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I originally started this post two years ago. It was suppose to be for a Vegan MOFO prompt. I am not 100% sure what it was, but it was something like “favorite cookbook” or “show us your cookbook collection.” I figured I would do a quick post about this one. Well, considering this was my very first vegan cookbook and I’ve owned it for over 10 years, it has had a few recipes made from it.

After reading Jenny Marie’s cook-a-long monthly challenge, I thought yeah, I should finish this post. In the spirit of this post I figured I would share some posts reviewing the book as well. If you have a blog with a review, leave a comment and I will add you to the list. And as always I try and share links to recipes. Most of the time I try and only share recipes that are sponsored/approved by the publishers but I went ahead and linked every blog, livejournal, and whatever that had her recipes. It was a different time on the internet back in 1999, and well, I think it is in the spirit of the book to share all the vegan love.

Vegan KindKittens Gone Lentil


None. A big downfall of the book, I know. There is no photos of the recipes, but there are some retro stock photos at the beginning of the chapters. There are some fun retro styled clipart throughout the book. The green and greyscale design does keep the book visually interesting. This never bothered me much since photoless cookbooks I think were much more common at the time, before the blogalution


What I love about this book is that it is very “zine”-y. I might not of known much about zines when I first picked this up, but I loved how personal it was. It didn’t start with a chapter how they were chefs, or their relationship with food, no it was about why they became vegan. I think this was the first time I’d ever actually READ a cookbook. 

After the introduction of why Tanya and Sarah went vegan, the book goes into a quick substitute section, giving readers a rough idea of how to modify non-vegan recipes. The chapters then go into various different food types, breakfast, soups, drinks, entrees, etc etc. Then instead of ending with desserts, the book continues with various little recipes and tips for raising vegan kids, and other hacks that are vegan but aren’t food related. My REAL favorite part of the book was the list of non-vegan ingredients.


As mentioned the charm and shortcomings of the cookbook can be credited to their zine roots. On Sarah Kramer’s website, she says how she and co-author Tanya made homebound recipe zines for friends and family. After the positive feedback, they decided to try and publish a book. This book reminded me of the cookbook my older sister made to raise money for her sorority. These are recipes made for people who are cooking in regular old kitchens, with budgets, and limited time. The ingredients are practical, instructions are easy, and everything is easy to modify for personal preference.

But since Sarah and Tanya are not chef’s there are some holes. Some recipes are overly simplified, or not as good as what they could be. And some of information is a little vague, or at this point outdated. For example B12 is listed under non-vegan ingredients, when I am 99% sure almost all B12 supplements are vegan (well, the B12 part, the capsules might not).

And then she has the whole breads section saying yeast is bad. It is a little confusing, as they recommend sourdough starters. Spoiler alert- that’s yeast! I get it. There are lots people who think instant yeast isn’t as good as sourdough, but that isn’t communicated in the book. Plus they give recipes soda breads, which doesn’t fix the active yeast problem. This blog post is really good at explaining the theory about why instant yeast isn’t the greatest. She also says kamut is a great wheat replacement. It isn’t. It is just a different STRAIN of wheat. It is easy to give her a pass since the internet wasn’t so expansive as it is today. Answers weren’t as easily a google search away. 


As I mentioned- I’ve had this book for over 10 years, and we are getting close to their 20th anniversary! I would love to see a big book revamp for the occasion. New photos! Updated information (as mentioned with the bread thing)! Anything really. It looks like their 10th anniversary release didn’t have that much changed other than a pretty little logo on the front.

As much as I love how down to earth and un-intimidating this cookbook is, so much has changed since it’s release. Veganism is much more common, probably thanks to blogs. Oh blogs, you have given us so much in the publication front of cookbooks. They are both a blessing and a curse. 

One thing I am loving about How It All Vegan over most modern vegan cookbooks is how much information this has. Just little bits of stuff in the kids section, lots of homemade toiletries, and cleaning tips. I would love to see this book become more trendy to reach a wider audience. Come on Sarah Kramer! I know you can do this! All that being said, I think this book is still super useful, and every new vegan could learn a lot from this book. It is easy to flip through, and it easy to add your own personal flair to all the recipes.


