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American Wholefoods Cuisine Paperback – September 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews Review

Cooking maven M.F.K. Fisher gave her approval to these 1,300 high-fiber, low-fat, low-sugar, and low-salt vegetarian recipes. And for someone who lived for flavorful food, that's sure saying something. The Goldbecks have been fixtures in the American whole-foods movement for more than a decade, and here they have thoroughly succeeded with their goal of creating "mouth-watering food that tastes great and happens to be healthful."

They call the whole-foods diet a "Darwinian" one because it's similar to the diet that our ancestors followed 50,000 years ago--"foods provided by our habitat." The Goldbecks write, "Just as we cannot put unleaded gasoline in our 1950 Chevy pickup and expect it to run efficiently, modern technological foods may be inappropriate for our prehistoric bodies." The simplicity of this theory is outstanding, although rushed lifestyles and the ubiquity of convenience foods make it easy to eat overprocessed, unnutritious junk at every meal. With most of its delicious recipes utilizing seven or fewer ingredients, however, American Wholefoods Cuisine can help you take the plunge into a healthier way of feeding your body. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

When it was originally published in 1983, this cookbook was an innovation, spreading the gospel of meatless living and whole grains to a country that still believed in juicy steaks and buttered potatoes. Recently reissued, the volume no longer seems ground-breaking; tofu and brown rice are workaday ingredients, and the phrase "Whole Foods" suggests an upmarket grocery store more than a healthful way of eating. Nevertheless, this book maintains its appeal by including simple, tasty recipes, globally inspired and easy to prepare. Pissaladiere Nicoise, a French pizza-like pastry, is a delicious snack, light on the cheese but heavy on the peppery spices. Mexican Corn Soup, which the authors call a "minor protein," is creamy and fiery at the same time. And while Stuffed Cabbage Stroganoff takes its cues from Russia, the ingredients (including soy sauce and nonfat dry milk powder) make the final product taste strictly American-yet still delicious. Desserts are virtuous but tasty; it's hard to argue with Fresh Peach Cake, even if the recipe does substitute honey and maple syrup for sugar. There are no photographs in the book, however, and few illustrations, so whether or not that cake is supposed to be brown on the bottom is anyone's guess.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 580 pages
  • Publisher: Ceres Press; 2nd edition (February 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886101116
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886101111
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #372,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Anna on September 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The recipes in this cookbook are great. There are meals for every cooking skill level, and for almost all tastes (excluding meat, of course). The recipes don't include refined ingredients, opting instead for whole wheat pasta, brown rice, molasses, etc. The recipes are filling and delicious. Of all the recipes I've tried in this cookbook (and I've tried LOTS), there's maybe two that I didn't care for.
One of my favorite things: There's a detailed section on bread baking, which has been very helpful. (The pumpkin pan rolls are some of the best dinner rolls I've ever had.)
One thing to note is that this cookbook was written some time ago, so it can seem a times, especially considering how far vegetarian cuisine has come in recent years. But I really enjoy classic (and, yes, sometimes stodgy) dishes, full of lentils and brown rice and the like. The barley-mushroom soup is amazing.
But here's the downside. Since falling in love with this cookbook, I've gone vegan. And there's a lot of eggs and dairy used in this book. Some substitutions are easy to make (soy milk for cow's milk, for example), but others aren't. I used to use this cookbook several nights a week, but now it's more like once or twice a month.
All in all, I recommend this cookbook, particularly for people who don't believe that meatless meals can be good. It was the first vegetarian cookbook I bought, and because of it I realized that doing without meat is not only possible, but very tasty!
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By bda on February 14, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am not only astounded that anyone would give this excellent cookbook 1-star, but I'm equally astounded that Amazon would pick that one as its Spotlight Review. Every other reviewer gave this cookbook 5-stars. And so do I. This is by far the best cookbook I own. I completely wore out my first copy. Not only are the recipes delicious, but the ingredients used are mainly items you can purchase in a normal supermarket...a big plus for those of us who don't live within easy access to exotic markets. These recipes are great for the person who just wants to improve their diet, as well as for the hard-core vegetarian. Even meat-eaters would enjoy this food. I can't recommend it highly enough. I only hope that someday the Goldbecks come out with a new and expanded version!

Good job!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Melanie on October 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you only buy one vegetarian cookbook, then this should be it. American Wholefoods Cuisine by Nikki and David Goldbeck is packed with 1,300 meatless recipes, and is the most comprehensive vegetarian cookbook I've ever seen.

No, it doesn't have glossy photographs of food that you will never get to look like the picture. And it certainly doesn't have one of my biggest pet peeves about vegetarian cookbooks: exotic and hard to find ingredients. What is does have is recipes that are made of wholesome, easy to find ingredients, with simple to follow directions for preparation.

The recipe section is divided into helpful sections, with my favorite being "Short-Order Cooking". This section is packed with quick delicious recipes that can take mere minutes to bring from the kitchen to the table. For me, this is worth the whole book! In each section as well, within different food types, there is a short description of each with helpful cooking tips. This is very helpful if you've never made a crepe before, for example.

Aside from the voluminous recipes, there is loads of other information in this book. There are sections on wholefoods philosophy and nutrition, and at the end there is a section called "The Food Reader", which goes into extensive detail about how to create a well stocked pantry, how to handle and store food, tips on cooking, kitchen math, and tips for eating out.

Like I said, this book is several other books packed into one. It is a cookbook, whole food nutrition guide, cooking instruction manual, and general vegetarian lifestyle guide. No wonder it took the Goldbeck's five years and endless hours of testing recipes to write this book! -Katy Farber
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Anthony R. Garner Jr. on March 16, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is mainly in response to the member who rated this book one star. I have been thoroughly happy with this book, and also am on my second copy. My wife, I and the rest of my family, as well as the many guests we have entertained with the recipes have nothing but good to say about it. If you want recipes for real food, not just gourmet vegetarian recipes with over=priced ingredients, this is the book for you. I feel the Goldbecks went out of their way to write this book and helped many of us in doing so. I am sorry the person who rated the book 1 star had such a bad experience with the book. If she wants to get rid of it, I'll send her my address to take it off her hands.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This IS the only cookbook you'll ever need. I got it when I first began to cook and it is full of simple recipes and good cooking and nutrition tips. 15 years later, I make the more complex recipes as well, still refer to the tips, and often use the recipes as a base for my own experiments. It includes recipes for almost anything you could ever want to cook and even meat-eaters will appreciate the soups, breads, side dishes, salads, sauces, dressings, drinks, desserts, etc. I buy new cookbooks all the time but I always rely on this one.
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