Monday, May 11, 2009

peta's vegan college cookbook (review)

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!

14 comments:

shellyfish said...

Thanks for the great review! I probably could have used this 10 years ago when I was in school... it is too bad that it calls for so many pre-made things. I really feel frustrated with cookbooks that call for soy curls, veggie patties, faux veggie sausage, etc. because they are often in the "junk food" category & not everyone can get them. But hey, this is a great resource for college kids (and, er, us) and if it can help someone stay vegan, then right on!

Lauren said...

Thanks fo rthe review! I saw a few blogs had posted about this book.. I think it's a great gift for some new vegans I know!

A_and_N said...

Thanks for the review :) I guess if they could talk about 'how' to make those 'chicken' strips etc., it would also help people to avoid processed food and keep things more natural.

jessy said...

that’s great that you got to review PETA’s cookbook – and very cool on it offering some tasty meals that are pretty inexpensive and also super easy to prepare! gotta love that! while i’m not one for pre-made & processed ingredients – it’s good that this cookbook is out there for those who are super busy with school (or even those living somewhere without stovetops!). thanks for the review, miss. v!

Bianca said...

I saw an ad for this book and it made a little sad that it didn't come out 8 or so years ago when I was in school, trying to live veg in a dorm with only a microwave. I wasn't vegan yet then, but I'd probably have gone all the way if I'd had resources like this book.

veggievixen said...

interesting...i would totally get it if i was still a college student!

Alyssa said...

this is funny, because i just saw this book in a peta email today.. and here is a review! sounds like a book for me, i'm a quick and easy cook..lol

LK said...

It's so awesome to have more and more vegan cookbooks being published! This cookbooks sounds like a great resource for the new Vegans/Vegetarians, and for those who like simple and easy. As for me, quick and easy sounds just up my alley since I work too much! I'm a recent graduate too, and I think that many college students need some guidance in quick yet tasty, homemade cooking. :)

DJ Karma said...

I didn't like it, but I can see how some new college freshmen, who are new to vegan cooking, and only have a microwave and a blender might like it. I agree with the comment about the processed foods- they can get pretty pricey, and aren't the healthiest!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Nice review! That sounds like a perfect cookbook for college. I hope it does well.

JennShaggy said...

You come to LA, and it's on. I might be in Louisiana some time soon, though, if you're down for a road trip :)

Haha. You called me fancy pants.

Michelle Taylor said...

Just got the cookbook in the mail...can't wait to try this stuff out! Wish I had this while I was in college!

Recipe man said...

this looks great thanks.
im sure to make this real soon

Anonymous said...

thanks so much 4 the review, i was just looking for one cuz i wanted to order it from peta!