Rethink Food Book Review

ReThink-Food-Front-Cover-243x300As a health coach, I’ve read a lot of books on vegan health and nutrition. After a reading a few, the info gets repetitive and all of the titles tend to blend together in my brain. I have to admit that I’ve sort of skimmed through the ones I’ve received recently to see if there’s any new info. Sometimes I’ve just read certain chapters relevant to what might be going on with a client or myself.

 

The newest vegan health book to be sent my way is Rethink Food 100+ Doctors Can’t be Wrong, which was compiled by Shushana Castle and Amy-Lee Goodman. It features over 100 essays and articles about health and nutrition, and it’s actually perfect for people who want to skim and skip around, as each piece is just a few pages long. Of course, if you want to read it cover to cover, you have that option too.

 

The experts featured in Rethink Food include people you may have already heard of, such as Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Michael Greger. In addition to doctors, Rethink Food also features articles by registered dieticians, such as Jill Nussinow, and athletes, such as former NBA champion John Salley.

 

Rethink Food begins with the authors’ owns stories to give us an idea of how they became interested in using food to heal. Amy-Lee’s sister developed debilitating juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 9, and was cured years later after removing dairy from her diet. Her entire family later converted to a plant-based diet. Shushana’s mother was in need of eye surgery to improve her deteriorating vision, but she ended up fixing her sight herself by adopting a vegan diet.

 

What I love about Rethink Food is that is that the essays are organized by topics. The first chapter is called Diseases: The New Normal, and it contains articles the problems with the current medical system and the modern day Standard American Diet. From there, the book goes into What’s Missing in Med School (hint: nutrition education) and a Walk Through the Body. Other chapters include specific topic of interest such as nutrition for athletes, women’s issues, men’s issues, digestive disorders, building strong bones and joints, and dealing with cancer. The book ends with hope for the future and how to take the next steps in dietary change.

 

Whether you’re already vegan and have certain ailments you’re dealing with, or you’re thinking of adopting a plant-based diet and need a little swaying, Rethink Food is the book for you. With the info found within its pages, you’ll learn how reverse your symptoms and regain your health. You’ll also learn how to prevent disease, and you’ll gain knowledge that so much of today’s medical establishment is lacking.

 

Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson

Vegan Planet CoverEven though I have a giant cookbook collection and I consider myself a kitchen veteran, I have to admit that I’m usually slightly intimated by really thick cookbooks. You know the ones – they have 500 or 1,000 recipes and the binding is so big that that you need a large can of chickpeas to keep them open on your counter while you’re cooking. They are usually so full of recipes that it’s difficult to choose to know where to start or what to choose to make, and I have a hard time making choices.

 

Tahini Rotini with Broccoli and Lemon

When Robin Robertson’s revised edition of Vegan Planet arrived, I let it sit for a while before I picked it up and read through it. I quickly realized that even though the book is about 2 inches thick, there was no reason to be intimidated by it. While it is chock-full of over 425 recipes, the book is well organized, the recipes are easy to make, and the ingredients are easy to find.

 

Spinach Frittata

Vegan Planet originally hit bookshelves in 2003, when there were very few vegan cookbooks on the market. It was known as the “bible of vegan cooking” as it was the most comprehensive book on plant-based cooking on the market at the time. A lot has changed in the past 11 years, and there are now vegan cookbooks devoted to just about every subject possible available. Vegan Planet still remains a comprehensive guide to the world of vegan cooking, and this revised version contains new recipes, updated classics, and refreshed favorites. The book’s revisions include an expanded range of recipes using the whole grains that are now readily available, greens that have become popular in recent years such as kale and chard, and information on concerns over cooking with oil.

