When Jolinda first decided to give up eggs and dairy, she asked every vegan she knew for advice. One sentiment always stood out: "Learn to Cook!"
Funny, I've been saying the same thing on Savvy Vegetarian since 2003 - learn to cook, if you want to be a well-fed vegetarian or vegan. It's not the easiest thing in the world, to learn a whole new way of cooking and eating! But The Everything Vegan Cookbook makes it much, much easier.
Jolinda Hackett admirably translates everybody's favorite foods into vegan. And makes it simple for you to cook them yourself. I was delighted to find Classic Fettucine Alfredo, which I used to love, but gave up eating because it involved massive amounts of dairy. I made this easy recipe in under thirty minutes, including the vegetable side dish. It was delicious!
At the same time, Jolinda introduces her readers to many healthy but less familiar foods, such as millet, barley, TVP, tempeh, and seitan, tempting us to try them with easy, tasty, familiar-sounding recipes like Millet and Butternut Squash Casserole, Vegetarian "Beef" and Barley Stew, Southern Fried Seitan, and Sweet and Sour Tempeh.
The following quote from the first page of Everything Vegan is a concise summary of Chapter 1, which is a mini-tour of the high points of going vegan:
"When you create a vegan meal, you are literally changing the world. Call it gastronomical activism at the tip of your fork. Just by eating vegan, you become an eco-activist and, within a week or two, a healthier person."
"Veganism is not just a diet, and not just the food on your plate: it is an active stance against environmental inefficiencies, a boycott against animal cruelty, and a method of preventive medicine. Yes, all that comes just from trading in milk and meat for mushrooms and marinara. One small bite for you is one giant leap toward a healthier planet and a healthier body."
Each recipe in the book has a nutrition summary and many of them include handy cooking tips, such as how to convert your favorite muffin recipe to vegan, how to prepare your potatoes for a potato salad, or how to make a basic vegetable stock.
I highly recommend 'The Everything Vegan Cookbook', by Jolinda Hackett for beginning vegans, busy vegans and those like me who are pining for lost food loves after giving up eggs and dairy.