter; if you don’t know what tempeh, seitan or soybeans are, you will after reading. Concise, clear, to the point, TCIGTVC brings veganism to the table in a manner that everyone will understand.

The succeeding chapters are broken down by meals: breakfast, brunches, sweets, appetizers, toppers & spreads, sauces, soups, stews, salads, sandwiches, and main dishes are all covered with recipes that are not only delicious, but easy to manage; something not all vegan cooking can offer. The back index makes finding a particular dish simple, with a glossary of terms and vegan resources available as well for more information. Recipes like Coconut Pudding, Garden-Patch Gazpacho, Cinnamon Streusel Coffeecake andRoasted Ratatouille with Basil Aioli are just a few of the mouthwatering options this book delivers.

Reviewing a cookbook of any guide, naturally, requires at least one recipe sampling, and my husband and I chose the Thai Tempeh Curry on page 193, under Marvelous Main Dishes. I assure you, marvelous it was, indeed. The kitchen was quickly redolent with fragrant spices and the final product was sumptuous and savory. In fact, both children, who are meat eaters, asked for seconds. Served over curried cous-cous this dish would satisfy the comfort cravings of anyone, vegan or otherwise, and I am looking forward to trying more of the recipes.

Definitely a must have for anyone who wants to eat healthier, cleaner and smarter, TCIGTVC is a kitchen shelf keeper and a sure ‘go to’ book when family begins clamoring for food. I only wish that the caloric/nutritional information for the recipes was also included.

Rating: 3.5/5

Claudia lives on Cape Cod with her husband and two children. She entertains her passion for reading in between being a full-time Mom, aspiring writer, avid photographer & volunteer for Missie’s Closet, an emergency food & necessities pantry for the low-income in her area.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by The Penguin Group. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.