by Matthew Fure, Wellness Assistant Manager
Vegan World Fusion Cuisine
Our April book special is Vegan World Fusion Cuisine by Mark Rienfeld, Bo Rinaldi, and the chefs of The Blossoming Lotus.
Blossoming Lotus Café opened on the Hawi’ian Island of Kauau’i on September 9th, 2002. They wanted to focus on gourmet vegan and live food cuisine, served in a healing and inspirational setting. I can’t imagine anything more healing and inspirational than enjoying one of their fabulous meals on their outdoor tropical courtyard in the middle of paradise. And, now you can enjoy the same dishes in your own little paradise here in Wisconsin.
This is a great fusion cookbook. For those of you new to fusion cooking, it’s basically taking ingredients and cooking methods from around the world and incorporating them together into new dishes. Their recipes tend to lean towards a tropical flare, with many other parts of the world also influencing the dishes such as Pele’s Pineapple Mac Nut Salsa, which would be a great accompaniment to their Baba B’s Burrito. The recipes are easy to assemble, and most have serving suggestions to make planning meals a breeze. And, the recipes are perfect to impress your friends and family at your next party. I’ve already decided to use this cookbook for my next dinner party.
How It All Vegan!
How It All Vegan! is the first cookbook by best friends Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer. In this book, the self-proclaimed lazy vegetarians discuss their decisions to go vegan. They focus on switching to a vegan diet without sacrificing flavor.
The book starts off with lots of information on going vegan, including a part about “If Mum gets worried” which discusses how to explain your new diet to concerned family members. They also have a list of vegan versions of foods traditionally made with animal ingredients. This is a great book for the new vegan, and it contains lots of comfort food recipes along with some new dishes to try. They also cover all the basics like making fresh soy milk, vegan butter, and vegan mayonnaise, to name a few.
The Garden of Vegan
The Garden of Vegan is the second book by authors of How it all Vegan! Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer. This book, which they have dubbed, “How It All Vegan Again!” is a continuation of How It All Vegan!
In this book, they start with a section of frequently asked questions. Here they cover everything from foods, vitamins, shoes, to a few “saucier” questions. They also have some first aid tips, and more things than you ever imagined you could do with baking soda. The recipes tend to be a little more adventurous than their first book, but still very easy to prepare. And, there is plenty of humor to keep you interested while choosing what to make for supper. They also have suggestions for themed parties, which range from a dress-up picture taking party, to a pity party where you can pamper yourself. They also have suggestions on vegan body care products you can make yourself.
Kids Can Cook
Now, this isn’t a vegan cookbook, but I still found it to be worth mentioning. In Kids Can Cook, dietitian and author Suzanne Havala, MS, RD, FADA, discusses easy to prepare vegetarian favorites that your kids can make themselves.
One of my favorite activities as a child was spending time in the kitchen with mom. At our house, we made everything from scratch. I’m convinced this quality time is what shaped my eating habits and helped me maintain a healthy diet those first few years out on my own. While all my other friends were eating pizza and ramen noodles, I was able to eat well. I also saved lots of money cooking from scratch. This book would be a great resource in helping your kids prepare for when they are out on their own. And, you can fit in some great quality time while preparing meals for your family. We have also brought in a line of kids-sized cooking utensils, so your kids can have their own “toys” in the kitchen.
So, come check out our great selection of cookbooks here at the Co-op. Hopefully you will be inspired to try a new dish. Maybe you will be able to spend a little more quality time in the kitchen with your kids. And, why not plan a nice spring party and impress your family and friends with some great food and conversation. Take care and happy cooking!