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Review of "Vegan Express"

By Nava Atlas
Broadway, 2008
Review by Christian Perring on Apr 1st 2008
Vegan Express

It's striking how most cookbooks have distinctive styles, and you can tell what the recipes are going to be like by browsing through the ingredients used.  Here are some from Vegan Express:

  • White Pizza with Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onions includes Portobello mushroom and firm tofu
  • Tofu Shakshouka includes onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes, paprika and turmeric
  • Garlicky Greens with Seitan and Soy Sausage includes kale and spinach
  • Lentils with Greens and Sun-Dried Tomatoes includes lemon juice, ground cumin and dill
  • Pasta Jambalaya includes onion, garlic, celery, green bell pepper, Tofurky sausage, canned tomatoes, dried basil, paprika, and thyme cayenne pepper

Neva Atlas has many recipes uses seitan, Tofurky, various forms of tofu, vegan cheese, tempeh, quinoa and polenta, as well as bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and spices such as paprika and jerk and barbeque seasoning.  She also has many recipes with strong Asian inspiration.  Some of her recipes have unusual taste combinations -- Dilled Red Beans with Pickled Beets, for example.  Many of her recipes are quite busy, with quite long lists of ingredients. 

The book is nicely designed with red and green print in different fonts, and a few color photographs of the dishes in the middle.  There are 160 recipes, and the book has a useful index at the end.  The ingredients promise strong tastes and a mixture of textures.  There are helpful menu suggestions with each recipe.  Atlas uses many pre-prepared ingredients and canned items as a way to cut down on preparation time, although recipes do not include any estimate of how long they will take to make.  Each recipe does give information about the content of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, fiber and sodium. 

For those who like the ingredients Atlas uses repeatedly, and want relatively quick and healthy vegan meals, Vegan Express will be a good resource. 

Link: In the Vegetarian Kitchen: Neva Atlas website

 © 2008 Christian Perring

Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York.

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