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Vegan Cookbooks Reviews
My book Creationist Diet: Nutrition and God-given Foods According to the Bible includes a chapter on "The Benefits of a Vegan Diet." For those interested in trying such a diet, a good vegan cookbook will provide ideas one what to eat and how to prepare it. To that end, below are reviews of several such cookbooks. The title links are direct links to where the books can be purchased from Amazon.
20 Minutes to Dinner
Quick, Low-Fat, Low-Calorie Vegetarian Meals
by Bryanna Clark Grogan, Otis Maly (Illustrator)
Provides ideas for vegans as to what to eat and how to prepare it
I recommend this cookbook in my book Creationist Diet. I do so as my book includes a chapter on “The Benefits of a Vegan Diet.” But since following a vegan diet can be rather “strange” to many people, those desiring to follow such a diet need ideas on just what to eat and how to prepare it. And this cookbook provides both. For instance, I would have never thought of using chickpeas to make “tuna salad” or tofu to make “egg salad.”
The idea of “20 minutes to dinner” is appealing to busy people today. However, I have found that some of the recipes take longer than this to make, but some are worth the time. The recipe for “quick pizza dough” does take a little effort, but it is worth it to make a good tasting pizza that is made with whole wheat rather than white flour.
The introductory information in this book is helpful as well. It provides some general tips on vegan cooking and shopping. And I particularly like the recommendation to eat organic as much as possible. A recent study showed that there is a significant amount of pesticides residue on non-organic produce, far more than on organic produce.
As regards texturized vegetable protein (TVP), it is a very useful item for making “imitation” meats. However, it should be noted that one could be allergic to TVP while not being allergic to soy in general. There is “something” about the processing method that turns soybeans into soy flour and then into TVP that makes it even more of a potential allergen.
Overall, I would recommend this cookbook for ideas on how to follow a vegan diet. And for reasons why such a diet is healthy, see my book Creationist Diet: Nutrition and God-given Foods According to the Bible.
Quick Vegetarian Meals
By Debra Wasserman
Recipes are simple and quick to prepare
This is a very good vegan cookbook. As the name implies, the recipes are simple and quick to prepare. Recipes for “Hummus” and “Sautéed Collards and tomatoes” are easy to prepare, great tasting, and very healthy as well.
But it should be noted that only about half of this book contains recipes. The second half provides information that will be of help to vegans. There’s first a description of different kind of vegan foods. This can be helpful or people who don’t know what “bok choy” or okra” are.
The rest of this section provides information on “Vegan Nutrition.” For long-time vegans, this information would probably be familiar, but it can be of great help to those just starting a vegan diet. And most of the information is good. However, some mention should be made about the differences between different types of fat. It is only the saturated fat found mainly in animal foods that are a health concern. And, of course, vegans don’t have to be concerned about this. The main sources of saturated in a vegan diet would be coconut and palm oils. Otherwise, the monounsaturated fats in foods like olive oil and nuts and seeds are very beneficial.
Rather than lumping together all fats and recommending a low-fat diet, I would say a better diet would be one low in saturated fats but moderate in monounsaturated fats. And I discuss the benefits of eating such a diet in my book Creationist Diet: Nutrition and God-given Foods according to the Bible.
150 Vegan Favorites
Fresh, Easy, and Incredibly Delicious Recipes You Can Enjoy Every Day
by Jay Solomon
Better vegan cookbooks available
I recommend this cookbook in my book Creationist Diet. I do as my book includes a chapter on “The Benefits of a Vegan Diet.” But since following a vegan diet can be rather “strange” to many people, those desiring to follow such a diet need ideas on just what to eat and how to prepare it. However, as I tried using this cookbook more after my book was published, I didn’t find it as helpful as I thought it would be. The recipes simply are not that appealing. I’ve made a few of the beans recipes, but that’s about it. I’ve found other vegan cookbooks to be more helpful, such as “Simply Vegan” and “20 Minutes to Dinner.” So if I ever publish a new edition of my Creationist Diet book, I’ll probably omit the recommendation for this cookbook and substitute both of these other ones.
The TVP Cookbook
Using the Quick-Cooking Meat Substitute
by Dorothy R. Bates
Good recipes; but be careful about a TVP allergy
I tried following a vegan diet in the summer of 2000. To help me in making the transitions to a full vegan diet, I began using TVP (texturized vegetable protein) to make imitation meat products. And I found some of the TVP foods I was making to be better tasting than their meat counter-parts! So I ordered this cookbook to give me some additional ideas on ways to use TVP. And it does have some excellent recipes. Probably the best tasting recipe I made from this book was the “Herbed Loaf.” Also excellent was the recipe for “Sloppy Joes.” And I made up a large bath of the “Veggie Burgers” and froze most of them for quick sandwiches later.
However, after a few months I found that I wasn’t “thriving” on the vegan diet. And one reason I didn’t was I would later learn that I was allergic to TVP! Since I was eating TVP almost every day, this had significant health implications. But it should be noted that I am not allergic to soy in general. And I have since found out that many people have a problem with TVP who don’t have a problem with soy otherwise. So there is “something” about the processing method that turns soybeans into soy flour and then into TVP that makes it even more of a potential allergen.
As a result of this problem, I eventually stopped the vegan diet. Maybe if I hadn’t been eating all of the TVP I would not have had problems with the vegan diet. I even have a chapter on “The Benefits of a Vegan Diet” in my book Creationist Diet. But all of that said, if you don’t have a problem with TVP, then this cookbook would be of great benefit. But I would be careful about eating too much TVP until you’re sure it’s not a problem for you.
October 2014 Update
The above reviews were written 12 years a ago. Since then, I have come to realize a vegan diet is neither healthy nor wise. Yes, some thrive on a vegan diet, and if that is you, then great, these cookbooks would be of help to you. But most will find a vegan diet to be too restrictive and/ or that they do not thrive on it. Moreover, an omnivore diet is healthier than a vegan diet, if the right types of animal foods are consumed. I discuss all of this in detail in my newer book God-given Foods Eating Plan. But I am leaving these reviews posted as they can be of help to those few find a vegan diet beneficial, and even for those following an omnivore diet, many will find some of the recipes in this book worthwhile. Of course, you could always add meat to these recipes. That would drive the authors nuts, but it would actually improve the recipes.
Disclaimer: The material presented in this article is intended for educational purposes only. The author is not offering medical or legal advice. Accuracy of information is attempted but not guaranteed. Before undertaking any diet or exercise program, one should consult your doctor. The author is in no way responsible or liable for any bodily harm, physical, mental, or emotional, that results from following any of the advice in this article.
The above review was posted on this site June 2, 2002.
They updated was added October 22, 2014.
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