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Whether it's books on Animal Welfare or

worthy vegetarian/vegan cookbooks

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I do not own this book but the reviews have been outstanding.  It received 5 stars from 334 reader reviewers!  I'm expecting vegan friends to visit from out of town and want to prepare some sweet treats for them.  This cookbook looks like a winner.

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule [Paperback]

Product Description

The hosts of the vegan cooking show The Post Punk Kitchen are back with a vengeance — and this time, dessert. A companion volume to Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World is a sweet and sassy guide to baking everyone's favorite treat without using any animal products. This unique cookbook contains over 50 recipes for cupcakes and frostings — some innovative, some classics — with beautiful full color photographs. Isa and Terry offer delicious, cheap, dairy-free, egg-free and vegan-friendly recipes like Classic Vanilla Cupcakes (with chocolate frosting), Crimson Velveteen Cupcakes (red velvet with creamy white frosting), Linzer Torte Cupcakes (hazelnut with raspberry and chocolate ganache), Chai Latte Cupcakes (with powdered sugar) and Banana Split Cupcakes (banana-chocolate chip-pineapple with fluffy frosting). Included also are gluten-free recipes, decorating tips, baking guidelines, vegan shopping advice, and Isa's true cupcake anecdotes from the trenches. When Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, no dessert lover can resist.
Amazon Reader Review:
Vegan Cupcakes Have Taken Over My World!,
I love love LOVE this book. The recipes are simple and perfect, every time; I have had VCTOtW for about a month and a half now, and despite at least weekly bakings, haven't had a single recipe fail yet. Not one. Since I bought it I seriously can't stop baking and am beginning to fear for my waistline!

I would like to second another reviewer who pointed out that the recipes don't ask you to use egg replacers or other "substitutions" common in vegan baking (usually because someone is trying to veganize a non-vegan recipe); instead, the recipes are just designed vegan from the ground up, and call for simple ingredients that anyone would have (oil, baking powder, etc.). Also, there are tons of beautiful color pictures of finished cupcakes throughout, which is one of the most important things about a cookbook, to me. Then, too, they suggest enough variations on each cupcake recipe (there's 6 suggested ways to dramatically alter the chocolate cupcake recipe alone) that this book will keep you occupied for quite a long time.

Since every baker likes a little external validation, here's mine: I have gotten absolute raves on every cupcake I have made so far, and most of these raves were from non-vegans who were comparing my vegan cupcakes with regular [non-vegan] cupcakes. For example, last night I fed a chocolate cupcake with cookies 'n cream frosting (vegan buttercream frosting with Newman's O's mixed in... this is a recipe from the book, obviously) to a friend who didn't just enjoy it, but was absolutely WOWED. "Geeze, it's amazing what they're doing without dairy or eggs these days; these are better than regular cupcakes" was one comment that I particularly appreciated because most vegan desserts can taste good, but in my experience it's the rare vegan dessert that can taste identical or even BETTER than the regular omni thing.

I would recommend this book to anyone, vegans and omni's alike, because even if you're not vegan (or lactose intolerant), the cupcakes taste fabulous. The recipes are so simple they're basically idiot-proof, and I have seriously never in my life had better chocolate cupcakes than the ones I made from this book: moist and fluffy and ooh... just perfect. And I'm not even a chocolate person.

Anyway, do yourself (and everyone in your life who will be eating your baked goods) a favor and buy this wonderful book! I'd give it 10 stars if they'd let me...
Check Out This Book On Amazon HERE:
I like Mollie Katzen's cookbooks very much. Tons of delightful veggie recipes.

The Uncheese Cookbook: Creating Amazing Dairy-Free Cheese Substitutes and Classic "Uncheese" Dishes

Product Description

Create non-dairy substitutes for many of your favorite cheeses right in your own kitchen-Liptauer, brie, havarti, Gruyere, colby and more. Truly innovative recipes for more than just macaroni and cheese!

