Cookbook Review & Free Cookbooks

I recently received a copy of The Natural Vegan Kitchen by Christine Waltermeyer from Book Pubco.

The book infuses macrobiotic cooking principles with vegan cooking.

A few things I noticed about the book right away: Lots of savory dishes, lots of salad and soup ideas; some very basic recipes, some more creative and more complicated recipes, too.

I also observed the lack of an extensive dessert section.   Most raw/vegan cookbooks feature an abundance of desserts, but not this book.

The recipes in this book range from simple, yes I can see myself making this, to no, probably not, based on time/energy/effort required.  But that’s all cookbooks.  Different strokes for different folks in terms of what recipes will appeal to certain people.  I love the natural foods, natural focus, in The Natural Vegan Kitchen.

The few color pictures that were included in the book and that caught my eye were the Tempeh Mock Tuna Salad

I have a recipe for Sweet & Nutty Un-Chicken Salad

And a recipe for Sweet & Tangy Chicken-less Salad

I will have to give her mock tuna salad recipe a try.

And the Navy Bean Soup looked hearty and warming.

I have a recipe for Spicy Vegetable Corn & Bean Soup that is fast, easy, and hits the spot if you need an easy vegan soup recipe.


I recently reviewed The 4 Ingredient Vegan as well as Vegan Bodybuilding, both from Book Pubco, here

And included in that post was a massive cookbook review compilation post with my thoughts on dozens and dozens of cookbooks.  Be sure to check out that post if you’re in the market for cookbooks.

Because I have just a few books and cookbooks in my collection.

And that’s just the tip of the book iceberg.


Starting March 1, Book Pubco is holding free book drawings in a campaign called “Live Delicious, Eat Vegan.”

Even if you’re not vegan, if your goal is scoring free cookbooks because free stuff rocks incorporating more plant-based recipes in your repertoire, click here for the details and to enter.  Because winning any of these books would be awesome, right!

From my last post on Watching Movies, it was fun to hear what your favorite movies are.  And whether you watch many movies or not, and if you watched the Oscars what you thought of them.  Glad you liked the fact that I was in a movie.

Dessert: Let’s stick with a natural, raw, vegan theme today.

Raw Vegan Cheesecake

This dessert is so easy.  It comes together in 15 minutes.  Enjoy!


1. When you look for a cookbook what things are selling points for you or things that interest you?

I look for:

ease of recipes

time/effort required

being able to find the ingredients the recipes call for easily and inexpensively

I don’t have time, energy, or the desire to be a slave in the kitchen making elaborate recipes these days.  Nor do I have the budget for raw cacao powder and organic goji berries.  The recipes have to be practical and user-friendly for me to really click with a book.

Then again, there are some cookbooks that I view as art and inspiration.  I get inspired by the books, even if I will never make the recipe.

2. What’s the last recipe you’ve made from a cookbook?

This is hard because I never follow anyone’s recipe in entirety!   I ad-lib, tweak, combine ideas I’ve seen, and add in my own twists.  I am the worst at recipe-following to the letter of the law.  I am such a wing-it cook.

3. What’s the last recipe you’ve made from a blog?

The last recipe I made from a blog that I did not mess with or tweak at all, was Jessica’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, Here.   It was easy and wonderful.




34 Responses to “Cookbook Review & Free Cookbooks”

  1. Heather (Where's the Beach) — March 1, 2011 at 11:48 am (#

    Thanks for the review. I love hearing about cookbooks from others first. I am definitely about the ease of the recipe, but I also check to see how healthy it really is (or if it can be healthified). I love photos too. I want to see what it might look like. As for the last time I used a cookbook – as in followed a recipe – um….really don’t recall.

  2. Valerie @ City|Life|Eats — March 1, 2011 at 12:04 pm (#

    I am obsessed with cookbooks. For the most part what attracts me to a book is that it includes lots of ingredients that I can eat – i.e. I don’t have much interest for gluten or dairy heavy cookbooks.

  3. Kate — March 1, 2011 at 12:05 pm (#

    Why are you keeping all your cookbooks in a cabinet! What a beautiful collection, they should be displayed! :)

    I’ve been loving ‘color me vegan’ lately, lots of easy, savoury veggie recipes!! & offers a lot of nutritional information and random facts about each veggie and separated by color!

  4. Kate — March 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm (#

    Why are you keeping all your cookbooks in a cabinet! What a beautiful collection, they should be displayed! :)

  5. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) — March 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm (#

    I am not good at following recipes…better at making them up. I love looking at them and reading them like novels, but actually using them, not so much.

  6. Elizabeth@The Sweet Life — March 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm (#

    That soup looks so delicious–I’m feeling a bit under the weather and would love some right now!

  7. Allie — March 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm (#

    I look for vegan cookbooks with lots of easy entrees! I’ve gotten breakfast down pretty well, but lunch and dinner are still always a, “Hmmm, what to make/eat today?” And if they’re fully cooked vegan, I dislike cookbooks that always focus on tofu/tempeh/other soy products. I feel as if these are marketed towards new vegans and vegetarians who need meat replacements. If I enjoy a little tofu or tempeh it’s with appreciation for the soy product itself, not as a meat replacement.
    And your cheesecake looks so delicious, I might have to attempt that recipe tonight!

  8. Katie — March 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm (#

    I like pictures.

    As for the recipes, they have to be everything you said, but also not heavy on tofu/tempeh/fake “meat” type recipes. I like recipes with lots of fresh, easy to find ingredients.

    Not that it really matters, since I just sub things out all the time anyway. If a recipe called for those things, I’d probably just add extra veggies.

