For over a year I hummed and hawed about trialing the vegan diet. The primary reason I had hesitated was the main reason I wanted to trial it … health. While I felt that incorporating more vegetables into our (my husband and myself) daily diet and cutting the meat from our already dairy-free lifestyle might help to energize us, most of the vegan recipes I was finding sounded more like junk food than health food. That is until I discovered Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.
The author, Dreena Burton, puts a heavy emphasis on natural foods. She has a fondness for hearty ingredients such as spelt flour and coconut milk, she tosses in extra vegetables at every possible occasion, and she uses just the right amount of sugar, no more … Ah, a woman after my own appetite! Yet, the primary difference I find between Dreena’s cooking and many other natural foodists is that she is a master of flavor. Bland, heavy, and dry are not in her repertoire. As I worked through her recipes, Dreena taught me the benefits of thyme, how to properly use lemongrass, and when maple syrup can best fit in as the primary sweetener.
The format of the cookbook is perfectly simple, one recipe per page (about 150 recipes in total), each neatly laid out with ample tips and suggestions. Anyone who has read my book reviews before will know that I have a bit of a visual disconnect, frequently messing up recipes when they are jumbled together, my eyes slipping to the wrong ingredient or instruction … so neat and tidy is essential for any cookbook that I might purchase.
There is a packet of pictures thrown into the middle of the book, which some people may like. Since they are not next to their accompanying recipes, I could easily do without the extra eye candy, but it certainly isn’t a deterrent.
The chapters cover all of the bases, breakfast/brunch, snacks, soups, main dishes, desserts, and beverages, plus a bonus chapter with nothing but hummus! I haven’t been able to decide which hummus to trial as of yet, but considering Dreena’s dedication to this dip, I am assuming that they are all excellent.
I have been methodically working my way through ED&BV, savoring each recipe as I go. Thus far we have enjoyed the …
Thai Coconut Corn Stew
and the Banana Cream Pancakes (sweetened only with ripe bananas!).
All have turned out excellent. The Casserole was a wonderfully easy quick dinner fix, the Thai Stew was a beautiful marriage of flavors, and the Pancakes were hearty and flavorful, not a crumb remained of our jumbo servings.
Next on my list are the White Bean Rosemary Soup with Fresh Basil, Broccoli Cashew Teriyaki Tofu Stir-Fry, and Sesame Lime Soba Noodles. Of course, if you are looking for sweets recipes, there are plenty … and, I must admit that the Chocolate Mint Melties and the Maple Pecan Sticky Blondies sound quite enticing.
While we are not yet 100% vegan, we are enjoying the new variation of recipes, and the lighter more flavorful fare. In fact, even my meat-loving husband typically prefers these vegan recipes to our prior repertoire. Consequently, Eat, Drink & Be Vegan is easily becoming a permanent fixture in my mini subset of cookbooks that actually make their way into the kitchen.
Dreena Burton has authored three cookbooks:
Thanks to ED&BV, the last two are now on my wish list!