NPR’s 10 Best Cookbooks of 2009
by T. Susan Chang
December 6, 2009
Recent years have seen more and more vegan cookbooks hitting the mainstream, and this one bristles with crossover charisma. Sure, there are a few ingredients your average omnivore will never buy — the ume plum vinegar, the agar powder, to name two — but in a year when there was no other significant vegetable book, CLEAN FOOD excels: You could call it a graduate course in meatlessness. The book celebrates the once-obscure, now-popular heirlooms, like Roasted Kabocha Squash and Creminis with Fresh Herbs. There are also minimalist luxuries, like Winter Green Salad with Sugared Walnuts, Crispy Pears and Pomegranates.
Despite its name (which may have you wondering, with a frown, what you’ve been eating up until now), CLEAN FOOD is a gateway book for the vegan lifestyle, not a hard sell. Who knows, it may end up on your kitchen shelf right next to your copy of The Meat Bible. But with its open, appealing design and rosy sense that anything is possible within the plant kingdom, CLEAN FOOD might just win you over.