June 28, 2009

Lorna Sass' "Short-Cut Vegan: Great Taste in No Time" cookbook review


Quinoa-corn Salad With Basil


When Lorna Sass offered to send me a cookbook to review, I was delighted, because I've always been a fan of her work. When she started publishing her cookbooks, "vegan" was still considered an fairly odd cooking style, so all the book titles used the word "vegetarian." When I first discovered "Lorna Sass' Complete Vegetarian Kitchen" was totally vegan, I snapped up a copy, and it's become a tried and true reference at our house. We've learned through experience that her recipes always work. This has been especially helpful to my husband, as he learns to cook. He's not an intuitive cook (he describes himself as a developing cook), but he can follow a recipe, so when recipes are good, his cooking is good. I like that! We actually own four of Lorna Sass' books.


Asian slaw


The book she sent me is a revised version of "Short-cut Vegetarian," now more appropriately titled "Short-cut Vegan: Great Taste in No Time." This is really more than just a collection of quick recipes, it's a guide to setting up your kitchen with the supplies you need to create fast, healthy and delicious vegan meals. She gives detailed information on how to efficiently stock the pantry — shelves, freezer and refrigerator — with basic essentials. There is also helpful information on kitchen tools, food storage and food prep. She gives recipes for preparing flavor-enhancing condiments to have on hand, but also recommends store-bought equivalents if you prefer to take the easiest route. The recipes are an assortment of inviting combinations such as "Orange-Scented Lentil Ragout, "Cabbage and Potatoes in Mustard Sauce," "Pasta With Broccoli Rabe and Olives,"and "Pineapple-Ginger Ice." Each recipe is accompanied by personal commentary that expands and enriches it.


Moroccan carrot slaw


Because it's been so horribly hot here in the Midwest, we decided to try a few recipes that needed as little cooking as possible. All were colorful, delicious, healthy and easy to prepare. We sampled "Asian Slaw," "Quinoa-Corn Salad With Basil," "Moroccan Carrot Slaw" and "White Bean Gazpacho." Three of them are pictured in this review.

The book does not contain food photographs, so you will have to use your imagination as to what the final dish looks like, but if you are looking for a collection of tasty and interesting vegan dishes that can be prepared in short order, you might consider "Short-Cut Vegan" by Lorna Sass.

© 2009 Andrea's easy vegan cooking

12 comments:

  1. Another blogger freebie! I gotta get me a blog... :o)

    The Moroccan Carrot Slaw looks fabulous! Was it as good as it looks?

    Courtney

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  2. I thought all three pictured foods tasted great. I didn't like the gazpacho, but everyone else thought it was delicious. My husband made it, and he didn't process it smooth enough, so to me it had a good taste but gritty texture that I couldn't get past.

    The carrot slaw had a wonderful dressing with olive oil, garlic, fresh lemon juice, cilantro, paprika, cumin, salt and currants.

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  3. I have one Lorna Sass book, but I can't remember which one. Does she have one all about tofu? Anyway, these salads look very tasty and refreshing. I esp. like the carrot one too. It's been 105 here for two weeks straight, no clouds, no breeze, no relief at night either.

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  4. Mmm all those look fantastic! This is definitely on my want list!

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  5. Definitely my kind of book! I love quick preps. . . and your photos make everything look very tantalizing! :)

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  6. Diann,
    I don't remember a tofu book. I have a pressure-cooking one and a "New vegan cooking" one. Too bad about your weather. Ours was hot and humid but has suddenly become cool - in the 70's and breezy. Perfect, really.

    Veg,
    These dishes were just what we needed in the heat.

    Ricki,
    Thanks. I was surprised the photos even turned out. It was pretty dark on the porch (too hot in the house) and I never use flash.

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  7. I love her black bean and veg sushi from "the new vegan". it used tortillas and some clever additions to the soybeans to make a spread. I have tried it with black soybeans and blackbeans. hmmm... maybe I'll make them for an upcoming potluck.

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  8. I hadn't heard of this cookbook, but it sounds great!

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  9. Bethany,
    I've never tried the sushi but I was just thinking about it yesterday.

    Alisa,
    It's a well-done book.

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  10. I also own the Shortcut Vegetarian book and love it. My favorite recipe in there is the "Curry in a hurry" which uses about six ingredients and gives you a meal in about half an hour - a real plus on busy school nights. Glad she put "vegan" in the title now!

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  11. Claire,
    Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't tried that one yet.

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  12. Great idea. Looks fresh and healthy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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