Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Book Review: Vegan Lunch Box

The currently out of print Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann is on its way back, being republished by De Capo Lifelong books. You can already place a preorder through Amazon.

Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann
Reviewed by Ginger Carlson

Whether you are sending lunches to your average anything-but-healthy school cafeteria, taking picnic lunches to the park, packing your own lunch for the office, or serving your kids at your own kitchen table, Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann will inspire you, and may even turn your family into adventurous eaters.

Born from the award-winning blog of the same name (, and featuring only the highest rated recipes, this book turns lunch preparation into a healthful, fun and delicious art form. Chapters range from the quick and easy to the more time consuming, to the prepared ahead of time variety. McCann includes chapters for holidays and special occasions as well as a helpful and an easy-to-read Allergen-Free Index for readers with sensitivities to nuts, glutens, soy and/or wheat.

While many of the suggestions include ideas for prepackaged items (which the rushed lunch-packing parent may appreciate), the book strikes a nice balance with its many kid approved and even award winning recipes.

Within each chapter are themed and balanced menus (each menu includes whole grains, protein, fruit, vegetable, calcium and dessert), information about what may be considered obscure ingredients, variation ideas, as well as serving, packing and “frugal Momma” tips. From the simple to the sublime, Vegan Lunch Box features everything from the revived pb & j to vegan versions of classical lunch dishes to new favorites such as Lunch Box Fondue. You’ll find an abundance of ideas and recipes for snacks, side dishes, soups, desserts, and other packables you hadn’t considered before. Mc Cann even offers a sampling of recipes from such places as Ethiopia, Vietnam, Mexico, Japan and India.

It’s called Vegan Lunch Box, but you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy and learn from it. And you may just find your breakfasts, snacks and dinners feeling inspired too.

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