 

Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce

There’s something for everyone in Vegan Planet! The book begins with a chapter on vegan basics, which includes both nutritional info and cooking tips, making it perfect for those who are new to this way of cooking. There are plenty of flavorful and creative dishes to please the vegan pros as well. As we’ve come to expect from Robin, the dishes are global in nature, but nothing is too “foreign” that omnivores wouldn’t know what they’re eating. The recipes include just about any type of dish you could have a hunger for, including Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili, Easy Mac and Cheese, Jerk-Spiced Portobello Steaks, and Strawberry Topped Cheesecake. If you’re in the mood for pizza, just open up to the New World Pizza chapter. If you have a hankering for pasta, check out the Universe Pasta chapter. If it’s sweets you crave, check out Dessert Heaven.

 

Vegan Planet is perfect for those who are veg-curious and want to add more-plant based meals into their diets, new vegans looking for thorough information, and veteran vegans who want to add new dishes into their repertoire.

 

 

More Quick Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson

morequickfixvegancoverAs a health coach, I meet a lot of people who say they don’t know what to cook. Either they just don’t know how to throw together a vegan meal, they’re too tired after a long day at the office, or they just don’t have the time to cook a balanced meal. I usually give those clients a copy of Robin Robertson’s cookbook Quick-Fix Vegan, which is chock-full of vegan recipes that take 30 minutes or less to make. Luckily, Robin has just released a sequel of sorts – More Quick-Fix Vegan so I have even more gift options for my clients.

PolentaAs the name implies, More Quick-Fix Vegan is full of healthy and delicious recipes that come together in a flash. Since I had abdominal surgery is March, For about a month I was living off of Chipotle veggie bowls and Amy’s frozen dinners, but I’m feeling better and I’ve been able to start cooking again, but I can’t stand in the kitchen for too long. More Quick Fix-Vegan has been a lifesaver, because I’ve been able to prepare creative meals that don’t take too long to prepare, and there’s been a wide variety in what I’ve made. Lemon Dijon Pasta Shells, Spicy Ginger-Lime Portobellos and Broccoli, General Tso’s Tofu, Stroganoff-Inspired Pasta and Polenta with Kale and Cremini Mushrooms have all been on the menu – and they’ve all been way better than take-out or frozen dinners!

Dinner-stroganoff-1More Quick Fix-Vegan is filled with 150 recipes that can be made in half an hour or less. Robin also shares tips and tricks for planning and preparing quick and economical meals. The book starts with chapter devoted to basics – from pantry basics to basis recipes such as vegetable broth and vegan mayo. There are also tips for saving time, menu planning and ingredient shortcuts. Chapters include Souper Soups and Stews, Big Bowls, Pasta for Dinner, “Pantry Makes Perfect” Recipes, and Meal-Worthy Sandwiches. There’s even a chapter devoted to quick-fix desserts!

General-Tsos-TofuWhether you’re cooking for your family, your partner, or just yourself, you’re sure to find recipes to please in More Quick-Fix Vegan. The recipes are full of flavor and omnivore-friendly. More Quick-Fix Veganis perfect for beginner vegans who need inspiration in the kitchen, those who are trying to add healthy, meatless options into their diets, and seasoned vegans who are looking to add some new dishes to their repertoire!

Everyday Vegan Eats: Scampi Pasta with Asparagus and Walnuts

Everyday Vegan Eats Cover

I’m pleased to be hosting Zsu Dever on on her Everyday Vegan Eats blog tour today! I have one of Zsu’s recipes to share and a chance to win a copy of her book. Everyday Vegan Eats is Zsu’s debut cookbook, and it’s chockfull of recipes for delicious comfort food dishes that will please everyone, no matter what their dietary preference. These are the recipes that Zsu feeds her family on a regular basis, and they’re the dishes that kept everyone happy as they all transitioned to a vegan diet. Everyday Vegan Eats contains recipes for veganized favorites such as Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Lasagna Americana, New England Chowder, Deli Reubens and this Scampi Pasta…

 

Scampi Pasta

Scampi Pasta with Asparagus and Walnuts

Serves 4

Scampi, in the restaurant world, is a dish of shrimp sautéed in garlic butter and tossed with parsley and fresh lemon juice. In this version, dulse stands in for the flavor of seafood and the garlic-lemon sauce is tossed with thin pasta. This is a very fast meal, so get your pot of water boiling first.