About the Author

Jo Stepaniak, MSEd, is an author and educator who has been involved with vegetarian- and vegan-related issues for nearly four decades. Jo has been a frequent guest presenter, lecturer, and workshop leader throughout North America and is the author or co-author of almost a dozen books on vegetarian cooking or books on vegan living and philosophy


Check it Out on Amazon HERE (get a used copy for $4. bucks)



Amazon Reader Reviews:



Mimi G. Clark  (Vegan Cooking Instructor, Fairfax Station, VA)

I think I speak for many vegans when I say that giving up dairy is one of the hardest parts of becoming vegan. I tell my students not to give up a particular food until or unless they find a satisfying vegan replacement for it. Otherwise they will surely feel deprived and inclined to "cheat," which leads to a viscious cycle of deprivation, cheating, and guilt, and that is self-defeating. In the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, Joanne Stepaniak, educator and author of over a dozen books on veganism, has updated her original Uncheese Cookbook from 1994. In the introduction, Vesanto Melina, MS, RD, explains the history of the dairy industry in North America, and the governments economic support of agricultural systems that produce dairy products. Twenty-seven pages of introduction include charts depicting how to get calcium from plant foods, and the nutritional benefits of uncheese vs. dairy cheese. My 14-year old vegan-since-birth daughter selected several recipes to make herself, such as Gooey Grilled Cheez for sandwiches, Unstuffed Shells which is a fabulous ricotta substitute, and Traditional Macaroni and Cheez, all of which were hits. Some of my favorites include Betta Feta, Gee Whiz Spread, Crock Cheez, Lemon Teasecake, Nacho Cheez Sauce and Dip, Parmezano Sprinkles, and Three-Cheez Lasagne. As in all of Stepaniak's cookbooks, the recipes are clear and concise, with nutritionals included for each recipe. The index is thoughtfully categorized according to gluten-free recipes, soy-free recipes, nut-free recipes, yeast-free recipes, and corn-free recipes. Whatever your particular dietary needs are, Stepaniak has taken them into consideration in the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook.




FIVE STARS - by Lisa Fowler

Overall, this book is really great, with a couple of exceptions. Before I proceed, though, here are a few tips that might come in useful:


1. If your nutritional yeast flakes have a powdery appearance, make sure you use only half the amount called for in any recipe! If a recipe calls for ½ cup of yeast, use only a quarter cup. This is especially important for people who dislike nutritional yeast as much as I do. Don't omit the yeast altogether, because in just the right quantity, it does add an unmistakable "finishing touch" of cheesiness to recipes.

2. Recipes that are made up only of plain flour, nutritional yeast, and seasonings generally do not taste like cheese; they taste more like savory gravy. On a similar note, bean-based recipes are going to taste more like hummus than like cheese. That's not necessarily a bad thing if you're prepared for it, of course.

3. I find that most of the recipes in this book contain too much lemon juice. Maybe I'm just sensitive to the tartness of lemon, but I'd personally recommend either omitting the lemon juice in most recipes, or at least cutting back on it significantly. Also, I find that many of the recipes can be pretty bland because they lack the saltiness that makes dairy cheese so appealing. That can easily be remedied, though, by just adding more salt to taste.


That said, here are my individual recipe reviews:

GOOEY GRILLED CHEEZ -- This crisp sandwich with its sharp, creamy filling is really satisfying. I do add a little more ketchup to the cheez than suggested, though, and a LOT more salt (about ¾ heaped tsp). The cheez makes the best ever vegan pizza, too. Take note, however, that vegan cheeses don't get stretchy, so if you'd like some texture or "chewiness" on your pizza, try topping the cheez with some mock meat, like sliced and fried Tofurkey Italian sausage. Tomato sauce + cheez + sausage + minced garlic & herbs + a drizzle of olive oil for moistness = paradise. Mmmmm.

