The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman
The angle: Vegan before 6pm, but meat and dairy are fair game for dinner — here’s the cookbook to make it easy.
Recipes for right now: Orange-Peach Parfait, Green Toast, Blueberry Spoonbread, Chickpea Tabbouleh, Fully-Loaded Bean Burritos, Eggplant Meatballs, Red Paella with Scallops, Chicken Stir-Fry in Lettuce Cups
Who would enjoy this book? Flexitarians, anyone making the transition into a more vegetable-centric diet
• Who wrote it: Mark Bittman
• Who published it: Clarkson Potter
• Number of recipes: Around 350
• Other highlights: It’s been about a year since I first started following Mark Bittman’s VB6 diet — first on a whim, and then because it seemed to fit my lifestyle. I still follow it today! The idea is pretty simple, which is what appealed to me to begin with: eat a strictly vegan diet until 6pm, and then you’re free to eat whatever you like in the evening. Written like that, it sounds a little too good to be true, but read through Bittman’s first book VB6 or the first few chapters of this follow-up cookbook, and it starts making some good sense. Really, it’s less about following rules or subscribing to any kind of fad diet technique, and more about setting some easy-to-follow parameters to help you eat a more balanced diet.
For some people, it’s hard to imagine breakfast without eggs or a vegan lunch that would keep you satisfied through an afternoon of meetings. Bittman’s new cookbook will help. It’s full of simple, everyday recipes that walk you through the process of building a healthy, happy, and most importantly, sustainable daily meal plan. He also includes an actual 4-week meal plan to help jumpstart your transition to this kind of lifestyle.
The recipes sound delicious — Orange-Peach Parfait? Curried Spinach and Tofu? Yes, please! — and they also sound like Real People Food. By which I mean, food that most of us actually eat every day. They’re not “diet” recipes. There’s no trickery, no sad steamed unadorned broccoli, no fake cheeses or vegan bacon trying to trick your tastebuds. There are also no strange “health” foods or diet supplements you’ve never heard of; it’s the same food most of us probably already have on our shopping lists, just re-arranged for different times of the day.
If this kind of daily diet sounds interesting to you or you’ve been considering giving VB6 a try, this cookbook will be a great resource in planning and discovering new foods and meals to try.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The VB6 Cookbook by Mark Bittman
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