Review: Healthy Home Cookin’ Cookbook Series

There are thousands of vegan and vegetarian cookbooks available today. If you visit your nearest major bookstore, you’re even likely to see an entire display of veg-based cookbooks, often in a prominent location. Most of those books, however, are pretty specialized. Some focus on raw foods, others on desserts, or on a particular ethnic cuisine. Specialization can be great for advanced vegan cooks but those who are just starting out may need something a little more, say, inclusive.

The 7-volume set Healthy Home Cookin’ is a great solution. We checked it out for you. You’re welcome.

Written by Angela Poch, N.C., it’s a complete compendium of vegan recipes that are easy to make, nutritious and yummy, and suitable for all kinds of lifestyles. Poch is the culinary mastermind behind the online cooking classes we told you about last month on the blog.

Each volume of Healthy Home Cookin’ focuses on a different sub-category of recipes, so it’s easy the perfect recipe for any occasion. Although some specialty ingredients are called for, like vital wheat gluten and nutritional yeast, these recipes are made mostly from items found in regular grocery stores. (Also, some recipes call for honey, but any vegan liquid sweetener can be substituted easily.)

As you can see, the 7 volumes cover just about every meal and food type you can think of:

  • Vol 1: Cakes, Puddings, Parfaits, and More
  • Vol 2: Seasonal Treats: Canning, Camping, and Holidays
  • Vol 3: Pasta, Potatoes, Millet and Rice
  • Vol 4: Pies, Cobblers, Cookies, and Cheesecakes
  • Vol 5: Breakfast, Brunch, Soup, and Salad
  • Vol 6: Better For You Entrees
  • Vol 7: Breads, Biscuits, Crackers, and Muffins

We checked out Volume 5: Breakfast, Brunch, Soup, and Salad for this review. Who can’t resist breakfast and brunch items, right? Soups and salads are some of the most versatile recipes, and are great for any time of the day (or night) and also perfect for sharing.

Vegan Pina Colada Granola

Pina Colada Granola, p. 14 (Image courtesy of Cat DiStasio)

The organization and format of this volume is consistent with the rest of the volumes. There’s a great table of contents to tempt your appetite, and a thorough index to help you seek out recipes using your favorite ingredients.

This volume offers a wide range of recipes, from basic cooked oats to homemade granola and savory breakfast dishes. It progresses into a generous array of soup recipes (many with low fat versions) and a host of decidedly unboring salads. The book even includes a recipe for vegan baked Italian sausage, using a gluten-based formula that uses a homemade “chicken” flavoring (recipe included).

Each recipe in the cookbook is easy to follow, with a detailed list of ingredients and specific preparation directions. The books also include special “techniques and tips” that help the cook understand options for variations, substitute ingredients, and suggestions on brand names. Healthy Home Cookin’ also includes a detailed appendix for the few hard-to-find ingredients included in the recipes.

Vegan Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup, p. 74 (Image courtesy of Cat DiStasio)

My favorite thing about a lot of cookbooks is the photos and, unfortunately, Healthy Home Cookin’ doesn’t have many to share. What it lacks in flashy photos, however, it makes up for in quality recipes. That’s something many fancy cookbooks are missing these days.

Each volume is available for individual purchase, but the complete 7-volume set would make a fantastic gift for a young cook, college vegan, or anyone in need of a solid, complete set of vegan recipes to have at their fingertips. Healthy Home Cookin’ is available in hard copy as well as PDF e-books for download. You can also purchase each volume individually in either format if you’re only interested in a few of them. Follow this link to their website for online purchases.

Happy home cooking!

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