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Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food: 65 Everyday Meal Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with Over 150 Great-Tasting, Down-Home Recipes

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A born food-lover, raised in California on “the best Mexican food in the country” and her father’s “traditional Southern soul food,” Alicia C. Simpson couldn’t imagine giving up her favorite dishes to become vegan. Animal-free food might be healthier, but could it match the tastes of home—like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, or a bowl of chili? Three years after Alicia A born food-lover, raised in California on “the best Mexican food in the country” and her father’s “traditional Southern soul food,” Alicia C. Simpson couldn’t imagine giving up her favorite dishes to become vegan. Animal-free food might be healthier, but could it match the tastes of home—like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, or a bowl of chili? Three years after Alicia took the vegan plunge, Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food answers that question with a resounding “yes!” Here is the essential cookbook for any of America’s more than 6 million vegans who miss the down-home tastes they remember (or want to try), or for vegetarians and even meat-eaters who want to add more plant-based foods to their diets, but don’t know where to start. Comfort-seeking cooks will find: Easy-to-prepare, animal-free versions of classics like Spicy Buffalo Bites, Ultimate Nachos, Baked Ziti and more 65 delicious combinations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with flavors from around the world, like “Chinese Take-In” or “Tijuana Torpedo” Everything you need to know to start your vegan pantry, and why being vegan is easier, less expensive, and more delicious than you might think. With spirit and style, Alicia shows just how easy—yes, and comforting—vegan food can be.


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A born food-lover, raised in California on “the best Mexican food in the country” and her father’s “traditional Southern soul food,” Alicia C. Simpson couldn’t imagine giving up her favorite dishes to become vegan. Animal-free food might be healthier, but could it match the tastes of home—like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, or a bowl of chili? Three years after Alicia A born food-lover, raised in California on “the best Mexican food in the country” and her father’s “traditional Southern soul food,” Alicia C. Simpson couldn’t imagine giving up her favorite dishes to become vegan. Animal-free food might be healthier, but could it match the tastes of home—like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, or a bowl of chili? Three years after Alicia took the vegan plunge, Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food answers that question with a resounding “yes!” Here is the essential cookbook for any of America’s more than 6 million vegans who miss the down-home tastes they remember (or want to try), or for vegetarians and even meat-eaters who want to add more plant-based foods to their diets, but don’t know where to start. Comfort-seeking cooks will find: Easy-to-prepare, animal-free versions of classics like Spicy Buffalo Bites, Ultimate Nachos, Baked Ziti and more 65 delicious combinations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with flavors from around the world, like “Chinese Take-In” or “Tijuana Torpedo” Everything you need to know to start your vegan pantry, and why being vegan is easier, less expensive, and more delicious than you might think. With spirit and style, Alicia shows just how easy—yes, and comforting—vegan food can be.

30 review for Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food: 65 Everyday Meal Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with Over 150 Great-Tasting, Down-Home Recipes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Alicia C. Simpson's cookbook is easy and fun, and is sure to please new vegans and those who miss the comfort food of their meat-eating days. I like her basic approach to cooking; it makes remembering the recipes and recreating them (sans cookbook) easy. Still, many of the dishes in her cookbook are so basic that they were already in my repertoire. (I've been vegan for nearly 15 years.) I love cookbooks with photos and this one has just a few, tucked into the center of the book. My on Alicia C. Simpson's cookbook is easy and fun, and is sure to please new vegans and those who miss the comfort food of their meat-eating days. I like her basic approach to cooking; it makes remembering the recipes and recreating them (sans cookbook) easy. Still, many of the dishes in her cookbook are so basic that they were already in my repertoire. (I've been vegan for nearly 15 years.) I love cookbooks with photos and this one has just a few, tucked into the center of the book. My only other complaint is that Alicia tends to use a lot of faux cheese, vegan sour cream, and textured vegetable protein -- meaning that her recipes look a lot like those in "traditional" cookbooks with veggie substitutions. That said, I like this cookbook and expect it will be on my shelf for years to come. Now for reviews of the recipes I've tried -- Lemon and caper linguine: I added a little lemon zest, but this garlicky pasta was a hit with everyone! Kiddo loved the broccoli. Spinach and cheeze scramble: We make tofu scramble a lot, so I'll admit to being a little picky. This scramble made the grade. The spices would have been a little intense on tofu alone, but with the spinach, it was perfect. We ate this with some roasted tomato salsa and homefries. Yum! Spicy soba noodles with peanut sauce: This recipe is very similar to a standby in our kitchen: tofu and rice noodles in peanut sauce. That said, I'm not sure I've ever cooked with soba before. I was impressed with how fast it cooked. I only had to boil the noodles for three minutes then throw them in the pan with the veggies and sauce. Pretty easy and delicious, but also pretty basic. There's not much new about Alicia's take on peanuty noodles. Miso soup: A nice basic recipe for miso soup. Very quick and easy, and delicious!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elevate Difference

