Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The VB6 Cookbook Review

It's Wednesday which means I'm two days away from my first Fiesta in Santa Barbara! I'm not exactly sure what to expect besides a parade and city wide confetti throwing party but I'm pretty excited!

(Image Source)
Wednesday also means it's time for the Workout Wednesday (WOW) linkup hosted by Diatta Harris from Femme Fitale Fit Club, Sheila Simmons from The Frugal Exerciser, Natalie from Clean Eating Teen, Jenn from Comeback Momma, et moi.

As you probably know if you read last week's post or follow me on Instagram, I received a copy of The VB6 Cookbook for review from Blogging for Books and have been eating vegan meals before dinner for a week and a half. After spending some time following the diet and cooking the recipes in the book, I'm (finally) ready to share my full review with you.

Disclaimer: I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for writing a review. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

The VB6 Cookbook is a companion cookbook to Mark Bittman's New York Times bestselling VB6 diet book. The concept behind VB6 is simple: eat vegan meals every day before 6:00 pm (or whenever dinner time is) and enjoy flexible meals including animal products for the rest of the time.

What does the cookbook include?

The cookbook starts with a brief overview of why the author decided to pursue the VB6 diet. This section is brief since Bittman did write a whole book about the theory behind VB6 already, but it's a good primer. 

Next, the cookbook presents the VB6 pantry,  which is basically a shopping list of what you need to follow the VB6 diet. "Unlimited foods," almost all fruits and veggies, are the backbone of the diet, while "flexible" higher calorie veggies, beans, whole grains, pastas, fats and plant-based proteins are eaten in moderation. Lastly, "treat" foods including meat products, should be eaten rarely and mindfully. The book even provides you with a month-long calendar example of how you can use all these foods to follow the diet.

Finally, Bittman presents his recipes broken down into 6 categories: Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Dinner, Dessert and "Building Blocks," basic recipes you can build off of for your VB6 meals. All the recipes except for dinner and some of the desserts are vegan, and even the dinner recipes use meat products fairly sparingly. The recipes are all pretty simple, although some do take a long time to cook, and include multiple variations. 

What recipes did I make?

I ended up trying five recipes from the cookbook, three vegan and two non vegan. The three vegan recipes were Phony Bologna (a kind of homemade tofu meat substitute),  Almond Quinoa, and Broccoli Scramble.

The Phony Bologna was a little bit of a disaster since none of the blending devices I had was capable of food processing the tofu and it took me so long I used muffin tins to speed baking time. It didn't really end up with a bologna texture, but the spices were nice. The Almond Quinoa was really versatile and was great for meal prep. The Broccoli Scramble was easy to put together too and pretty yummy, although it wasn't something I would normally eat for breakfast.

I also made two of the non-vegan recipes: Steak Au Poivre with Mushrooms and Shrimp, Beans, and Fennel.

Both of these recipes were easy to follow and delicious. Indulging in these fancy recipes after a whole day of not eating meat definitely made dinner feel like a special occasion, which I loved.

Was the diet easy to follow?

I was a little scared about going vegan for so much of the day, but it turns out it was pretty easy to do. I did miss out on a couple baked-good treats in the office, but was able to eat plenty of delicious produce to make up for it. And, despite not having Greek yogurt or egg whites for breakfast like usual, I was still able to get in plenty of protein and I don't think I was hungrier than normal.

What's the final verdict?

The VB6 Cookbook is full of useful information for living a mostly-vegan life and has some great, easy to follow recipes. None of the recipes are super innovative, and some of them do take a really long time to make (I'm looking at you 1-2 hours Curry with Lamb. I don't care if you're "mostly unattended" I'm too hungry to wait that long for dinner). That said, I would highly recommend this book if you are a new vegan or for anyone who is interested in beginning to lower your animal product consumption and up the plant part of your diet.

To learn more, check out Mark Bittman's bio here or follow him on Twitter and Facebook. You can also click here to read a sample of the cookbook, including that yummy Steak Au Poivre with Mushrooms recipe, and visit Amazon to purchase your own copy.

Now enough about food. On to the party!

Point & Purpose: The purpose of this link up party is to mix and mingle and support each other’s sites by visiting, subscribing and/or leaving a comment. Please do not drop a link here, disappear and not follow through by visiting other party goers’ sites. 

Theme: We are linking up blog posts, Google+ posts or Facebook posts related to FITNESS, RUNNING, HEALTH or WELLNESS.

Simple Rules:
1. Follow, Like and/or Subscribe to your hostesses and co-hostesses:
2.   Don't be a wallflower.  I can not stress this enough.  Show some comment luv and support to other party goers of this link up by visiting their blogs and either leave a comment on a post, subscribe or both!  Visit at least others who have joined the party.
3.  Also join our WOW Link Up Pinterest Board ( ) so you can PIN your post to it.
4.  Invite your like-minded friends!  We love finding and reading new blogs so spread the word so we can increase the size of our parties every week til we make the walls sweat!!!!  I told ya we party hard!  :-)
5.  Use hashtag #wowlinkup when you comment on someone's post for easy identification.
6.  Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN!  This IS a party.


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  1. I've seen a couple other write ups on this book and it looks good!

    1. Yea I liked it and was really glad I got to try it! Highly recommend the blogging for books program :)

  2. Thanks for the review, it is the my first time hearing about the author. I will pin this in case a client or someone in my class wants to go vegan. #wowlinkup

    1. Glad you liked it Sheila! Hope it helps one of your clients or classmates one day :)

  3. I've certainly heard of this book/plan before, however, I could NEVER do it, because my stomach would NEVER allow me to be vegan for most of the time! ha ha! #wowlinkup

    1. Man that's hard. So good for you that you know what works with your body!

  4. I want a giant bowl of that shrimp and bean dish! Kudos to you for sticking to it for over a week. I'm sure it took a LOT of planning and prep!
    I just signed up at the Blogging for Books site. What a neat concept, thanks for sharing! #wowlinkup

    1. Thanks Michele! Glad you signed up for Blogging for Books! It's not highly publicized, but I think it's such a nice blog perk!

  5. Very interesting concept of a way to eat, eat vegan for all meals before dinner. I MIGHT try it - but ain't promising nothing. LOL. #wowlinkup

    1. Haha I know how you feel, but it honestly wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be! :)