Vegan Cookbook Reviews

Fresh Food Fast by Peter Berley

Vegetables at a farm market

When I opened award-winning  author Peter Berley’s book Fresh Food Fast: Delicious Seasonal Vegetarian Meals in Under an Hour* (Regan Books, $34.95 U.S.), I  was hooked. Here was an incredibly busy chef, teacher and family man who spoke my language. Berley understands how little free time most people have  these days to cook healthy, hearty dinners made from fresh, flavor-packed ingredients.

Berley, together with  Melissa Clark, offers recipes for 48 delicious, seasonal vegetarian meals  that can be prepared with ease in under an hour. There are 12 mouthwatering menus for each season, including recipes, a shopping list organized by grocery aisles and an equipment list. There are  delectable dessert recipes for each season. The recipes will bring pleasure  to vegetarians and omnivores alike.

Berley offers speed tips that reveal the tricks of the restaurant trade. He believes that knowing the  right tools and techniques to use is essential for getting dinner on the table amid the high-speed life most of us lead. He suggests using a food processor to help cut and shred vegetables if you are  not skilled with a knife. Use a single pot of boiling water to blanch vegetables before cooking pasta. If you need to cut onions for two different dishes in the same menu, cut them at the same time. He suggests trying to  cook seasonally, buying produce at its peak – when it will definitely  taste best.

Unlike like most other cookbooks, which give only recipes, Berley’s book  of menus gives the reader a peek into the kitchen of a committed and  professional fast, fresh cook. Each menu has a step-by-step game plan that shows you how to orchestrate the whole meal, including tips on how to  combine the prepping steps so the recipes are quicker and easier to put  together than they would be if made separately.

Learn more about Fresh Food Fast* on

Norene Gilletz is a Canadian food writer and is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. Her most recent book is Norene’s Healthy Kitchen.* Visit her extensive food site, Gourmania.

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

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