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 Post subject: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:30 am 
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Huffs Nooch
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My family is in some pretty tough financial straits right now. I have a chunk of Amazon credit I've been using mostly for food, but last night I thought I'd allow myself just one new cookbook.

This turned out to be more difficult than expected. I'd have no problem choosing 4 or 5, but when going with only one I feel like it needs to meet all my needs - namely, have recipes I can make within my time and money constraints, not rely too heavily on not-readily-substituted soy products (my husband's allergic, and while I do cook with soy for myself, recipes for the whole family are what I most need right now), different enough to be inspiring but not so much that I need to buy a ton of new ingredients.

My most-used cookbooks include all the Isa/Terry ones, Vegan Diner, Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites and 500 Vegan Recipes, Yellow Rose Greatest Hits, Chloe's Kitchen, and the New Farm Cookbook (old school!).

Things I have wishlisted are Cookin' Crunk, Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day, Big Vegan, all the slow cooker ones, and Vegan Yum Yum, although I'm totally open to other suggestions. Theoretically I'm probably most interested in Cookin' Crunk, but I haven't been able to get much of an idea what the recipes are like from the info available online.

Any advice?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:31 am 
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I'd recommend Appetite for Reduction. It doesn't rely too much on soy, it has healthy and easy to find ingredients, and most importantly, it's full of absolutely delicious recipes.

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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:39 am 
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I second Appetite for Reduction, if you don't already have it!

I have Vegan Yum Yum and Kathy Hester's Vegan Slow Cooker and I hate them both. Sorry I can't offer feedback on any of the others!


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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:02 am 
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Huffs Nooch
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I have all of Isa's books already, and yeah, I'd recommend AFR too if I didn't already have it. It really is the best.


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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Vegan on the Cheap would also be a good alternative.


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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:34 pm 
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Robin Robertson's quick fix vegan has a lot of good, simple and budget friendly recipes.

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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:36 pm 
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You have all the ones that I use the most! Have you checked out the individual book threads in the cookbook forum? I think reading through them might help you decide.

Edited to say, you probably have since you posted here, but I thought I'd put it out there!

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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:38 pm 
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Appetite for Reduction is pretty great, I've gotta agree. I use it quite a lot. I haven't really used Vegan Sandwiches save the Day much yet. I also like Alicia Simpson's Low Cal Vegan Comfort Food.

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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:50 pm 
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I love Kathy Hester's slow cooker book. I also love Robin Robertson's new one Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker. The slow cooker is a great way to stretch your budget, I think, if you already have one of course.


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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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Thanks, everyone! I do have a slow cooker and I don't use it much, so that's definitely very appealing. I've read a lot of the individual threads and between that and Amazon reviews, that's how I narrowed

I just had the bright idea of checking the library's website and they have a number of the books I was considering (plus some I hadn't thought about that looked interesting), so I put a bunch on hold. The two I'm really curious about that I didn't find there are Cookin' Crunk and Vegan Sandwiches. The former has really appealing recipe titles but the only actual recipe from it I could find online was watermelon salad, and hilariously, I'm allergic to melons. The latter I feel like I'll definitely own one day, but I've got probably hundreds of Celine's recipes I haven't tried from books I already own so maybe I should start there.

So still gathering data on those, but I think maybe I'll hold off until I see some of the library books - maybe there'll be one I clearly MUST own.


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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:37 pm 
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ugh
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Wait just a little longer for Terry's new book to come out!

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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:21 pm 
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I'm a big fan of Donna Klein's "Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen": http://www.amazon.com/Mediterranean-Veg ... 1557883599. All ingredients you can find cheaply in a supermarket, no meat substitutions, fresh and healthy food. The downside- no table of contents, no pictures. Boo. I will also agree with the suggestions for AFR- great healthy recipes, and when the recipe does call for soy it always offers an alternative, like white beans.

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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:07 pm 
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I'm pretty sure Bianca, the author of Cookin' Crunk, has some recipes or pictures of the food from the book on her blog http://vegancrunk.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:29 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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I didn't realize Terry's book was coming out so soon! OK, that's on the list.

I actually spent at least an hour going through the Vegan Crunk blog this morning - there were definitely a bunch of photos from the book (which look gorgeous - I also saw a Flickr set that was posted in the book's thread on this forum) but the few recipes I found were from other people's books. I may keep going through it later, but I ran across an interview where she said she rarely posts recipes because she's saving them for the book, so I'm not super-optimistic. If I ever get over this stomach bug I may toddle three blocks east to Barnes & Noble and see if they have a copy.

(Is it weird to spend your days going through cookbooks when you have the stomach flu?)

I've given away probably twice as many vegan cookbooks as I still have because I rarely used them - recipes took too long, had too many expensive ingredients, etc.* - so I'm trying to make sure new purchases are things that'll get some actual love.

*And yet the Millenium Restaurant Cookbook remains, my one tiny symbol of optimism...


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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:02 pm 
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another vote for vegan on the cheap. :-)

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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:37 pm 
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supercarrot wrote:
another vote for vegan on the cheap. :-)


Me too. When I'm feeling broke as a joke, this is the cookbook I go to!


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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:15 pm 
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I think Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day would be a terrific addition. Sandwiches are awesome for packed lunches at school and work and usually pretty easy to throw together. And tasty. And convenient.

Granted, Hearty Meals for Monster Vegan Appetites might be a better bet, just because it's getting cold out and it seems to be full of hot delicious meals, that make a lot of servings.

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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:28 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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Thanks again, all! I actually have Vegan on the Cheap but haven't made anything from it yet... I should get on that. Hearty Vegan Meals I have and use a LOT.


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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:38 pm 
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elizabee wrote:
I've given away probably twice as many vegan cookbooks as I still have because I rarely used them - recipes took too long, had too many expensive ingredients, etc.* - so I'm trying to make sure new purchases are things that'll get some actual love.


I tested for Terry's book and I really love it (it's my favourite cookbook and it hasn't even been released yet!), but that being said, it doesn't sound right for your situation. A lot of the recipes are quite authentic, so they take a bit of time and use specific ingredients. Nothing outrageously expensive, but I did buy a lot of different soy sauces and things like that during testing. Of course there are some quick, weeknight-friendly things, but you shouldn't go into it expecting to find it full of recipes that you can just duck down to the grocery store to get the ingredients for, and have on the table in half an hour.

I really do highly recommend the book, but I would hate for you to use up that credit on something that won't meet your needs right now!

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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:03 pm 
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Hmmm

As much as I love Vegan Sandwiches -not all of them are pack up and go.. (but you can totally make it work for you)

I think for this situation, I'd go with Vegan on the Cheap OR Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker.

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 Post subject: Re: There can be only one: a shopping dilemma
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:43 am 
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I would go for Quick Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson....

I have Vegan Sandwiches and since I got my cookalong weeks mixed up, I already made 3 dishes from that cookbook and all were super tasty. Some of the recipes in the cookbook rely on making you own seitan (such as the moo-free cutlets and such) but for me, since I fear seitan, I just either omitted it or subbed tofu. The majority of the recipes call for fresh ingredients, and from what I gather, none rely on any store-bought processed fake meat or fake dairy stuffs.

Personally, as much as I enjoy the Vegan Yum Yum blog, I've seen the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook in the store, and I was not impressed. As other reviewers have mentioned, the book does not seem to be put together in a really sturdy way and I think many of the recipes in her cookbook were just literally cut and pasted from her blog and I don't think any new recipes were created for her cookbook as they were all from the blog. Before her blog was redesigned, you could click the archive button on the top and see a list of all recipes she's made, now you have to click by the month and it only shows 2 at a time.

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