In a genre of books that has a plethora of choices, it’s sometimes hard to stand out from every other cookbook. There are a variety of ways to do that though. For one, you can get two of the most recognizable cooks and vegan activists together. Victoria Moran, the founder of Main Street Vegan Academy pairs with JL Fields, the author of a variety of cookbooks such as “Vegan Pressure Cooking” and “The Vegan Air Fryer’ come together for “Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook.”
I’ve been listening to Victoria’s podcast, The “Main Street Vegan” for a couple years now and have been cooking from JL Fields’ cookbooks for the same amount of time, especially the air fryer one as I just finally bought an air fryer a few months ago. Needless to say, I’ve been a fan of both. So how do you make a book better than having just two recognizable people? You add a bunch of folks from the Academy itself, including a couple of friends of mine; Britt LoSacco and Danielle Legg.
What’s great about this book is these are really down to earth recipes and anyone can cook them. If you have questions there are little “coaches corner” tips that help you along. You will have the confidence to prepare a dish not only for your family to try but you will be making dishes to bring to the next potluck event. There’ even a chapter specifically for those events titled, “The Social Vegan.” At the end of the month I’m hosting a potluck so I’m thinking the “Sprouted Garbanzo Bean Hummus” on page 70 sounds pretty righteous!
“Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook” is not just a cookbook though, but it breaks down a ton o the common misconceptions of veganism and the movement. From debunking myths that veganism is expensive or complicated to activism and even how some vegans are shamed for the shape of their bodies; it’s a myth that we are all rail thin!
If you are new to veganism and are looking for a book that is helpful and welcoming, you’ve found it here. If you are looking for simple appetizer recipes, you’ve got it. Have a busy lifestyle and just want to add some stuff to a crock-pot and get on with your life? Yup, you’ve got that here too.
You can get the book at Amazon or head to the publishers site, Ben Bella Vegan for more information.
Continuing on in the series of cookbooks based on the acclaimed, and essential book, The China Study; this one focuses on families. Rather than just be a cookbook though that is loaded with recipes and no tips, Del Sroufe makes the transition easy for all. There are not only cooking tips, but recommendations on items to stock your pantry with in advance so you aren’t pulling your hair out looking for an ingredient.
One section of the book that I loudly applaud is the inclusion of cooking with your kids. My wife loves to bake with my sons. Being more of the savory cook, I always thought it would be hard to cook with these guys but I feel ready to try and approach the idea.
The book is a marvel to look at. The pictures are as simple as the recipes and let the food show itself and not get swallowed up in a busy backdrop. The layout is clean and recipes are as straightforward as you get. What I really appreciate is all the tips on each page. Even if you are a novice cook, the tips will break down certain techniques to help you get the result you want with the dish. Some of the recipes have less than 5 ingredients, hows that for easy?
I’ve spoken with some folks lately that talk about how involved vegan/ plant based cooking is; this book shatters that belief. Most of the recipes can be made with ingredients you have in your home, or can go down to the local grocer to get. Most of them are not niche items and can be made by those of any skill level, such as the homemade corn chips, potato wedges, sweet potato hummus or sloppy joes. Heck, you can make the corn and black bean salsa for those chips nearly as easy as the chips themselves.
There are some that are more adventurous recipes though such as the Mediterranean Loaf which I can’t wait to try. I’m really looking forward to making some of these dressings and sauces though. I’ve been getting really bored with the usual and these will give me a little liberty when trying to create flavors I used to enjoy. I appreciate that companies try to make vegan version of things like thousand island dressing, but they are processed and have preservatives in them to make them shelf stable. The recipes don’t have that and are much more fresh because you make them. The plant based mayo sounds like it’ll be fantastic.
The things I’m really looking forward to try and make is the chorizo. I’ve been trying to perfect my own jambalaya and again, have been trying to do it with less processed foods. Having some roots down in Louisiana, spicy foods and heat are most certainly my thing, The ingredients here are all whole foods and this recipe is mouth watering.
You can find more info out about this book and order it at http://www.benbellavegan.com/book/the-china-study-family-cookbook/