The First Mess Cookbook: Vibrant Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well Through the Seasons

Laura Wright. Avery, $30 (296p) ISBN 978-1-58333-590-1
Canada-based blogger Wright (the title of both book and blog derives from an M.F.K. Fisher quote) captures the spontaneity of online writing in this vegan cookbook. Her encouraging tone pervades recipes such as broccoli Caesar with smoky tempeh bits. Eschewing vegan pastry and topping individual vegetable and bean pot pies with potato crusts is quick thinking. But, as on the Internet, the downside to spontaneity is an occasional lack of factual foundation. The fall/winter stalwarts featured in Wright’s root vegetable dal are seasonally mismatched with cherry tomatoes. If quinoa needs bean puree to impersonate risotto, why not just make risotto? Health claims are hinted at in recipes such as a kale salad with “Master Cleanse” dressing, and Wright dabbles in raw foods, including an unbaked beet velvet slice with a citrus frosting for dessert. A range of dietary concerns (cane-sugar-free, oil-free, etc.) are indicated with symbols, and more time-consuming projects are marked as well. Some recipes would be better off as quick sidebars: Wright provides not one, but two recipes for tea. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2017
Release date: 03/07/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 296 pages - 978-0-14-319486-6
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