Eating Plant-Strong!

Reviews by Kristina Sepetys

The choice to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet might be for health reasons, such as to control weight, blood pressure, or cholesterol. For some, it might be to honor personal commitments to living sustainably. Many people who follow plant-intense diets are interested in choosing varied and balanced ingredients to ensure proper nutrition and maintenance of good health. The cookbooks below share different personal approaches to nutritious, satisfying, plant-based eating. Visit our bookshelf for additional reviews of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks.


My New Roots: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every Season
by Sarah Britton
(Clarkson Potter, 2015)

Sarah Britton, a holistic nutritionist and popular blogger, is a strong proponent for cooking with fresh, locally grown produce. Her debut cookbook shares 100 of her favorite plant-based recipes, all beautifully photographed. Britton and her blog have attracted legions of followers—vegetarians, vegans, paleo practitioners, and gluten-free gourmets alike—eager to try her creative, adaptable, easily managed, and healthy dishes. In My New Roots, Britton assembles many of these recipes and describes the preparation techniques that are best in drawing out the most healthful and delicious properties of these foods. Follow the rhythms of the growing seasons with dishes like Freekeh Pancakes with Wilted Swiss Chard and Poached Eggs; Shaved Turnip and Radish Salad with Poppyseed Dressing; Dandelion Greens with Ghee-Poached Radishes and Smoked Salt; Black Lentil Salad with Tzatziki, Avocado, and Pea Shoots; and Apricot Rhubarb Clafoutis. All of the recipes are vegetarian, most with options for preparing vegan, and many of them gluten-free.


Veganish: The Omnivore’s Guide to Plant-Based Cooking
by Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose
(Viva Editions, 2014)

Mielle Chénier-Cowan Rose is a Bauman College–trained vegan chef who has worked for many San Francisco–area vegetarian restaurants, including Café Gratitude, for more than a dozen years. A devoted vegetarian for much of her life, she was exclusively vegan for 12 years until her young daughter developed severe tooth decay linked to nutritional deficiency, which according to the author, is somewhat common among children on vegan diets. With that diagnosis, Chénier-Cowan Rose changed her diet to restrict grains, beans, nuts, and seeds and include bone broths, marrow, raw dairy, and organ meats. Her choices were decidedly neither vegan nor vegetarian. But her daughter’s health improved “astonishingly quickly.” The experience made Chénier-Cowen Rose a “reluctant omnivore,” with a strong plant-based diet sensibility. Her cookbook includes more than 100 easy-to-prepare, exclusively vegan recipeslike Curtido Salad with Pepitas; Rapini with Garlic and Lemon; Spring Tonic Chee; Superfood Power Balls; Lemon Cashew Cheesecake; and Cashew Hollandaise Saucetogether with advice on eating healthfully as a vegan. Sidebars include “Omnivorous Variations” with suggestions for complementing a vegan diet with nutrient-dense animal products like organic bone broths, butter, ghee, eggs, and Parmesan cheese.


Vegan Beans from Around the World: Adventurous Recipes for the Most Delicious, Nutritious and Flavorful Bean Dishes Ever
by Kelsey Kinser
(Ulysses Press, 2014)

Kelsey Kinser is a pastry chef and she’s not vegan. But she’s a traveler with a deep appreciation for the vast array of bean-based dishes she’s found around the world. In her first book, Kinser shares nearly 75 recipes for soups, salads, snacks, sides, main dishes, and desserts like African Curried Black-Eyed Pea and Coconut Soup, Lobio Nigvzit (Georgian Kidney Bean Stew), Mesir Wat (Ethiopian Red Lentil Soup), Ewa Dodo (Nigerian Black-Eyed Pea Stew), Jamaican Peanut Porridge, and Black Bean Brownies. Recipes are straightforward and easily prepared with ingredients most readers keep on hand in their pantries. Although the combinations may lack some of the specialty spices and ingredients that give dishes from foreign shores their authentic flavor, vegans and bean lovers will appreciate the extensive list of recipes that can serve as a base for creating a varied mix of many hearty, satisfying bean-based dishes.