Pack yer bags, and be sure to bring yer VAGG!
The Book: Vegan a Go-Go! by Sarah Kramer (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)
Preamble/Overall feeling: How It All Vegan! was my first vegan cookbook. I got it when I was still only vegetarian, and thought that veganism mostly just sounded cool. It is Arsenal Pulp Press's bestselling book to date. Being that APP is my publisher too, I can only dream that Get It Ripe will someday come in second place. After co-authoring a second book, and then flying solo for La Dolce Vegan, Sarah Kramer now gives us VAGG.
Last Fall, I actually had the pleasure of traveling with Sarah (we were both speaking at the Boston Veg Fest and shared a hotel room), so when she says in this book - a "best-of" compilation with 36 mini-pages of intro and travel tips - to bring a plastic neti pot, and that there's no shame in wheeling around a huge suitcase, I can confirm that it's what she does herself. (I, on the other hand, am of the mentality that packing light is cool, but am not naturally a light-packer by any means which results in broken zippers on over-stuffed bags and any extras acquired on the trip having to be carried in additional bags - what a headache! Not to mention it rules out any of the initially aimed for potential of looking smooth. Just for kicks go read Sarah's account of our trip here.)
Best bits: This is, hands down, Sarah's best book. Can I say that? Her famously peppy personality shines through, with photographs of her throughout the book (this girl is not camera shy in the least!). It is just the cutest size, and the design (including the symbols "New Recipe", "Quick and Easy", "Travels Well", "Will Impress" and "Needs Special Ingredients") is great. I believe it's also Arsenal Pulp's only full-colour book (lucky duck!). The travel tips are sensible, and very refreshing for those of us who are non-animal-product-eating and/or don't have oodles of cash to lay down for convenience (and tonnes of restaurants) when we're out of town.
Less-wonderful bits: We are not going for haute cuisine here, folks, just so you know. The ingredients are mostly limited to what you can find at a grocery store, so while the recipes get top marks for simplicity, they can only be so nutritious thanks to the limited views of food imposed on us by the purchasers at said stores. As the quality of the ingredients in the recipes aren't specified, it could really be hit or miss on the how-good-they-are-for-you front. Make a recipe with white flour, GMO hydrogenated margarine, and table salt or make it with whole spelt flour, organic non-hydrogenated marg or olive oil, and sea salt, and nutritionally it's a different story, y'know?
Whole foods focus?: Somewhat.
Vegan-friendly?: 100 percent!
Eco-conscious?: In that it promotes and animal product-free lifestyle.
Web presence?: yup.