cover image Practically Vegan: More Than 100 Easy, Delicious Vegan Dinners on a Budget

Practically Vegan: More Than 100 Easy, Delicious Vegan Dinners on a Budget

Nisha Melvani. Rodale, $22.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-593-23340-5

In this excellent debut, Cooking for Peanuts blogger Melvani skillfully proves that “inexpensive, simple, and practical” vegan recipes can be “sophisticated in their own right.” She opens with a detailed list of plant-based cooking staples (among them frozen veggies, tofu, and herbs and spices, “the backbone for so many dishes”); provides thorough information on how to prepare them (to remove the bitterness out of tempeh, she simmers it); and at the outset of each chapter, serves up snackable bits of knowledge (pasta, for example, is “enriched with B vitamins and iron and contains a reasonable amount of protein”). Enticing recipes derive from a variety of cultures—running the gamut from lentil bolognese and spicy black bean chili to Thai veggie curry with tofu and miso eggplant steaks with spicy peanut noodles. To save time and effort for home cooks, Melvani shares plenty of delicious one-pot recipes—such as a chickpea and sun-dried tomato coconut stew that’s ready in 20 minutes—and her amiable instructions offer modifications and swaps based on one’s motivation, or lack thereof (while she recommends removing the skins of her chickpea “croutons” for a crispier result, she writes, “you can skip it. Just know it’s a game-changer”). Veggie-heads and the vegan-curious alike will find this guide to plant-based eating irresistible. Agent: Alison Fargis, Stonesong. (Mar.)