Tuesday, June 28, 2011


On a visit to my local library, I was pleasantly surprised yet suspicious to see THE TROPICAL VEGAN KITCHEN: Meat-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free Dishes from the Tropics. Surprised because, “Wow, it’s a vegan cookbook!” but on the other hand suspicious since it had no photographs whatsoever (except for the salad on the cover). Cooking with a cookbook that has no photographs is kind of like seeing someone in person after you’ve read their profile on a dating website. There are definite risks involved. Have no fear! Unlike said dating site, THE TROPICAL VEGAN KITCHEN does not tell you he is 6 foot 5 when he is really 5 foot 2 or that he is built like Taylor Lautner when he is more like Michael Cera (not that there is anything wrong with him, geek chic is in). And just like Michael Cera, this cookbook is quite an amazing find, humble and smart but not as typecast. The best part is that as an amateur chef I could feel confident preparing Aussie-Style Fettuccine with Basil-Macadamia Pesto without comparing it to professional food photographs found in other cookbooks. The dishes in this book take you around the world to sunny, exotic, and breezy locales. The Thai Pineapple Fried Rice is to die for and no quesadilla would be complete without Kiwifruit Salsa. Want to try an interesting flavour combination? Try sinking your teeth into coconut milk-moistened banana, pineapple, kiwifruit, and mango chunks in the Tropical Whole-Grain Muffin. I even got in touch with my ancestral roots by making some serious Roasted Vegetables in African Peanut Sauce on Fufu. THE TROPICAL VEGAN KITCHEN will take your tastebuds on vacation.

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