CROCK CHEEZ -- If you're craving sharp, salty, aged cheddar, look no further. This is it. It may not taste exactly like the cheddar you were used to, but it can easily fool non-vegans when served on Ritz crackers. I'd advise you to omit the lemon juice, and to refrigerate the cheez overnight, because you probably won't like it straight from the food processor. Mix Crock Cheez with some salsa, and you'll have the world's best, most cheddary, vegan nacho cheese. Also, if you were a smoked cheddar fan, you absolutely must try the Smoky Crock Cheez variation. Yummm, it tastes *exactly* like real smoked cheddar.

TOFU BOURSIN -- Very, very close to the real thing. It calls for vegan mayo, and I'd suggest that you use Vegenaise for best results. Make sure you refrigerate it before eating -- it's not that good straight from the food processor. The White Bean Boursin is excellent, too, but it tastes more like hummus than like cheese.

GEE WHIZ SPREAD, AGED CHEDDAR VARIATION -- This makes the perfect carry-me-along potluck dip. It doesn't taste like cheese, but more like creamy gourmet roasted red pepper hummus. I would definitely advise you to significantly reduce the lemon juice (I just use a little more than one tbsp, as opposed to the recommended three). Remember to chill the spread before serving. Serve with chips and toasted pita triangles...yum!

CHEEZ-A-RONI -- If you have any Gee Whiz left over, be sure to try this recipe. It's very rich and creamy, guaranteed to subdue any macaroni and cheese craving. It's also a good way of using up Gee Whiz spread. I detest prepackaged vegan macaroni cheese, but I look forward to Cheez-A-Roni and Colby Mac & Cheez days...

COLBY CHEEZ (a block uncheese) -- A cashew-pimiento cheez that is yum yum. I personally wouldn't eat it cold, but this stuff makes the best "macaroni and cheese" when melted. It can get squishy when grated, but don't let that discourage you. Melt the cheez in a little soymilk, add lots of margarine and a fair amount of salt, and stir the sauce into cooked elbow macaroni. You'll be amazed how close this tastes to the real thing. Orgasmically good!!

ZUCCHINI CHEDDA SOUP -- You absolutely can't go wrong with cashews and pimientos. This soup is as cheddary as it is hearty. I think even zucchini haters would enjoy it.

SWISS CHEEZ (another block uncheese) -- This stuff was bland and weird tasting when cold; however, it was delicious layered and melted in lasagne. It makes a good choice when you need a "cheese" that's mild and mozzarella-ey, and tastes better than commercial vegan mozzarella. Don't eat it cold, though, because, like commercial vegan hard cheeses, it's pretty icky that way.

MINUTE MAN CHEEZ SAUCE -- I thought this was really bad. I'd advise you to skip this if you don't like nutritional yeast.

BUFFALO MOSTARELLA -- Another thumbs down. I found it very oaty tasting, but I know many people who do love it.

AMAZING MAC 'N' CHEEZ SAUCE -- Not recommended at all. It tastes nothing like cheese...more like gravy, in fact. I imagine it'll be good with veggie fried chicken, though.


Overall, this book is great, apart from some recipes that I haven't liked, and my initial failures due to too much lemon juice and/or nutritional yeast. I do like the way I can get creative with the recipes. As a last note, try not to expect the recipes to taste exactly like the cheeses that you were used to, because they probably won't...just as vegetarian burgers don't taste exactly like Big Macs; they are to be enjoyed in their own right.

