Customer Reviews for

Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted May 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Healthy soul food to nourish body and mind

    Bryant Terry's "Vegan Soul Kitchen," on the heels of Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen, attempts a healthy makeover of soul food staples like pickled watermelon rinds, cornbread, collard greens, peach cobbler, grits, coleslaw and potato salad, accompanied by extensive playlists taken from jazz, soul and R&B. The book's subtitle, "Creative African-American Cuisine," is where "Vegan Soul Kitchen" truly shines: these aren't just stripped-down recipes with animal products removed, but instead draw on traditional African and African-American influences to create new soul food classics.

    The ingredients and instructions are straightforward; each recipe is prefaced by a brief introduction about its origin and/or inspiration. Most of the ingredients should be easy to locate (fresh, preferably organic produce). Depending on your personal nutritional views, you may or may not want to substitute for the large amounts of coconut oil and coconut butter called for in several recipes (coconut oil is frequently promoted as a health food, but is very high in saturated fat). There are useful sidebars on home canning, how to cook dried beans, and specific ingredients (okra, kombu, tempeh). I especially liked the chapter on Margie's cupboard, which features useful staples like garlic olive oil, sauces and marinades, plum ketchup, relishes, salsa and pickles. Surprising use of flavor really makes recipes shine, like the Italian-influenced basil sea salt and rosemary oil, or an Asian vibe from coconut milk, ginger and tamari.

    The first recipe that I tried was the Citrus Collards with Raisins Redux. I ended up substituting dried cherries for the raisins. The garlic seemed to overpower the greens; next time, I'll try this with one clove instead of two. Also, I didn't squeeze out enough of the water after rinsing the greens, making them slimy (my fault). The next recipe was the lavender lemonade. I'd purchased a bag of culinary lavender, and was looking for a way to use it up. The drinks section ("Hydro Game") really shines, with refreshing twists such as Sparkling Rosemary Lemon-Limeade, Pure Strawberry Pop, and Sweet, Sour, and Spicy Blackberry Limeade that are refreshing alternatives to processed sodas. The third recipe that I tried was the coconut rice; it makes a quick and refreshing side dish (or breakfast!) and can be thrown together in a matter of minutes if you have rice and coconut milk on hand. Other great sides include Roasted Red Potato Salad with Parsley-Pine Nut Pesto, Caramelized Grapefruit, Avocado, and Watercress Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette, and Roasted Sweet Potato Puree with Coconut Milk.

    I would have liked to see nutritional info and perhaps a few more photos illustrating dishes (the few color photos are located in the center of the book instead of spread out throughout the chapters), but overall "Vegan Soul Kitchen" offers up tasty dishes, along with some great recommendations in music, books, films and artwork that complement the chosen recipe themes.This is a good starting point for those seeking to transition to a vegetarian / vegan diet.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    Great Soulful, Entertaining read!

    Search no more if you want a vegan soul food cookbook! Bryant Terry combined cooking and inspirational background music with a vegan twist. Supurb read and reference book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    Music to the ears and taste buds

    I'm not vegan but I love this cookbook. I have tried several recipes from it and they have turned out better than imagined. The recipes are simple in that they take the best of the season and the mood, require minimal work and produce a wonderful experience for the taste buds. I adore the music associations included with each recipe along with some anecdotal stories of how the food came to be. This info makes for a great experience while cooking and eating. I've been able to easily adapt some recipes for one, which is a bonus.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    BEST Cookbook of the year

    This is a great cookbook!!! The recipes are easy, refreshing, and so healthy! The chapter on using the whole watermelon is not to be missed-- The recipes are really interesting, not to mention the all important what music you want to play while cooking! A boost to my menu and CD collection. Strongly recommended for using and gift-giving.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    My new favorite cookbook!

    Absolutely brilliant recipes. I read the book cover to cover like a novel and enjoyed every page.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    Good addition to cookbook library

    I am a flexitarian ( just learned that word and i love it) and i am trying to learn more vegan recipes but want big flavor N THIS BOOK HAS IT . This book is not a good intro to cooking vegan dishes but it has great recipes. Buy it but try a good into nook to learn the badics n more simple dishes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    Great recipes that are so so simple! Never been easier to be a vegan!

    I love this cookbook! I actually bought it for the Black-eyed pea fritters, but I have made almost all of them now and I am consistently amazed at how such simple, easy to follow recipes can have so much flavor! I am ready for him to write another cookbook, hopefully with some vegan desserts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Outstanding, highly recommended

    Excellent vegan cookbook. I have tried several of the recipes and had to buy a second copy since my son asked to keep my first one. Even if you're not a vegan, or are simply attempting to beginning a new and healthier lifestyle, you will not be disappointed.

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    Posted November 22, 2009

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