    As someone who has been cooking far less time than I’d like to admit, I should explain that I’ve gotten quite skilled in the arts of chopping, mincing, and sautéing in a very short time, and I enjoy my kitchen prep time far more than I ever expected. I’m a vegan in a decidedly un-vegan land, so I had little choice when it came to learning to cook. After going vegan, the options were eat junk or go hungry. Alicia C. Simpson, known to some as Vegan Guinea Pig, a writer for the Vegans of As someone who has been cooking far less time than I’d like to admit, I should explain that I’ve gotten quite skilled in the arts of chopping, mincing, and sautéing in a very short time, and I enjoy my kitchen prep time far more than I ever expected. I’m a vegan in a decidedly un-vegan land, so I had little choice when it came to learning to cook. After going vegan, the options were eat junk or go hungry. Alicia C. Simpson, known to some as Vegan Guinea Pig, a writer for the Vegans of Color blog, and founder of Lici’s Sweet Treats Organic Bakery, found herself in a similar predicament. A native Californian living in Atlanta, she had a tough time locating simple, healthy vegan food in her community. Raised on a combination of soul food from her Southern father and veg-friendly Cali fare from her mother, Simpson’s journey to veganism began several years ago and accidentally (if fortuitously) produced a cookbook. After making her own booklet of instructions, she realized that her creations had become a full-fledged publication. Brand new publisher The Experiment believed in her work, and the result of their collaboration is stunning. Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food is filled with accessible, invigorating recipes. Alongside simple preparation instructions are cooking tips and suggestions for pairings with other dishes in the book. Several pages are devoted to whole foods green smoothies and, for vegan newbies, how to ease into drinking them so you body doesn’t go into some sort of detox shock that leaves you stuck in the water closet for a day. Beautiful full-page color photos illustrate delectable combinations, like sweet potato waffles with a spinach omelet, Fool Your Friends Tacos, and Sloppy Josephs. I think meaty Sloppy Joes are one of the most disgusting foods invented, and a vegan version hardly sounded appealing. But the photo of the TVP (textured vegetable protein) mixture on whole-wheat buns made my mouth water. With a sauce made from scratch, you avoid all the preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. That’s a re-appropriated comfort I can get behind. Cookbooks can do more than instruct. They can also inspire and validate. Simpson’s unpretentious recipes provide vegan simplicity, and her enthusiasm for cooking is infectious. She offers basic tips for stocking a low-cost vegan pantry. When she writes, “Trying oat milk for the first time is a life-changing experience,” I truly believe her—and not just because I happened to have tried oat milk less than a week before receiving her book in the mail. Indeed, had I carried her supportive words with me to the grocery, I would have spent far less time debating which carton of dairy alternative to purchase. The only other decision I faced recently when selecting food was which of Simpson’s enticing creations to try first. In my home, we are vegans who admittedly miss cheese (and my partner is only vegan at home, for what it’s worth). For that reason, the Dilla recipe—that’s sans queso, you see—was a perfect choice. A lightly fried tortilla filled with a hummus and veggie concoction, we ate too much and didn’t think twice about missing cheddar. But then, I don’t expect vegan ingredients to replicate—only to replace—animal products. Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food delivers on all counts. A food preparation manual has rarely been so appropriately named. Review by Brittany Shoot

