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Friday, May 9, 2014

Chef Del's Better Than Vegan Cookbook

Because I simply do NOT have enough vegan cookbooks,

really, not nearly enough....

when I saw that Chef Del had released his first cookbook, of course I had to get it.

I've actually seen Del in person and sampled some of his cooking when I was at The Wellness Center in Columbus to hear Rip Esselstyn speak, just two weeks into my vegan/whole food plant-based adventure, coming up on four years ago.  I knew a little bit about Del's personal story and struggle with health/weight issues, and he shares that history in the opening pages of his book, Better Than Vegan.

I always enjoy a personal saga and admire it when people are brave enough to bare their soul and share what has worked for them.  Del also educates in the book with a lot of good, basic data about nutrients, cooking without oils and unprocessed (for the most part) foods, as well as how to stock your vegan pantry, etc.

I've only made a couple of recipes from the book, but I believe it is one that I will come back to and will be the source of several new 'go-to', tried and true favorite recipes for me.

His black bean veggie burger recipe is now my favorite and I've made it half a dozen or more times.  (I did change the recipe though as I found the amount of spices he used too much for my palate---I also used Northern beans and Kidney beans in place of the black beans and prefer that variation).

Bean burgers from Chef Del's Better Than Vegan Cookbook

Del has several strategies for cooking that he utilizes in different ways throughout the book, for example, using a cauliflower puree in place of nuts/tahini in sauces, soups and other applications.  I am tweaking some of those sauces to suit my tastes.  In doing this, the book seems a bit repetitive and maybe over-simplified, but then again, I do like the short list of ingredients in the recipes, the fact that most go together quite quickly and especially the fact that I don't have to sub out things like oil  (note: Del does use stevia, which I am not a fan of, as well as rice syrup, wine and sherry, none of which I use, but those are mostly easily substituted with soaked or blended Medjool dates).

I'll share more thoughts about the book as I continue to cook from it.  It is nice to see that books which align with Dr's. Campbell and Esselstyn's approach are being published, and I am happy to support that effort.

Amazon link to Del's book:

Sue, loving my veggie burgers, in Ohio

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