GET IT RIPE: A Fresh Take on Vegan Cooking and Living | Print |

An easy-to-chew overview of veganism—plus all the delectable eats to boot.

I’m not a vegan, but I have friends who are. While I weaned myself off hamburgers and KFC extra crispy over a decade ago, I still love my Ben & Jerry’s, cheese omelets, and shrimp cocktails. You could say I’m a pescetarian (but please don’t), and while I hungrily raised my hand to review Get It Ripe in hopes of discovering some tasty new cruelty-free recipes, I didn’t expect to be served up an easy-to-chew overview of this most misunderstood and mysterious animal-free lifestyle—plus all the delectable eats to boot. Steele starts off with over 100 pages of useful nutritional information and food substitution suggestions, which, if you’re not predisposed to preparing ground flax seeds and water as an egg substitute, you’ll definitely need. She also explores the pros and cons of buying organic, dishes on the workings of the body’s digestive system, and even gives cookware advice before biting into the meat-free heart of the book—a healthy portion of delectable, animal-free recipes that will make even the toothiest carnivore’s mouth water. My personal favorites are the Coconut Cauliflower Chana, the Portobello Burger with Sunchoke Oven Fries, and the Cocoa Avocado Mousse (that’s what I’m talking about). Aside from prep times that can run north of 30 minutes and a one-time investment in exotic spices and new ingredients (such as spelt flour and agave syrup), Steele’s vegan recipes are a snap to whip up and unexpectedly finger-lickin’ good.