 

Ingredients: 

  • 8 ounces capellini or angel hair pasta or gluten-free pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dulse seaweed flakes
  • 1/4 cup packed finely chopped parsley
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

 

Preparation:

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Cool the pasta under running cold water, drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and walnuts. Reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to medium. Add the dulse, parsley, and asparagus. Cook, stirring, until the asparagus is partially cooked, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and continue to cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender, another 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the reserved pasta, and the other 1/2 cup of reserved pasta cooking water. Cook, stirring, until the pasta is heated through and the sauce has thickened.
  6. Season to taste with salt, plenty of black pepper, and the rest of the lemon juice, if needed. Serve hot.

 

CHEF’S TIP: If you have a wok, this is a great place to use it. Garlic or walnut pieces can be pushed up the side of the wok, out of higher heat, if any of them brown faster than the others. When the sauce is ready to be tossed with the pasta, you’ll have plenty of room to combine them.

 

From Everyday Vegan Eats by Zsu Dever. ©2014 Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

 

Enter to win a copy of Everyday Vegan Eats! Follow the instructions below to enter. U.S. residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight EST on Monday, May 19th. Good luck!

 

Rawsome Vegan Baking Totally Tahini Cups with Coffee Cream Filling

rawsome-coverI’m happy to be hosting Emily von Euw on her blog tour for her gorgeous new book Rawsome Vegan Baking today! Emily has also brought a copy of her book for lucky reader. Follow the instructions at the end of the post to enter. Be sure to also check out my interview with Emily on Chic Vegan too!

 

tahini-coffe-cups-sm

Totally Tahini Cups with Coffee Cream Filling

Simple, sublime, stylish . . . sassy? Okay, enough with the alliteration. These are just plain yummy. I know not everyone has a major sweet tooth like me, so this recipe is for those folks. Tahini is delicious, but it is also quite bitter. It has a strong nutty flavor (from the sesame seeds it’s made of) that goes perfectly with savory meals. However—its nutty bitterness can still work wonderfully in desserts as well. Here, it’s combined with salt and coconut oil to make a shell encompassing sweet coffee-date cream. Can you say yum!? Probably not, because your mouth will be too full of these terrifically tasty tahini cups . . . Duh. Did it again.

 

Makes: 6 cups

 

TAHINI SHELL

  • ⅓ cup (80 g) tahini
  • ⅓ cup (79 ml) melted coconut oil

COFFEE CREAM

  • 1 cup (175 g) pitted dates
  • ½ cup (118 ml) strong brewed coffee, or as needed
  • Salt

 

TO MAKE THE SHELL: Combine the ingredients by hand or in a food processor until smooth. It will be a bit watery but the coconut oil will harden up in the fridge. Pour half of the mixture into the bottom of 6 cupcake liners and put in the fridge for 20 minutes, or until solid. Set aside the other half of the tahini mixture.

 

TO MAKE THE FILLING: Put all the ingredients into your food processor and process until smooth and very thick, adding the coffee, as needed. This could take a few minutes, and you may have to stop the food processor to wipe down the sides a few times so everything continues to combine evenly.

 

ASSEMBLY: Scoop a dollop of the filling into each of the hardened bottoms in your cupcake papers. Pour enough of the remaining tahini mixture on each to cover the dollop. Put back in the fridge for about 20 minutes, or until solid, then sprinkle with salt and enjoy!

 

 

Follow the instructions below to enter to win a copy of Emily’s book Rawsome Vegan Baking. US residents only, please. Contest ends at midnight eastern standard time on Friday, April 4th.  Good luck!

Isa Does It!

Isa Does It

 Isa does it again! Isa Chandra Moskowitz has a reputation for writing cookbooks full of flavorful, foolproof recipes, but she’s outdone herself with her newest opus. Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vega Recipes for Every Day of the Week is a beautiful 320 page hardbound book packed with hilarious stories, cute artwork and gorgeous photos – oh yeah, and a bunch of yummy recipes too! The dishes are easy to make and come together quickly using easy-to-find ingredients. This book is perfect for everyone: omnivores trying to eat less meat, new vegans, and seasoned cooks looking to add some creative dishes to their repertoires.

