Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Vegan Soul Food Guide to Galaxy: Book Review

From the top: this book gets 10 out of 10 Mocha Angels. There's no need for me to hold back on my enthusiasm. Vegan food has the reputation for being tasteless. That has not been my experience, but I know the larger world view is that vegans eat carrots and twigs. I'm not sure where that perception came from, but when I began changing my lifestyle, I easily found wonderful cookbooks. No twigs nor carrot sticks to be found.

And after my recent post "The Courage to be a Raw Vegan," you may wonder why I'm reviewing a cooked vegan book. I'd written in that post about the health of African-Americans. Going vegan, cooked or raw, is a step in the right direction for anyone with a health challenge. For a myriad of reasons, Black folks are hit hard in the health department. Because Afya Ibomu's book offers twists on classic soul food, it offers easy transition for someone used to their mama's soul food kitchen, or anyone who loves hearty, tasty food.

(An FYI: reviews of Bryant Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen and Martha & Kamaal Theus' 21st Century Vegetarians are coming soon for the same reasons.)

Tofu Stir-Fry

But this is more than a cookbook full of delicious recipes. It's an all-in-one guide to becoming a vegan.
From the Table of Contents:
-Vegan FAQs
-Meat and Dairy Question
-Let's Go Shopping
-Dining Out Guide
-Recipes and More
-Breads and Desserts

I was impressed that Ibomu packed tons of information into 173 pages. She answers the question, "Where do you get all of your nutrients?" in a few pages, quieting any doubts that a vegan lacks essential vitamins. Everything else is here too: the different types of oils, sweeteners, additives & preservatives, reading labels, sea veggies, meat substitutes, a shopping list, and flours.

But what is also here is heart. Ibomu has taken the time, patience, and skill to guide her readers step-by-step on how to become a vegan. It's like she's holding your hand. She answers every question a person could possibly have.

Plus, the DVD Pimp My Tofu! is included. Ibomu teaches you how to make Scrambled Tofu, Sesame Tofu Salad, and Buffalo Tofu. She explains the different type of tofu (silken, soft, firm, and extra firm), and gives a history lesson on what exactly tofu is.

Buffalo Tofu

But let me talk about the food. With this Buffalo Tofu recipe, my husband declared, "FINALLY! I CAN BECOME A VEGAN!" I'm not kidding. This man has been searching for the perfect buffalo chicken wing substitute for years, and he finally found it.

Scrambled Tofu
The Vegan Soul Food Guide to the Galaxy features classic soul food recipes like My Mama's Potato Salad (rockin'), Sweet Potato Pie, Satisfy My Soul Grits, and Cornbread. But there's also Caribbean, Indian, and Asian fare here too. In other words, if you've ever said, "I can't give up my meat." This book replies, "Yes, you can. And you won't miss your meat."

Run, don't walk to Afya Ibomu's website:
. Get yourself a copy. Then buy one for someone you love.


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