When the Old Port is filled with tourists in Portland, Maine, I usually try to avoid every part of commercial street. This time, however, I was leisurely walking up and down the grid with my very on tourist in tow… Sarah, my friend from Massachusetts.
We perused through the merchandise at one of the shops. You know the "shops" I'm talking about -- lots of white linens and Maine beach give-me-a-canvas-bag-with-a-starfish gear. I think there was also lots of hand-stitched merchandise and scenic Maine coasters.
Anyway, that's where I saw the Pure Vegan cookbook and convinced myself, "Yes, it's your birthday (in 2 weeks) you deserve it!" My birthday I Deserve Things barometer usually extends the entire month of July.
So I bought it. The photos are fantastic. The recipes are a mix complexity and curiosity. I just tried the cover photo recipe, Tomato and Three-Bean Salad and it was wonderful. We paired it with Trader Joe's vegetable pasta and seitan, dressed with organic red sauce. Needless to say it was a filling meal with promising leftovers.
Baked Ratatouille is on my list when the chill of fall hits and Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Soup will also be in the line-up of MMs (must-makes).
I think the book is really for the Vegan Martha Stewart's of the world. The sub title does state: 70 Recipes for Beautiful Meals and Clean Living.
So here's the deal.
If you're looking for something functional, everyday cuisine, this isn't your book. It only really highlights two major protein sources (beans and tofu) without any recommendations for some of other hearty staples we vegans love. For instance, seitan, tempeh and quinoa are nowhere to be found. Lentils do get a shout out in the Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Hazelnuts and Figs recipe, which will be a hard sell to those meat-eaters in my life.
What I'm saying is even if your life is like the book trailer and seems to be filled with shiny, young, my-closet-is-only-filled-with-flowing-dresses and seagulls and tofu and reminders of morning, noon and night and beautiful people and rice. It only really highlights 2 major protein sources.
My recommendation is buy it off Amazon at half-price. It makes a good entertaining / statement coffee table book.