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 Post subject: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:40 pm 
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I saw this book at work, and I just have to say, mercy me, it looks fan.tas.tic. The one drawback is that it is one of those cookbooks were the recipes aren't all on one page (or on facing pages). it just reads like a book. That kinda irks me because it's like 1/2 the ingredients are on one, and the rest are on the other.

Minor drawback.

It is a THICK book, and it is full of Robin's wisdom and how to crockpot cook, and in the margins it says what pot was used (it's mostly a big one, a 5.5-7 ish) but they all say that you can use a 4ish or whatever unless other wise stated. The font is green-yblue ( and black for the actual recipes).
I won't even feel ashamed admitting I bought a new crock pot JUST for this book. (well I lie, for Kathy's vegan crockpot book too). I always wanted a programmable one, and a BIG one, my roommate and I share her 3.5 quart, but as she's not vegan (OR vegetarian) I want one that's 100 percent never seen an animal byproduct ever. (plus it has a spiffy cooking rack for slow-cook baking.

:) I can't wait to delve into it. hurry up amazon!

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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:56 am 
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Robin has been re-releasing quite a few of her older vegetarian cookbooks, but cleaned up for a vegan audience. here's the original (?) version from 2004 (which a lot of people weren't impressed with, according to the reviews). i wonder how much has been changed in this new edition.

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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:43 pm 
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EmperorTomatoKetchup wrote:
Robin has been re-releasing quite a few of her older vegetarian cookbooks, but cleaned up for a vegan audience. here's the original (?) version from 2004 (which a lot of people weren't impressed with, according to the reviews). i wonder how much has been changed in this new edition.


This was one of my first vegetarian cookbooks, and while I don't use it that much anymore, I really like it.

I want this one, but too many cookbooks, blah blah blah. I'm sure I'll get it eventually. I was really crossing my fingers to win one of the blog giveaways.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:03 pm 
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I believe this book is supposed to be all new recipes, not a remake of the old one at all. I think she answered this question on her blog. Fresh from the vegetarian slow cooker actually gave vegan subs for everything as well, anyway, so I don't think there would be any need to redo it vegan style. Fresh from the vegetarian slow cooker is awesome (not sure why the bad reviews--there are a lot of idiots on Amazon, though), and I'm really looking forward to seeing this new book as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:50 pm 
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I find that a lot of the negative reviews on Amazon on vegan cookbooks tend to be like this:

A: I can't find the ingredients, it's too exotic. (and it's something like tumeric or something). so basically should they LOOK they should find everything that they need,

B: it's bland
(I find that Robin, Dreena Burton and Alicia Simpson err on the side of "bland" and you really need to season to taste, rather than Isa who just seasons it all up).

C: it's not healthy. (pft. whatever).

Anyway. I can't wait to get this.

creep. I am on a cookbook hiatus right now. I have 3 that are coming (Joni's Vegan Gifts, Jennifer's Gluten Free Breads and Terry's Vegan Eat World) then I can't buy anything until. a long long time.

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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:40 am 
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My pet peeve are those who claim that oils made from plants do not belong in a plant-based diet.

Are there perhaps instructions for cooking the dishes in a pressure cooker or regular pot (or would that negate the point of the book)? Slow cookers aren't that common here. I could probably find one abroad, but I'm afraid I can't justify buying another kitchen appliance at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:13 am 
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rhelune wrote:
Are there perhaps instructions for cooking the dishes in a pressure cooker or regular pot (or would that negate the point of the book)? Slow cookers aren't that common here. I could probably find one abroad, but I'm afraid I can't justify buying another kitchen appliance at the moment.

i'm sure you could make the recipes in a regular pot over low heat, and it won't take as long to cook.


daisysunshine wrote:
I find that a lot of the negative reviews on Amazon on vegan cookbooks tend to be like this:

i agree, most of the negative reviews are really petty - my two favorites are "this book uses beans too much" and "ewww, vegetarian haggis, who'd want to eat that?!"

some of them do offer useful criticism, like the fact that many recipes tell you to sautee stuff in another pan before putting it in the slow cooker, or that the cooking times tend to be too long and yield mushy food. but all this is probably irrelevant, since apparently it's a whole new book and not just a reprint.

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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:58 am 
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I'll admit that I thought the original was pretty bland and uninspiring. I look forward to reading reviews of this new one. I gave away my old one, but I'd be willing to check this one out if people like it.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:04 am 
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EmperorTomatoKetchup wrote:
rhelune wrote:
Are there perhaps instructions for cooking the dishes in a pressure cooker or regular pot (or would that negate the point of the book)? Slow cookers aren't that common here. I could probably find one abroad, but I'm afraid I can't justify buying another kitchen appliance at the moment.

i'm sure you could make the recipes in a regular pot over low heat, and it won't take as long to cook.

