Sunday, August 10, 2014
Clarkson Potter (May 6, 2014) 272 pages
Following up on his bestselling diet plan, VB6, the incomparable Mark Bittman delivers a full cookbook of recipes designed to help you eat vegan every day before 6:00 p.m.--and deliciously all of the time.
Whether you call it felxitarian, part-time veganism, or vegetable-centric, the plant-based, real-food approach to eating introduced in Bittman's New York Times bestselling book VB6 has helped countless people regain their good health, control their weight, and forge a smarter, more ethical relationship with food. VB6 does away with the hard and fast rules, the calorie-counting, and the portion control of conventional diets; it's a regimen that is designed to be easy toa dopt and stick to for a lifetime.
When Bittman committed to a vegan before 6:00 pm diet, he quickly realized that everything about it became easier if he cooked his own meals at home. In The VB6 Cookbook he makes this proposition more convenient than you could imagine. Drawing on a varied and enticing pantry of vegan staples strategically punctuated with "treat" foods (including meat and other animal products), he has created a versatile repertoire of recipes that makes following his plan simple, satisfying, and sustainable.
Breakfasts, the most challenging meal of the day for some vegans, are well represented here, with a full range of hot cereals, whirl-and-go-dairy free smoothies, toast toppers, and brunch-worthy entrees. Lunches include hearty soupls, sandwiches, beans, grains, and pastas to pack along wherever the day takes you, and more than a dozen snack recipes provide the perfect afternoon pick-me-up to banish the vending-machine cravings that can undo a day of eating well. Dinners are flexitarian, focusing on vegetable-forward meals that are augmented by a range of animal products for fullest flavor, satisfaction, and nutrient density. A chapter devoted entirely to "building blocks"--make-ahead components you mix and match--ensures that a flavorful and healthy meal is never more than a few minutes away.
If you've thought of trying a vegan diet but worry it's too monotonous or unfamiliar, or simply don't want to give up foods you love to eat, Bittman's vegan and flexitarian recipes will help you cook your way to a new, varied and quite simply better way of eating you can really commit to...for life.
The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night
My Rating: 5/5 stars
I thought this cookbook was completely vegan, so when I saw meat recipes, I became a bit confused. Obviously, I wasn't aware of what the VB6 eating plan was. Thankfully, the author does a wonderful job of explaining in the beginning of the book. He actually takes several pages to educate the reader on the VB6 eating plan(not a diet, but a lifestyle change), and also gives lots of information about food/cooking/nutritional information. There's even a 28 day menu, along with page references directing you to that recipe.
In case you're like I was, and don't know what the VB6 eating plan is, it's where you eat strictly vegan until 6:00 at night, and then you can "treat" yourself with meat, or cheese, or chocolate/etc. I don't eat meat at all, but I do eat dairy, and too much of it. I find the thought of only having it once a day appealing! It doesn't seem so overwhelming as trying to give it up completely, and I know I'd feel better health-wise.
The recipes are divided into 6 sections.
VB6 Building Blocks(ex: salad dressing, vegannaise, vegetable stock)
I LOVE that most of these recipes contain real food that can easily be purchased at any grocery store. There's not a list of ingredients a mile long that can only be purchased at a specialty store, and makes one wonder if it's even real food. I dislike looking through cookbooks and not knowing what in the world some of the ingredients are. Most of the ingredients I saw in this cookbook are already in my kitchen, and if not I can go to the little grocery store in my town and purchase them. (I did see a few recipes that require tofu.)
Another thing that I love about this cookbook is the "variation" section. As an example, for the eggplant meatballs, the author gave some substitutions that could be used, like mushrooms(which is what I did).
I need someone leading the way for me on things like that, because I'm not a natural in the kitchen. I greatly appreciate all the substitutions that have been suggested!
As a side note: There are lots of pictures throughout, but there's NOT one for every recipe.
I'm excited to try more of the recipes within this cookbook!
*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.