The Great Vegan Bean Book: Review + Giveaway

The Great Vegan Bean Book

Welcome to Week 3 of our Month of Mondays giveaways!

So far, we’ve given away chic vegan boots and a collection of natural vegan body care products. This week, we’re serving up a collection of healthy and delicious new vegan recipes in the form of The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester.

The Great Vegan Bean Book, released earlier this summer, is the second of three vegan cookbooks from the best-selling author of The Vegan Slow Cooker (2011). Hester’s third book, Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You, hit shelves on August 1. Two cookbook releases in one summer might give you the impression that Hester is a busy lady, but that’s not even the half of it. She also blogs at, writes for a variety of vegan websites, and holds a regular 9-to-5 as well.

For many vegans, beans are the answer to the ubiquitous question “Where do you get your protein?” Most of us are accustomed to using beans for a variety of savory dishes. After all, they’re hearty and play well with a wide range of flavor profiles. It’s also great that they can be cooked in bulk, in a pressure cooker or crock pot, and kept on hand for days at a time.

Hester’s new book, though, isn’t just another savory collection of bean burgers and stews. In fact, it’s far from it. She’s included some great savory recipes, sure, but she’s also pressed the limits of human creativity and worked beans into a host of sweet and surprising dishes. Basically, she’s figured out how to make beans for every part of the day, from your early morning breakfast all the way through late-night desserts.

Beans in lemony coconut muffins? In vanilla pancakes? Fudgsicles? Rosewater parfaits? It may all sound crazy at first, but once you try one of Hester’s beany recipes, you’ll be aching to try the rest. Promise. Here’s a little taste.

Baked Crispy Chickpea Seitan Patties

Baked Crispy Chickpea Seitan Patties, Cornbread Waffles, and Old-Fashioned Southern Pepper Gravy (Photo by Cat DiStasio)

Baked Crispy Chickpea Seitan Patties and Cornbread Waffles

When I learned that she’d included a seitan-like cutlet recipe using chickpeas, I knew we’d have to try it first. My omnivorous cohorts and my vegan self are all pretty picky when it comes to faux meats, so we usually skip them. Hester’s recipe, however, is different than most. Instead of a dense, chewy seitan patty, the result here is a lighter, puffier version. Since the method enlists the help of a food processor, the chickpeas are completely disguised, which is a great thing when you’re feeding this “chick’n” pieces to a picky kid.

We decided to take Hester’s suggestion and serve it atop waffles with her simply pepper gravy. The flavor profile and texture combinations were perfect.

Pesto White Bean Salad

Pesto White Bean Salad (Photo by Cat DiStasio)

Pesto White Bean Salad

Although it might be cliche to choose a salad as a test recipe, I did it. I chose the Pesto White Bean Salad, but I broke the rules and made it with chickpeas instead, because I couldn’t actually find white beans at my local grocery store. This is a regular problem here in the Midwest, and chickpeas do tend to be my standby. That’s the great thing about Hester’s recipes; there are many options for how to prepare most of the dishes.

The pesto dressing recipe calls for any variety of dark leafy greens, and I decided to use a combination of curly and lacinato kale from our backyard garden. It worked well against the bright acidity of the tomatoes and crunchy romaine hearts. After assembling the salad, I sprinkled the top with extra walnuts, and let it all marinate in the fridge for about an hour before heading to a potluck dinner. The result was a crisp, hearty, and interesting salad that is almost a complete meal in itself, and it was a big hit with the other dinner guests.

Enter to Win a a Copy of The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester

One lucky blog reader will win a copy of The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester. You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Open to U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Kelly

    My favorite beans are cannellini beans!

  2. Alison

    I’d love to win this book as I am always doing the same old thing with beans and need better ideas. Thank you for having this contest! :-)

  3. Ooh, love it! My fave are garbanzo beans.

  4. turtle

    beans are always wonderful! i love garbanzo beans best!

  5. Ann

    I love Pinto beans. They easily take on the flavor of what ever you are using them in, not over powering.

  6. Shannon

    Garbanzo/Chickpeas. In anything and everything!

  7. Ashley

    Favorite bean is the chickpea!

    So excited about this giveaway; I was just browsing this book at Barnes & Noble today and it moved to the top of my wish list! The chickpea seitan patty…I die.

  8. Chickpeas; can’t live without ’em!

  9. Luba

    So hard to choose just ONE favorite bean! If I had to live with just one bean… It’s be chickpeas AND black beans! :-)

  10. Black beans are my fave!

  11. Becca

    Black beans. They are so creamy!

  12. My favorite beans are chickpeas of course! So can do almst anything with them.

  13. Nicole

    The Baked Crispy Chickpea Seitan Patties, Cornbread Waffles, and Old-Fashioned Southern Pepper Gravy LOOKS HEAVENLY!

  14. My favorite beans are black beans – totally wonderful for just about anything and so easy to prepare.

  15. Jennifer

    never met a bean or legume I didn’t love, but lentils are my favorite.

  16. Chickpeas in everything!

  17. Dawnell

    Definitely black beans!

  18. peg

    I eat beans every day!

  19. Tracy F.

    What an awesome looking book!!!

  20. Katie

    Currently, I love black beans and garbanzo. But I want to expand my pallet :)

  21. sarah-g

    Looks like an amazing cookbook!

