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Authors offer how-to meal preparations, both fast and time-intensive, for devotees
Vegan celebs from Natalie Portman to new convert Ellen DeGeneres have made the plant-based life glam. But do they ever see the inside of a kitchen?
A bumper crop of new vegan cookbooks gets you cooking whether you're famous or your average vegan Joe.
"The Conscious Cook" (Morrow, $29.99)
Tal Ronnen, the chef who cooked for Oprah during her 21-day vegan cleanse, has written an elegant book. His recipes are ambitious, requiring time and ingredients such as seitan, kombu (a sea vegetable) and nutritional yeast (a cheesy-tasting vegan yeast fortified with B-12). They're available at natural food stores and come together in dishes such as free-form ravioli with tofu ricotta and arugula pesto -- luscious but labor-intensive, like Ronnen's other recipes.
"The Urban Vegan" (Three Forks, $16.95)
Dynise Balcavage's book is less fussy, more funky, with vegan versions of sophisticated eats. It also requires specialty ingredients, but delectable dishes such as millet-crusted mushroom-leek pie and cherry-chocolate chunk scones are easy to make.
"Supermarket Vegan" (Penguin, $18.95)
Billing itself as a cookbook for real people in the real world, Donna Klein's new cookbook pairs canned and frozen ingredients with fresh produce and whole grains. Recipes such as arborio rice salad with black beans and toasted corn may lack innovative flair, but they're fast, easy and made from supermarket ingredients.