I do warn anyone who wants to see what I made from the book. THERE IS A LOT! I know I’ve made even MORE in the book, and boy I don’t even feel like I scratched the surface. There are LOTS of recipes in the book. I’ve made more than what I wrote about for sure, but I don’t remember the results. I know I’ve made more her desserts, but I’m a little fuzzy on the details.

Alphabet Lentils
Section: Vegan Kid Stuff
Recipe: Yum Tum Delivers
This recipe has definitely changed over the years. I don’t even look at the book anymore. I can see why the recipe is the way it is- it gives a texture closest to canned Alphabet Soup. But I’ve changed it so much and made my own recipe on the blog. But it is a simple recipe to make and one of my favorites in the book.

Aunt Bonnie’s Curried Apple Soup
Section: Vegan Soups & Stews
This isn’t a complicated recipe, and that is probably why I’ve made it so much. This is a purred soup that has a super flexible criteria for veggies. My most recent batch of the soup used radish, carrots, sweet potatoes, and celery. The soup always turns out tasting a little different each time because of this, but I don’t mind.

Brilliant Baked Beans
Section: Vegan Side Dishes
This isn’t baked beans like I am use to. I always had the super syrup-y sweet Boston baked beans, this is more like the English tomato-y baked beans. I mostly make this recipe for another dish in the book- cheesy potatoes. This recipe is pretty good, though I find it to be a little too watery. It never reduces enough so I just cut the water/broth amount it half.

Blue Banana Muffins
Section: Vegan Breads & Muffins
Recipe: Genius Kitchen
These muffins are a hit. I’ve made them several times, and even subbed the blueberries for other things like blackberries and chocolate chips. It is pretty fool proof too, as I’ve mixed flours around occasionally.

Chocolate Icing
Section: Vegan Desserts
Recipe: Have Fun, Do Good
Oh boy. This didn’t turn out well. It was really pastey and none of the buttery-fatty flavors I love about icing. Heck even silken tofu based icings are better. I remember this recipe scared me off of vegan icings for quite sometime.

Chocolate Rice Crispy Squares
Section: Vegan Desserts
Recipe: Veganewbie
I can’t remember how many times I’ve made these! They are quick and easy and pretty cheap if using regular old joe’s schmoe pb (sugar and all) I’ve always used cheap, but organic puffed rice, which is a little different from rice crispies. This gives, I think, the best results, especially if you can’t eat the whole recipe in one day (duh) As the link for the recipe points out- regular rice crispies start to get less crispy by day two.

Classic Spinach Lasagna
Section: Vegan Entrees
Recipe: W J Sullivan
I appreciate how quick and easy they try and make these recipes- BUUUUT this one falls short. The recipe is suppose to be simple so that you just need to boil the pasta, and make the ricotta in the food processor. This means not stir-frying the onion and garlic. BIG MISTAKE. I had the worst garlic breath with leftovers. If you don’t want to do that work- then just use onion/garlic powder. Having other lasagna recipes, the ricotta’s not the best, but for the work you put in, it is a really tasty result. And fun fact- the night before I made this my Father ranted to a friend about how tofu is flavorless and terrible. He ate the lasagna happily, not really thinking about how ricotta isn’t vegan.

Country Corn Muffins
Section: Vegan Breads & Muffins
Recipe: Group Recipes
I was not a fan of these. Some of it is just what we think of corn muffins, and I never grew up with the whole corn kernel in the muffin sort of thing. Nor have I grown to like them as an adult. But I was rushing to get something to the table so I thought I would give them a try. The texture was good, but there wasn’t much flavor. I guess I was hoping for the buttery-honey based cornbread that I grew up with.

Creamy Curried Veggies
Section: Vegan Entrees
Recipe: Genius Kitchen
This use to be one of my staples, but I think after cooking so much from Vegan Richa, I’m a spoiled brat. Regular old curry powder won’t please me!! Okay, there is still a time and a place for this recipe, and it is pretty much fool proof and filling. It is easy to modify with other vegetables, so I really can’t knock it.

