I've actually wanted this book for ages, but until I found it in paperback and on sale I always baulked at the price. Its now not a new book, but as it is new to me I thought I'd give it a review. Many of you may already have this book and not find this review particularly interesting, but for those of you who don't have it here goes!
As you'd maybe expect there are many photos, including many of Alicia herself which I'd be just as happy without, multi coloured text, and an easy to read and follow layout. The recipes are one to a page, nicely introduced and make use of text differences to differentiate the parts of the recipe.
The book is logically divided into three separate parts, and those into sub-parts. The first section looks at what foods are considered nasty (meat / dairy / white stuff) and those considered kind (and therefore fit into the diet philosophy) and the reasoning behind why they are or are not suitable for a vegan diet. A lot of this information is not new to me but is nicely written and presented in an easy to read and understand manner.
The second section looks at being and living vegan - and talks about levels of commitment to the lifestyle and the "kind diet" way. Again much of it was not new to me.
All in all I found the information sections interesting though more suited so a new vegan, or someone who is curious - which I guess is the focus of the book, not to preach to the choir. As a longer term vegan I did find it a little disconcerting about the talk about eating non vegan food stuffs, but looking at the big picture, if someone slips up and is made to feel OK about it and continues with their vegan plan then the comments made are not such a big deal.
The third section is the recipes - and this is divided further into vegan meals, and "superhero" meals which are more macrobiotic in focus and use ingredients which I don't have easy access to and don't appeal to me. To be perfectly honest, mainly because I have never tried them and am a little hesitant to buy them to do so without trying them in a supporting role in a dish first.
The recipes I tried -
Page 151 - Hot Rice with Cold Lemon, Basil and Tomato
Very simple, tasty, but nothing earth shatteringly special. Quick lunch or side dish.
Page 160 - Ginger Baked Tofu
Very delicious! Good both hot and cold; hot is is a softer more luscious texture and cold is gets firmer, and is suitable for slicing over a salad. Super easy. I turned the left over marinade into a thick sauce with some arrowroot and had with charred broccoli.
Page 169 - Summertime Succotash
Nice, though the timing was a little off on getting the beans tender. I had to cook for longer than stated. Loved the fresh corn and tomatoes.
Page 175 - Caesar Salad
Nice, but a little overly mustard-y in the dressing. I used GF bread for the croutons.
Page 189 - Peanut Butter Pie
Though I used a combination of Almond and Hazelnut Butter in place of the Peanut Butter. I also made my own crust and would have liked the recipe to give an indication of crust size as I didn't make mine in a deep enough (or wide enough maybe) pie plate! Very very good. Super rich, chocolate-y and more-ish.
Page 194 - Peach Crumble
Very nice hot and cold - both with custard or ice-cream. Topping was a little chewy from the oats, but not in a bad way. Not overly sweet either.
Page 205 - Raw Balls
Oh my. Good like candy. My younger daughter loved them too! So very very good, and easy to make.
Page 267 - Scarlet Roasted Vegetables
Simple and tasty roasted mixed vegetables with the addition of nuts and dried fruit. Very good.
Recommended - for sure, though maybe more for a new vegan for the information in the first two sections, and maybe someone a little more in tune with trying macrobiotic style foods for the superhero recipes. The recipes I made on the whole were pretty decent so this book would make a nice addition to a vegan shelf.