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 Post subject: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:35 pm 
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Dear PPK brain trust: one of my sons is moving in with a few friends, and is interested in learning to cook "cheap, healthy" things. He plays in a hardcore band and knows lots of vegans, but let's just say the Amy's Burrito Diet is kind of the going thing among his friends and bandmates, so he hasn't done much cooking. While I applaud his impulse to eat "good food," I'm afraid that most of my own cookbooks are a bit beyond what he's ready for, so I'm looking for something more basic. Any suggestions for a young man who literally doesn't know how to cook rice despite (or maybe because of) being fed by me these past couple decades?

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:47 pm 
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The vegan stoner?

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:56 pm 
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Appetite for Reduction might fit the bill. Mostly easy, cheap, and quick. I learned to cook from Veganomicon. The recipes weren't all great for learning, but the intro sections were.

I branched out from the Amy's diet by cooking things from boxes first. I think it took me a whole 6 months to realize I could make bulk couscous with a 1:1 ratio without buying a box with instructions and seasoning pack.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:25 pm 
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Maybe How It All Vegan? Or How to Cook Everything Vegetarian if he doesn't mind a tome/tofu press.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:04 am 
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I started with La Dolce Vegan. I'm not a great cook, but I can follow a recipe now. LDV is also written in smaller quantities than a lot of my other books, which is really useful.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:09 am 
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Vegan with a Vengeance?

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:29 am 
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Oh, or Yellow Rose Recipes. That book has a very particular style though. I've used it a lot and think it's very accessible (with a few fancier recipes). I don't think it's as much of a teaching book as LDV though.


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:30 am 
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Vegan with a Vengeance taught me how to cook.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:41 am 
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blondiefk wrote:
Vegan with a Vengeance taught me how to cook.


Me too! I think The Vegan Stoner's probably a good shout too.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:51 am 
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+1 yummy for VWAV.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:32 am 
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The Vegan Family Cookbook is the one I would most recommend. No pictures unfortunately, but a good number and variety of really simple, basic recipes that seem great for teens or young adults learning to cook. Not the healthiest cookbook, not the worst either. I think it depends whether the person in question needs pictures to get motivated by a cookbook though.

1000 Vegan Recipes has so many recipes there are bound to be some easier ones, and he would have lots of choice. I used that book when I first became vegan. Or the Quick-Fix trilogy, also by Robin Robertson, has quick, yummy recipes.

The Vegan Stoner is the easiest, most colourful and most fun for a beginner in my opinion, but half the recipes are junk food unfortunately.

365 Vegan Smoothies has (obviously) easy recipes that are nourishing and healthy so I'd recommend that one too.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:44 am 
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also, the vegan on the cheap cookbook was pretty easy and extremely useful.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:44 am 
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Vegan with a Vengeance is a definite possibility. I'd never seen The Vegan Stoner, but I looked on Amazon and it seems pretty user friendly. I really love the first section of Veganomicon for all the basic "how to" stuff, but I think a lot of the recipes might be more involved than he's likely to engage with. He's basically at the point where he needs to learn how long to cook rice, vegetables, beans, etc...when he's on the road he mostly eats crepe and then feels like crepe, but when he's home he eats whatever I cook, and feels good, so he's ready to figure out how to feed himself cheaply and well. Anyway, thanks so much for the suggestions; keep 'em coming! I'd love to hear more about people's early experiences learning to cook (triumphs, tears, tribulations, etc.)!

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:50 am 
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When I got VWAV I'd only ever cooked pasta with jarred passata or pesto. Oh and toast with baked beans.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:06 am 
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jojo wrote:
When I got VWAV I'd only ever cooked pasta with jarred passata or pesto. Oh and toast with baked beans.
That was pretty much what my (adult, college professor) BF was living on before he moved in with me!

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:21 am 
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Desdemona wrote:
jojo wrote:
When I got VWAV I'd only ever cooked pasta with jarred passata or pesto. Oh and toast with baked beans.
That was pretty much what my (adult, college professor) BF was living on before he moved in with me!


