December 23, 2011

Reading List: Japanese Vegan, Baking, and Inspiration

While browsing in Barnes & Noble the other day, I stopped by the cookbook section and four collections tempted me.   See below.  My decluttering effort prevents me from bringing new books into the house unless I purge old ones (or can really justify bringing home a new book); I'm definitely not a minimalist when it comes to reading material, but there is something to be said for having my shelves full of books that are all upright and easy to retrieve.  So, here's hoping I can find these at my library (because otherwise my gift card is going to be put to use...):

Kansha: Celebrating Japan's Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions
I am taken by this book's lovely photos and rich discussion of recipes, ingredients and foodways throughout.  I couldn't put this book down, and wanted to simultaneously cook from it and read the cultural tidbits.

The Joy of Vegan Baking
I can't say I'm practicing a vegan diet -- I'm still eating pastured eggs, ice cream, pizza, and the occasional non-vegan meal out.  I am inspired, though, and feel great when I avoid animal products and stick with whole foods.   I relish the Apple-Cinnamon Oat Bran muffins I make weekly; these do contain one egg.  My efforts at "veganizing" them were a failure, and my vegan baking efforts overall have been abysmal.  I'm somewhat skeptical of vegan baked goods and "flax eggs," so I'd like to learn more about the techniques, expectations, and to "prove myself wrong" about my egg-free baking skills.  (Dairy substitutes seem to work fine, i.e. swapping oil for butter.)  This book looks great for recipes, tips, and learning the "science" of vegan cakery, cookies and breads.

The Vegan's Daily Companion: 365 Days of Inspiration
What can I say -- I love fluffy books like this, a quick flip-through full of assorted information, quotes, facts, photos, data.  I don't think I'd buy this book, but it will make a fun library catch.

Rabbit Food Cookbook
Small, "DIY" style spiral bound cookbook that reminds me of the seminal The Vegetarian Epicure.  Full of nice-looking recipes -- nothing shocking here, but I flipped through this twice and want to take a closer look via my library, if they have it (or can order it).

Of course, no matter how good a cookbook, I will no doubt mercilessly alter recipes to fit my taste and available ingredients!

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