Review: The Great Vegan Bean Book

22nd January 2014

2013 appeared to be the best year for my cookbook acquiring habit so I have attained a back log of cook books to test out. This is actually the second of Kathy Hester’s books I had, the other being Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You which we were sent for review.

After years of vegan cooking I have learnt to improvise which explains why I thought I could use a slow cooker book without actually having a slow cooker… I gave it a good attempt but I guess there was something about the flavour enhancement of a slow cooker my oven and a casserole dish could just not replicate.

You can see the recipes I tried out here, but in the end I admitted defeat and passed the book on to someone who did have a slow cooker. Everything I made just tasted a bit bland really and one of the crucial points of the slow cooker is that you can just leave it all day without having to think about it, whereas I was constantly checking the oven to make sure the dishes didn’t burn dry. Ce la vie, but still I had another Hester book to be betting on with: The Great Vegan Bean Book.

Hester is obviously a healthy cook, this comes across in both books. A book about beans you would expect that really wouldn’t you, so if you are after something decadent/dirty this probably isn’t the book for you. In terms of the types of recipes it’s good for everyday kinda cooking though not quite as hearty or comforting as I was expecting it to be. Some of the recipes did suffer from a certain blandness that I found with the slow cooker book but to be fair I am a terrible salt fiend.

I used mainly dried beans for the recipes and got in the habit of soaking things overnight channeling my vegan ancestors. You can see what I have been cooking here, some of my favourite recipes include:

{Get-well-soon chickpea and rice soup }

{ Lentil beet salad }

{ Baked arugula and bean flautas }

{ Cashew-bean queso }

{ Stove-top mac n’ beany }

 There is a good amount of photos and the gluten/soy/oil free recipes are indicated but don’t expect much in the way of what to substitute for these ingredients. With most of the recipes I tried it felt like something was missing, this was disappointing as I had quite high hopes for a book that makes such innovative use of beans and lentils in meals for all times of the day.


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2 thoughts on “Review: The Great Vegan Bean Book”

  • “channelling my vegan ancestors”, haha! I cook beans from scratch, I guess that alligns me with our forbearers too! You don’t necessarily have to soak dried beans overnight to cook them. I speed-soak; put the dried beans in a pot of water, bring that pot to the boil, take it off the heat and let it the beans soak in the boiled water for an hour without taking the lid off the pot. Then change the water and cook the beans for the time you normally would after they had been soaked. I also cook large batches of dried beans and freeze them so it’s handier. Hope that helps, keep up the great posts 🙂

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