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Vegan Pressure Cooking Delicious Beans, Grains and Meals in Minutes, JL Fields (Fair Winds Press, 2015)

Vegan Pressure Cooking by JL Fields - review by VegansEatWhat.comVegan Pressure Cooking by JL Fields is a delight!  Full disclosure, I am a big fan of JL’s and have been since attending her cooking demo at VegFest Colorado 2013.  She is a delightful teacher, the kind of person that is clear, shares her own foibles and is approachable.  She’s a “real person” just like you and me!  That comes across in her book as well as in her classes.

This cookbook is easy to follow, the ingredients are easy to find and the results are wonderful!  What else could a person want in a cookbook?!  Ok, you may say “I could want a pressure cooker and I don’t have one!”  This book will make you strongly consider buying one or asking for one on your birthday!  And I’ll tell you a secret – even if you don’t have a pressure cooker, you will find these recipes a welcome addition to your gastronomic repertoire.  Why?  Because you will learn new ways to combine ingredients that make for very tasty dishes!  As one woman said upon leaving a class of JL’s “I’ve no intention of buying a pressure cooker right now, but boy did I learn a lot!”  Of course, others went out and ordered pressure cookers that day and have been using them ever since!

If you do want to buy a pressure cooker and need a little guidance, you will find it in the aptly named first chapter, “Pressure Cooking 101”.  Yes, it addresses the “how do make sure it doesn’t blow up?” fear that many have as well as other safety and general use issues.  It also discusses electric as well as stove top pressure cookers.  Charts for cooking times for various beans, grains and vegetables are also included.

What makes this book easy to use?  First, the recipes use easy to find ingredients.  And, the ingredients are listed in the same order as they are used in the recipes which makes following these recipes ‘user friendly.’  Second, optional substitutions are offered.  Third, the directions are clear and concise.  Fourth, the photos presented in the book actually look like your finished result (as compared to a food stylist’s result that yours may never resemble).  And fifth, it is full of whole plant-based foods

We’ve tried a number of recipes from this book including Umami Anasazi Beans, Mushroom Rice, Mashed Sweet Potatoes (made with fingerling potatoes rather than sweet potatoes), White Beans and Greens Soup, Creamy Kale Miso Soup, Portobello Mushroom and Barley Soup, Black-eyed Pea and Collard Green Chili,.  There are many more recipes in this book that we anticipate trying.  We’ve found that some of the recipes in the book that appear to be the most basic and simple are amazingly good (witness the first three in this list).  Take a look at JL’s book.  You will not be disappointed!

Justina Walls (1/5/2015)