By Bryant Terry
Lifelong Books, $19.00, 196 pages
In his book The Inspired Vegan, author Bryant Terry exposes readers to healthy cooking based on African-American and southern traditions, emphasizing fresh and seasonal ingredients. The first section deals with basics such as ingredients, kitchen creativity and cooking tips including basic recipes (e.g. Roasted Root Vegetables and Marinated Beets). The next section, Interlude, lists twelve full menus. The main body of the book, titled Menus, lists recipes according to the four seasons (Freedom Fare, Funmilayo’s Feast and Afro-Asian Jung Party). The organization is not very user friendly and can be confusing. With many of the recipes, Terry includes a suggested sound track, book or movie. Occasionally there are historical anecdotes. Recipes are reasonably simple and easy to follow. All menus include historic notes and quotes. Black and white line drawings and sketches appear throughout.
“Let fresh seasonal ingredients, readily available staples, intuition, and your senses drive the creation of your meals.”
The layout of the book is not its strong point: one recipe follows the next and many inconveniently continue on the next page. The book is a trade paperback and inexpensively produced. The Index is inadequate and is not cross referenced. For example, White Wine-Simmered Collard Greens only appears under Wine.