Vegetarians in Paradise

Vegetarian Books

Each issue the VIP birds endeavor to soar to the highest literary peak to peck out the most unique, informative, and accomplished book or books that contribute to vegetarian enlightenment.

This month we review two books that would be valuable additions to anyone's vegan bookshelf. One focuses on dating while the other emphasizes easy raw food preparation.

For a review of raw food MADE EASY for 1 or 2 people, click here

Dating Vegans: Recipes for Relationships

By Anne Dinshah

American Vegan Society, 2012
Paperback $12.95

Dating can be fraught with challenges, but if one of the daters is a vegan, the gulf between the two people may be so wide that it hinders the development of the relationship. In Dating Vegans, Anne Dinshah constructs a road map to guide vegans and nonvegans in the relationship process. In developing this book Dinshah decided she would only date nonvegans for an entire year.

"This book is for both vegans and nonvegans who are dating each other, or for those already in a relationship with someone who maintains contradictory consumptions," Dinshah writes. "Nonvegans will gain insights into the beliefs and concerns of vegans. Vegans will find ideas and strategies for patiently sharing their values."

Dinshah, who was raised vegan, admits that her own dates are usually with nonvegans, but she does not compromise her core values. She's vegan at home but "a tiny bit of flexibility allows me to build bridges with nonvegans." Occasionally, she will taste an animal product so that she can develop a vegan version. Dating Vegans

Tips for dating a vegan
Four practical lists comprise the chapter Tips for Dating a Vegan. Top Ten Tips for Dating a Vegan Chick include showing respect for her values and beliefs, shopping for food, and making a dinner together. Top Three Tips to Score with a Vegan Chick recommends giving her a massage, showing an interest in veganism, and bringing her a carton of nondairy ice cream.

Top Nine Ways to Get Dumped by a Vegan Chick offers no-nos like eating animal products in her presence, kissing her after eating meat, and taking her to the circus. In Twelve Steps to Win a Vegan Hulk, Dinshah advises taking an interest in what he believes and eats, cooking with him, and going out for a vegan meal. She even goes into sexual territory by suggesting "an evening of strip poker, strip chess, or Twister followed by a candle-lit hot tub."

Create vegan meals for meat lovers
In How to Create Vegan Meals Loved by Meat-Eating Dates, Dinshah stresses the importance of learning to cook and presents valuable information for the novice. She covers washing and trimming fruits and vegetables as well as shopping and cooking tips. She also includes a standard list of ingredients used in recipes appearing in the book as well as vegan substitutes for meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream.

More that 3/4 of the volume is devoted to what Dinshah calls "the meat and potatoes of the book," her dating stories, and vegan recipes she and others cooked when dining with dates. In this section she offers advice on compatibility and holiday issues as well as coping with multiple nonvegan guests.

She confesses that most of her dates were not vegan when she met them. "I have never become seriously involved with someone who was absolutely wonderful, except completely anti-vegan," she says.

Vegan success stories
In discussing vegan success stories she tells of her parents, Jay and Freya, who began their relationship with a correspondence that lasted over one year and developed into an enduring love for each other. Freya was a vegetarian who became a vegan because of Jay who founded the American Vegan Society the year they were married.

The book concludes with a recipe index subdivided into Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Desserts. The more than four-dozen easy-to-make recipes feature main dishes like Lentil Garden Stew, Veggie Pie, Brussels Sprout Quinoa Wraps and desserts like Quince Pie, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, and Tiramisu.

Dating Vegans is a valuable tool for guiding vegans in establishing relationships with members of the opposite sex. The real life experiences chronicled by Dinshah provide an insight into establishing relationships with people whose views don't match. Anne Dinshah has created a memoir of her own experiences and shares it with others who may benefit. Dating Vegans is not just a book about veganism. It contains not only simple recipes but also valuable lifeskills and human interest stories of people making their way in a complicated minefield of life and love.

raw food MADE EASY for 1or 2 People, REVISED

By Jennifer Cornbleet

Book Publishing Company, 2012
Paperback $19.95

Hotter than ever, raw food gets better than ever in Jennifer Cornbleet's revised and updated raw food MADE EASY for 1 or 2 people, REVISED with over 50 new recipes. Originally published in 2005, the book has sold over 100,000 copies, a testimony to its popularity.

Featured are an expanded array of healthful ingredients and an entire chapter spotlighting 16 green smoothies. Most of the smoothies focus on fruit to temper the greens, while one recipe, Nonsweet Green Smoothie, turns mainly to vegetables with only one-half apple for flavor boost. At the bottom of each recipe page readers will find nutritional analysis for calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, and sodium.

The salads and salad dressings sections are a feast for vegetable lovers who appreciate lively flavors and easy, unfussy preps. Thai Salad is a festival in a bowl featuring gorgeous colors and seasonings that reflect the familiar sweet, sour, and salty flavors of Southeast Asia. Jennifer also suggests an alternative dressing of Mock Peanut Sauce to add enjoyable diversity. Topping her Caesar Salad is an enticing creamy-rich Ranch Dressing enhanced with cashews, lemon juice, seasonings, and fresh herbs. Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People

Satisfy those cravings
For people who get the munch cravings between meals there's an excellent page of easy suggestions like a celery stalk topped with nut butter and raisins. Easy green smoothies, fresh fruit, or crudités with or without a dip are great hunger quenchers.

People whose lifestyles keep them on the go can still eat well and healthfully raw by turning to page 154 for some surprising tips on gearing up for a trip. What kitchen tools to pack, a raw travel shopping list, and raw travel menus for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner will get one off to a delicious start. Jennifer says, "If you want to go a step further, prepare some of your meals in the comfort of your hotel room. That's the advantage of traveling raw--you don't need a stove."

The book is all-inclusive, beginning with how to set up the kitchen. Also covered are raw basics, tools and techniques, and even suggestions for making seasonings, soaking and grinding nuts, and growing sprouts.

Rather than offering fancy gourmet recipes that require concentrated time in the kitchen, Jennifer provides recipes that are realistic in today's fast-paced world. Easy and healthful are the criteria for recipes that make breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert an everyday can-do.

A knockout dish that's really stacked
For a knockout main dish, readers can prepare Not Tuna Pate, page 71, and the Pesto on page 78. The stunning full-color photo of Tomato Stack opposite page 152 displays how the dish is attractively layered and garnished.

Choosing which dessert to serve after dinner may prove to be the toughest decision with so many irresistible temptations. Fans of chocolate desserts can revel in Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Brownies, Chocolate Pie, or a creamy Chocolate Mousse. Those who feast on cakes might adore Spanish Fig Cake or Apple Crumb Cake. Mousse or pudding fans may choose the tempting two-layer chocolate and vanilla mousse.

Green ink is the featured color for the text, borders, and accents throughout the book making it graphically appealing, while several full-color photos of the captivating dishes appear throughout the book. The photos are attractively styled and absolutely make the book feel like a must-have.

Concluding the book is a comprehensive Glossary that includes cooking and food terms, tools and equipment, and ingredients.

raw food MADE EASY for 1 or 2 people, REVISED makes preparing meals easy and uncomplicated. The best part is that every ingredient is fresh and healthy. Some recipes are blessed with as few as three or four ingredients, making it enticing for those new to preparing their own meals. Anyone who can chop and slice will love this book and discover how easy and fun it is to "cook" from scratch.

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Vegetarians in Paradise