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 Post subject: First book
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 12:02 pm 
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probably been done before but I suck at searching and I'm pretty lazy too.....mostly lazy but at any rate.

What book would you recommend for a first vegan book/cookbook? Just a cookbook will do but a cookbook that also educates me on non-food vegan practices is a bonus.

Just to give you a background on me. For probably the better part of over 10 years my meat consumption has been around 2-3 meals a month with meat if that (haven't eaten chicken in over 4 years). I have lived with and dated vegetarians over the years and I am pretty much always the cook for some reason. Over time I have reduced the non-food animal products that I consume, it's pretty much been a journey more than a sudden arrival at an ultimate destination. Eventually late last year I cut out meat from my diet which really only changed a couple of meals a month at best. I do consume eggs and cheese (go easy on me) but am open to exploring alternative options as part of my over-all journey. This is not a commitment to veganism as much as it is a commitment to continuously improving without necessarily knowing where I'll ultimately end up. So having said that I probably have more knowledge on the subject than your average person that says one day "hey I'm going to go vegan for a month" but at the same time I could always use an education, there is always more I should know in order to work on this journey. That is why I say a book that goes beyond recipes and also into general vegan practices (i.e. what to look out for) would be a bonus to me.

As always, thanks for the help.

Craig

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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 12:12 pm 
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I would recommend the 30-Day Vegan Challenge if you can get your hands on a copy of the book. It can be hard to find though. She has developed an online version instead that guides you through it day by day. The book helped me a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 6:44 pm 
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craiger_ny wrote:

What book would you recommend for a first vegan book/cookbook? Just a cookbook will do but a cookbook that also educates me on non-food vegan practices is a bonus.

...

That is why I say a book that goes beyond recipes and also into general vegan practices (i.e. what to look out for) would be a bonus to me.


Hello, and welcome!

Meat had bothered me for many years - my inability to reconcile my love of animals with indifference to an animal on a bun/covered with ketchup - so I decided to go vegetarian last fall, and picked up a few books from Amazon.

One of those was "The Kind Life" by Alicia Silverstone. I'd seen her on Oprah a few years ago (coincidence, because I never watched Oprah and never was watching tv during the daytime hours, but just happened to catch it on a re-run). I'd recalled her discussion about veganism, which - at the time - seemed so extreme to me. But the book reviews were good, and Oprah had raved about it, so I gave it a try.

Reading that book made my other new vegetarian (non-vegan) books useless, because once I read HER reasons, and the information she provided about the lives of animals raised for their products (eggs/dairy) - which tend to be an even worse and extended existence than those raised for slaughter - I knew veganism was the way to go. It all just clicked for me. That was 8+ months ago, and I'm more happy every day about my decision. My soul feels at peace, as hokey as it sounds.

That book has a few starter recipes, but once I found PPK and the Isa/Terry library, I've never looked back. However, because you mentioned an interest in vegan lifestyle as opposed to solely recipes, I wanted to chime in.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 6:45 pm 
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VeganVamp wrote:
One of those was "The Kind Life" by Alicia Silverstone.


Whoops, sorry - it's "The Kind Diet" (thekindlife.com is her actual website).


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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 7:04 pm 
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I should have clarified. I am not looking for a book on vegan advocacy, I have my own reasons and justifications for what I do (no this is not a health fad thing for me). This is my journey and that is where I am right now. I am not looking to be convinced of this or that. I'm looking for a cookbook that helps one also understand how to comply with a vegan lifestyle so it would be more or less something that helps me understand label reading and product selection. Primarily I'd want it to be a cookbook. If it isn't a cookbook I am not really interested right now. If it is a cookbook that also educates me on how to be a smart vegan (not why to be one but how) then that is a bonus.

I'm looking for a cookbook first and foremost. Maybe this book I seek does not exist so if that is the case I would like recommendations on just a good book of vegan recipies for a first time buyer.

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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 7:21 pm 
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craiger_ny wrote:
Primarily I'd want it to be a cookbook. If it isn't a cookbook I am not really interested right now. If it is a cookbook that also educates me on how to be a smart vegan (not why to be one but how) then that is a bonus.


Yes, half the book is recipes. While good and wholesome, not my favorite or most-used vegan recipes. Still, lots of health background/lifestyle stuff (because she walks the walk: no leather, vegan line of makeup, etc). I don't take it as preachy or convincing but rather HER personal story.

Sorry if I misunderstood...


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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:32 pm 
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Vegetarians are welcome here too! :) I think you will find that if you are already a bit of a cook, you will find vegan cooking really rewarding. There are a lot of new flavors and cuisines that I bet you will find you like! I actually got REALLY into cooking once I went vegan.

Hmm..if you are already a decent home cook and are familiar around the kitchen, I would recommend Veganomicon. It is a HUGE cookbook of vegan recipes. There are beginner recipes, longer ones, and great chapter on deserts and breads. Lots of different cuisines are represented, as well as different types of recipes (pasta chapter, soups, brunch, etc). If you are not familiar with Tofu/Tempeh/Seitan then there is a great chapter getting started with those proteins. It's kind of like a vegan bible to a lot of us home cooks!

