Vegan Cooking for Carnivores Review
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Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres decided to go vegan for ethical and health reasons, but they were worried that they would feel deprived. When non-vegan chef Roberto Martin interviewed for the job as their personal chef, he didn’t know if he could cut it. What all three discovered was that one could create delicious vegan fare by keeping the technique and changing the ingredients. That is the basis of Martin’s cookbook, Vegan Cooking for Carnivores.

The title says it all. Martin takes 125 classic international recipes that originally included animal protein and/or dairy and substitutes vegan ingredients, such as tofu and soy milk. Some recipes are simple—such as twice-baked potatoes using vegan butter and cheese or mac and cheese using vegan cheese and cashew cream. I was afraid that the tamale and stuffed pasta recipes would be too labor-intensive, but Martin claims that they’re easy to make. He thoroughly instructs readers to prepare these items, explaining the techniques used—so perhaps I’ll gather up enough courage to try them.

In fact, Martin leaves nothing to chance. He includes instructions for soaking beans and preparing tofu. He explains terms used, such as large and small dice, using photos to elaborate. Which knives should you own and how do you care for them? What’s in a well-stocked vegan pantry? He covers all of it.

The ingredients used are readily available. He uses brand-name vegan products—some as simple as Pillsbury pie crust or Grey Poupon mustard or Ghirardelli chocolate chips.

If you’re looking for a low-calorie cookbook, however, this book may not be for you. You’ll have to run the ingredients and portions through your phone app to find out the nutritional breakdown. Martin also doesn’t list estimated preparation time for each recipe, so you’ll have to decide what you’re up for. On a few recipes, he says whether you can make them ahead (including explaining how to store them), but he doesn’t do so for enough of them.

From breakfast dishes to soups, salads, entrees, desserts, sauces, appetizers, and (whew!) so much more, Vegan Cooking for Carnivores is a complete cookbook. This gorgeous book filled with mouth-watering photos makes the perfect gift for the person who loves meat and dairy but wants to eat healthier. I sure enjoy it—and, yes, I think I will try to make those yummy-looking tamales!

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