Vegan Bites: Recipes for Singles by Beverly Lynn Bennett
This cookbook is a visual delight from start to finish. The warm and calm colors are paired with energetic “shadow” pictures, and a very clean layout that seems to make me want to cook! The subtitle states, “Recipes for Singles,” but this is also an excellent cookbook for couples. Most of the recipes yield 2 servings, while some cater 1, 3, or 4 people. But overall, these aren’t your average jumbo recipes that must be halved, and halved again to suit petite households.
For those who aren’t familiar, Beverly is The Vegan Chef. Quite the title, but she has earned it. Yet, while the word chef may sound daunting, Beverly’s recipes are far from complex. She focuses on keeping it simple with whole food, healthy, and flavorful ingredients.
To be honest, there are very few recipes I don’t plan on trying in this cookbook. Thus far, I have been thrilled with the Sunrise Smoothie, Berry Power Shake, Golden Gravy, Seasoned Tofu Tidbits, and the Frozen Yogurt Berry Pops, and I can’t wait to try the Hacienda Home Fries, Ginger-Carrot Soup, Tex-Mex Bean Burgers, Pad Thai, Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil, Classic Peanut Butter Cookies, and Hot Fudge Sauce, just to name a few. I am sure I will get to all of these very soon, as every recipe seems to have a “quick and easy” theme. Even the recipes with longer ingredient lists focus more on easy-to-find herbs, spices, and vegetables, then on lengthy instructions.
While I did sample a tofu recipe, we really do eat soy in our house with rarity, so I was pleased that many if not most of the recipes are soy-free or can be easily adapted to be soy-free (ie, use a different milk alternative).
In terms of the format, Vegan Bites starts with an introduction that includes some food and health tips for new vegans, shopping suggestions, a pantry essentials list, a quick outline of kitchen equipment and gadgets, and my personal favorite, a guide to cooking basic grains. I love the size, which is a generous 8”x9” and holds open on its own practically from the get go. Each recipe is neatly laid out in a one page per recipe format, each with its own introduction and variations/tips as needed. As mentioned, the recipe sizes are smaller for smaller households of just one or two people, including the cookies! Each batch makes up just 8 or 9, to help limit the amount you inhale in a single day … if you are anything like me.