Yeah, that, take out and ready meals was what I lived off for the first 4 or 5 years after I left home!! It's a good thing I became vegan otherwise I might still be eating the same old same old.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:27 am 
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I had Sarah Kramer's books - and I thought they were pretty great, but when VWAV came out it was a total game changer for me. I made that jerk seitan and it was the first time I'm ever said "I can't believe I made something this delicious!!!" Plus, I thought that signing up to be vegan meant a life without crepes OR French toast, so those recipes in VWAV really knocked my socks off!

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:04 pm 
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ameyfm wrote:
I had Sarah Kramer's books - and I thought they were pretty great, but when VWAV came out it was a total game changer for me. I made that jerk seitan and it was the first time I'm ever said "I can't believe I made something this delicious!!!" Plus, I thought that signing up to be vegan meant a life without crepes OR French toast, so those recipes in VWAV really knocked my socks off!
The Fronch toast was one of my first "holy moly!" vegan moments, too. I love crepes (especially with savory fillings), but I was too big a wimp to make them back when I ate eggs, and have yet to attempt them since being vegan. I should probably change that!

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:24 pm 
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Desdemona wrote:
I'd love to hear more about people's early experiences learning to cook (triumphs, tears, tribulations, etc.)!


Well, I learned to cook while an omni and using Betty Crocker's cookbook... It went well because the instructions were extremely precise and it was about impossible for anything to fail. My only failure with that book was caramels. But the recipes weren't healthy at all, which I wasn't even conscious of at the time! And it still took years before I truly felt at ease in the kitchen.

Sometimes I wish my vegan cookbooks were more precise, because when they simply say "cook the pancakes" or something, I imagine the complete beginner wondering: "how much batter per pancake? What temperature? How much time? How do I tell when it's done?" and it annoys me how it is assumed that readers already master cooking basics.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:27 pm 
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Vegan Stoner is good, also the Peta Vegan College Cookbook is very basic. I also thought Hot Damn & Hell Yeah was quite basic

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:49 pm 
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How about the Sexy Vegan Cookbook? Maybe a little "grown-up" in the chatter in the book, but the recipes are fairly simple and seem to me would be really nice for a beginner -- homemade pizza dough (and pizza recipes for the "Mario" and the "Luigi," "hangover hash," etc.

Also thought of the Hot Damn and Hell Yeah Cookzine, which is also pretty simple but seems to have a lot of "guy food." It's a split cookbook with "The Dirty South" that has southern-style recipes. http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/86/


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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:06 pm 
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magpie wrote:
How about the Sexy Vegan Cookbook? Maybe a little "grown-up" in the chatter in the book, but the recipes are fairly simple and seem to me would be really nice for a beginner -- homemade pizza dough (and pizza recipes for the "Mario" and the "Luigi," "hangover hash," etc.

Also thought of the Hot Damn and Hell Yeah Cookzine, which is also pretty simple but seems to have a lot of "guy food." It's a split cookbook with "The Dirty South" that has southern-style recipes. http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/86/


I was thinking of the Sexy Vegan too (but wrote it off for some reason) & maybe Vegan Pizza?

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:56 pm 
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I think Vegan on the Cheap is a good recommendation. It even has a recipe for how to cook rice on the stove (or in the oven). Plus the strategies for keeping things inexpensive would be good for someone starting out.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:16 pm 
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VWAV! I think Isa Does It is also really user friendly.

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 Post subject: Re: Cookbook recommendations for a fledgling cook?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:39 pm 
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Hey, I don't post often but my little sister just went vegan and I bought her this cookbook http://www.amazon.com/Teens-Vegetarian-Cookbook-Judy-Krizmanic/dp/0140385061. It's vegetarian cookbook but all the recipes have alternate vegan instructions and the whole thing is written in a so easy you literally cannot mess things up sort of way. Only thing I would say is that some of the recipes are underseasoned. My godmother gave it to me as a Christmas gift in, like, 2001 and I still have it and I don't plan on getting rid of it anytime soon.


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