I am an omnivore, and will remain so. I do however eat meatless several times a week, and I have some vegetarian and vegan personal chef clients. I could probably quit meat more easily than dairy or honey, so becoming vegan is also not in my future.
Chef Tal Ronnen was on Oprah about about a month ago promoting his new book,The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat, and demonstrating some recipes. (Chef Ronnen is the chef behind Oprah's month long Vegan experiment).
I watched him make a cream sauce using cashews, and a 'chicken' piccata using a product called 'Gardein', and went to Borders as soon as the show was over and bought the book. I have yet to experiment with the recipes, but my friend and fellow bloggger, Jewels, of Jewels From the Roving Stove, has been cooking up a storm from the book.
There's also a local Akron plug in the book - Chef Scot Jones, of VegiTerranean, is spotlighted as a guest chef. Some of the recipes in the book, including Hot Italian Peppers Stuffed with Fresh Herb Risotto and Soy Mozzarella, with Fresh Basil Lime Sauce, and Gardein 'Chicken" Piccata, are on the VegiTerranean menu.
Gardein is available at Mustard Seed and Whole Foods, but only in retail, prepared packages. I am looking forward to getting a hold of some 'raw' Gardein and experimenting with it myself.
Using meat replacement products in a diet eschewing animal products has always been a bit of a paradox to me; it seems to me that non-meat eaters would not want to eat products intended to resemble meat, especially when there are plenty of plant based, delicious foods that can provide an outstanding dining experience. But hey, what do I know?
In any event, this is an excellent book with beautiful photography, and recipes probably aimed at the more experienced cook looking for a fine dining experience at home. Ronnen's tips and techniques are an added bonus sprinkled throughout the book.