 

Stew

Isa Does It features 150 recipes, most of which come together in half an hour or less. The dishes include soups, salads, pastas, stews, chilis and curries, stir-fries and sautés, Sunday-Night suppers, breakfasts, desserts and more. All of the recipes are made with whole-food ingredients that can be found at any grocery store. Isa also includes secrets and shortcuts for restaurant quality cooking, simple ways to improve your cooking time, plan-ahead kitchen strategies, knife techniques, kitchen tips and ingredient swaps for common allergens. What more could you ask for in a book?

 

 Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl

I’m usually a little leery of really large cookbooks, mainly because they’re overwhelming and there are so many recipes that I don’t know where to start. (And they usually won’t stay open in my cookbook stand!) With Isa Does It, I didn’t know where to start, but in a good a way. My copy is already dog-eared, covered in food stains and somehow I managed to break the hardcover spine. (And the colorful pages complement my retro kitchen very nicely while propped up in the cookbook stand!) I’ve made about 10 dishes so far, and each one has been better than the last. I’m not sure which one has been my favorite… Maybe the Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl with Tofu and Kale? Or Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Penne? No, it must have been the Tempeh Orzilla!

 

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Isa Does It is my new, favorite go-to cookbook! Have you been cooking with Isa Does It? What have you made so far?

 

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through my affiliate programs helps me keep this blog running. Products discussed in this post were given to me free for review, but the opinions are my own. 

Vegan Pizza by Julie Hasson

Vegan Pizza

A coworker once told me that she could never go vegan because she would never be able to give up pizza. I told her that I eat pizza all the time and she said “yeah, but it’s not the same thing.” I agree with her. Most of the vegan pizzas I’ve eaten have been much more tasty and creative than the standard pies I ate as an omnivore. Julie Hasson has more inventive ideas for pizza creations that I could ever think up in her book Vegan Pizza, 50 Cheesy, Crispy, Healthy Recipes.

 

Sweet Potato and Kale

Julie starts the book out with a pantry primer and tips and tricks for pizza making. Recipes include several dough variations (including a gluten-free dough), house-made meats such as sausage crumbles, and cheesy sauces and spreads.  And of course, there are are pizza recipes to put it all together. Pizza recipes include classics such as Garlic, Sausage and Onion and Tomato Basil, and farmer’s market pizzas like Sweet Potato and Pineapple and Jalapeño. There’s also a “Not Your Usual Suspects” chapter with recipes for a Chili Mac pizza, a Cowboy Pizza made with smoky soy curls and jalapeños, and a burger crumble Pub Pizza. If you like your pizza with more of a global flair, try the Thai Peanut Pizza or the Bibimbap Pizza. Of course, there’s also a chapter for dessert pies, with recipes for Babka Pizza, Coconut-Caramel Pizza and a Raspberry Crumble pie.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI tried made several pizzas with the recipes in Vegan Pizza, including the Smoky Wild Mushroom and Potato Pizza, the Broccoli and Cheddar pie and the Sweet Potato and Kale Pizza. All were super easy to make and super delicious. The dough recipes are easy to follow and bake up nicely and the cheese sauces I tried were all rich and creamy.  The pizza recipes lend themselves easily to creativity for those who don’t like to follow directions (you know who you are). In a few cases I sautéed veggies, added onions and sprinkled on some vegan cheese for a little extra sumthin’ sumthin’. 

 

Broccoli and Cheddar

Julie Hasson’s Vegan Pizza proves that no, vegan pizza is not “the same thing” – it’s much, much better.

 

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through my affiliate programs helps me keep this blog running. Products discussed in this post were given to me free for review, but the opinions are my own. 

