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Another Dinner Is Possible - Mike & Isy

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£11.36 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk See more offers
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Author: Mike & Isy / Publisher: AK Press / 256 Pages

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      24.01.2012 20:17
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      Om Nom Nom

      Another dinner is possible

      What prompted me to buy?
      A recommendation from an established and successful vegan lady. This would be a welcome addition to my growing number of inspirational vegan cookery books. I like to be creative and follow my own instincts in the kitchen though sometimes when trying something for the first time or if I'm wondering what to do the books are invaluable.

      When I looked up the book on Amazon the reviews were good and the blurb impressive. Promises of the book being 'the best vegan cook book there is' and 'unusual and exceptionally well produced, wonderful recipes and a joy to use' certainly gained my attention.

      Due to the book being on offer at a third of the price I thought 'why the heck not' and ordered a copy.

      Lets browse...
      First off - the book is made for 'using' and not sitting pretty on a shelf gathering dust till your good intentions emerge. The paperback book is spiral bound which, in my opinion, is a super idea and practical for when you are referring to a page during a spell of cooking - it can be awkward in my small kitchen to find something to wedge a book open with. Someone really thought about the design of this book and it shows. The uber glossy cover is made with splashes in mind - it can get messy in the kitchen and accidents happen so it is great that you can just wipe stuff off from the cover so easily. I like the handy cover 'flaps' that contain really handy information such as measurements and terminology, ingredients and quick conversions; and the flaps can be used as page marks! They seem to have thought of everything Mike and Isy. Mike and Isy are the creators of the book - no last names they are just referred to as Mike and Isy - this makes the book feel really laid back and accessible as I'm on first name terms already!

      It comprehensive in a modest way...
      This is not a singing and dancing kind of publication. It is concise and to the point - I like the fact that I don't have to trawl through reams of overwhelming terminology to get started on a recipe. I find it fun and accessible. You won't find colour photographs of the finished product in here but there are some good black and white illustrations of skills and techniques, food stuffs and herbs etc.

      Not just a recipe book - you get a large section of 'articles' which range from nutrition to brewing your own beer. I found the extra reading material interesting and insightful - take what works for you and leave what doesn't. I bought the book for the recipes and got extra -bonus. I found the cooking on a large scale article very interesting - Isy and Mike cook on a large scale often and there are tips for food hygiene and kitchen safety - handy to be aware of.

      The recipe section is easily identified in the contents section and the large font makes finding the page simple. Often there will be two recipes on one page and these are clearly separate - I don't find it confusing. Along with soups and main courses there is a great mix of inspirational ideas which include Korean dishes, side dishes, salads, sauces, snacks, breads and preserves. It is pretty impressive. I find all the ingredients are easily sourced in the UK and once you have your cupboard basics you are on your way.

      The page layout is particularly well designed and works well for me. On the left of the page in the margin you get the list of ingredients and equipment that you need. The in clear, large font - and with numbers beside each stage of the recipe - you get the instructions to follow. Often there are variations at the end of the recipe

      There is so much to choose from in this book. No shortage of motivation and inspiration. The dishes that I have done have turned out very well. Once familiar I always get creative and adapt. If I had to select my favourite meal to date it would have to be the Mushroom Soup 1 (there are 2 mushroom soup recipes). This soup is divine and works even better with wild mushroom and a splash of mushroom ketchup! It is creamy and earthy - served with olive ciabatta I'm in heaven.

      Format makes sense...
      The formatting of the book makes life really easy - it just makes sense and I find things where I would expect them to be.

      Soups are divine...
      The soup section is my most used part of the book - you can get so creative with a soup and they are delicious and warming on a winter evening.

      Lifestyle tips...
      I appreciated the articles that are a part of the book. It is relevant to include a solid nutrition section for vegans and this one is a good effort. For complete newbie vegans Alicia Silverstone's 'The Kind Diet' is superb.

      Empowering read...
      I have learned and been empowered with a wealth of knowledge after reading through this book. It is thought provoking and interesting.

      Sourcing...
      Amazon.co.uk

      Price...
      £12.60
      Sometimes less on Amazon Market Place.

      Final thoughts...
      This is a successful recipe book. It works on lots of levels. The price is competitive and design makes the book a functional part of a busy kitchen. The Glossaries and cooking terms make life much easier. Ingredients are realistic and easily sourced. Meals are nutritious and tasty - recipes are user friendly, in large font and work well. There is a comprehensive range of mains along with a wide variety of soups and deserts. I appreciated the additional recipes for snacks and salads among other things on offer. I am impressed with this book and think that it lives up to the praise that it has received. It is certainly one of the best vegan cook books that I have worked with to date.

      Star Rating
      FIVE

      Recommended...
      I was already an established and confident vegan when I purchased this book. The book does include a very good section on nutrition that makes sense and is easy to understand - on this one point I do think that the way Alicia Silverstone (The Kind Diet) explains the food groups and nutritional elements to the diet is clearer. For someone considering becoming vegan Alicia's book will certainly be of great benefit. This book is clearly a wonderful addition to a vegan bookshelf - there is no doubt about that. It is designed with practical use in mind, has reams of lifestyle and further reading of interest as well as a fabulous and comprehensive range of easy and user friendly recipes. Nice large font on the quality paper pages make following a recipe simple and I just love the way the pages remain open due to the large spiral bound design - top marks for that Mike and Isy. The soup section has to have special recognition as it is impressive! These soups are tasty! I also enjoyed the personal tale about Mike and Isy that lies within the introduction - I like having a bit of background to the authors and their rationale for creating a book, it is a nice personal touch and they seem like genuine guys. A book that I refer to and work from often - that is what it was made for. Thanks Mike and Isy.

      That's all for now folks...
      Also published on Ciao.

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