Eating Animals - By Jonathan Safran Foer

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The latest from novelist Foer is a surprising but characteristically brilliant memoir-investigation, boasting an exhaustively-argued account of one man-child's decade-long struggle with vegetarianism. On the eve of becoming a father, Foer takes all the arguments for and against vegetarianism a neurotic step beyond and, to decide how to feed his coming baby, investigates everything from the intelligence level of our most popular meat providers-cattle, pigs, and poultry-to the specious self-justifications (his own included) for eating some meat products and not others. Foer offers a lighthearted counterpoint to his investigation in doting portraits of his loving grandmother, and her meat-and-potatoes comfort food, leaving him to wrestle with the comparative weight of food's socio-cultural significance and its economic-moral-political meaning. Without pulling any punches-factory farming is given the full expose treatment-Foer combines an array of facts, astutely-written anecdotes, and his furious, inward-spinning energy to make a personal, highly entertaining take on an increasingly visible (and book-selling) moral question; call it, perhaps, An Omnivore's Dilemma.


4.3 STARS from 267 Amazon Customer Reviews



5.0 out of 5 stars A catalyst..,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Eating Animals (Hardcover)

This book was a catalyst where I wasn't looking for one. After the first 35 pages a light bulb started lighting up...and I feared my life was about to change. I've never written a book review, but after reading what Jonathon learned in his 3 + years of researching factory farming, I had to tell others to read it. He provides serious, horrific and real information. I never knew about factory farming until I read his book and googled 'factory farming' on the web. It was all over from there. I started watching those videos on what we do to animals-the ones we don't want to see-and I could not stomach another bite of an animal again. I loved meat, ate it easily 3xday for all of my life, grew up near those green pastures in northern California where cows graze all day. Wow. Was I disconnected and fooled...

What I felt, was that he did not preach about not eating animals. He presented information that I could personally relate to and grasp. For me, Jonathon felt like a messenger...where many have failed to bring light to what humans are systematically doing to animals every moment of every day. He provided very important information about 99% of the animals I used to buy and eat for my family and friends. I had no idea that the US alone consumes 10 billion animals PER YEAR. I finally woke up. One chicken has 2 wings(that they never use)--how many chicken wings come in a basket at a restaurant-6? 12? 24? I used to throw meat away after getting full. I was throwing away a life-a wasted one who suffered in life and in death. What frightened me more about this book is why is an author bringing this info to me? Where are the ongoing news specials on this?

Jonathon's personal tone, statistical/historical data, research team, true accounts from the field, letters, etc., left me no choice than to agree with him. Of course, he is not a farm owner, hasn't worked on a farm, and can't come from a place of truly understanding 'farming'. And he doesn't shun farming, he actually helped me realize that the farming I thought ALL animals came from--humane ones--are actually a miniscule percentage of all farms. His writing is heartwarming, but gut-wrenching. His occasional wit about the insanity of factory farming made me laugh quietly, but kept me awake at night thinking & fretting.

What Eating Animals did to push me over the edge into veganism is not only about animal rights, but the terrifying component of being lied to by these factory farms and the megacorporations that support them. I used to pay extra for organic milk & cage free eggs because I believed in Horizon Farms. I thought I was making a better choice for the animals. Ultimately, the author woke me up from a deep, deep sleep. As he eloquently presents about turkeys, how can we celebrate 'thanks' and 'family' or whatever tradition you have on Thanksgiving while the main course never saw the sun, felt the earth, a breath of fresh air, had his beak seared off with a hot blade and no pain killers, lived on top of thousands of other turkey's and their excrement, thrown into trucks for transport hundreds of miles without food or water, and never had one true moment of 'love.' If having a better understanding of what love means to you, read this book.


Check the book out on Amazon HERE:

Fun intro to Jonathan's book



30 Minute Lecture by Jonathan Safran Foer on Eating Animals


Dog Food, Or Dogs As Food? Depends Where You Are

Posted in the group, BOOKS - LINK
I do buy cookbooks that aren't specifically for vegetarians or vegans.  Many recipes can be altered to suit your dietary choices, and Indian food does offer many vegan choices. 

The Year’s Best Cookbooks

New York Times



It is never too late to engage with food, even food that doesn’t seem simple or familiar at first. With this year’s publication of “Street Food of India” (I. B. Tauris, $28 - USED For $14. on Amazon), “At Home with Madhur Jaffrey” (Knopf, $35 - GET IT USED For $15.00 on Amazon) and “India: The Cookbook” (Phaidon, $49.95) by Pushpesh Pant, there are no excuses for not cooking Indian dishes at home.