  22. Tina.

    Beans are the best!

  23. Carrie Brown

    I love garbanzo beans and I need some new recipes!

  24. R Morris

    Right now I’m trying heirloom beans and my favorite is Jacob’s Cattle beans. They are so pretty and hold up really well in slow cooker dishes.

  25. audrey

    a favorite bean?! Hmmm black beans or Garbonzo’s tie it for me!

  26. Zu

    Fava beans! I have a recipe for fava bean soup with lemon and fresh dill that is to die for!

  27. I love beans!! My favorite are black beans cooked with Kombu in a slow cooker. So delicious!

  28. Rae

    I love garbanzo beans!

  29. Lisa

    Yum! Chickpeas are the best!!

  30. Jenn


  31. Natalia

    Lentils and Red Kidney!

  32. Sarah

    i love lentils!

  33. Laura K

    I was raised on pinto beans and cornbread! and, I still love them, and always will…but I wouldn’t turn down any bean dish really!

  34. Ryan D

    Edamame is my bean of choice.

  35. Stephanie McCaslin

    Sounds delicious!

  36. Missy

    My favorite are definitely garbanzo beans! You can do anything with them!

  37. My favorite beans, hands down, is the chickpea.

  38. Vanessa

    Chickpea :-)

  39. Mar

    Black beans in all their glory … with rice, in chili … and black bean soup, the best!

  40. Kathy Lewis

    My favorite beans are navy beans and white beans.

  41. Cesia

    The pesto white bean salad is a new one for me, can’t wait to try it out.

  42. Korie

    I’m trying to get my [non-veg] hubby to like beans as much as I do and this book would be great! Lentils are my fave!

  43. Garbanzo beans are definitely my favorite!

    -Allie @ LunaVida

  44. Stacie May

    Cannot get enough of black beans. You can use them for so many different things and they are super tasty!

  45. andrea karsch

    Love beans, have wanted this book for a while!

  46. My vote is for Cannelini! They are so versatile and I love how they are nice and soft.

  47. gaby

    I love giant butter beans! And of course the ever versatile chickpea.

  48. Jess

    Love love love garbanzo!

  49. Kim

    Hard to pick just one favorite bean – but I think I’m going to go with the chickpea (so creamy!!)

  50. Kelly

    Lima Beans!!!

  51. Chelsea Ortiz

    I like a simple black bean :)

  52. This sounds like a really cool cookbook! Love beans!

  53. Oh man I love all beans so much, but lately I do love garbanzos the most!

  54. Shannon C

    White beans are my favorite because they are so versatile! Black beans are a close 2nd.

  55. Paul A

    Probably pink/red lentils/ with chickpeas and navy beans right up there

  56. Lydia Claire

    Black beans, especially in burritos!

  57. celyn

    I love fresh fava beans!

  58. Angela

    Do lentils count? If not, my fave are black beans!

  59. Candy

    Favorite bean of choice: coffee bean. Lol, I bet that’s not what you meant!! I really do love all beans…especially black beans. Love me a warm bowl of spicy black bean soup on a chilly fall day. There should definitely be more beans in everyone’s diet…studies show that they help you live longer!

  60. Truc

    Hmmm. I love gigantic lima beans, but I’m eating chickpeas right now (in a hummus pita sandwich), so I guess I should probably go with chickpeas. lol.

  61. Jeff

    I like garbanzo beans a lot!

  62. I love black beans – eat them all the time!

  63. Beth M

    I subscribed to your youtube with a different email address. Does that matter? Would love to win! Thanks for offering the giveaway!

  64. Beth M

    Oops, you might need to delete my last entry. I love black beans!

  65. Nichole

    Chickpeas are my favorite

  66. Emory R.


  67. Gayle P

    Garbanzo all the way! So versatile.

  68. I struggle with my consumption of beans as it seems I have the least imagination when it comes to them. I would love an opportunity to review the book and try recipes :)

  69. Black beans and chickpeas…they are deliciousness.

  70. my go to beans are either garbanzo or cannellini

  71. Kate

    I cannot get enough black beans!

  72. betsy

    Finally!! My eight year old will eat beans!! now I just have to keep the ball rolling. This book would be a huge help!!!

  73. My favorite bean…hmmm…there are so many…lately I’m loving black beans in a bean/corn/tomato summer salad combo :)

  74. Jessica Moore

    I use black beans and garbanzo beans the most!

  75. I especially <3 garbonzos & black beans, I make a crockpot's worth of one kind or another every week!

  76. Lorraine

    My bean of choice is black beans.

  77. Adam

    Garbanzo beans are the best!

  78. Dave Levin

    Black beans, so many ways to use them!

  79. Susan

    Garbanzo beans!! SO versatile and yummy :-)

  80. Devra

    I like black beans in salad but prefer kidney and red beans in chili. My preference usually depends on the dish. And it looks like this cookbook has a ton to choose from!

  81. Penni

    Chick peas are my favorite!

  82. leneatiengo

    I really like soy beans and its versatility. Also chick peas, and also lentils and split peas are among my favorites.

  83. Megan G

    I love black beans most because I find them to be the most versatile.

  84. Alexandra P

    Chickpeas are my favorite!

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