by Jenn Shagrin

Lifelong Books, $19.00. 246 pages

This cook book is written with great humor. Reading this book is a pleasure, with such chapter headings as “Recipes Guaranteed to Get You Laid”. To be vegan is challenging enough for the cook—there are no quick shortcuts for vegan cooking. If you have no nearby source from a health food store, vegan cooking may not be for you. More than 200 recipes in this cookbook help the reader become vegan, however, these recipes are not only time consuming but will seriously stress your food budget. Many of the recipes refer you to preparations elsewhere in the book, in some cases as many as four different ones. That means considerable kitchen time is spent navigating the book.

The author prefers to name her recipes that imitate popular meat, poultry, fish, egg, and cheese dishes (“Vegan Carnitas”). But the recipes are mostly original and flavorful, well written, and easy to follow. Alas, the layout is poor: in many cases you leaf inconveniently back and forth to follow the same recipe. For some measurements you stop and puzzle (2⅛ cups flour, ⅚ cup soy milk), and also for some ingredients (canned young green jackfruit, Hatch chili). Illustrations are amateur; book production is low-cost. The index is excellent and well cross-referenced.

Reviewed by George Erdosh,