By Shubhra Krishan (New World Library, $14.95)
With a bright outlook and an engaging style, Krishan thoughtfully provides you with an excuse to treat yourself more kindly. Here are dozens of ways to lighten your load when you’re feeling overstressed and overwhelmed. Learn how to steal little ‘crumbs’ of time; five minutes here, five minutes there, to form a whole ‘loaf’ of personal time each day. (You do have time for one minute of deep breathing, don’t you?) Find smart, simple ways to make your home a ‘sanctuary’, feed your body, relax and revive your mind. One of the nice things about this book is the wealth of material it contains. It goes beyond hints and helpful suggestions to delve into why these physical and mental exercises are important, and how to make them work for you. This is a solid, balanced book with an Indian influence: sensitive and sensible.
Leslie Gilbert Elman
The Artful Vegan: Fresh Flavors from the Millennium Restaurant
By Eric Tucker with Bruce Enloe; Desserts by Amy Pearce (Ten Speed Press, $24.95)
I thought the term ‘vegan fine dining’ was an oxymoron. This collection of 140 recipes from the chefs at San Francisco’s Millennium Restaurant proves me wrong. Its ‘fusion’ of organic ingredients and haute cuisine will delight vegans who are aching to break into some wild culinary territory. How about a three-potato torte topped with rosemary-pistachio pesto and a Gruyere made from cashews and tofu? Or perhaps the Portobello Carpaccio over Carrot and Parsnip Fettuccine with Raw Pumpkin Seed-Ancho Chile Pesto? Prepare your taste buds! It’s unlikely that they’ve ever encountered the mix of flavors you’ll discover here. (Chilled Tomato and Watermelon Soup indeed!) This is not a beginners’ cookbook and the more exotic ingredients might be tough to find if you don’t have an organic and/or Asian grocer nearby. But if you’re an adventurous chef with a vegan soul this book is for you.