Thursday, August 1, 2013

Betty Goes Vegan

Betty Goes Vegan: 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Family
Annie and Dan Shannon

Growing up, I learned to cook from my mother’s Betty Crocker Cookbook. For the longest time it was the only cookbook in the house and the definitive guide for all recipes from raisin cookies to pot roast.

I was delighted to learn that authors Annie and Dan Shannon decided to resurrect those old classics with a vegan twist. In their introduction, they eloquently describe their goal: “We wanted to show that you can make anything vegan and that no animal ever needs to be force-fed, confined to a crate or cage, or boiled alive, or to endure any of the other nightmares animals face to satisfy our culinary desires.”

Well organized and easy to read, this large tome contains gorgeous photographs on quality paper, a table of contents, an index, and a listing of the recipes in front of each section. I especially enjoyed the authors’ witty commentary. Some of my favourites: “Hope this isn’t too braggy, but these vegan chicken strips are even better than squirrels and kittens hugging”; “Okay, this lasagna isn’t totally green colored, per se. But it does have green vegetables in it and is a great way to recycle leftover chili into something completely new.”

I’m planning to replace my tried-and-true pancake recipe with “Whole Wheat Banana and Chocolate Chip Pancakes.” I’m also intrigued by the “Fresh Lemon and Asparagus Soup,” which could easily be called asparagus chowder. A recent convert to quinoa, I plan to make the “Rainbow Quinoa,” but without the Himalayan salt.

So many recipes, so little time....

- Joanne Guidoccio

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