For a vegan, traveling can be a bit daunting. Unless you’re heading to a city with lots of vegan food options, how can you be sure your trip won’t be ruined by endless side salads and dry toast? According to vegan cookbook superstar Sarah Kramer, the key is to be prepared and make as many of your own meals as possible.
Her new pocket-sized guide, Vegan a Go-Go! (Arsenal Pulp Press), offers travel tips and recipes that will hold up on the road but will also work just fine in your home kitchen. Read on for our impressions ...
Title & Publisher: Vegan a Go-Go! by Sarah Kramer. Published by Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008
First impressions: A pocket-sized, paperback book with a nice, sturdy cover. Recipes include colorful section tags and descriptive stamps, but no recipe photos. Vegan a Go-Go! includes a section of travel tips and packing suggestions, but it is primarily a cookbook.
Number of recipes: 150. The recipes are divided into 10 categories: breakfast, salads, soups, dips, entrees, sauces, side dishes, baking, faux (vegan dairy and meat interpretations) and odds (seasonings). Travel-themed stamps identify the recipes as new, quick and easy, travels well, will impress your friends, or needs special ingredients.
The other stuff: The introductory pages include Kramer’s very personal history with veganism and traveling, including a heartbreaking account of being violently assaulted while traveling with friends – an incident that left her with a thirst for life and dedication to safety.
The angle: Kramer shows off her glam-punk style throughout the book and takes an informal, heart-felt approach to her writing. There is also, obviously, a travel theme throughout.
Equipment needed: A few recipes – like Microwave Curried Chickpea Potato Soup – could be prepared with minimal equipment. But most assume you’ve followed Kramer’s advice to stay in a hotel with a kitchenette or, better yet, a friend. Staying with friends and being the kind of houseguests who treats her hosts to a home-cooked meal is certainly the kind of advice we can get behind.
Strengths: Kramer’s recipes are approachable and fun, and don’t include the mile-long recipe lists that turn us off to many vegan recipes.
Recipes for right now: Freedom French Toast (made with silken tofu), Delightful Broccoli and Red Pepper Soup, Sunflower Seed Avocado Spread, Pita Potato Pizza, Tomato Walnut-Crusted Fried “Chicken,” Date Walnut Energy Bars, Chocolate Upside-Down Pudding Cake.
Recommended? Yes, if you are a vegan (or vegetarian) who’s looking for fun, accessible recipes.
Why? The book is fun to read and the recipes are interesting and uncomplicated.
Buy the book: Vegan a Go-Go! (Amazon, $14)
More: Sarah Kramer: Go Vegan
More 2009 Book Reviews
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• Clean Food by Terry Walters
• Secrets from My Tuscan Kitchen by Judy Witts Francini
• The Perfect Fruit by Chip Brantley
• Heard it Through the Grapevine by Matt Skinner
• Big Food by Elissa Altman
• Edible Schoolyard by Alice Waters
• The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
• Milk by Anne Mendelson
• The New Steak by Cree LeFavour
• A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
• Fresh Food From Small Places by R. J. Ruppenthal
• Eat Feed Autumn Winter by Anne Bramley
• Heirloom Beans by Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo