I really dig this cookbook. Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romero, are the funniest food writers I've ever encountered. It's like cooking with two gal pals who make you laugh, feed you well and give sound advice. It's just like that with Veganomicon.
It's fun to hang out with Terry & Isa while they toss around veggies and smart remarks. I had a great time, and learned quite a bit too.
Vegans like eating tasty food as much as the rest of us, the authors assured me, and they have the recipes to back it up. I found the recipes easy to read and appealing. I was gratified to see that they favor down to earth food, made from simple ingredients.
No crazed diet fad recipes either. Just really tasty food that's pretty healthy too. They are a bit more into Tofu, Tempeh, and Seitan than I am, and I just can't love capers the way they do. I still found a whole bunch of recipes I would really like to try, and I can tell that Veganomicon will still be on my cookbook shelf ten years from now, well used.
The recipes are all headed by neat icons that help you find the quick ones that won't require a trip to the health-food store to pick up unusual ingredients. Keep in mind that other grocery stores may not be as hip as New York grocery stores, and cast a weather eye over the list of ingredients to be safe.
There are nice clear complete directions for each recipe, and the authors never assume you'll already know how to do any of the steps - or in which order.
Nothing irritates me more than reading some weird direction with no follow up. None of that with Isa and Terry. Reading through the recipes, I felt that I could make any one of them - and my mouth watered often.
I tested the Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes, served with 5 Minute Mango Chutney. The directions were nice and clear, and they didn't even assume I already knew how to bake a potato. I do, but lots of people are starting their cooking journey from zip, so I was pleased to see the basics included.
The potatoes turned out great, and were indeed very samosa-like. My husband is already wondering when I plan to make them again (hint hint). The Mango Chutney was also tasty although when I make it again, I will cut the vinegar in half. It was a bit acidic for my tender tummy.
The prelude to the recipes is a 44 page treasure, packed full of cookware buying, pantry stocking, spice cupboard filling advice. They also lay out the basics for cooking beans and grains and explain why boiling is really "kind of a mean thing to do to a vegetable."
If you're a brand new vegan, this section is your life raft. More practiced cooks can pick up some good tidbits too.
The recipe selection is broad, with a good soup section (my favorite food), and plenty of recipes for sauces and salad dressings, which I really like, because I've always felt deficient in that area. You know how it goes. You make some basic food, then what do you put on it, or put it in? Veganomicon to the rescue!
Reading Veganomicon, I felt that I could give it as a gift to a brand new vegan, and rest assured that she would have a tasty varied healthy diet - even if she didn't buy any other cookbooks. Highly Recommend!
Zoë Keeland, Savvy Vegetarian