Easy Breezy Rice Milk
Section: Vegan Milks & Beverages
Recipe: Genius Kitchen
For awhile I was all about making rice milks from scratch. This one was a big pain to make, not because it is inherently hard, just the rice to water ratio makes it hard to strain out the solids with a milk bag. I modified the recipe for laziness by adding more water to the mix, which makes the milk last longer anyways!

Elegant Cream Cheese
Section: Vegan Sauces & Spreads
Recipe: Veggie Boards
Nope. Nope. Nope. I’ve tried making this several times and it seems to always fall flat. It always ends up being too thin and runny to use on a bagel and never tangy enough for a dessert recipe. Oddly, after searching the book again I need a recipe for Nummy Yummy Veggie Spread which seems like a better option for a bagel.

Faux Feta
Section: Vegan Odds n Sods
Recipe: A Poet in the Kitchen
I’ve made this quite a few times. It is simple, easy, and fast. Plus there are many nearly vegan recipes that have feta tossed in, and it usually is contributing a bit of flavor. So I like whipping this up quickly then adding it to the recipe.

Faux Tuna Salad
Section: Vegan Salads & Dressings
Recipe: Hello Food
Talk about blast from the past! I remember making this recipe my sophomore year of college- was that over 10 years ago!? Okay so my point of view is a little old. I may not remember how FLAVORFUL the recipe was, but I remember being wowed by the texture of freezing and thawing the tofu. Unfortunately that is also the reason why I really haven’t tried making it again in recent years.

Fresh Maple Vanilla Soy Milk
Section: Vegan Milks & Beverages
I remember making this one day when staying at my parents in Utah. Goodness, did I over cook this! It made a lot and I remember thinking it was okay, probably too beany. I should try and give it another go one day. It probably would be an awesome thing to make in a crockpot to make life easier.

Garden Vegetable Borscht
Section: Vegan Soups & Stews
This is my husband and I’s first introduction to Borscht, and how I base all recipes to. I love this version as it is bursting with flavors and packed with veggies. I like how the tomatoes add a nice bright acidity to the beets and cabbage, and wouldn’t make a borsht any other way.

Ginger Peanut Soup
Section: Vegan Soups & Stews
Recipe: Green Earth Institute
This is the recipe that introduced me to the idea of putting peanut butter in a soup. It is brilliant. I like how easy it is to make, though I was never a fan of the broccoli and cauliflower combo. But I usually found myself subbing the cauliflower for other veggie ingredients that I had kicking around in the fridge.

Holy Moly Hummus
Section: Vegan Side Dishes
Recipe: Cooking with Jen and Amanda
I always found it a little weird that this wasn’t listed under sauces and spreads, but I am sure there was a lot of talk about where to place this recipe (maybe?) Anyways, back in the day this was my go-to hummus recipe, before the internet became so food blog heavy. I never was a fan of the jalepeno in the hummus, which pretty much sets it apart from other hummus recipes.

Larry’s Re-fried Beans
Section: Vegan Side Dishes
I’ve made this recipe a million times. I like it. It is a quick way to make refried beans on the stove top, and makes a great filling for burritos or tacos. I pretty much use this recipe as a guideline anymore for refried beans.

Mighty Miso Soup
Section: Vegan Soups & Stews
Recipe: Spark Recipes
I remember this being one of my first recipes to make from this cookbook. It is super easy to make, and I remember it being pretty darn tasty. Now I would never make it, which is a shame because it is so fast and easy to make.

Mum’s Bean and Cheese Casserole
Section: Vegan Entrees
Recipes: Vegan Cooking Livejournal
This is one of my husband’s favorites (or maybe I am just forcing that role on him?! XD) though it can be a pain to make. Why? You have to make the baked beans from on chapter (and can take over and hour) and boil the potatoes, then assemble the casserole, then bake. Not the worst, most of the time is hands off, but still needs a little planning. This is really tasty but uses vegan cheese. I am not against vegan cheese, I just don’t get thrilled when a recipe in a cookbook uses prepackaged goods like that- unless it provides s recipe for vegan cheese that you can use. But otherwise this is really tasty, just inconvenient since baked beans in the states would be terrible paired with cheese and potatoes.

