May 31, 2010
Gesh. I've had about 15 books sitting in a pile in my apartment since November of last year. I was so busy writing my cookbook (then editing, then photog'ing dishes) that I've had zero time to take a peak at any of them.
Feeling guilty about it, I started taking them to the gym with me and let me tell you -- it's an odd experience to look through a cookbook while you're working out! Esp. the cookies one. I got some real stares for that.
This isn't all of them, and I did throw a product review in here too, but I hope you find it insightful and helpful -- and hopefully the rest will get reviews by next week. (Thanks again to all the publishers that have sent me copies of these books -- I'm sorry it took me so long to give them attention).
I have always been a huge fan of BB and The Thrive Diet remains one of my favorite vegan/athletic resources; it's no surprise that I loved this book. Much like it's precursor, Thrive Fitness provides important information about nutrition and exercise in a easy, understandable way. If you've ever been confused about eating right, fueling correctly or exercising in general (as a vegan or other) -- this book is for you. BB provides a great full-body workout (with pictures!) and a number of recipes to help fuel and recover from your workouts. While it does echo a lot of the points in his first book, it's more of a Cliff Notes version and there is a great deal of new information. I esp. like the tone of the book -- it's conversation and friendly; I can almost imagine BB telling me all this over the phone.
Although I eschew most supplements I love Vega's products. Vega is BB's supplement line and it's made from the best vegan ingredients with minimal processing. I'm completely hooked on Vega Sport (lemon) and couldn't wait their new Shake & Go Smoothies. I've sampled the chocolate one and it's pretty good with water but delicious with non-dairy milk. I enjoy a shake after an intense cardio workout when my body needs nutrients but I have no desire to eat something solid.
As always, Isa & Terry do not disappoint -- the cookbook is endless eye candy. I'd buy it alone just for the pictures. I've been anxious to make their black&white cookies -- a staple in any NYC deli here (and sadly, never vegan). I grew up loving these cookies & I have to hand it to Isa & Terry -- their recipe is right on the money! YUM!
I could write an entire book on this book. As an animal rights activist and environmentalist, I thought I knew everything there was to know about the food industry - esp. factory farming. I absolutely did not. This book is eye-opening and makes you go "hmm..." Everyone should read it -- meat eaters and vegetarians alike (vegans too!). It's the most objective exploration of the industry one can ask for and the truth is... startling.
This book is textbook-style like Vcon. It's full of information on how to cook beans, grains, greens and adapt recipes. The title is a bit deceiving, though. Yes it has a ton of recipes, but many recipes aren't really recipes, i.e. salted edamame... Still, the book has much to offer. It has a lot of variety plus innovative uses for some ingredients. Unfortunately, almost every recipe in the book calls for oil; but there seems to be enough flavor coming from the spices that my removal of the oil doesn't cause the recipes to fall flat and taste bland. It seems suitable to a low fat diet, provided you adapt the recipes. On the downside, the cookbook doesn't have any photos (incl on the cover) and it's bigger than a phonebook.
My pugs, Quaid & Lily Bean, are both vegan & although I buy them vegan kibble, I do like to prepare home cooked foods for them and this book has pup-approved recipes! It also has a short chapter on dog nutrition which is objection rather than "go vegan." Sadly, it wasn't as informative as I would have liked (and it didn't have a recipe for kibble); but it was still helpful and insightful.
My husband & HH's intern (Nick) both really liked the peanut butter bar. I can't say I was a fan of any of them -- they tasted very chalky to me; but in the bar's defense, I don't like most supplements, especially energy and protein bars. What I did like, however is that they are vegan and the main ingredient isn't nuts or coconut oil (they are low fat). I will probably continue to buy them to have on hand after hard workouts when I need a quick fix and am too tired to do anything beyond opening a wrapper.
My friend Gena suggested this book when I told her I was interested in eating more raw foods but couldn't afford expensive equipment like a dehydrator and that I didn't want to eat high-fat recipes. Her recommendation was spot on -- this is the easiest raw cookbook I've come across. It uses mostly everyday ingredients and the recipes are simple; using common tools and rarely asking you to plan in advance (I'm not good about soaking or sprouting). Even better, many recipes are fat-free and low fat. I'm completely obsessed with the green juice recipes in this book and have also taken a liking to some of the wraps. I think this is a great book for anyone who is looking to add simple, raw recipes to their diet.
I've been so happy with 30-Minute Vegan that I thought I would check out Mark Reinfeld's first book. I felt that the spiritual overtones in the book were just too much. What the book does offer, however, is a sampling of world cuisine. Most of the recipes are clean, too -- meaning they only use whole, unprocessed ingredients (with the exception of a section on tofu and tempeh). I don't know that it's an everyday cookbook, but if you're looking for something "different" this might be a good choice.