One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cookbook Review: Vegan Fusion World Cuisine

Lotus flowers, chimpanzees and Mt. Fuji are not usually images that come to mind when you think of vegan cooking. However, Mark Reinfeld and Bo Rinaldi's book Vegan Fusion World Cuisine turn every idea you have about a vegan cookbook on its head.

Before even reading one page of this book I decided to just thumb through it and see what it had to offer. I was captivated by the artistry of the book. It is literally a trip around the world not only of the culinary variety but through amazing pictures from around the world that blend seamlessly with photos of fresh and beautifully prepared food.

Once you get over the beauty of the book and delve into the "meat" of it you quickly realize that Vegan Fusion is a movement towards greater consciousness on all levels. From the inspiring and insightful forward by Dr. Jane Goodall, the UN Messenger of Peace, to the authors incredibly compelling explanations of why Veganism is so important. They explore veganism from the angle of health, the environment, politics, and ethics giving a well rounded argument of why one should go vegan and stay vegan.

Now I'm sure you're thinking "But what about the food?!" To put it plainly the food is delicious! Inventive yet uncomplicated recipes blending comfort foods with innovative raw foods and flavorful dishes that let the natural elements of whole foods shine.

Every cookbook should have 5 recipes you can't live without and after testing the majority of the book here are my top 5 from Vegan Fusion World Cuisine:

That's Amore Tofu Cacciatore (I used the roasted tofu variation but goes great with seitan too)

Shoyu Marinade

Shaka's Vegan Cheezcake

Green God Smoothie

J.J.'s Vegan Mayonnaise

In addition to my top 5 recipes my favorite section of the book is the condiments section which is perfect for those of you who live far away from stores that carry vegan mayo, sour cream or cheese (they have a great recipe for cashew cheeze).

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