Andrews McMeel Publishing, $25.00, 258 pages
Strict vegetarian cooking involves a lot of work; vegan is a lot harder — no animal products at all. Forget cheese, butter, eggs or milk, even honey. Vegan Family Meals is a great help if you are vegan or want to try vegan diet. To prepare a good daily meal, expect a lot more kitchen work, shop at health food stores regularly and spend much more for your supplies. (A piece of seitan costs as much as good-quality beef.)
This is a very beautifully produced book with heavy, glossy, spill-proof pages, many great photo illustrations showing finished preparations, step-by-step techniques and pretty fill-in pictures (unfortunately, the smiling author and her two children appear on embarrassingly too many pages). The layout is also very good with recipes written on single pages. The many sidebars are both informative and useful (e.g. going gluten-free, macrobiotics, parchment papers). The recipes are well written; even a novice vegan should have no problem following them. Some recipes refer to other pages to prepare an ingredient and most are time consuming to prepare. Having a health food store source is essential and costly. Occasional errors referring to pages are annoying. The index is very good.