  9. Christina — March 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm (#

    Averie your desserts always make me drool! I still have yet to try that cheezecake recipe. I’m going to PR to visit my bff tomorrow so maybe I’ll make them out there with her and the kids. She loves making natural foods such as vegan meals and microbiotic dishes! I can’t wait! I’m a little scared though because she said there aren’t many vegetarian (or vegan for that matter) options out there. Us Puerto Ricans live off meat so for me this is going to be a challenge. Hopefull it’ll go well, maybe I’ll just ask her if we can cook some carribbean inspired dishes which I know you’d enjoy. Have a great week! Sorry for the lack of posts lately, it’s been crazy getting ready to leave for vaca.

  10. Allison @ Happy Tales — March 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm (#

    I love when cookbooks have bright, vibrant pictures. Always a big selling point to me!

  11. Emmitt @ hemorrhoid miracle — March 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm (#

    That food is making my mouth water. Maybe I’ll get this cookbook for my wife – just kidding, ladies. I cook, too.

  12. Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — March 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm (#

    I always look for vibrant pictures in cookbooks– I want to be able to SEE what it is I’m trying to make!

  13. Mary @ Bites and Bliss — March 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm (#

    I look for cookbooks that focus more on nutrients than calories, but that do offer nutritional information- especially on desserts and what not. Also, photos!!! Those are so important.

  14. Julie Lynn — March 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm (#

    I have recipe book collection envy. ;-)

    When I’m in search of a recipe book I look for inexpensive, easily accessible ingredients (first and foremost)…then I consider ease of preparation.

    Can’t remember the last time I used a recipe at all. Been too long since I’ve spent much time in the kitchen. Sheesh! I need to get on it. :-)

  15. Kate (What Kate is Cooking) — March 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm (#

    I like to find unique recipes- there’s no point of buying a cookbook if it’s the same thing you can find anywhere!

  16. Christine (The Raw Project) — March 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm (#

    I kind of like that the book isn’t too focused on desserts and the tempeh salad looks great.

    1. Recipes that do not contain loads of exoctic ingredients and a good selection of faster recipes I can through together on weeknights.
    2. The Notmayo salad dressing for dinner last night from The Raw Gourmet.
    3. Probably the Balsamic Tahini dressing from Choosing Raw last week.

  17. rebecca lustig — March 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm (#

    I”ll definitely have to check that book out!! Thanks for sharing, I always love new, innovative and wholesome recipes

  18. Tina — March 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm (#

    I just posted about the new cookbook I bought! I got appetite for reduction and I am excited to try some of the recipes! I definitely like simple recipes with simple ingredients. My kitchen shouldn’t feel like a labratory!

  19. Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} — March 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm (#

    1. I look for health factor–I want a cookbook that follows my general food philosophy. I also look for authors I am familiar with or that have had good reviews.

    2. I can’t remember! Maybe How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Bittman?

    3. I made Mama Pea’s roasted chickpea tacos last night. Super quick and so tasty!

  20. Jessica@ Fruit and Veggie Tales — March 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm (#

    I don’t have many cookbooks in my repertoire yet as we have only been eating this way for about 9 months, but I totally love ‘Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw!’ It has helped so much with techniques as well as yummy and simple recipes! ~Also I can’t wait to read your movie post! Fun!

  21. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — March 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm (#

    I like when cookbooks give a preview of their recipes on the cover to give you an idea of what’s inside. I also like descriptive titles and summaries.

    I think the last blog recipe I made was MamaPea’s Sloppy Josephines, but I am inspired by a lot of other things, like Kelsey’s (Snack Squirrel) tempeh taco salad.

    Get this, Averie! Dustin is a carnivore, right? But he said he’d totally be down for eating vegan. He says he’d probably get used to it. :lol: Bless his open-minded little heart!! I’m not a vegan, either, but I thoroughly enjoy many, many, many vegan dishes. REAL food is just delicious in all ways. That’s undeniable truth. :)

    I want that cheesecake. :shock: I love, love, love all of your dishes. Mainly because they are so simple with limited ingredients and look hella YUM! :P

  22. Jessica @ How Sweet — March 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm (#

    I gotta make that fudge again soon! Fudge is something I never make unless it is around the holidays. And I usually go for cookbooks with pretty pictures. I need visuals!

  23. Jess — March 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm (#

    I look for ingredients that aren’t expensive/”too exotic”, high-ish protein, balanced meals, DELICIOUS looking, and easy enough!

  24. Christin@purplebirdblog — March 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm (#

    “scoring free cookbooks because free stuff rocks” Guilty as charged! ;)

    The last thing I made from a blog was Ashley’s (Edible Perspective) buckwheat breakfast bake… it was damn good!

  25. elana — March 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm (#

    i made today spring rolls with your peanut sauce recipe and it was soooooo good. i am wondering though if maybe you have an idea how i can try to lower the calories in it? i didn’t calculate it, but i have a feeling although the spring rolls give the feeling of eating a very low cal food, eating it with the sauce (which is a must!) makes it a whole different story… would love any advice if i can substitute some ingredients maybe. thank you!!!

    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) — March 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm (#

      Because the food itself is very low cal, just raw veggies, the sauce balances it. I really dont worry about it too much to be honest!

  26. Jolene ( — March 1, 2011 at 9:02 pm (#

    I typically look for pictures and ingredients I have at least heard …

    I have waaaaaay to many cookbooks, but I can’t stop buying!

  27. easy recipes — March 4, 2011 at 7:51 pm (#

    I am looking for foods and snacks that have easy recipe and price friendly

  28. easy recipes — March 5, 2011 at 7:11 pm (#

    cook books are very helpful especially to my WIFE.. THANKS

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