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Let’s face it, on a cold, rainy day or after a tough day there are times the only thing you want to do is snuggle up on the couch and feel the comfort of some warm stick-to-your ribs food or a sweet, sticky treat. Before you reach for the takeaway menu, try making something at home that will be even more delicious. Alicia C. Simpson has compiled a collection of recipes in “Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food” that allowed her to continue enjoy food that was as tasty as the Southern Soul food with Let’s face it, on a cold, rainy day or after a tough day there are times the only thing you want to do is snuggle up on the couch and feel the comfort of some warm stick-to-your ribs food or a sweet, sticky treat. Before you reach for the takeaway menu, try making something at home that will be even more delicious. Alicia C. Simpson has compiled a collection of recipes in “Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food” that allowed her to continue enjoy food that was as tasty as the Southern Soul food with which she had grown up. After an introduction that busts some of the common vegan myths and gives an overview of how to stock a vegan kitchen, she sets out 150 recipes. She also sets out 65 meal suggestions for different occasions with such fun titles as “Backpacking Through Europe” and “Southern Nights”. The emphasis of the book is on savoury dishes with an extensive selection of main meals, breakfasts, dips and dressings. The dessert section is fairly small but includes a few favourites such as Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Peanut Butter Cookies. I tried the Yellow Cake with Chocolate Icing which was quite good with a cup of tea. Familiar recipes include French Onion Soup, Classic Cornbread, Fettucine Alfredo Two Ways, Guacamole, French Toast and Mac and Cheeze. There are a couple of great sections that include a guide to the seasonality of vegetables and various recipe ideas for green smoothies. There are some recipes that sound delicious such as the Cheez Enchiladas and Blue Cheez Dressing but unfortunately the range of “cheezes” in Australia is not as extensive or easily available as in the US so there are a few recipes that may need modification. I really enjoyed trying this book out and would recommend it for fans of Mexican and Southern Soul food.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Blue Weasel

    I have made approximately 8-10 recipes out of this so far and love it. I have not had a bad meal yet and the recipes are simple. On top of that, there are TONS of things to try in here. There isn't a pic for every recipe, but some. Unfortunately there is a cluster of pictures in the middle of the mac & cheese recipe (NOOK) which made that recipe a tad bit frustrating. That would be my only complaint so far.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kathie

    So far, the recipes look really good.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    Lots of great info in the first 30 pages... needs more pictures of the food though!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hannah H

    good book for vegan comfort food!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Miles

    I have several recipes in this book as my go to comfort food. I'm not a vegan but I have allergies and this really helps me have a non dairy mac and cheese that is to die for.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Luz

    I've only made a couple recipes from this book, but they came out delicious. The recipes do seem easy to make, and I'd like to try making most of them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emma Buntrock

    I have made these recipes countless times and have always enjoyed a hearty meal. This was really the first book I really started cooking with. Each recipe is very simple with simple ingredients that don't intimidate a newbie to cooking or vegan cuisine. But- Most of the recipes at this stage in my development I still use but make a lot of improvisations for more flavor and originality. Vegan Comfort Food is very much a stepping stone for foundational meal basics. In a scenario where I have made these recipes countless times and have always enjoyed a hearty meal. This was really the first book I really started cooking with. Each recipe is very simple with simple ingredients that don't intimidate a newbie to cooking or vegan cuisine. But- Most of the recipes at this stage in my development I still use but make a lot of improvisations for more flavor and originality. Vegan Comfort Food is very much a stepping stone for foundational meal basics. In a scenario where I would buy this book for the first time today I would have found it to be a three star rating. If you know your stuff, this is not the book for too much imagination.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Arias

