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Customer Review By Denise Patterson
This is the one I've been looking for!
Let me start by saying I'm a busy working mom of two. I grew up eating Hamburger Helper and hot dogs, so I didn't learn to cook until I was an adult. My dad's had triple bypass and my mom's having gastric bypass, so we're trying to learn from their mistakes and eat not entirely vegetarian, but definitely a more plant-based diet. I'm sure all this sounds familiar to a lot of people!
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is exactly the cookbook I've been trying to find for a long time. It has the simple, everyday recipes that I sometimes need, combined with a LOT of wonderful vegetarian dishes from ordinary supermarket ingredients. How about Peanut Soup, Senegalese Style? Or Korean-Style Noodles in Cool Bean Broth (in less than 20 minutes for when the kids are whining for dinner) Mustard Cheese Fondue?
This book is written in Bittman's typical `theme and variations' style, with a basic recipe (like for waffles) and then a sidebar or list following the recipe that gives variations (like a list of things you can add to waffles for flavoring). The great thing about this is that it means you rarely have to reject a recipe because you don't have the exact ingredients, just go with a variant. The only quibble I have with it is, it's sometimes difficult to keep track of what you are supposed to sub out & sub back in when you have a crying toddler on your ankle.
A basic cookbook should also walk you through basic techniques and ingredients. I was a little surprised to see the vegetables chapter was nearly 200 pages. Then I looked through it and realized a lot of that is guidance on how to select and prep the various vegetables. It's also helpful that he includes substitution suggestions - I may be out of broccoli, but if I can make the same recipe with green beans, then I can forgo the trip to the store one more day.
Another nice thing about this cookbook is, unlike most vegetarian cookbooks I have seen, it doesn't rely heavily on unusual ingredients or meat substitutes. It seems like there has to be a happy medium between burgers & fries on one hand and stuff you've never seen before. Surely we can make a healthy diet based on basic veggies, fruit, grains, and legumes, and that's JUST what this book focuses on.
But it doesn't matter how great the book is if the recipes aren't good! So I tried a few. The Spicy Autumn Veggie Burgers (we made less spicy for the kids) were terrific with a dollop of peach chutney, although the kids preferred ketchup. I was pleased at how quickly they came together too. The Glazed Carrot Soup the kids ate without any complaint at all. And oh my the Apple "Fries"!!!!
Because I'm sure people are wondering - yes, he has another cookbook called How to Cook Everything Vegetarian that came out several years ago. This is NOT just a remake of that slim volume. This is a completely new book. (Why his publishers wanted to do two books with titles the same except for a colon I'll never know.) There's no exact overlap with How to Cook Everything, that I saw - even for recipes like Waldorf Salad, that are essentially the same in both books, there is some slight variation and different text that shows that this was re-written, not just a cut-and-paste job.
In short, I'm very happy with it. I've cooked out of it every day since I got it and I'm sure this will be one of my `go-to' cookbooks for years to come.
The ultimate one-stop vegetarian cookbook-from the author of the classic How to Cook Everything.
Hailed as "a more hip Joy of Cooking" by the Washington Post, Mark Bittman's award-winning book How to Cook Everything has become the bible for a new generation of home cooks, and the series has more than 1 million copies in print. Now, with How to Cook Everything Vegetarian,Bittman has written the definitive guide to meatless meals-a book that will appeal to everyone who wants to cook simple but delicious meatless dishes, from health-conscious omnivores to passionate vegetarians.
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian includes more than 2,000 recipes and variations-far more than any other vegetarian cookbook. As always, Bittman's recipes are refreshingly straightforward, resolutely unfussy, and unfailingly delicious-producing dishes that home cooks can prepare with ease and serve with confidence. The book covers the whole spectrum of meatless cooking-including salads, soups, eggs and dairy, vegetables and fruit, pasta, grains, legumes, tofu and other meat substitutes, breads, condiments, desserts, and beverages. Special icons identify recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less and in advance, as well as those that are vegan. Illustrated throughout with handsome line illustrations and brimming with Bittman's lucid, opinionated advice on everything from selecting vegetables to preparing pad Thai, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian truly makes meatless cooking more accessible than ever.