V Cuisine: The Art of New Vegan Cooking.


224 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 978-1-55285-903-2
DDC 641.5'636





Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


Oh, the dreaded V word. Chef Linardis admits that the word vegan strikes fear in the stomachs of many Canadians bringing on visions of bland tofurkey dinners served by anaemic elderly hippies with stooped shoulders and bad breath. It does not have to be so, Chef Linardis says.


Myriad ingredients and new cooking techniques have transformed vegan cooking from boring to bold. In her forward, Linardis admits she drifted into veganism almost by accident. She was overweight, chronically tired, and suffered from acid reflux disorder. When she gave up dairy products, the acid reflux disappeared, tempting her to go further and give up red meat, which she did not particularly like anyway. Without dieting or exercising, Linardi says, she shed her excess pounds and gained energy. Today she is a total vegan except for the occasional use of honey and Worcester Sauce (which is made from anchovies).


The content is divided into basic recipe categories including soup, salads, dressing appetizers, pasta, potatoes, curries, side dishes, grain dishes, main dishes, party fare, condiments, kids food, breakfast, baking, and sweets. Knowing public prejudices, she has one chapter called “Terrifying Tofu,” where she admits that her first experience with tofu was terrible. However, she encourages some of the more reluctant readers to, like her, give tofu a second chance. Tofu recipes include Tofu Stuffed Tomatoes, Black Kale Tofu Stew, and Tofu Fries. Almost every recipe comes with at least one tip about a cooking technique or a side ingredient, and many have personal stories from Linardis to explain why this recipe is included in her book. About two dozen lovely photographs are sprinkled through the text and a glossary of vegan ingredients and an index are included at the back.


It would have been helpful if nutritional analyses and portion sizes were included with each recipe. Most are obviously healthy but just because a dish is vegan does not make it automatically dietetically sin free. For example, the Giant Ravioli Stuffed Walnuts and Cashews recipe calls for two cups of nuts, which are high-calorie ingredients.


If you are a confirmed vegan, this book will likely give you some great new ideas for your cooking repertoire. If you are thinking of becoming at least a vegetarian, this book is a great introduction. Even if you are a confirmed carnivore, if you like good food these recipes will appeal to you just on their own culinary merits. It is time to wake up and smell the tofu.


Linardis, Angeline., “V Cuisine: The Art of New Vegan Cooking.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/28528.