Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Let's Talk Vegan Cookbooks

I was given a chance by Da Capo Press to review Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton.

I am so very grateful that they allowed me to have this book for review.

It contains 200 recipes that cover everything from breakfast to dinner to desserts (and everything else in between).

In addition to recipes Dreena provides a reference section entitled Plant Powered Pantry.  Here she discusses the variety of ingredients she uses.  She provides examples of their flavors, where to use them, how to cook them, what compliments nicely with them, etc.  For example:

I could sit and just read this section like a book and absorb all that she has here.  It is the perfect reference guide for those who may not be as familiar with whole foods or vegan foods.

In all of her recipes Dreena includes whether they are gluten free or nut free (to be sensitive to those with allergies).  This did serve to provide me with a little bit of confusion.

In my house we don't have any allergies or sensitivies to gluten.  So for me figuring out the various types of flour (millet, chickpea, rice, spelt, etc) has been a bit challenging.  It has been a welcome exposure though as I feel like I always depend on all purpose flour.  The flavors these flours provide enhance the recipes and have opened a new world for me.

The recipes also contain hints and tips through Dreena's "Ingredients 411" and "If This Apron Could Talk."

I selected two recipes from the book:

Coconut Banana Muffins

These have just a hint of banana, a slight chew from the coconut, and a crunch from the turbinado sugar topping. 

I was excited that oat flour was one of the ingredients as I got to make my own.  I took quick oats and gave them a spin in my vita-mix.  I was stunned because it worked like a charm and was so easy.  I doubted that it would make the flour so fine, but have no fear it really does work.

These were the perfect muffins to get my crew going on their first day of school.

I also tried out:

Lemony Luscious Almond Cake
topped with fresh strawberry sauce

Holy Smokes Batman...this is good.  The cake is super moist which is on account of adding 2 whole lemons.  Yes that step is what intrigued me to make the recipe.  You boil two lemons and they go in this cake (minus the seeds).

I love the combination of strawberry and lemon together so I chose the Dreena's strawberry sauce, instead of the maple sauce recommended by the book, to accompany the cake.

Overall I love the diversity of the book.  I am still struggling with the variety of ingredients that I don't normally keep on hand, but I am slowly adding items to my pantry so that I can make more of her recipes.

I think this cookbook is definitely one to be added to your collection.

If you would like to hear another opinion, and perfectly penned review check out Gena at Choosing Raw who also reviewed this book.


  1. Thank you for the shout out, Rachel, and for calling attention to Dreena's incredible work!

  2. Ohhhh... that cake looks amazing. Sounds like a good book! Vegan baking is the best.

  3. I would love to try a piece of the cake - looks scrumptious!

  4. That almond cake looks divine and anything with coconut makes me happy! Thank you for this great review. Eager to find the book!

  5. I agree... that cake looks very moist and perfect in consistency! A real winner!

  6. That almond lemon cake looks great! Sounds like an awesome cookbook, I'll have to check it out. :-)

  7. Both lemony almond cake and muffins look delicious, Rachael! Hope your little ones had a great first day of school. They are so cute! :)

  8. Thank you Rachel for your review. I really love that you showed a couple of visuals from my book - the pantry bit and with the tips I give in each recipe. I really appreciate the review, and more important... I'm so pleased you are loving LTEV! Thank you. xo

  9. Thanks so much for raising awareness of this book and sharing your opinions. It sound fantastic! I love cook books that are informative as well as innovative. This one will definitely go on my Amazon wish list for Christmas :)

  10. That cake looks divine! Perfect for a special occasion or guests...or for whenever I suppose!
    Thanks for linking up at Photo Friday Blog Hop! Those are some cute kids!
    Cheers and enjoy the long weekend!