    I really like this book. This will be another I will be purchasing for my collection. I had the Tu-no for dinner last night. It was delicious. I don't know what I hadn't thought of that yet. I'm dying to try her mac n' cheeze. It looks so good and I've heard rave reviews about similar recipes. It has a few recipes with processed ingredients but for the most part everything is made fresh. Has a recipe for homemade sausage that I want to give a go as well. I recommend this book for any cooks libra I really like this book. This will be another I will be purchasing for my collection. I had the Tu-no for dinner last night. It was delicious. I don't know what I hadn't thought of that yet. I'm dying to try her mac n' cheeze. It looks so good and I've heard rave reviews about similar recipes. It has a few recipes with processed ingredients but for the most part everything is made fresh. Has a recipe for homemade sausage that I want to give a go as well. I recommend this book for any cooks library.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sundry

    I enjoyed Simpson's friendly writing style throughout. The brief intros to the recipes kept me paging through sometimes very basic ideas to find the really interesting recipes. I found a couple of ideas that I want to pursue. Simpson devotes a chapter to green smoothies, which basically encourages us to add greens to fruit smoothies. I'm willing to try it. Also, she uses a lot of "raw" cashews (raw in quotes because all edible cashews are somewhat cooked) in ways that I am unfamiliar I enjoyed Simpson's friendly writing style throughout. The brief intros to the recipes kept me paging through sometimes very basic ideas to find the really interesting recipes. I found a couple of ideas that I want to pursue. Simpson devotes a chapter to green smoothies, which basically encourages us to add greens to fruit smoothies. I'm willing to try it. Also, she uses a lot of "raw" cashews (raw in quotes because all edible cashews are somewhat cooked) in ways that I am unfamiliar with, being new to hard core vegan recipes.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sonia

    I got this book from the library and figured that if there were enough recipes in here that I would like to try, I'd buy a copy for myself. There are a few, mostly soups and appetizer type things, that I'll try. But the section with the main courses failed to excite me. There is also a section near the beginning about green juicing, but they didn't seem all that green to me- most contained only one vegetable!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    The recipes seem fine for the most part, but very very simple. TOO simple for anyone with much experience in the kitchen or with vegetarian food. Just reading the recipes I could see that they were nothing to make my mouth water - but it it may be good for someone trying to get into cooking for the first time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Trelesa

    A mixture of basic and more elaborate recipes, for a variety of cooking levels. Almost no photos- a real drawback.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Varied Books

    Quite few recipes feature fake meat products or fake cheese. Some even have both. I do like the smoothie recipes

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Satisfies cravings, quick and tasty. Notables so far: mac and cheeze; spicy pumpkin soup; red beans with quinoa; alphabet soup. Will be cooking from this for years!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elprice

    It uses a lot of soy which is not my favorite.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jill Paschal

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So really the beset dish in the book is the mac and cheese. Only because it doesn't taste like fake cheese like most vegan cheeses do. The price of the book is worth that recipe alone!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Kovelan

    There just isn't enough original material here to justify the $18 price tag. Too many cheese and meat substitutes, too...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    I use this book regularly and I love it, I even bought another copy for my mom.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Frank

    The enchilada recipe is to die for! All of the recipes I have made in this book have been big hits with my family and that includes the non vegans who now request the vegan versions of meals!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    Uses a lot of premade vegan foods, tofu and lots of gluten.Not worth it if you can't have any of these things.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    Mac and cheese recipe was a hit! Not especially diet friendly recipes, but definitely a must have book to get you over the hump of switching over to vegan if that's what you've decided.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Floyd

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jodi

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katie Zarudzki

  28. 4 out of 5

    MiMi McGee

  29. 4 out of 5

    BloodyUnicorn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Nightingale-terwoord

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