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Book Reviews

We review the new cookbook from the heroes at Herbivore

Book Review:
Eat Like You Give a Damn: Recipes for the New Ethical Vegan

by Herbivore's Michelle Schwegmann and Josh Hooten
review by Marla Rose

One of the many perks of writing about veganism in its various permutations is that a pretty rad stream of exceptional cookbooks find their way into my kitchen. As someone who has a long-view of veganism due to, you know, being old and all, I can attest that the vegan cookbooks published today are vastly improved from the early ones, which were possibly the result of an excessive use of psychedelics. Today we have everything from extravagant publications that could fit into even the most snazzy kitchen, like Vegan Chocolate, to paeans to beloved international cuisines, like Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen, and the bar just seems to keep being raised higher and higher. We are really fortunate to be living at this time in history. Eat Like You Give a Damn: Recipes for the New Ethical Vegan by Michelle Schwegmann and Josh Hooten of the trailblazing vegan message-gear company, Herbivore, is yet another example. 

Eat Like You Give a Damn is a colorful, beautifully designed cookbook – would you expect any less from the folks behind Herbivore? – with abundant, gorgeous food photography and simple but definitely not boring recipes that anyone can enjoy. As working parents, their recipes seem to be inspired by a desire to get whole, tasty vegan food on the table with a minimum of fuss and wasted time. The recipes range from the basics that everyone will want to know, like Hummus Among Us, and their Praise Seitan Vegan Roast (yes, they had fun with their names) to showstoppers like Sweet Potato Ravioli with Popeye Pesto Sauce (made with wonton wrappers, how smart is that?) and a gooey-amazing-perfect looking Chocolate Chip-Banana Bread Pudding. While some recipes require a fair number of ingredients, I appreciate that the ingredients are generally whole foods that are easy to find and inexpensive. They are all written with vivid descriptions and clear instructions and I would think that most – if not all – could be created by novice home cooks. There are some more demanding recipes, too, for those who like the extra challenge but this book is decidedly written for getting whole, nutritious food on the table with ease.

Due to the busyness of recent travels and a bunch of deadlines looming, I haven’t had a chance to make more than one recipe from Eat Like You Give a Damn (I have many earmarked, though) but if the one is any indication, this cookbook is a definite winner. I made the Fubonn Bowls, named after a beloved Asian grocery store in their native Portland, OR and it was perfection in bowl form. With seared, savory Un-Marinated Go-To Tofu, steamed broccoli and green beans as well as shredded carrot and red cabbage over rice with a fantastic Peanut-Hoisin Sauce from the cookbook, it was a beautiful combination of flavors, colors and textures the whole family enjoyed.

Fubonn Bowl

With chapters ranging from raising vegan children to creating a great cupboard and breakfast to baked goods, the authors leave no stone unturned in helping people to expand upon cooking skills or develop familiarity in the vegan kitchen. I highly recommend Eat Like You Give a Damn for everyone, whether you are a notice or experienced cook, and whether you are a vegan already or just interested in eating healthier. You won’t be disappointed.

2013-2015, Vegan Street

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