Review: PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook

I recently received a free copy of peta2‘s new project: the Vegan College Cookbook.  This cookbook has “275 easy, cheap, and delicious recipes to keep you vegan at school.”  It’s written by Starza Kolman and Marta Holmberg.


I had fun reading through the book.  I read most of it on the drive home from Napa on Saturday (after Bobby sobered up he took over the driving).

It’s broken up in two parts“what you need to know” and “recipes you’ll love”.  In “what you need to know”, you’ll find a quick and dirty intro to microwave cooking, an intro to veganism, a huge list of great vegan products, and a list of kitchen basics.  In “recipes you’ll love”, you’ll find breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, soups and stews, sauces/dressings, dinners, drinks, dips, snacks, and desserts… plus three spotlights!  Those are on peanut butter, ramen, and potatoes.

I think the “spotlights” are great.  They give a bunch of fun ideas to jazz up cheap ingredients.  I know a lot of people that lived on ramen when we were in school!  I bet they would have loved some healthier and tastier options.

This cookbook offers a ton of fun recipes.  I will definitely be trying some of the ramen recipes (like the ancient Japanese noodle secret salad), the salad recipes (like the strawberry field greens forever), and many others (like the peanut butter cup pie!).  But here are my critiques:

  • the only cooking method is a microwave.  i don’t really ever use a microwave… but this is actually a plus for college kids.
  • i would say at least half of the recipes are not really recipes.  (examples: bagel + cream cheese + jam; yogurt + fruit + granola)
  • no pictures!
  • there’s a heavy emphasis on processed and fake vegan foods – this is not what veganism is about (for me at least)

I liked the book enough to order a copy for my sister (her birthday was a few weeks ago and I never got her a present).  I hope it gets there soon.  I ordered it off of Amazon for just $10.19 and free shipping (along with Master Your Metabolism for my dear momma).

What was YOUR favorite college meal?  I pretty much lived on baked goods and salads.  I ate a lot of huge muffins, cookies, and other goodies.  I’ve scaled down my sugar consumption since then 🙂  Dessert is still my favorite meal – always has been, always will be.  And yes, of course dessert is a meal.

15 Comments on Review: PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook

  1. clare
    5 May, 2009 at 10:47 pm (8 years ago)

    my favorite college meal…coca cola in the morning and cran grape juice at night. LOVED. ramen of course, only beef flavor though. and my spaghetti, which i attribute to the fact that i am now married. 🙂

  2. Pearl
    5 May, 2009 at 10:50 pm (8 years ago)

    ahh i’ve seen this before! thanks for the review 🙂

  3. Sarah (lovINmytummy)
    5 May, 2009 at 11:39 pm (8 years ago)

    I was all about the salad bar…and the cereal bar…and the dessert bar…and the bar. Freshman 15, what?!

  4. Jennifer
    6 May, 2009 at 12:51 am (8 years ago)

    I definitely lived off of baked goods from the campus coffee shop my freshman year (they took meal points, and I was filthy rich in meal points). Great book review, as always! 🙂

  5. coco
    6 May, 2009 at 3:14 am (8 years ago)

    thanks for the review.
    Fortunately I never had a real college student life living in a dorm…so I save the “only microwave” part. I can’t imagine living in a place without kitchen and have to eat crap food all the time.
    And agree that dessert is a meal… it doesn’t need to be big, but it must be there! 🙂

  6. Alison
    6 May, 2009 at 4:19 am (8 years ago)

    My college lunch was a big low-fat blueberry muffin and orange juice from the coffee stand near the business college. I thought I was being so healthy 🙂

  7. Yasmin
    6 May, 2009 at 5:10 am (8 years ago)

    I’m sad to admit I lived off of Ramen noodles and Lucky Charms cereal. So unhealthy!

  8. kim
    6 May, 2009 at 5:49 am (8 years ago)

    Sadly, my dining hall served crappy and greasy food, so i always had to rely on cereal as well. Luckily, I lived off campus afterward and got to cook my own healthy meals.

  9. Alisa - Frugal Foodie
    6 May, 2009 at 7:39 am (8 years ago)

    Haha, I pretty much lived off of bagels and fruit. Not sure how I’m still alive 🙂

    It doesn’t sound like my cup of tea, but I could see how that book would have been really useful back in my college days of a microwave, mini-fridge, and horrible cafeteria!

  10. elise
    6 May, 2009 at 9:14 am (8 years ago)

    hmmm…i went through phases in college. with the cafeteria i dominated the cereal bar (no matter what meal it was). but eventually i recognized the lack of balance there, and moved on…
    since i didnt have time to cook for myself in college, i was a big time Trader Joe’s person (and Whole Foods for days I wanted a treat).

  11. K
    6 May, 2009 at 11:14 am (8 years ago)

    Great review!! I lucked out and didn’t have to experience dorm eats 🙂 For that, I am very thankful!

  12. Jules (the sister)
    6 May, 2009 at 12:27 pm (8 years ago)

    Thank you! Now I have something to look forward to when I check the mail 🙂 Love you!

  13. Andrea of Care to Eat
    6 May, 2009 at 2:43 pm (8 years ago)

    My favorite meal in college was Long Island Iced Teas. I’m being completely serious. When I wasn’t at work I was working in a bar, and lots of after-shift drinking would occur. I don’t think I cooked in my apartment kitchen once. I was a very unhealthy college student!

  14. Erin
    6 May, 2009 at 6:05 pm (8 years ago)

    I got a copy as well and we share some of the same critiques! I went to an urban university and never lived in a dorm, so I can’t relate to lots of the college talk in the book but it’s fun to read 🙂

  15. Dorinda Ferraris
    25 March, 2010 at 7:00 pm (7 years ago)

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