I'm not sure if there is anything about this in the new book, but if you read online about slow cooking I'm sure you'll find something. There are various formulas for converting regular recipes to slow cooking, which I'm sure you could just use backwards. It would be important to decrease the amount of water and decrease the cooking time. However, I'm not sure about the merits of buying a slow cooker cookbook if you don't have a slow cooker.

EmperorTomatoKetchup wrote:
daisysunshine wrote:
I find that a lot of the negative reviews on Amazon on vegan cookbooks tend to be like this:

i agree, most of the negative reviews are really petty - my two favorites are "this book uses beans too much" and "ewww, vegetarian haggis, who'd want to eat that?!"

some of them do offer useful criticism, like the fact that many recipes tell you to sautee stuff in another pan before putting it in the slow cooker, or that the cooking times tend to be too long and yield mushy food. but all this is probably irrelevant, since apparently it's a whole new book and not just a reprint.


The first is a valid criticism of the old book, although it will greatly improve the flavor of the food. The book does have instructions to sauté garlic and onions in the crock, which works ok in a pinch but in my experience didn't really brown things. I think my slow cooker takes too long to heat up.

The second usually is not really a criticism of the book (Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker) at all, though. The book has a brief and very informative section in the front explaining variations in cooking time. The size of the slow cooker, the temperature of the ingredients, the amount of food inside, variations in individual models and even the color of the crock all contribute to the cooking time. People who are complaining about the cooking times being too long didn't take the time to read this section, and perhaps even ignored the fact that every cooking time is stated as a range (6-8 hours, which to me does not mean you should be certain that leaving it for 8 hours will not give mushy results--I would want to check it at 6). Any slow cooking blog or website worth its salt will tell you that you really do have to get to know your slow cooker a little before you can be certain about cooking times. That doesn't mean your food won't turn out from day 1, but you should be around in the last few hours of cooking to check on it at least for the first few times.

I have a large 6 1/2 quart slow cooker with a black crock, and if I fill it only half full or less, it definitely shortens the cooking time, and the food may even burn around the edges. For most recipes in Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, I need to double or multiply the ingredients by 1.5 to get a reasonable amount. Even so, my slow cooker runs a bit hot and most foods will be done closer to 6 hours.

Anyway, that's probably more about slow cooking times than anyone wanted to read. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Agree with Beanitarian. I actually thought she also did a good job in the book explaining the decision to call for sauteeing onions and such separately. If you just throw them in raw, the recipes will still come out, but she thinks the extra flavor makes it worthwhile.

I would like to see a little more variety on cuisines - this one definitely has a European bean dish bent to it. The recipes I've seen from her new one look a lot more varied, so it sounds like a good complement. I think this might be part of the perception of Robin's recipes as bland; I get the impression from demos that she has a traditional European restaurant background, and European food, for historical reasons, does not get flavor from spices.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:06 pm 
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You're right, I shouldn't buy it before I decide to buy a slow cooker. Photos of the dishes look so yummy, that's why I wanted it.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:15 pm 
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EmperorTomatoKetchup wrote:
Robin has been re-releasing quite a few of her older vegetarian cookbooks, but cleaned up for a vegan audience. here's the original (?) version from 2004 (which a lot of people weren't impressed with, according to the reviews). i wonder how much has been changed in this new edition.


i didn't realize that! i have the old one and lots of stuff in it looks good, but i don't actually use the book much, probably because there are no recipe pics and I love me some recipe pics. it is actually vegan, not vegetarian, but i've looked over the new one in b&n and it looks even better than the old one.

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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:43 pm 
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I have both, and although I haven't sat down to do a side-by-side comparison, I really do not think the new one is a revision of the old one. The new one seems to have a lot more recipes.

We had the Split Pea & Barley Stew for dinner last night, and it was delicious.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:34 pm 
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Made the Chili Mac today. This is a great pantry friendly recipe. It uses either store-bought vegan shredded cheese or a homemade nooch & cashew sauce, your choice. I went with the Daiya since it was less WW points than the homemade sauce. ;) It turned out great and tastes great too. Good-sized servings and very filling!


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:57 pm 
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I had the book on its way to me when I came across her slow cooker recipe for Puttanesca Pizza online. I was a bit skeptical but curious, so I halved the recipe (small slow cooker) and gave it a go. So good! The crust is not unlike thin crust pizza and the sauce was great. I just received the cookbook yesterday and I'm looking forward to trying a lot of these recipes.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:36 pm 
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I'm curious about this book. I hope my library gets it. Robin posted pictures on her pinterest:
http://pinterest.com/robinvegan/fresh-f ... ow-cooker/


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:58 pm 
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I have this book (yet to use) and a (free) new slow cooker. Hmmmmm.

