Book Review: “Street Vegan: Recipes and Dispatches from the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck”

Today was full of rainclouds.  The constant peaceful drizzle was just what I needed, and I’ve been curled up with books and my cat since I got home from work.  Day three of following the Happy Herbivore meal plan involved very little cooking – the recipe was simple baked tofu and corn on the cob.  It turns out that it’s nearly impossible to get plain tofu with barbecue sauce and corn to be photogenic!  I fiddled with pictures for a few minutes, but decided that most of you probably already know what tofu and corn look like.  Instead of a detailed post about Day Three’s meal plan recipe, I thought I’d share my review of a lovely new vegan cookbook by Adam Sobel, creator of the utterly fantastic Cinnamon Snail food truck!

Photo Credit:

Adam Sobel is famous for bringing gourmet vegan food to the streets.  And from everything I hear and read online, the food is TO DIE FOR.  The Cinnamon Snail has won several highly coveted Vendy Awards, and has been given praise from all over the place.  Vegans and omnivores alike can’t get enough of Adam’s food.  I must (sadly) admit that I’ve never eaten at The Cinnamon Snail food truck, but if I can ever make it to New York it’s going to be one of the first things I do!  There has been high demand for a Cinnamon Snail cookbook for some time now, and it finally happened!  I was lucky enough to snag a review copy, so that I can enjoy these vegan creations in my home fifteen hundred miles away from New York City.
Street Vegan

Things I Loved:
-Adam shares personal information, such as the story of how he found veganism, and front-line stories about what it really takes to run a food truck.  I never in a million years knew how hard it was to start up and maintain a food truck operation.  The Cinnamon Snail gets parking tickets every day, even while legally parked!  I also discovered that the food truck is required to also rent commercial kitchen space for ingredient preparation and food storage, and that health inspectors visit without warning and at all times during the day.  I’m not sure why I thought owning a food truck was easy, but it certainly isn’t!  According to Adam, however, operating the Cinnamon Snail is the most rewarding, wonderful thing in the world.  I appreciate his love for what he does.
-There is a vegan pantry section that lists the staples Adam uses in many of his recipes, along with an explanation of their uses and health benefits.  Because so many nonvegans love The Cinnamon Snail, this section takes away the “scary” nature of unfamiliar ingredients.
-The book is well organized and spans the gamut of vegan food – from breakfast to sandwiches, desserts to main courses.  I especially love the chapter of beverage recipes.  Most vegan cookbooks don’t include recipes for drinks, unless they’re smoothies. Street Vegan shows the reader how to make various nut milks, which is invaluable, as well as refreshing coolers for the summer.  He even threw in a hot chocolate recipe!
-There is an entire chapter dedicated to vegan donuts.  The Cinnamon Snail is famous for their fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth donuts, and it would have been a crime against humanity if this chapter were not included!  If you do nothing else, buy this book because of the donuts and gobble some up.  You will die happy if you do.
-The recipes are detailed, clear, and easy to follow.  And delicious.  If you’ve eaten at The Cinnamon Snail, you won’t be disappointed with this book.  The recipes are not second rate or throwaways.  Adam has given us an entire book of food that he cooks himself and sells to the public.  He’s held nothing back, and it shows.  I stopped bookmarking recipes to try after I realized I was putting a tab on every single page.

Street Vegan
Photo Credit: The Cinnamon Snail

Things I Didn’t Love:
-He uses a heck of a lot of oil.  I know that this is to be expected, because street food is made to be fantastic, and adding a little fat makes everything taste better.  However, I try to limit my oil intake and get my calories from foods that have fiber and other vitamins and minerals.  Some of oil is easy to substitute, such as the oil called for in sautéing, but some of the desert and breakfast recipes aren’t that easy to change.
-Some of the recipes are very complicated.  If you don’t mind spending a lot of time in the kitchen, then it’s no problem, but I don’t see busy working people turning to this book regularly on a weeknight.  The recipes take preparation and dedication.

Overall, I think this book is solid.  I’m extremely glad I have it in my cookbook arsenal, and I feel that it’s worth the money.  It’s especially worth having if you have doubtful omnivore’s in your life who think that all vegan food is tasteless and terrible.  These recipes will knock their socks off!  You can check out Street Vegan on Amazon, or wherever awesome vegan books are sold!

I received a courtesy copy of this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  Reviews and opinions expressed are my own, and I will never provide a good review if I don’t believe in, or like, the product/book.

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