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Almost Meatless: Recipes That Are Better for Your Health and the Planet Paperback – April 1, 2009


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Almost Meatless: Recipes That Are Better for Your Health and the Planet + The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life + Everyday Flexitarian: Recipes for Vegetarians and Meat lovers alike
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580089615
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580089616
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #445,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite its title, almost every recipe in this book uses meat, fish or eggs. A collaboration between Manning, a former vegan, and Desmond, an unabashed meat lover, the aim is to help Americans, who they believe eat far more meat than is healthy or good for agricultural sustainability, compose meals that are both tasty and filling without having a slab of meat as the overbearing star ingredient. Instead, meat appears in smaller quantities supplemented by layers of flavor in the form of additional savory ingredients that should keep people who usually expect lots of meat from noticing the difference. In a burger recipe, for example, black beans and bulgur are mashed together with a minimum of ground beef to make a patty that is full-size, fully delicious and less meaty; similarly, a recipe for gyros uses a small amount of lamb amped up with tzatziki sauce and fava beans fragrant with lemon, garlic and fresh herbs. Manning and Desmond encourage preparing meat more healthfully, as well as substituting lighter forms of meat or even tofu in some cases, and many of the recipes can be made vegetarian. Overall, Desmond's meat-loving side often seems to win out, which may disappoint readers looking to make bigger changes, but the baby-step approach is likely to be much more palatable for many others. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Meals that are both tasty and filling without having a slab of meat as the overbearing star ingredient”
—Publisher’s Weekly
 
“The authors of the new book Almost Meatless make a satisfying case for eating less meat and more vegetables and grains...The resulting dishes are healthier, less expensive and beautifully balanced.”
—Chicago Sun Times
 
“The recipes look good enough for carnivores to enjoy as well”
—Tampa Tribune
 
“This way of eating makes sense not just for saving money, but, as the authors say in the subtitle, for the planet.”
—Newsday
 
“Show[s] that a less meatcentric diet than the typical American one can still be satisfying and delicious”
—Library Journal
 
“Filled with recipes that use only a small amount of meat in each dish, a flavorful accent rather than the star of the show”
—Boston Globe

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Customer Reviews

The recipes in this book are both easy and mouthwatering.
Erika G. Chapin
The recipes are easy to follow, with lots of good advice and tips for working with ingredients.
SJP
All up, I really feel compelled to say that Almost Meatless was a disappointment.
Phil

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Harnett VINE VOICE on August 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
From Caramelized Onion Meatloaf to Shrimp and Slow-Roasted Tomato Risotto; from Eggplant and Chicken Puttanesca Stacks to Springtime Spaghetti Carbonara, the authors (a former vegan and an unabashed carnivore) aim for more flavor with less meat, pleasing the eye as well as the palate in this attractively designed full-color paperback.

The book is organized by ingredient - fleshly protein ingredient. Boxed cooking tips, storage and shopping advice and occasional variations accompany well-organized recipes.

Most recipes are naturals for meat restraint - Corn and Cod Cakes, Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie (whole wheat crust), Chili, while a few traditionally meat centered dishes - Philly Cheese Steak, Tofu-Turkey Sloppy Joes - require some veggie adjustment.

The authors include whole grains without belaboring the point and the whole family will greet the meals here with enthusiasm.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Colin Mcdonough on June 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
The eggplant-chicken stacks on the cover immediately drew me in! Having limited kitchen skills (as I do) is not a problem. Recipes are detailed and easy to follow. Want total vegetarian? Leave out the chicken! Still delicious! Next, I'm on to the Shepherd's Pie.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By DrMom on June 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
As someone who is leaning towards the vegetarian side, I love this book! It is truly a pleasure to see the use of meat minimized and the spotlight focused on "healthy" and organic food!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Gable on October 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am picky about my cookbooks - they should be easy to follow (layout, index, etc.); have beautiful, color pictures; and creative recipes with ingredients that are not hard to find. Almost Meatless has all three. I have been trying one or two recipes each week, and so far they have all turned out wonderfully.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Erika G. Chapin on June 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The recipes in this book are both easy and mouthwatering. To be clear, it's NOT a vegetarian cookbook (the title implies that, no?), but a cookbook for those of us who love meat but don't want it to be the centerpiece of our eating. Less meat stretches a buck, and Desmond and Manning introduce us to some great grains that delight and satisfy. A winner!
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Phil on August 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book with a desire to cut down my meat consumption. While this book gets a big tick for intentions and identifying what I hope is a growing demand for a more ethical approach to food (environmental, organic, animal welfare etc.), as a cookbook it's, well, not very good. When I'm reading cookbooks I want to be inspired, and obviously I want to be able to recreate the meals. Unfortunately, Almost Meatless falls short on both accounts.

First up on the inspiration front, I love cookbooks that have big, glossy, tantalising photos. As a visual person, if the photo's got me salivating there's a good chance I'm going to give the recipe a try myself. Unfortunately, of the 62 recipes listed (excluding the stocks/broths) only 21 of them have photos. That may be enough for you but I certainly need more. I did enjoy the introductions that preceded each chapter, but overall the design (typography, layout) looks much more like a textbook than a cookbook.

In regards to the recipes themselves, for what I was looking for they seemed impractical. The stated intention of the book is to displace meat as the central component in our meals. Yet I think one of the main obstacles is that meat can be so simple to prepare and yet so flavoursome. Our experience often tells us that plain vegetables, by comparison, are quite bland. As a beginner-to-intermediate kitchen warrior I was looking for meals that would be on par with, say, a roast dinner in terms of preparation, ingredient complexity and skill. Instead, the recipes in this book are best described as fiddly.

For instance, a recipe for Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie requires a whopping 25 ingredients!
Read more ›
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Susan Caunter on April 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Desmond and Manning have hit the bull's eye with this "test-the-waters' of healthy living suggestion. For those timid about diving into an eccentric, 'hippy'-type vegetarian life style, this book offers conservative steps in gently reducing mammals from one's daily diet. By substituting more healthful staples like "CornCrabCakes", "TheB4(beef,bulgar,blackbean burger),or "Tofu-Turkey Sloppy Joe"s the diner can experience satisfying meals without slaughtering innocents or destroying the earth.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By SJP on May 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of four cookbooks I bought a couple of weeks ago to try to make some healthy changes in the way we eat - and though Sandra Woodruff's The Good Carb Cookbook : Secrets of Eating Low on the Glycemic Index is probably my favorite - better for suggestions on making changes to our current diet, this book runs a close second. The recipes require some ingredients not available in small-town West Virginia, but nothing so exotic I can't use them in other things (dried porcini mushrooms, tamarind, etc.). These and pretty much anything else I need are available on Amazon, and since I cook gluten-free, I'm used to buying supplies that way (and am probably getting a better deal than I would in most stores - or so other reviewers say). When I've tried substitutes (e.g., for asafetida) I've found by Googling instead of ordering an ingredient, the recipes from this book have still turned out well.

The recipes are easy to follow, with lots of good advice and tips for working with ingredients. I already have shelves and shelves of cookbooks and donate armloads to the public library once or twice a year - so what I'm looking for now is recipes that are a little different without being too spicy-hot or too far out for my husband (who's a fairly adventurous eater) to enjoy. This book's a keeper.
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