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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:03 pm 
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I am totally confused about this book now. Looking at the table of contents, it appears that most of the recipes from the old book are included, plus a few new ones. I wonder what percentage is new material. I'll have to investigate further.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:46 pm 
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We had the mulligatawny tonight...it's delicious. It definitely makes 6 servings though unless you have HUGE bowls.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:24 pm 
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I'm really liking this book, I've made two recipes so far and both were yummy, and there are lots more I want to try. My first recipe was the Ethiopian tempeh and red lentils dish. An omni coworker walked by my desk and said "Is that your food that smells so good?!" He was crushed he couldn't just walk down the street and buy it. :)

Last night I made the baked potato soup (with added broccoli, since I had some I needed to use). Also very tasty.

I was just reading an interview about the new book, and this is what she said about the differences between it and the older one:

Quote:
Well, the 2004 book, which I actually wrote in 2002, is mostly vegan, but it does include options for dairy products, at the request of the publisher at the time. The new book differs in several important ways from the previous title. Most notably, it’s 100% vegan, but the recipes in the new book also use less oil (many of them can be made oil-free). The recipes are also marked as being either gluten-free or soy-free (or both). Ten years have passed since I wrote the first book, and rather than reinventing the wheel, a lot of the basics remain the same, with updates. I used the experience of the first book as a jumping off point to share new recipes, techniques, and ideas I have developed since then.


http://chicvegan.com/interview-series-robin-robertson/


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:52 pm 
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akasha wrote:
I was just reading an interview about the new book, and this is what she said about the differences between it and the older one:

Quote:
Well, the 2004 book, which I actually wrote in 2002, is mostly vegan, but it does include options for dairy products, at the request of the publisher at the time. The new book differs in several important ways from the previous title. Most notably, it’s 100% vegan, but the recipes in the new book also use less oil (many of them can be made oil-free). The recipes are also marked as being either gluten-free or soy-free (or both). Ten years have passed since I wrote the first book, and rather than reinventing the wheel, a lot of the basics remain the same, with updates. I used the experience of the first book as a jumping off point to share new recipes, techniques, and ideas I have developed since then.


http://chicvegan.com/interview-series-robin-robertson/


Thank you for finding this! I knew I had read it somewhere, but then couldn't find it on her blog (because it wasn't there...). Anyhow, I guess that last sentence made me think it would be mostly new material and a few new and improved versions of the old recipes, but it seems to be the opposite. I guess I'll pass for now unless I hear about new recipes I really must make, as I have really only made a handful of recipes from the old book.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:02 am 
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Made the Holy Mole Red Bean Chili yesterday. I wasn't sure I'd like it because the combination of ingredients sounded a little odd, but it was the best chili I've ever had (and I've made a lot of chili recipes). Served on brown rice and mixed a little pepperjack Daiya in with the serving bowl. My omni son gave it an "A" (have previously not been able to get him to even try any dishes containing seitan).

I'm intrigued by the pizza recipes in this book. Has anyone tried these yet?


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:31 am 
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"I'm intrigued by the pizza recipes in this book. Has anyone tried these yet?"

fenice wrote:
I had the book on its way to me when I came across her slow cooker recipe for Puttanesca Pizza online. I was a bit skeptical but curious, so I halved the recipe (small slow cooker) and gave it a go. So good! The crust is not unlike thin crust pizza and the sauce was great. I just received the cookbook yesterday and I'm looking forward to trying a lot of these recipes.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:32 pm 
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Beanitarian wrote:
akasha wrote:
I was just reading an interview about the new book, and this is what she said about the differences between it and the older one:

Quote:
Well, the 2004 book, which I actually wrote in 2002, is mostly vegan, but it does include options for dairy products, at the request of the publisher at the time. The new book differs in several important ways from the previous title. Most notably, it’s 100% vegan, but the recipes in the new book also use less oil (many of them can be made oil-free). The recipes are also marked as being either gluten-free or soy-free (or both). Ten years have passed since I wrote the first book, and rather than reinventing the wheel, a lot of the basics remain the same, with updates. I used the experience of the first book as a jumping off point to share new recipes, techniques, and ideas I have developed since then.


http://chicvegan.com/interview-series-robin-robertson/


Thank you for finding this! I knew I had read it somewhere, but then couldn't find it on her blog (because it wasn't there...). Anyhow, I guess that last sentence made me think it would be mostly new material and a few new and improved versions of the old recipes, but it seems to be the opposite. I guess I'll pass for now unless I hear about new recipes I really must make, as I have really only made a handful of recipes from the old book.


Ok, I figured out what's going on here. The Kindle version (I was looking at the Kindle preview) was actually replaced by the old book by mistake. Robin Robertson said she has notified her publisher and they have said this will be fixed ASAP.


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 Post subject: Re: Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker - Robin Robertson
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:03 pm 
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I definitely want to check this book out, because the older version is one of my favorite vegan slow cooker books. I know the title says vegetarian, but there are vegan instructions for all of the recipes. That's how all of Robin's books used to be, I think. I definitely agree that you have to season to taste with her books, but I tend to do that with almost all books. I generally use less salt, more pepper, and more of other spices.

I also really like Kathy Hester's vegan slow cooker book a lot, too, but I have to add more liquid to all of the recipes or they get burnt.


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