Ms. Jaffrey’s new book is very much based in her daily life in New York, and that is a good thing for cautious cooks: tame ingredients like grape tomatoes, melted cheese and pickled chili peppers from the “ethnic” aisle of the supermarket are just as likely to appear in her recipes as fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Mr. Pant’s beautifully packaged book covering the entirety of Indian cuisine is surprisingly short on explication (he is an academic and political analyst as well as an authority on North Indian food) but has wave upon wave of recipes that illustrate the enormous creativity of Indian cooks.


My favorite is “Street Food of India”   by Sephi Bergerson, a photographer who lives in Delhi. In just 50 recipes and under 200 pages, Mr. Bergerson accomplishes the rare feat of capturing how people eat, not just what. He shows people eating, making and clamoring for the outdoor snacks that are nearly universal in India: cool lemonade spiked with cumin and salt, scalding hot sweet tea with ginger, potato cakes with vibrant herb chutneys.


CHECK OUT The Other Winners Here>>

       We have an abundance of vegetables and spices in India, so we’ve worked out ingenious ways to use any number of spices to cook our vegetables – techniques that have developed over centuries. We cook each vegetable in thousands of ways, depending on the region. Here are some things to keep in mind when cooking Indian vegetable dishes:

  • Curries can be quick. India has recipes galore that can be made in a hurry.  Heat a little oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, whole dried red chillies and a few curry leaves. Then add whatever vegetables you have, say green beans with a dash of water. Once the beans are cooked, remove from the heat and stir-in grated fresh coconut (which you can buy frozen) and just enough yoghurt to moisten.
  • Make a basic spice mix. Cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder are essential. You’ll also need ginger, garlic and onions, plus green coriander. Keep your spices whole and they will last much longer as once ground, they slowly lose their potency. This is particularly true of coriander seeds – once you grind them, they last no longer than a month. However cumin lasts much longer.
  • Follow some easy rules of regional Indian cooking. South Indians use curry leaves, mustard seeds, whole chillies, coconut or sometimes yoghurt. North Indian cooking features cumin seeds, asafoetida (which is wonderful with vegetables), fennel seeds and mustard seeds.
  • Make the most of pulses: Use whole beans, split peas and lentils. Rice with lentils is called khichri, and is like a dried pilaf or a wet porridge (This is where the word ‘kedgeree’ comes from.)
  • Add Indian spices to British dishes: Broccoli, potatoes or green beans are delicious with cumin seeds and chilli powder. Serve these as side dishes with a traditional British meal. Make Indian-style mushrooms and serve them on toast.
  • Be inventive: We don’t make curry paste to a standard recipe in India because you want every dish to be different. A basic mix could be  made up of fried onion, garlic and ginger, ground with cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, or you could experiment with whatever you like.
  • Try tamarind paste. I suggest you look for the Thai one. Add it as a souring agent to dhal, split peas or stews. You can also make chutneys out of it using raisins, sliced bananas, spices, sugar and salt. In India we always have chutneys and relishes on the table.
  • Use coconut milk or yoghurt to make a creamy curry. Season vegetables with spices, cook them lightly and add some seasoned yoghurt or crème fraîche, just a tiny amount.

Aubergine with fennel seeds makes a great main vegetable dish for vegetarians. Try this quick recipe:  Put some oil in a pan, add some cumin and fennel seeds and let them pop. Add some onions, fry them and then put in some aubergine pieces to fry for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Add a little chopped tomato, some salt, pepper, cayenne and maybe a tiny bit of sugar. Add a little water and let it cook for about half an hour.

I hope you feel inspired to add some spice to your cooking. I would love to hear your favourite ways with Indian flavours and vegetables.

Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food

By Wendall Berry -  Introduction by Michael Pollan


Amazon Reader Review:

5.0 out of 5 stars Eating: An Agricultural Act,


Susan (Bertram, TX, United States)


Bringing It to the Table is a treasure-house of Wendell Berry's work, an important collection of essays and excerpts gathered from his essays and fiction. A cantankerous, argumentative, eloquent writer who knows farming and food from field to table, Berry has been writing for more than forty years about the sadly declining state of American agriculture, the dangers of industrialized food farming, and the importance to the human community--and to the human body, mind, and soul--of good husbandry. If you've been reading Berry over the years (my husband and I chose an excerpt from The Unsettling of America for our wedding ceremony in 1986), you'll find some jewels here, all the richer for their association with other pieces in the collection. If you're new to Berry's work, you'll be astonished at his prescience: as Michael Pollan writes in his introduction, Berry is among the very first to point out the dangers of our American industrial agriculture and our disastrous separation of food production from food preparation and consumption.

Bringing It to the Table is divided into three sections. In "Farming," the essays (1971-2004) provide a compelling review of the central argument of all Berry's work: that we must "adopt nature as measure" and create farming practices that deeply connected to the "nature of the particular place." Industrial agriculture arming ignores and attempts to overcome the natural limits of place, seasons, soils, and resources. It is, Berry warns, "a failure on its way to being a catastrophe."

This place-focus continues in the second section, "Farmers." It includes seven elegiac essays that describe true farmers, not dependent on fossil fuels or large farm debt, in touch with their soils, their climates, their animals--people who understand and work within the limits of responsible husbandry. These farmers range from the traditional Amish to the Land Institute, where a radical new science adopts the natural ecosystem as "the first standard of agricultural performance."

The third section, "Food," brings farm husbandry and farm housewifery together, with excerpts from Berry's fiction: people sitting down to eat the food they have planted, raised, harvested, cooked, and served. It is beautifully illustrated by the cover image: Grant Wood's Dinner for Threshers. The painting frames Berry's argument that "eating is an agricultural act," that we must eat what is grown locally and prepared in our own kitchens, not prepackaged, precooked, premasticated. It also demonstrates what, in Berry's view, is the central stablizing force and foundation of the agricultural partnership: that women and men work together to unite household and farm, and that "traditional farm housewifery"--helping with the work of the farm, preserving the harvest, and preparing the family's food--is the essential contribution of women to the farm household economy. Within this context, it is an honored contribution, not to be "belittled" as "women's work."

As we face climate change, resource depletion, financial insecurity, and health issues created by poor food choices, the sustainable production and consumption of our food will undoubtedly be one of the most challenging issues of the twenty-first century. Wendell Berry has been trying to tell us this for many decades. It's high time we began to listen.


Check It Out on Amazon - LINK

My eco-feminist friends have been telling me about the book "The Sexual Politics of Meat" by Carol Adams. I can't wait to get back to the states so I can pick up a copy.

"The Sexual Politics of Meat argues that what, or more precisely who, we eat is determined by the patriarchal politics of our culture, and that the meanings attached to meat eating are often clustered around virility. We live in a world in which men still have considerable power over women, both in public and in private. Carol Adams argues that gender politics is inextricably related to how we view animals, especially animals who are consumed. Further, she argues that vegetarianism and fighting for animal rights fit perfectly alongside working to improve the lives of disenfranchised and suffering people, under the wide umbrella of compassionate activism."

This book looks right up my alley! I'm never going to get through my reading list though :-(


Amazon ships abroad, if you can't wait. I sent my sister in Uruguay a book through Amazon.

Oh great! I just heard the shipping is expensive, but I'll see for myself. Yeah, my reading list is ridiculous right now too hahaha :-D I can barely keep up!

Mixed reviews on Amazon for this book, but it still seems rather intriguing to me.  It's saved to my 'wish' list....


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