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The Happy Cow Cookbook Review

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Having used the HappyCow.net website to research potential restaurants when we travel, I was familiar with the work of Eric Brent and his co-workers. This cookbook has taken my esteem for them to new heights. If anyone ever had doubts about the viability of a vegan diet for the world, this book will dispel any and all concerns. The authors interviewed the chef/owners in depth and asked many questions ranging from “How long has this restaurant been open?” to “Where do you see the plant based food movement going in coming years?” The answers are interesting and informative and bring out the character and purpose of the respondents.

Each restaurant and owner/chef is presented to the reader in photographic detail. The photography of the book gives the reader a good introduction to the restaurants and their menus. Following the descriptions of the restaurants and the owner/chef interviews are pictures of at least one dish along with detailed recipes. The suggested combinations of ingredients and spices are sure to provide new taste sensations and I encourage the readers to try them. The international nature of the cuisine presented enhances these new taste combinations. The majority of the recipes require that the foods be cooked but some do not.

We tried the Porcini Crusted Tofu from New York City’s Candle Café. This included the Candle’s flavorful mushroom gravy, and the entire meal is served over mashed potatoes. It was very delicious and is a great comfort food as well!  I cannot wait to explore more of the recipes offered.

There is one change that I believe would have been an improvement to the book. Each chef/owner was asked to identify which of their restaurant recipes was their favorite. It would have been useful to have these recipes included in the book either additionally or in place of the existing recipes that were provided. Despite this minor critique, I think that the editors did a great job of getting busy, successful restaurateurs to share their expertise and recipes for us all to enjoy.

Glenn McCarthy (5-28-2014)