Becoming Vegan, Express Edition by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina

Becoming VeganThe beginning of each year is almost always accompanied by resolutions to make changes: lose weight, eat healthier, manage stress, exercise more, etc. If you’ve resolved that is the year that you will finally go vegan, or if you’re already vegan and want to make sure you’re eating an optimal diet, Becoming Vegan, Express Edition is the book for you!

 

When I went vegan in 2001, Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina was one of the first books I bought. Veganism wasn’t nearly as mainstream as it is now, and even though I had already been meatless for almost a decade, I was concerned about getting essential nutrients. The original book was published in 2000, and since so much has happened in the vegan world since then, the authors have recently released the revised Express Edition.

 

Becoming Vegan, Express Edition is chock full of just about everything you ever wanted to know about vegan nutrition, and it probably contains some info that you didn’t even realize you wanted to know! This revised book offers new evidence of the health benefits of a vegan diet, expanded information on phytonutrients, in-depth coverage of all the essential nutrients—calcium, protein, essential fatty acids, good carbs, and vitamin D and B12, and a thoroughly updated food guide.  Guidelines are given on how how to follow a balanced vegan diet for infants, children, pregnant women and nursing mothers, as well as seniors. There’s also info on maintaining a healthy weight, getting fit and optimal nutrition for athletes. This new version of Vegan Express also contains a chapter on compassion, which gives insight into the treatment of animals for food production, as well as information on what animal agriculture is doing to the planet.

 

This streamlined “express” version of Becoming Vegan is extensive, yet easily understandable. A larger a more in-depth, fully referenced Comprehensive Edition of Vegan Express (which will be about 624 pages) will be out in the spring of 2014. The larger edition will be geared toward health care professionals those with a keen interest in nutrition.

 Brenda and Vesanto

Be sure to check out my interview with Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina on Chic Vegan too! 

 

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through my affiliate programs helps me keep this blog running. Products discussed in this post were given to me free for review, but the opinions are my own. 

Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan

Better Than Vegan

Chef Del Sroufe managed to reach 475 pounds on a vegan diet high in processed foods such as pastries, soda, potato chips and soy ice cream. After joining the Wellness Forum and working with Pam Popper, he cut out processed foods, sugars and oils, and he began eating a whole foods vegan diet rich in vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains. He lost 240 pounds and in his new book Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan: 101 Favorite Low-Fat, Plant-Based Recipes That Helped Me Lose Over 200 Pounds, he shares is weight loss story along with his favorite recipes. With the recipes in Better Than Vegan, Chef Del proves that the healthiest diet can be the most delicious. The book also contains cooking tips, health advice and a pantry primer. If you’re new to vegan cooking, are trying to lose weight, or want to improve your overall health, Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan is for you!

 

Chef Del makes a stop here on his blog tour today with his recipe for Breakfast Burritos and copy of his book Better Than Vegan for one lucky reader.

 

BreakfastBurritos

Breakfast Burritos

Serves 4

 

This tofu scramble is made with lite firm tofu and then baked instead of fried, so the fat content is greatly reduced.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 pound lite firm tofu, pressed and mashed to the consistency of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 10- or 12-inch whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup salsa (store-bought or your favorite homemade)

 

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sauté the leeks, red bell pepper, and mushrooms over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the leeks are translucent and tender. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper, turmeric, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the tofu and mix well. Spread the mixture on a large parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the scramble from the oven and stir in the cilantro. To make the burritos, divide the scramble between the four tortillas and spoon some salsa over the filling. Fold the ends of each tortilla over the filling and roll it up.

 

I have a copy of Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan for one lucky reader. Follow the instructions below to enter. US and Canadian residents only, please. The contest ends at midnight eastern time on Sunday, January 12th. Good luck!

My 10 Favorite Cookbooks of 2013

2013 was the Year of the Vegan Cookbook. I like to stay on top of new releases, but I just couldn’t keep up this year. There were books to cover just about “I could never go vegan because I can’t give up ___ (fill in the blank)” that I’ve ever heard. Cheese, pizza, chocolate – you  name it, there was vegan cookbook about it, making it easier than ever to adopt a vegan diet. There were cookbooks for seasoned vegans, cookbooks for newbies, cookbooks for vegans living with omnivores, cookbooks devoted to baking, cookbooks full of grilling recipes, cookbooks for gluten-free eating – pick a subject and 2013 had a vegan cookbook to cover it. 

