Veganly Delicious

Julie-Juliaing one cookbook at a time.

My First Impressions of “Quick & Easy Low Cal Vegan Comfort Food”

on August 29, 2012

Forever now for this project to be called “Low Cal Comfort Food.” Y’all know that I’m vegan. Ergo: I’m not eating anything not vegan. And If I have to type out all of that each and every single time, I’d get bored and forget what I had planned to say. So. yes. Low Cal Comfort Food. By Alicia C. Simpson, unless there is a non-vegan Low Cal Comfort Food out there somewhere on the interwebs.


The book itself. 

It’s a paperback book, and it’s not too book, and it’s not heavy. It’s really lightweight. If you were to open it to any page it stays on that page. (I haven’t yet tested it in my cookbook holder, but I think it would stay flat in it. (It is very weird how many cookbooks do not do this in my cookbook holder).

The Cover Says
“Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food: 150 down-home recipes packed with flavor, not calories; every recipe has fewer than 350 calories per serving!”

No where in this book does this claim that it is a diet book.

The authors who praised this book are

  • Robin Robertson
  • Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
  • Joni Marie Newman
  • Celine Steen
  • Kathy Hester

This is always key for me. I figure that if authors that I like (and have cooked and never really had a fail recipe), read and reviewed the book and they enjoyed the book, the book has to be somewhat good.


The first 35 pages talk about Low Calorie not low flavour (which a lot of people seem to put hand in hand). What comfort food is (to sum it up: it’s all about taste, and memories). How to lose weight (basically, move, move, move!) and then the most important part I think in this low-cal book:

Learning the Language.
This little section breaks down how you can pretty much eat what you want (and lose weight), as long as you know your serving sizes (and as someone whose been trying to lose weight for years – I couldn’t even begin to tell you what a serving size is, when it is presented in a book. if something is 6 servings, I can always make it stretch to pretty much more than that… except cookies. I never get the full 2 dozen.).

But she breaks it all down, nutrient density, fiber, calcium, b12, so on and so forth.

And my other favourite part

A Guide to your Vegan Pantry. 

I mean, a girl’s gotta know what to have, right?!  (Honestly, I feel that this is key to any cookbook. It tells you what your bulk ingredients are going to be, and what you’ll need to have equipment wise, though truthfully, I’ll admit popcorn popper wasn’t listed.

Alicia also includes several sample meal plans (for each caloric range). There’s a little errata (cookbook mistake, something didn’t get included), in the 1800 calorie section, but it’s minute. I’m not going to be following this.

The cookbook font is somewhat small (but still easy to read, you don’t have to squint or anything like that, but if you are used to fonts found in 500 Vegan Recipes or Viva Vegan it’s a touch small). But a major bonus factor, is that at first blush. Every recipe is on its own page. And if it’s a  long recipe, for the most part it doesn’t require you to flip the page and keep going, the recipe is on the next facing page. Which is awesome. (Do you know how much I wish all cookbooks did this?)

If it’s a three step recipe. (like This meal will go well with this, that and this) ALL three components are together. awesome!

There are 8 pages of plates. (oops. that’s my inner librarian popping out. There are 8 full pages of coloured photos).

There is a lot of blank space to write notes.

Full confession time: In cookbooks, I write notes. My actual librarian and my inner librarian freaked out when I first did it, I was screaming no! I love my books to be pristine. But then, sticky notes fall out all the time. And if I remember if I hate it, or it needs more salt or something I’d like to indicate that in the book (or a key note – ie: I rarely ever cook with alcohol unless it has a chance to be burned off, and I can’t do coffee at all. So now I write “chicory” for coffee, and substitutes for liquor. Some recipes, I do it for so I can indicate that i LOVE it and it needs to be made again, or something like that.

But it’s in pencil. I mean. seriously, I’m not that much of a rebel.


I’m not too much of a fan of the cursive font. But all in all the first impressive, layout and readability of this book is high up there. 🙂





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