Monday, May 09, 2011

Book Review: The Part-Time Vegan

I enjoy cooking, and I love books, so it's no wonder that I adore cookbooks. I love sitting down with a good cookbook on my lap, poring through recipes and marking the pages (with post-it notes--no dogeared pages for me!) of recipes that I want to give a try. That's why I was looking forward to reviewing The Part-Time Vegan by Cherise Grifoni.

The book begins with a brief explanation of veganism. Basically, it's not eating any animal-based food--that means no meat, no dairy, no eggs, no gelatin. The book does not expound upon any moral or political issues associated with adopting a vegan lifestyle; to its credit, it merely attempts to provide recipes that fall under the vegan standards that are simple, healthy and delicious (criteria that I always look for in recipes).

Recipes are divided into categories ranging from appetizers to soups to pasta to desserts. There's also a chapter with 11 dinner plans with appetizer, main course and dessert selections to suit a variety of occasions.

I have a couple of complaints with this cookbook, and they are, in my view, pretty major complaints. First, there are NO pictures! One of my favorite aspects of reading cookbooks is seeing photos of the finished product (always helpful to have something to compare my cooking attempt to), and I was very disappointed to see that not a single photo is included in the book. That's a definite downside.

Another disappointment was the lack of nutritional information. You'd think that a cookbook filled with healthy recipes would gladly include nutritional stats such as calories, fiber, fat, etc., but not so with this book. If you're trying to watch calorie or carb intake, using these recipes could make that somewhat tricky.

On the plus side, I've already picked out quite a few new recipes from the book to try. I'm by no means a vegan (or even a vegetarian), but I do like to have several meatless meals throughout the week, so I am confident that many of these recipes I can easily incorporate into my usual recipe lineup.

That said, due to the lack of photos and nutritional info, if I were leafing through this cookbook in bookstore, I'd probably take a pass on it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through theBookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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