 

My top 10 list covers the books I’ve been using the most this year. There were other cookbooks that came out this year that might be list-worthy, but I don’t have them. Yet. People often ask me what my favorite cookbook is, and I can never give them an answer. They’re all different, and I love them all. There are standouts though, and these are the books that stood out for me in 2013.

 

Vegan-ChocolateVegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan – Two of my favorite words in the English language are “vegan” and “chocolate”, so Fran Costigan already had me as a fan for her newest cookbook Vegan Chocolate before I even set eyes on it. After I set eyes on it, she had a fan for life. Vegan Chocolate is a beautiful hardcover book packed with the most gorgeous, mouthwatering photos of cakes, pies, cookies and other drool-worthy chocolatey treats that I’ve ever seen. Beware – you may be tempted to eat the book’s pages. With Vegan Chocolate, Fran proves that veganism is not about deprivation at all.

 

 

Isa Does ItIsa Does It by Isa Moskowitz – Isa does it again! Isa has a reputation for writing cookbooks full of flavorful, foolproof recipes, but she’s outdone herself with her newest opus. Isa Does It is a beautiful 320 page hardbound book packed with hilarious stories, cute artwork and gorgeous photos – oh yeah, and a bunch of yummy recipes too! The dishes are easy to make and come together quickly using easy-to-find ingredients. This book is perfect for everyone: omnivores trying to eat less meat, new vegans, and seasoned cooks looking to add some creative dishes to their repertoires.

 

 

Shannon_BettyGoesVeganHCBetty Goes Vegan by Annie and Dan Shannon – The Shannons were awarded the VegNews Cookbook of the Year for their veganization of the classic Betty Crocker Cookbook, and rightly so. I can’t imagine that it was an easy task to veganize so many meat and dairy laden recipes, but the Shannons were able to do just that. The result is a cookbook full of classic comfort food dishes that even a hardened omnivore would appreciate. In Betty Goes Vegan, you’ll find vegan versions of recipes that were popular in 50s and 60s, such as Quiche Lorraine, Tuna Casserole and Corned Beef(less) Brisket with Cabbage. I can almost see Betty Draper serving up these dishes at a Sterling Cooper Draper Price dinner party. What makes Betty Goes Vegan truly unique are the personal stories and fun facts sprinkled throughout. The history of the famous Betty Crocker signature, the origin of Bisquick, and tips for modern-day Bettys are just some of the tid-bits you’ll find here. The Shannons playful personalities show through in their writing, making this a cookbook you might want to curl up along with a cup of tea with and read like a novel, instead of just relegating it to use in the kitchen. 

 

 

GGFVEAroundWorldGreat Gluten-Free Vegan Eats From Around the World by Allyson Kramer – Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats from Around the World is a follow-up to Allyson’s first book Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats. Allyson is an expert on gluten-free vegan fare. Some may think that a vegan diet is restrictive enough, and restricting it even further by removing anything containing gluten means that there’s not much left too eat – and what is left is bland and tasteless. Allyson blows that myth out of the water with her flavorful, creative recipes. With more and more people being diagnosed with celiac disease, and even more people discovering that they’re gluten sensitive, Allyson’s books are very needed in today’s marketplace.

 

 

Vegan PizzaVegan Pizza by Julie Hasson – A coworker once told me that she could never go vegan because she would never be able to give up pizza. I told her that I eat pizza all the time and she said “yeah, but it’s not the same thing.” I agree with her. Most of the vegan pizzas I’ve eaten have been  much more tasty and creative than the standard pies I ate as an omnivore. Julie Hasson has more inventive ideas for pizza creations that I could ever think up in her book Vegan Pizza. There are recipes for crusts, sauces, cheeses and, of course, pizza recipes to put it all together. Pizza recipes include Scalloped Potato Pizza, Thai Peanut Pizza, Bibimpa Pizza and even dessert pies such as Coconut-Caramel Pizza. No, it’s not the same thing – vegan pizza is much, much better.

