I’m not only going to blog about books I like this month. I’ve got loads of cookbooks, and I would split the vegan ones into 3 categories. Books I love and use a lot, books I don’t use much but like, and books I don’t like. Hopefully I’ll include some from each category during October.
This book, and the other Donna Klein book I own (Meditteranean Vegan Kitchen), both fall into the the middle category. I flick through them, spot things that look nice, and then never make anything from them. I don’t know why this should be. They don’t have pictures, but neither do many of my books, so it’s not that. They don’t contain any unusual ingredients – though again that normally doesn’t stop me. I think there are probably a couple of reasons. In a way I think they’re too easy. They are based on simple, good quality ingredients, but they don’t use much spice or seem to have too much depth of flavour. They’re also, as you’d expect, all quite summery, and we don’t have too much hot weather here. Finally, they don’t have many of what I’d call main course recipes. No stodge. They seem to be lots of small dishes that you’d put together to make a meal which isn’t the way I usually cook.
So, if you love this book or any of the dishes you’ve made from it, please let me know and I pledge to try something!
I do love that book although I can’t give you any specific recipes to try at the moment (I had to sell it when I moved). All of the recipes that I have tried so far from it are good basic whole foodie goodness. It isn’t exactly revolutionary food or even veganized food, it’s just good simple peasant food. My favorite kind.
try the chickpea pasta soup. it has rosemary in it so feels like fall to me. it’s in a regular rotation in my kitchen.
I see your point – I don’t have Vegan Italiano, but I have The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, which is also by Donna Klein. I love reading through that book and I think the recipes look delicious, but I haven’t cooked all that much from it. I should make myself try some recipes!
I love that all the recipes are so simple and soy-free, though. I think these books are a good choice when you’re looking for something to show to non-vegans who want to know what they can cook for you.
I made the fennel and pear salad from this once and I liked it, so I would recommend that. Fennel and pear go together really well, it turns out.
I don’t have that book yet, but I’d like to get it. I love the idea of a vegan specialty cuisine book. Most are so general, with recipes from all sorts of cultures. But just vegan Italian sounds awesome.
I just bought Donna’s cookbook, The Tropical Vegan Kitchen–and was reading it last night before bed–no pictures though it looks like I may try a few of these recipes as she has more zing/flavor incorporated in this book than the Italiano (which I don’t own but have perused many-a-time!). She has a new cookbook coming out in Jan. Called Supermarket Vegan–I can’t wait to see it!
For me it’s the lack of pictures coupled with the lack of decadence. I like light meals a lot of the time, but sometimes I just want something hearty.
I have this book, though I have only made a few things from it. I agree, there is something about it that doesn’t quite catch my imagination like some of my other cookbooks. It can’t be lack of pictures, because Vegan Planet has no pictures and I love that book! When I have used it, it is more to make a component of a meal rather than an entire meal.
I have quite a vegan cookbook collection and use this one all the time. It has awesome soup recipes in it (esp. the pasta and rosemary one, make it!)
They are simple, but they don’t taste simple. Give a few of the recipes a try.
I have the same experience that you describe. I flip through this book every so often and think that things sound good, but then I never make anything. I will be curious to see what (if anything) you decide to try.