Marla Rose, author and co-creater of Vegan Street, took the time to write a fantastic book review of our two vegan cookbooks. It's shown below and has been posted to her website along with one of our recipes for butternut squash, white bean and kale ragout. Take a moment to check it out and if you're interested, consider purchasing the cookbooks for yourself.
by Marla Rose
The Best of Vegan Cooking and Dining with Friends
I think that one of the little known perks about becoming a vegan is the awakening of the palate. So many people have told me over the years that they didn’t really know how much they loved food, as well as the staggering variety of flavors and textures available, until they went vegan. Isn’t that ironic? While on surface, vegan diets restrict, in reality, we find ourselves eating an incredible diversity of foods that we never knew existed just a year or two before. I’ve often thought that I would love to compare the food diaries of the average omnivore and the average vegan as I am certain that the herbivore would eat way more variety that his or her omnivorous counterpart who can, by definition, eat anything edible to humans.
Recently, I was reminded of the amazing abundance available to us when I received two cookbooks to review, both titles published by the distinguished animal advocacy non-profit organization, Friends of Animals. The Best of Vegan Cooking and Dining with Friends: The Art of North American Vegan Cuisine, written and compiled by Priscilla Feral, the President of FoA, and the second co-authored with Lee Hall. These are books that revel in luscious, seasonal natural foods, prepared just enough to bring out the best of their flavors. The recipes in both compilations span the globe, with what seems to be a particular love for Mediterranean cuisines, especially Italian. (Dining with Friends even includes a helpful section called “The Art of Preparing a Perfect Pasta,” a great primer for those of us who never had an Italian grandparent.)
I found both books to be excellent for either the experienced or the novice home cook, with simple instructions, vivid descriptions, abundant photography and very helpful glossaries. The recipes do seem to favor simpler preparations with shopping lists that are not extensive, expensive or reliant on rare ingredients, which makes them ideal also for those just beginning to dabble in plant-based cuisine, but there are also some beautiful show-stoppers here, too, like the impressive Vegetable Carousel Torte with Pommes Soufflés Filled with Peas in The Best of Vegan Cooking. With everything from salads and soup to entrées, desserts and baked goods - even including a section on risotto in The Best of Vegan Cooking, perfect for the gluten-free among us - you really cannot go wrong with either (or both) of these treasures.
Please consider supporting the fiercely independent Friends of Animals and their tireless work on behalf of animals by ordering these impressive cookbooks. With the holidays coming up, these are also the perfect gift for yourself or someone else who enjoys delicious, healthful but still tantalizing dishes.