I have received some really great cookbooks to review lately, such as 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe by Mark Reinfeld, and Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero, which I will review next.
But blogger Michael Natkin's new cookbook Herbivoracious was my hands-down favorite of these three excellent cookbooks.
Herbivoracious is not a vegan cookbook, but most of the recipes are egg and dairy-free. There are plenty of gluten-free options as well, giving this cookbook a broad appeal.
The beautiful and inspiring photos of many of the recipes were taken by Michael Natkin himself.
Natkin has sprinkled helpful cooking tips, facts, and philosophy among the recipes where they are relevant and useful, instead of arranging them in a big info dump at the beginning of the cookbook, where few users of his cookbook would ever read them.
Even if Herbivoracious wasn't really well organized with great pictures, I would recommend this cookbook for one simple reason: the recipes are awesome.
The recipes I tested were really clear and easy to follow. Once I'd prepped my ingredients the dish invariably came together quickly and easily exactly the way Natkin said it would. And the results were delicious every time.
Recipe categories include Appetizers, Soups, Salads, four different sections of Main Dishes divided by cooking methods, Side Dishes, Desserts, Breakfast, and a Sauces, Condiments, and Basic Recipes section.
The condiments section alone is a taste revelation and includes intriguing recipes like Chimichurri, Grilled Pineapple Sauce, Onion Chutney, and more.
I thought the quinoa cakes were a really inspired and delicious way to use quinoa and the tasters found the tomato jam to be bursting with flavor, a little sweetness, and just the right amount of heat.
The tasters also really liked the combination of the sweet caramel glaze and the onions in the Caramel-Cooked Tofu. If you have been wondering how to cook tofu a new way, definitely give this vegan tofu recipe a try.
Sometimes after I have reviewed a cookbook, it goes on my shelf and I never open it again. Others inspire a period of cooking and creativity in the kitchen. In this case I am nowhere near done trying all the exciting recipes that Michael Natkin has included in Herbivoracious.
Future dishes from Herbivoracious that I plan to try include Thai Tofu Salad, Chickpea Fritters, Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans and Tofu, Blue Potato Tarts, Banana Raita, and Spectacular Chocolate-Espresso Brownies, because you can never have too many brownies.