By Mark Bittman
Published by Clarkson Potter 2014

ABOUT BOOK: Whether you call it flexitarian, part-time veganism, or vegetable-centric, the plant-based, real-food approach to eating introduced in Bittman's New York Times bestselling book VB6 has helped countless people regain their good health, control their weight, and forge a smarter, more ethical relationship with food. VB6 does away with the hard and fast rules, the calorie-counting, and the portion control of conventional diets; it's a regimen that is designed to be easy toa dopt and stick to for a lifetime.

When Bittman committed to a vegan before 6:00 pm diet, he quickly realized that everything about it became easier if he cooked his own meals at home. In The VB6 Cookbook he makes this proposition more convenient than you could imagine. Drawing on a varied and enticing pantry of vegan staples strategically punctuated with "treat" foods (including meat and other animal products), he has created a versatile repertoire of recipes that makes following his plan simple, satisfying, and sustainable.

If you've thought of trying a vegan diet but worry it's too monotonous or unfamiliar, or simply don't want to give up foods you love to eat, Bittman's vegan and flexitarian recipes will help you cook your way to a new, varied and quite simply better way of eating you can really commit to...for life. 

REVIEW: Change isn’t easy but when Mark Bittman’s doctor told him he had to make changes to avoid serious health issues he listened. He had to transform his diet. He knew that making drastic changes wouldn’t help him stick to it, so he took it slow. The author developed a strategy of eating he calls VB6 (vegan eating before 6pm). He lost weight, and felt better.

He started to eat more plant based foods; eat less highly processed foods and less meat. He says, “VB6 works in large part because a key aspect of the strategy is eating and enjoying delicious food – much of it in unlimited amounts…If you cook daily, or nearly so, you’ll have a far better chance of making long-lasting, positive change in your diet than if you didn’t.”

I liked how he walks readers through setting up a pantry and charts where he includes things like; What different items (in the pantry) are; How to store the item, the best ways to use it. He includes a handy 28 day menu plan.

There are 350 recipes most are vegan many include meat. The ingredients are easily found in your grocery store. He puts the serving size and how long it takes to make the dish. He lists about 3 to 5 steps in most recipes. His instructions are easy to follow and I love the variations to the recipes at the end of the page.

The recipes that I made my family were the Apple-Oat Muffins, Mushroom-nut burgers over Greens, Tropical Fruit Pudding and Rice Pudding with Slow-Roasted Fruit. They all were very flavorful and a huge hit with my gang. I can’t wait to try more!

ABOUT AUTHOR: Mark Bittman is one of the country's best-known, most widely respected food writers. His How to Cook Everything books, with one million copies in print, are a mainstay of the modern kitchen. Bittman writes for the Opinion section of the New York Times on food policy and cooking and is a columnist for the New York Times magazine. He is regularly featured on the Today Show in How To Cook Everything Today cooking segments. For 13 years he wrote "The Minimalist" column and now a "Minimalist" cooking show is featured on the Cooking Channel. The How to Cook Everything series is highly respected: the first edition of the flagship book How to Cook Everything won both the IACP and James Beard Awards, and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian won the 2008 IACP award. He is also the author of Food Matters, Food Matters Cookbook, Fish, and Leafy Greens.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I checked this book out of the public library.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
COO of TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine

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