 

 

Cheesy VeganThe Cheesy Vegan by John Schlimm – Most people are reluctant to even consider going vegan because they’re hooked on cheese. Cheese is highly addictive, and I had a hard time giving it myself, but it is possible. There are a lot of great new plant-based cheeses on the market now, but if you’re feeling adventurous and would like to make your own, John Schlimm will show you how easy it is with his newest book The Cheesy Vegan. Cheese recipes include cheddar, mozzarella, swiss, feta and brie, as well as ricotta, bleu and cottage cheese. Once your cheese is ready, John will help you cook a delicious dish with it. Recipes range from breakfasts and lunches to side dishes and casseroles, and there’s even an entire chapter dedicated to mac and cheese.

 

 

JazzyVegetarianClassics_FrontCoverJazzy Vegetarian Classics by Laura Theodore – You’re probably familiar with Laura Theodore from her PBS cooking show Jazzy Vegetarian, which is now in its third season and can currently be seen on the Create channel on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Her new cookbook Jazzy Vegetarian Classics is the companion book to the show, and all of the recipes to the delicious dishes that Laura cooks up on the show can be found within its pages. On the television show and in her cookbooks Laura focuses on flavorful, classic meatless dishes that can be made without strange or hard-to-find ingredients. These are the kind of meals that you can easily serve to your omnivore friends at a dinner party, or your picky-eater family members at the holidays. Chances are that they won’t even miss the meat.

  

 

vegan-slow-cooking-for-two-123715l2Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You by Kathy Hester – What could be better than coming home from work to find a hot dinner cooked and waiting for you? Maybe waking up to find a hot breakfast waiting for you, but really, there aren’t too many things that are better than that. (Well, other than cats, chocolate and snow days.) For that reason, I love using my slow cooker, and I also recommend using them to my health coaching clients who lead busy lifestyles. Kathy’s first cookbook The Vegan Slow Cooker is the book that got me to use my slow cooker on a regular basis, so I was pretty excited to start using Vegan Slow Cooking for Two when it arrived. I have heard people say that slow cooker meals all tend to taste the same, but that’s a not a problem with the dishes in Vegan Slow Cooking for Two. The recipes are so varied that you can cook from it for months and never feel like you’re eating the same thing twice.

 

 

Nut-Butter-Universe-CoverNut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson – If you take a look at my massive vegan cookbook collection (It really is massive. Seriously, I have a problem), the one name you’ll see the most is Robin Robertson’s. Robin churns out cookbooks at an impressive rate, and her no-nonsense cooking style has made her one of my favorite authors. This time around Robin wrote about one of my favorite subjects: Nut Butters. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of spicy peanut sauce, but I’m also a big fan of cooking with nut butters in general. I love swirling almond butter into my oatmeal and adding a few spoonfuls of cashew butter to my stews. I’ve also recently begun to use nut butter in the place of oil in baked goods such as muffins and banana bread. Nut Butter Universe is full of recipes like these and such much more. There are recipes for everything from soups and starters to main dishes and desserts. 

 

 

Baking Books

Easy as Vegan Pie by Hannah Kaminsky, Cheers to Vegan Sweets by Kelly Peloza and Pies and Tarts with Heart by Dynise Balcavage – Okay, I realize a three-way tie at number ten actually makes this a list of my top 12 favorite cookbooks, but I just had such a hard time deciding! I haven’t done much baking this year, so I will admit that I haven’t made anything from any of these books yet, but I have sat down with all three and perused them from cover to cover. They’re all packed with delicious sounding recipes and gorgeous drool-worthy photographs – food porn at its finest!

 

What were your favorite cookbooks of 2013? 

 

 

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Dr. Fuhrman