Thursday, April 23, 2020

Eating Vegan: A Plant-Based Cookbook for Beginners

Eating Vegan is a new tutorial and recipe collection for vegan cuisine by Dianne Wenz. Released 14th April 2020 by Callisto on their Rockridge Press imprint, it's 150 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.

This is a very appealing and accessible cookbook mostly aimed at beginning cooks and readers looking for entry-level recipes which aren't too 'way out there' for transitioning to a plant based diet. The layout is sensible and easy to follow. An introduction (what vegan food is, the benefits of plant based nutrition, myths and facts about veganism), is followed by a pantry list of vegan staples, some cooking and food handling information and tools and supplies.

The recipes are grouped by category: breakfast, salads soups & stews, snacks & sides, handhelds (sandwiches, wraps, etc), mains, deserts, and staple recipes and ingredients.

The recipes have their ingredients listed bullet style in a sidebar. The headers include a description, including special info such as leftover friendly, nut free, and plan ahead. Measurements are given in US standard only. Special tools and ingredients are also listed, along with yields and cooking directions. Most of the ingredients are easily sourced at any moderately well stocked grocery store (some items will need a specialist co-op or vegetarian grocery). Nutritional information is included in a footer at the end of each entry.  Tips and variations on each recipe are also included in a text box at the end.

The book also includes a short author bio but lacks any index or general ingredients index. There is also no metric conversion chart included in the book. The author includes some interesting web resource links for further reading.

My main quibble with the book is that the recipes are mostly not photographed. There are some photos, and they're clear and attractive, but they only represent about 5% of the recipes included in the book. It is, however, a very well written book for anyone who is looking for a solid introduction to vegan cooking and lifestyle. 

Four stars. This would make a nice choice for a housewarming gift for a newly-fledged first apartment dweller or beginning cook exploring vegan food.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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