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Initial Cookbook Review: The Vegan Table

Initial cookbook review of The Vegan Table: 200 unforgettable recipes for entertaining every guest at every occasion, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

 

Birthday_cookbooksThree vegan cookbooks received recently as birthday gifts. I chose to read through The Vegan Table first.

The Vegan Table is certainly a hefty book, making it to just over 300 pages and with 200 recipes included. It’s also a particularly visually appealing book, with a large number of photos and easy-to-read text, plus break-out boxes with tips and trivia scattered throughout. Today being a lazy rainy Sunday, with a public holiday tomorrow so that I didn’t even feel any pressure to get on with the housework, I spent sometime going through the whole book deciding which would be the first dish to tackle.

In the end, my “shortlist” of dishes that really jumped out as ones I’d like to cook straight away wasn’t so very short after all – a full twenty recipes, or 10% of the whole book. This is a very high strike rate for me, and it will be interesting to see how many of those 20 then make it onto our ‘high-rotation’ list. I think there’s definite potential for the ‘quinoa and corn medley’ that will probably be our first taste test – and of course I’ll report back once we’ve actually cooked it!

I only have two small quibbles with the book – firstly, there isn’t a photo for each recipe. Although I realise this can be the most expensive part of producing cookbooks, I think that having the visual element really adds to my enjoyment of a cookbook. (Well, for vegan cookbooks at least! I certainly don’t mind not seeing animal-product-laden pics when I flick through non-vegan cookbooks for ideas of dishes to veganise!).

Secondly, the book is divided into chapters relating to different kinds of entertaining (Romantic Dinners/Casual Meals/Formal Dining/etc) and while there is an index of recipes at the back, this is arranged alphabetically so there is no single place to go if you are perhaps looking for ‘main course dishes’ or ‘desserts’. There certainly are a lot of both in the book, but you have to flick back and forth between different chapters rather than finding them all together. I’m not sure yet how much this will affect my experience in using the book. I certainly have high hopes for the shortlisted twenty – it may well be that the dishes themselves make searching through the unusual categorising system worth it!

 

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