Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Hollan Hawaii

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-9857152-7-4
Publisher: Deeper Well Publishing

Homestyle vegan recipes from a Hawaii-based chef.

Hawaii is the former owner of Caffe Coco in Kauai, Hawaii, and in this debut book, she combines health-forward recipes with a family-friendly approach to cooking. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, the author studied at Le Cordon Bleu and adopted a vegan diet after reading Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin’s book Skinny Bitch (2005). Like Barnouin, the author is a former model: “During my brief modeling career,” Hawaii writes, “I used food to keep my body at a certain weight (it was during the unhealthy waif craze), and my relationship with food became blurred.” This cookbook, she explains, “is a culmination of my journey toward healthfulness.” At the end of 2017, Hawaii sold her cafe so she “could complete this book, write more books, create videos, and teach what I have learned along the way.” The recipes here, featuring plenty of full-color images by multiple photographers, are simple and easy to follow, running the gamut from nut milks and fruit juices to dinner items and desserts. There’s plenty of emphasis on health-conscious vegan foods, including ginger shots, tofu scrambles, and smoothies. But Hawaii also includes a wide range of simple, homestyle dishes, such as sandwiches, soups, and dips. Other notable recipes include her “Coconut Mac Nut Tofu,” the signature dish at her cafe—“It is a great way to get your family to fall in love with tofu”—and a San Francisco avocado sub, inspired by her Bay Area upbringing. “I want my kids’ diet to seem normal, even though we eat vegan,” Hawaii writes, which means plenty of familiar breakfast and dinner foods, from waffles to quesadillas. Recipes also helpfully note whether they’re gluten-free, nut-free, or sugar-free. There’s a useful section on dressings—from Hawaiian Island to Cashew Caesar—and sauces, and Hawaii offers practical advice in the closing pages, which range from her preferences regarding organic brands to a list of her cooking appliances. Although this cookbook doesn’t break any new culinary ground, it’s easy to read and ideal for people who want to eat simply and healthily.

A photo-filled cookbook that effectively combines vegan food with lifestyle tips.