VEGAN PLANET: 400 Irresistible Recipes with Fantastic Flavors from Home and Around the World

Robin Robertson, Author, Neal D. Barnard, M.D., Foreword by
Robin Robertson, Author, Neal D. Barnard, M.D., Foreword by , foreword by Neal D. Barnard. Harvard Common $32.95 (592p) ISBN 978-1-55832-210-3 ISBN 978-1-55832-211-0
Reviewed on: 11/04/2002
Release date: 02/01/2003

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Paperback - 576 pages - 978-1-55832-211-0
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With 400 recipes, this is probably the biggest vegan (no animal products—meaning dairy- and egg-free) cookbook on the market. It's also one of the best. Robertson (The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook) is a likable guide to possibly unfamiliar ingredients such as flaxseeds and sea vegetables, and the recipe choices are almost overwhelming. Robertson relies on the usual trick of digging into ethnic cuisines (Thai-Style Leaf-Wrapped Appetizer Bits, Baked Sweet Potato and Green Pea Samosas are among the appetizers) for vegetarian options, but she also innovates in clever ways, as with Here's My Heart Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette with hearts of romaine, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm and celery hearts. Some of the most versatile options appear in a chapter dedicated to sauces and dressings, such as Eggless Hollandaise and Vegan Béchamel Sauce. Chapters on breakfast ideas, sandwiches, wraps and burgers—with six different veggie burger options—ensure that all bases are covered. Occasionally, Robertson relies on packaged products like the soy sausage and mozzarella that appear in "Sausage" and Fennel Cannelloni, but most of these recipes simply make the best of vegetables, legumes and grains. A cogent foreword by Barnard (president of the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine) reports the startling fact that Americans—apparently misled into believing that switching from red meat to white will improve their health—now eat one million chickens every hour. (Jan.)

Forecast:This is a serious entry in the field, and should fare well in its target market—this country's estimated 10 million vegetarians.

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