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Book Reviews

We review the Cook the Pantry from Robin Robertson

Book Review:
Cook the Pantry: Vegan Pantry-to-Plate Recipes in 20 Minutes (or Less!)

by Robin Robertson
review by Marla Rose


I am not going to start out this review by pointing out how very prolific vegan cookbook author Robin Robertson is because I’ve already concluded that a recipe creating app installed in her brain must be responsible for the approximately 17,000,000 (give or take a few) cookbooks she has created during her long career. Suffice it to say, she’s kind of impressive even for those of us who are also a little on the Type A side and I am a true fangirl. In addition to the sheer volume, her recipes are consistently easy, reliably delicious and keep those of us who love plant-based cuisines from around the world deep in ample options. In her latest cookbook, Cook the Pantry: Vegan Pantry-to-Plate Recipes in 20 Minutes (or Less!) , Robin maintains the theme of indefatigable vegan cuisine enthusiast along with what seems to be a real knack for simplifying our recipes to the point where they are not minimalist but as easy as possible to construct.

Cook the Pantry expands upon an earlier work, Vegan Unplugged, to base meals around cupboard items, such as beans, grains and noodles, adding some fresh or frozen veggies, spices and other ingredients to create wholesome meals with ease and for a low cost. These are home-cooked meals with a few shortcuts that help people be less tempted to order in and more likely to get an easy and delicious meal on the table in a matter of minutes. With access to a well-stocked grocery store, one should be able to find the ingredients this cookbook calls for without a problem.

There are seven chapters in Cook the Pantry, including Pantry Perfect Cooking, which includes several useful primers that help readers incorporate the concepts into their own lives, as well as Soups, Stews and Chilis (like Tortilla Soup); Salad Savvy (such as Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing); Pizza, Burgers and Sandwiches, (the Artichoke Muffaleta Po' Boys sound amazing; Stovetop Suppers (hello, Jerk Tempeh with Coconut Quinoa!); Pantry Pasta Plus (and hello to you, too, Manchurian Black Bean Noodles!) and Sweet Treats (the Easy as Chocolate Pie is next on my list). Everything looks flavorful and fresh, simple and pleasing.

With very helpful, evocative descriptions, a user-friendly organization and stunning photographs interspersed throughout, this is an ideal cookbook for someone who is just starting out with cooking – I am thinking this would be great for college students with their first apartments – for those who are new to plant-based cooking and for those who just want some easy and reliable recipes to add to their rotation. Once again, Robin Robertson knocks it out of the park with another volume that teaches us that vegan food doesn’t need to be complicated or full of expensive, hard-to-find ingredients to be delicious and appealing. Cook the Pantry is another winner and I highly recommend it.





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