Book Reviews

Nourishing the Body and Recovering Health

By Ana M. Negròn, MD

One day, more than 10 years ago, Ana M. Negròn, MD, had an epiphany. She realized that what her patients needed was a new prescription — not one for more medications — but for nourishing plant foods. She began cooking with her patients and teaching them about the benefits of a diet based on whole plant foods. Her book, Nourishing the Body and Recovering Health, was written as "a guide to better health and wellness through excellent nourishment."

The book begins with a 6-week plan for changing to a healthier lifestyle and includes ideas for continuing beyond the first six weeks to a lifelong commitment to better health. Subsequent sections provide guidance on stocking the pantry and refrigerator, nutrition basics, the use of foods to combat common chronic diseases, and much more. Dr. Negròn is a wise woman and her message is clear and compelling — there is a strong and important connection between food and wellness.

Nourishing the Body and Recovering Health (ISBN: 978-1-63293-064-4) is published by Sunstone Press. It has 283 pages and retails for $24.95. Look for this book in your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD.

Vegan Bowls

By Zsu Dever

More and more restaurants are serving bowls today, and this cookbook offers a wide variety of vegan bowl recipes. Some of the unique dishes include Quinoa Breakfast Bowl, Sizzling Southwestern Fajita Salad Bowl, Hungarian Cauliflower Soup Bowl, Roman-Style Tempeh Bowl with Kale and Apple Salad, Philly Cheesesteak Bowl, Freekeh Stir-Fry Bowl with Broccoli and Shittake, Seitan Gyro Bowl, Enchilada Bowl with Pumpkin Cream Sauce, Braised Butternut Bowl with Sage and Chard, Jerk Tofu Bowl with Coconut Rice, and Lebanese Fatoush Bowl with Portobello Kebabs.

Vegan Bowls (ISBN: 978-1-941252-15-4) is a 192-page book with beautiful color photos. It is published by Vegan Heritage Lifelong Books and retails for $32.50. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook

By Ginny Kay Mcmeans

When I come home from work, I wish there were some delicious vegan meals in my freezer that could easily be heated up and served. This cookbook offers 125 freezer-friendly recipes that you can prepare ahead and store in your freezer for later use.

Chapter 1 includes party pleasers such as Cauliflower Chickpea Pizza Bites, Lentil Balls in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce, and Soft Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzel Bites. The next chapter offers breakfast dishes, including Chocolate Layered Cinnamon Rolls, Orange Pecan Muffins, Classic Breakfast Burritos, and Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes.

Chapter 3 offers soups and chili such as Poblano Chiles Pinto Bean Soup, Creamy Mushroom Tomato Soup, and White Bean Chili. You might want to serve a side dish provided in the next chapter, including Green Bean Casserole, Cauliflower Tots, Fresh Corn with Chipotle Maple Sauce, and Vegan Sausage Dressing.

Hearty meals are included in Chapter 5, such as Lasagne Rolls, Red Lentil and Rice Loaf, Vegetable Enchiladas, Vegetable Curry, and Pasta Chili Bake.

The book also includes sweet dishes such as Chocolate Matcha Mint Cookies, Big Fat Cherry Pecan Cookies, Carrot Cake Cupcakes, as well as frozen desserts including Chocolate Espresso Ice Cream and Strawberry Bonbons. Nutritional analyses are not provided; however, you will find color photographs and helpful tips throughout the cookbook.

The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook (ISBN: 978-1-58157-304-6) is a 304-page book. It is published by The Countryman Press and retails for $24.95. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

The Art of Vegan & Gluten-free cakes

By Emily Lael Aumiller

Have you ever wondered how bakers make gorgeous vegan cakes for weddings and other festive events? Emily Lael Aumiller has produced a cookbook which shows you step by step how to bake and decorate a wide variety of vegan cakes. Beautiful color photos will entice gourmet cooks to start baking immediately.

Some of the types of cake you can bake include Mexican Chocolate Cake, Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cake, Lemon-Poppy Cake, and Classic Red Velvet Cake. Then you can produce Madagascar Vanilla Bean Icing, which can also be modified with a few additions to make Lavender-Rosemary Icing, Strawberry-Basil Icing, Rosewater-Raspberry Icing, Espresso Icing, and others. Emily also shows you how to decorate cakes, including making sculpted flowers on wire, producing icing domes, making 3D circles, and so much more.

The Art of Vegan & Gluten-Free Cakes (ISBN: 9978-0-544-19069-6) is a 352-page book. It is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and retails for $40.00. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

The Great Vegan Grains Book

By Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes

Celine and Tamasin have previously authored vegan cookbooks and this joint project is a terrific read, focused on vegan recipes using whole grains.

You can start your day off with breakfast dishes such as Apple Butter Spiced Millet, Roasted Pear Buckwheat Porridge, or Sausage Crumbles. If you’re looking for some unique entrées, try preparing Berbere Kamut with Avocado, Spelt Chili, Moroccan Wheat Berries, Saucy Peanut Eggplant and Freekeh, or Hearty Sweet Potato and Sorghum Curry.

Of course you may want to add some delicious side dishes such as Teff and Pea Fritters, Cracked Wheat Koftas, Aztec Tofu, Greek Barley, or Sesame Purple Rice. Finally, you can make soups and salads such as Roasted Corn and Barley Chowder, Minestrone with Teff, Rye and Sauerkraut Salad, and Warm Farro and Sweet Potato Salad.

The Great Vegan Grains Book (ISBN: 978-1-59233-699-9) is a 176-page book. It is published by Fair Winds Press and retails for $22.99. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.

Dining at the Ravens

By Jeff and Joan Stanford

The Ravens Restaurant at the Stanford Inn located in Mendocino, California, sources much of its produce from their certified organic garden. Now you can prepare some of their delicious vegan cuisine in your own kitchen!

Start your day off with one of their breakfast dishes, including Citrus Polenta with Braised Garden Greens and a Creamy Toasted Cashew Sauce, or Ravens Frittata and Quiche. You may also want to prepare baked goods such as Rustic Bread or Classic Breakfast Muffins.

Along with sauces, dips, and spreads, you’ll find some creative appetizers and side dishes, including Cauliflower Ceviche and Sea Palm Sliders. There are also delicious salads such as Chanterelle Waldorf Salad or Asian Sesame Slaw, and soups including Asparagus Soup with Pistachio Cream, or Roasted Fennel and Cannellini Bean Soup with Garlic and Sage.

Main dish options include Vegetable Napoleon, Almond Hazelnut-Encrusted Tempeh, Forbidden Risotto with Sunchoke Lemon Cream, and Raw Lasagna. Of course, you don’t want to skip dessert! You can prepare Carrot Cake, Pecan Torte, or Lemon Custard Bars.

The cookbook also includes recipes for some pantry basics such as Tofu Ricotta and Shiitake Bacon.

Dining and the Ravens (ISBN: 978-1-941-63165-2) is a 283-page book. It is published by BenBella and retails for $19.95. You can purchase this book online or from your local bookstore.

Reviewed by Debra Wasserman.