Rabbit Shake
Section: Vegan Kid Stuff
I made this once or twice back when I worked at Animo and had access to fresh orange juice. With FRESH orange juice this was pretty tasty, but seemed more of a way to sneak in a carrot to your shake. But it was yummy and very creamsicle like.

Rustic Roasted Veggies
Section: Vegan Side Dishes
Recipe: Genius Kitchen
I think the fact that I made this recipe shows how much I had to learn about cooking when I first got this book. It is pretty simple. Just chop various root vegetables, cover in oil and herbs, then roast. It is a nice selection of vegetables and herbs, and there is some tofu to give the dish a little bit more of a main course so of feel.

Sarah’s Delicious Chili
Section: Vegan Entrees
Recipe: Super Shegan
I consider myself a chili master. I rarely use a strict recipe anymore, and sometimes I can make a new chili perfectly on the first try. How? This recipe. I have made it over and over and over again. I have made some modifications over the years. One is that I DO NOT use the curry paste. I really don’t like that. One reason is that there are many drastically different tasting curry pastes, many don’t seem to jive with chili. My second complaint is that she uses too much pepper. I only add a fraction. My last complaint is the rice in the chili. This can be a personal preference. I usually sub the rice with TVP or quinoa, but overall rice isn’t the worst.

Savory Shepard’s Pie
Section: Vegan Entrees
This is an interesting example of how things change over the years. I remember making this and thinking it was great. Then after a few years later, I made this for my husband and I, and thought…. it didn’t make much. Clearly I have been eating more and make more since I am cooking for two. So the quantity is my only complaint really. It is easy to double the amount, mostly just double the filling and you’ll be fine. I like how super vegetable heavy it is.

Smoothie Ice Pops
Section: Vegan Kid Stuff
I had left over silken tofu and strawberries that were about to go bad. I blended this up, and froze. They weren’t bad, but I felt a little bit like just having it as a smoothie would of been tastier.

Spicy Creamy Tomato Soup
Section: Vegan Soups & Stews
Recipe: Food Not Bombs Cardiff
I made this soup once, and it was tasty but I decided it just wasn’t my thing. Not a big fan of creamy tomatoes I guess. I like how there are two ways to make it- one more pantry friendly than the other. It was quick and easy and cheap.

Sunflower Seed Avocado Spread
Section: Vegan Sauces & Spreads
It’s been awhile since I’ve made this. I seriously love this spread, tasting great on sandwiches and bagels. But I never been able to eat it fast enough before they went bad, because of the avocado. Now that I have a little baby maybe I should make it again.

Tanya’s Asian Creation
Section: Vegan Entrees
Recipe: Spark People
It is hard to put this recipe down when you read the introduction. You’ve seen all those “5 ingredients or less” sort of recipes that are so popular on Pinterest, but this recipe really tries to be minimalist. It is simple but yummy. The soft squash and tofu are nice against the chewy noodles. And using buckwheat noodles add much needed flavor to the dish (when there aren’t any spices being used)

Section: Vegan Kid Stuff
These are my favorites! I’ve modified this recipe often to play with different flavors, and it use to be a staple that I would make every week. My only complaint is that the cocoa powder is a little chalky, and I think one day I should try using melted chocolate chips. Maybe? I’ve even modified it to make Mocha Pops for the blog.

Vegan Sloppy Joes
Section: Vegan Entrees
Recipe: Genius Kitchen
I love this recipe, although I haven’t made it in awhile. These vegan sloppy joes use a mix of fresh and canned goods for the sauce, which I think is a nice balance. I think all fresh tomatoes would be too weak of a flavor and too watery, but it still gives a fresh boost to a normally heavy and flavor potent dish. Truthfully- this recipe heavily influenced my recipe on the blog.

Vegetable Medley Kugel
Section: Vegan Side Dishes
Recipe: Vegan Cooking Livejournal
This is one of my go-to recipes, or use to be. It is pretty easy to make, and it uses cheap vegetables. The dicing might take some time, but after that is done it is just stick in the oven. Overall the flavor is fairly bland, so I usually add some spices and herbs.