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Posts Tagged ‘vegan on the cheap’

Cookbook Review: Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day by Ellen Jaffe Jones

July 18, 2012 7 comments

A couple of plates of food with the new of the cookbook on a banner over them.Summary:
This cookbook is a response to the myth that eating vegan must be expensive. Jones offers up recipes and a 7 day meal-plan where each day costs $4 or less.

Review:
The idea of this book is great, but the execution is poor, particularly compared to other eat cheap vegan cookbooks such as Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson or The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon.  The recipes simply lack creativity and skimp on flavor.

The book features an interesting introduction on why veggies and fruits don’t get ad space, followed by chapters on financial planning for grocery shopping and veggie nutrition and cooking.  Both of these chapters are kind of common sense, but I am fully aware a lot of adults, particularly young adults, are completely lacking in this common sense, so these chapters are good to have.

The recipes are divided into: breakfasts, soups, salads, salad dressings, entrees, spreads and sides, and desserts and snacks. Now, I have nothing against soups or salads, but to have three chapters really devoted to those two things (I mean, a whole chapter of salad dressings? Come on!) is not offering up much variety or doing anything to dispel the myth that vegans just eat salad.  To top it off, the entree chapter  starts with a chili and a stew, which are basically chunkier soups.

I also feel that a lot of the recipes are pure common sense.  There is a recipe titled rice and beans. COME ON NOW. You make rice, stir-fry up some beans and veggies, boom, rice and beans.  If you’re offering up a book on eating vegan on the cheap, don’t offer up recipes that we all already know anyway and that are commonly thought of as a poor man’s food.  What a person looking at this cookbook wants is creative, cheap, delicious vegan recipes.  What we are offered is basic stir fries, basic pasta and sauce, basic salad, etc…  For instance, the salad “recipe” on page 50 just offers up a list of veggies and nuts then says “combine any five of these ingredients.”  Gee, thanks, I had no idea that a salad is made up of a combination of veggies. What a help!

Now, I did try making a recipe in the cookbook, “Sweet Potato Muffins” on page 35.  The pros: it was cheap and edible. The cons: it was barely edible and I felt like I was having hockey pucks for breakfast.  There has got to be a better way to make vegan sweet potato muffins. There just has to be.  And, side-note, I’ve been cooking long enough to know that when a recipe fails this badly, it is most likely not my fault. Particularly when I try it a second time, and it still fails.

So overall I suppose if you are an absolute complete beginner in cooking and wanting to eat plant-based, you might find this book moderately useful.  I’d recommend to you that you get Vegetarian Cooking For Dummies instead though. (Seriously, that’s what I used when I first went veg).

2 out of 5 stars

Source: Public Library

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Friday Fun! (Holiday Swap)

December 24, 2010 4 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  This year I get to have Christmas Eve off since Christmas falls on a Saturday.  Yay!  I am writing this blog post sitting on my couch with a snoring kitty on my lap listening to decidedly not holiday themed music.  Hehe.  My dad is coming to visit me this weekend for the holiday.  He should be arriving in a few hours.  I already cleaned all the things! so now I get to just relax, blog, and read.

I was really excited to discover my book blogger holiday swap present on my front porch this morning!  What excellent timing!  I was also thrilled to see it came all the way from California.  It was like receiving a box of warm sunshine.  Val of Truth Be Told really went all out.  I was surprised to see so many presents to unwrap when I opened the box. 🙂

So many presents!

Because I have almost zero patience or capability to delay gratification, I decided to open them right away. 🙂

I’m really touched and surprised to see how well Val understands what I like from just my blog and info I put in on the form.

Such wonderful presents!

The Scars bookmark really touched me, as it’s a book on self-injuring, and you all know how much I advocate for mental illnesses.  The necklace is truly lovely and really has a California feel to it.  I was just saying to some of my friends that I really need acquire more necklaces, so that was good timing.  The card from a local museum near Val is truly lovely too!  It’s definitely going to make it to my fridge.  The actual squeeing came when I unwrapped the books, of course though.  The Monstrumologist has been on my wishlist *forever*.  I’ve never even heard of Vegan on the Cheap (hard to find a veg cookbook I haven’t heard of), and it looks so amazing!  All the recipes sound amazing and most of them cost $1 to $2 per serving.  Such thoughtful presents!

Thanks a bunch, Val! You made my first holiday swap experience really awesome. 🙂

Happy holiday weekend everyone!