Jon and Robin Robertson's Pantry Cuisine Cookbook and Survival Guide is a practical guide not only to surviving, but thriving in any tough situtation. It provides cooking tips and hints for tasty healthy eating, in disasters or emergencies causing loss of electric power.
Since the authors lived mostly in Virginia Beach when this book was written, it's geared to disaster conditions such as hurricanes. It assumes that you might be able to cook outside on a grill, that you're not in danger of freezing to death, and that you probably have some kind of roof over your head.
But Vegan Unplugged isn't trying to be an all inclusive survival guide for any natural disaster anywhere. It's a slim book, most valuable for its expert advice on tasty, healthy eating under less than ideal conditions, like having no electricity.
By following the Robertson's cooking tips and hints, you can live and eat reasonably healthy out of a car, boat, tent or other temporary shelter, or cook in a motel or dorm room - and not just in an emergency.
The 5 Day Meal Box, which they recommend putting together, will last at least five days for a family of 4. Your kit will include water, butane stove, lanterns and other emergency supplies.
As the authors so rightly state, it doesn't take much to upset the U.S. power grid. The emergency preparedness guide in Chapter 12 will stand you in good stead with non-food emergency issues, such as disaster evacuation. Given that we can't live for long without eating, food is a big part of emergency preparedness - thus, Vegan Unplugged.
You don't have to be vegan to use this book. Anybody can benefit from the Robertson's good advice. Anyone can use the cooking tips and hints, and enjoy eating these quick, easy, tasty, healthy recipes. If you want to add a few other ingredients, feel free.
Of course, you'll eat a lot healthier for a lot cheaper on rice and beans, with far less danger of food poisoning than with meat, eggs or dairy.
We tested two different recipes from Vegan Unplugged, and ate them together, with a salad. I pretended I was using up my fresh produce, just like the book says. We had Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce and Walnuts, a green salad, and Black Bean Patties. It was an extremely tasty, satisfying meal, and everybody asked for seconds.
If the power had been out, I'd have cooked this meal on our wood stove, which also keeps us from freezing (and cuts down on our winter utility bills). But I do intend to invest in a one-burner butane stove, stock up on emergency supplies, and put together a 5 Day Meal Box.
Vegan Unplugged is brilliant, and not just as an emergency survival guide. The recipes, with the cooking tips and hints, are an excellent resource for healthy eating - if you're sick, too busy, cooking challenged, remodeling, moving, or visiting veg-un-friendly relations.
I know it's possible to live for several days on instant oatmeal and canned soup, but that gets old fast. If you buy Vegan Unplugged, you'll never have to.