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Book Reviews

Vegan Without Borders by Robin Robertson

Book Review:
Vegan Without Borders
by Robin Robertson
review by Marla Rose

Another day, another mega-comprehensive recipe collection from Robin Robertson, a woman who apparently creates amazing vegan recipes the way some of us respire. While I love all of impressive Robin’s oeuvre, this latest cookbook is probably the most impressive, which is saying a lot. Vegan Without Borders: Easy Everyday Meals from Around the World is a beautiful volume, brimming with lavish food photography that perfectly complements Robin’s roster of enticing international recipes. At 280 artfully laid-out pages from Andrews McMeel Publishing, this is a foodie bible for those who love international cuisines, but, with her typically passionate but unfussy approach and dedication to simple, wholesome ingredients that most people with a well-stocked grocery store could easily access, Vegan Without Borders is really for anyone who simply loves excellent, plant-centered food from around the globe.

With sections on boosting umami, a glossary of ingredients, tips on creating an international pantry, and introductions that vividly describe the unique flavor profiles, common ingredients and characteristics of each global cuisine, this is a love letter from someone who clearly loves food traditions, as Robin puts it, “a pastiche of plant-based delights from all over the world.” Putting a compassionate spin on dishes that often would include animal ingredients and flesh, though, she has created something altogether new while still respecting the cultures explored.

With chapters covering Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia (broken up into individual countries, of course), this is culinary globe-trotting at its finest, exploring everything from classic cultural favorites (like the Roasted Ratatouille with Basil Pistou from the section on France and Tom Yum Soup from Thailand) to new interpretations (like the Tofu and Jackfruit Curry from India and Cauliflower Colcannon from her section on the British Isles). After more than 20 cookbooks, Robin is masterful at writing simple, clear recipe instructions alongside a great description that often includes serving suggestions, and the recipes are also designated as gluten-free, soy-free, and so on, which is always helpful.

A really gorgeous cookbook with an infectious, obvious love for plant-based recipes from around the world, Vegan Without Borders will probably leave you feeling breathless, hungry and ready to tackle some of these intriguing cuisines from around the world. Thanks to Robin’s passion for cooking, we all get to enjoy these amazing flavors and textures from our very own kitchens. I highly recommend Vegan Without Borders. As a gift for yourself or a friend, you will not regret this purchase. Please check out her recipe for Bibimbap to start you on your way.

2013, 2014, Vegan Street

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