Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cookbooks: Vegan Lunch Box Around the World by Jennifer McCann

I used to know a guy who brought a cheese sandwich to work every day. Processed cheese slice. White bread. A single leaf of iceberg lettuce. Every day. I didn’t know him well. Maybe I didn’t know him at all. I’d wonder about him, though. I’d wonder about what kind of guy would do that -- perhaps even find comfort in it. The same sandwich. The same processed cheese. Every day.

I avoided getting to know him too well.

The thing is, there’s just so much terrific stuff to eat for lunch. I know that. Really. I do. At least, I thought I did. But Jennifer McCann knows it better. Vegan Lunch Box Around the World (Da Capo) is her second collection of vegan lunches. Though I have yet to see the first one, 2008’s Vegan Lunch Box, I suspect that it’s terrific, because the sequel is no one’s idea of an also-ran: it’s really very good.

Though both books have that scary word -- vegan -- in the title, there’s nothing to be frightened of here. McCann’s success lies in her approach to cooking without animal products: she treats it like a big, fun challenge. As a result the food she creates -- and would help us create -- could be enjoyed by anyone. Potato salads, sushi rolls, tagine, African-style greens, orange couscous: 125 recipes in all. The fact that all of this great food is vegan makes us want to stop and think: in a world possessed of this much abundance and all of these wonderful possibilities -- without even eating meat products -- who would ever want to eat a cheese sandwich every day?

If you’ve ever wondered how to shake up your noontime meal, have a stroll through Vegan Lunch Box Around the World. It’s possible you’ll come away from it looking at many foods in an entirely new way.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out this uplifting and inspiring video on why people choose vegan: http://veganvideo.org/

Also see Gary Yourofsky:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 4:48:00 AM PST  

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