Second Reformed Church

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: "The VB6 Cookbook"

I have not read Mark Bittman’s book, VB6, but I have read and used his book, The VB6 Cookbook.  Based on the introductory material, his argument is that you will live a more healthful life if you eat vegan prior to 6 PM and then allow yourself, if you desire, small amounts of animal foods after 6 PM.

The cookbook is set up with a great deal of introductory information about different fruits, vegetables, and animal foods – how to choose and use them.  That, alone, is worthwhile information.  Then follow the recipes:  breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, and deserts, and then a section on “building blocks” – recipes that can be built upon to make a meal.

The book is primarily creative and tasty vegan recipes, but there are enough with animal foods to make this a useful cookbook for any type of diet.  He also makes suggestions in the recipes about alternate ways one might make the food he has created.

I have made three of the recipes so far: 

“Good Morning Sweet Potato” (74).  I made this recipe the way he suggested and found it very tasty.  I would never have thought to eat a sweet potato for breakfast.  It is hearty and filling and very sweet – as the original recipe makes it.  He includes suggestions for making less sweet or without the walnuts.

“Slow Cooked Brussel Sprouts with Lemongrass” (121).  For this recipe, I used an alternate version he suggests, using eggplant rather than Brussel sprouts.  This recipe has a Thai flavor to it as the sauce base is coconut milk.  This was the best of the three I have made so far.  As I at it, there was a slight sweetness to it, but then the hot pepper jumped up and made it hot – a wonderful combination in my opinion.

“Eggplant Meatballs” (124).  This recipe came with a picture – the pictures are plentiful throughout the book.  However, I came away from it disappointed for two reasons:  first, the “meatballs” did not hold their shape.  Perhaps if I cooked them longer they would have.  I may try it again.  Second, it was too “eggplanty” – much as I like eggplant, it was overwhelming to the rest of the ingredients.  However, I like the idea, and may try fooling around with the recipe.

If you are looking for a creative vegan cookbook with recipes anyone can make and loads of guidance about cooking plant foods, this is one you should pick up.  If you just want vegan food before 6 PM, I suspect the animal food recipes would also be good based on my experience with the three I made.  (I did not make an animal meal, as I try to eat vegan as much as possible.)

[This review appears on and on my blog.  I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.] 

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