The Plantpower Way: Italia

Julie Piatt and Rich Roll. Avery, $40 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7352-1759-1
Piatt and Roll (The Plantpower Way) draw on their experience running yoga and meditation retreats in Tuscany to offer Italian-inflected vegan fare with input from places as far-flung as the California coast and Ireland. The emphasis is on “high vibrational foods” (organic nuts, fruits, vegetables), and the most appealing choices come from the vast repertoire of traditional Italian dishes that are vegan in their original form, such as a panzanella with heirloom tomatoes, a cake with Sangiovese grapes and fennel seeds, and orange “cheese” from Sicily. Other vegan cheese substitutes include a Gorgonzola replacement made with Irish moss, acidophilus, nutritional yeast, and spirulina to mimic blue veins. That’s clever, but there isn’t much to many of these recipes: melon carpaccio is shaved melon with salt and a scattering of sprouts, and “roasted artichokes” are actually boiled artichokes, or perhaps steamed, as the instruction to boil them in a double boiler make little sense. There are other missteps: a refreshing mix of tomato and endive is labeled “cabbage salad,” and a supposedly gluten-free tiramisu calls for flour. Headnotes are anemic, while sidebars provide fodder for meditation and some instructions for daily practice. Though well-intentioned, the authors seem to have a loose grasp on the fundamentals of Italian cooking. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
Release date: 04/24/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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