i don't always make my own recipes. i own a number of vegan, vegetarian and raw cookbooks that i love. sometimes i make the recipes exactly, and other times i'll thumb through them for inspiration. i was recently given the opportunity to review peta's vegan college cookbook, and i'm very happy to add this one to my collection.
this book is very different than any other vegan cookbook i have. why? the recipes are simple and straightforward - in a good way. there aren't a lot of unusual ingredients. most of the recipes call for a combination of 4-6 things total, and then a microwave. no stove, oven, crock pots, steamers, etc... things your typical college student wouldn't have access to. everything is quick and easy to make. and for the college vegan, time is precious.
and the recipes are good. they are things i like to eat now, and i'm long out of college. there are great recipes for burritos, pizza, sandwiches, chili, breakfasts, etc. and for those who don't sustain themselves on comfort foods while in college, there are also healthier recipes for salads and dressings, smoothies and one my favourites - skinny chick chickpea salad. another selling point for me - a section devoted completely to peanut butter. i lived off peanut butter in college... this would have been perfect!
the only thing i noticed is there are a lot of recipes for pre-made vegan ingredients - vegan burgers, chicken strips, burger crumbles, soy milk, etc. this isn't a 'bad' thing, but i didn't have a lot of money in college, and i wouldn't have been able to stock up on these ingredients. however, there are lots of recipes in the book that call for things like ramen, canned beans, potatoes, etc. - things i could afford and had lots of.
in general, this book is great for the college vegan and beyond. it's informative, and written in a fun and inviting way. there is nothing intimidating - i thumbed through the book and felt totally comfortable with tackling any of the recipes. and in fact, i know there will be times after work when i am too tired to cook and i'll pull a recipe out this book. i love that it's easy and doesn't require much time or effort to throw a pretty good meal together. if you don't have an idea for the high school (or even college) graduate, this cookbook would be unique and thoughtful.
congrats on a job well done, peta!