Book Review: The Fresh Vegan Kitchen

New recipe book from vegan street food pioneers and founders of Wholefood Heaven, David and Charlotte Bailey. The book includes cooked and raw food recipes, and focuses on Asian, Indian, Spanish and Middle Eastern dishes, both sweet and savoury. It's a beautiful hardback book, but do the recipes deserve the glossy presentation?

This book really is a thing of beauty, with great photos and clear presentation. There's no doubt it would make a lovely gift to an aspiring vegan cook. So many vegan cookbooks are cheaply put together, without photos to know what you're aiming to recreate, but this one is first class.

What this book isn't though, is a 20-minute meal book. While the dishes are focused on simple ingredients, the recipes need a little time and skill to put together. Some of those ingredients are also hard to find if you don't live in London.

The savoury recipes include futomaki, gyoza and steamed chinese buns, along with simpler options like pad thai, burritos and smoky beans. We really fancied the beer-battered tofu 'fish' and chips, but you'll need a deep fat fryer or chip pan for that. Instead, we wussed out and made the tempeh and broccoli stir-fry, which was super easy but pretty tasty.

There are also breakfast recipes for scrambled tofu, 'eggy' bread, and black rice pudding. The salad recipes include a vegan caesar salad with dulse seaweed.

On the sweets and desserts front, you can go full blow-out with home made churros, chocolate ganache or sago pudding. Lighter options include tropical fruit rice rollers, and mango and blueberry chia seed pudding. We went for the chocolate mousse made with silken tofu, which was difficult to blend smooth, but makes a great store-cupboard dessert.

The book also has a section on kitchen techniques likes sprouting, fermenting, and making seitan from scratch. There's also a chapter on drinks and smoothies, with kombucha, almond milk and chia seed lemonade.

Round up

If you're looking to become a skilled vegan cook, then this book has a lot to offer for you. The casual cook will find it slightly harder going, especially if you don't live in the capital. If you're looking to entertain though, or treat your vegan friends, they'll certainly love homemade gyoza or steamed dumplings, followed by churros with chocolate!

We were kindly sent this book by the publishers Pavilion Books.

Veganoo Score: ★★★★☆
David and Charlotte Bailey - The Fresh Vegan Kitchen

Web:   Twitter: @veganoo   Facebook:   Flickr: veganoo

Vegan Blog · Vegan Product Reviews · Vegan Food Reviews · Vegan News · Vegetarian


  1. Hmm, I'm torn whether to get this book or not.

    1. Can you locate borage, palm sugar and tamarind paste within a 5 mile radius of your kitchen?

    2. I borrowed this book from the library and I love it. If you're a beginner at cooking, newly vegan or lack confidence in being able to sub ingredients when needed (palm sugar could be subbed for regular etc) then maybe it's not the best vegan cookbook to get. However if you want an unpretentious, non preachy, easy to read and inspiring book with recipes you'd actually make and want to eat then get it.

      The book has an Asian influence and the ingredients can be located cheaply in asian shops. I certainly don't live in london (I'm in the west mids) but I can get my hands on everything , even my local morrisons has tamarind paste and there is always ocado if you insist on having borage!!!! (I'll sub it)

      After returning the book I'll be buying my own copy for my cookbook collection. X


We love to hear from you! Links to other vegan or related sites are welcome in the comments.