Vegan with a Vengeance was the first vegan cookbook I ever owned. There are some AMAZING recipes in there that are still in my regular rotation. The pad thai recipe is worth the price of the book alone. It is a book for beginner vegans, so there are lots of good tips and stuff in there.

Appetite for Reduction is another book that I love. I recommend it because I have an omni partner that I cook for at home, and we cook out of this very often. There are not a lot of weird vegan foods in there; it is heavy on the beans, grains, soups etc. Familiar foods for the most part, and very easy to make.

Honestly, go to a bookstore and look through some books! Most Barnes and Nobles have a pretty good Vegan cookbook selection.


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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:02 am 
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The first cookbook I'd recommend for someone interested in vegan cooking is 1000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson. It has an intro about veganism in general, special ingredients and all that, and of course tons of good recipes with various levels of difficulty.

The book I started with, though it has few recipes and mostly info, was Living Vegan for Dummies, and I liked it.

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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:12 am 
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In addition to the already recommended 1000 Vegan Recipes and Veganomicon, I would add Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson and How it all Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer as possibilities to consider. Unlike the first three titles which are quite large books, How it all Vegan is a slender paperback. That notwithstanding, it contains lots of great recipes and basic information so I think it deserves inclusion here.


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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Like you, veganism was a journey for me, not a sudden decision I made and the transition went on over years, really. I started cooking with more veg, started cutting out meat, then wanted to take the final step and cut out cheese and eggs and didn't know how to do that as a cook and apply to everyday, practical life. (I wasn't interested in advocacy books, either--just practical ways to live/eat as vegan as possible that I could do) and my first vegan book was Garden of Vegan which prompted me to buy How It All Vegan (cause that had the more basic recipes for condiments like an oil-and-milk based mayo which would be the kind of thing I'd really miss so needed to find vegan replacements I could make in the days before Vegennaise). So I cooked pretty exclusively from that pairing of books for my first eighteen months as a vegan. Then I discovered many other vegan books and a much broader culinary world opened up, but those did me fine for starters.

(I just bolded the key points as I 'm kind of blathering ^).

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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:27 pm 
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quick fix vegan by robin robertson. my hubby is not vegan but quite of few of his fave recipe come from that book. and of course, vegan with a vengeance, lots of good stuff in there too! the jerk (tempeh/seitan?) is soooooo good! we use tofu though.

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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:03 pm 
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I second the Veganomicon even though it doesn't really have that much about life style, if you read the whole thing you are bound to learn a lot. It has some of my most favorite recipes and it will teach vegan techniques too.

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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:20 pm 
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I rely and am frequently inspired by Isa's Vegan with a Vengeance - it covers such a wide range of dishes that over a very short period of time it makes vegan cooking easy and intuitive.

Just recently magnificent70s referred a really interesting reference book named Veganissimo A to Z which is not a cook book by any means. Instead, it covers both food and non-food items and contains an extensive list of ingredients and their origins; an explanation of product labeling; and a limited list of alternatives for many common items.


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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:41 pm 
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I second Quick Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson. An added bonus is that the recipes really are quick and easy, for the most part, and if you have an ebook reader, the ebook is only around $7.


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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:52 pm 
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Yeah, I love Quick Fix Vegan and have been using it lots lately. Quick recipes and nutritious, delicious food. No complicated ingredients but maybe a few ready-made things as suggestions (seeing as the focus of the book is quick fix food--sometimes suggested as shortcuts are things like a specially baked, seasoned tofu (like lemon pepper) that you can quickly and easily make yourself anyhoo).

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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:59 am 
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If you like meat and dairy alternatives, Betty Goes Vegan is a really great one. It uses a lot of fake meat and cheese, which isn't for everyone, but if you like your chickn strips and beefless beef, definitely check it out. Think recipes like BBQ wings, cheeseburger potato casserole, and giant english breakfasts. It includes reviews of all the good vegan products out there.

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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:26 am 
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LazySmurf wrote:
I second the Veganomicon even though it doesn't really have that much about life style, if you read the whole thing you are bound to learn a lot. It has some of my most favorite recipes and it will teach vegan techniques too.


Yeah, the 'Con. You will cook the most amazing meals from it that will educate you in the kitchen, and encourage you to press on to more of a vegan lifestyle. Plus, the writing is great, so you have two awesome vegan authors to inspire you. :)

If you aren't terribly experienced with vegetarian cooking (or even if you are), How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (Mark Bittman) is a fantastic resource.


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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:41 pm 
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Appetite for Reduction would be my first choice & then Vegan Brunch. They are the books I use the most & they are full of awesome delicious easy to make recipes.


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 Post subject: Re: First book
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:22 pm 
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Isa's Vegan with a Vengeance. Life changer.


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