Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Andra Day $5 Off Fire TV Stick Grocery Shop Popular Services gotS5 gotS5 gotS5  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Metal Gear Solid 5 Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation Learn more

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Originally published in the mid seventies as From a Monastery Kitchen: A Practical Cookbook of Vegetarian Recipes for the Four Seasons Complete from Soups to Desserts with Breads I refer here to the 2002 Liguori expanded reprint edition, with a new Introduction by Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-LaTourette, Benedictine based in an abbey in upstate New York and renowned chef of good, simple and essentially vegetarian monastic food.

In his introduction, Brother Victor-Antoine writes: "Vegetables play a unique and most important role in the daily monastic fare, for all classic monastic diet throughout the ages has been predominately vegetarian, while making provisions for the inclusion of seafood and dairy products as well. Monastic gardeners make a point of cultivating extensive gardens that usually produce an adequate supply of vegetables, fruits, and herbs for daily culinary use. Vegetarian cooking, for both health and spiritual reasons, has been rediscovered and has attained wide prominence. In the cooking at monasteries, this goes a long way toward sustaining and encouraging the positive trend we see today (p. 3)."

Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila LaTourette further writes: "This is a vegetarian cookbook; no meat recipes are included, but there are fish recipes. Not all monastics are vegetarians by any means, but the Rule of Saint Benedict, which Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery follows, strongly encourages abstaining from meat. And each of us today must consider whether we want more than the least of us on the planet can have; most of our brothers and sisters do not have meat. (p. 4)"

This is right in line with the recent words of compassion and global concern expressed so eloquently by Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in his recent Apostolic Exhortation Sacramento de La Caridad: Sacramentum Caritatis as he urges us, compelled by our participation in the Eucharistic mysteries, to alter the economic structures which leave the majority of us destitute.

Thus Brother Victor-Antoine closely follows the Precept of The Rule of Saint Benedict proscribing quadrapeds. In fact you find here only a smattering of fish dishes. In the Main Dishes section you will find an excellent recipe for scrambled eggs, but the bulk are excellent, hearty, healthy and vegetarian dishes, such as one might enjoy within any excellent monastic enclosure.

The servings can indeed be generous, For example, the over half gallon recipe for Hermit's Soup which opens this book, including cabbage and carrots and turnip, etc., is suggested for one or two servings. This may seem a generous portion until you realize this may be the only meal of the day, or the evening meal. I might suggest after the hour of simmering passing your Braun MR400fHC Multiquick Hand Blender with Chopper through it a few times, and putting sour cream or fat free yoghurt on top, but too many chefs can spoil the soup. A slight pinch of ground clove, nutmeg or allspice might be nice as well, although they may do battle with the turnip. Perhaps best simply to display the small vials of spice to the soup, in order to frighten it duly into that other dimension of inscrutable flavor, no more. Or to simply follow in obedience the Brother's recipe in ipse.

This is followed by the high-carb Potato Soup, very healthy fare which really sticks to your ribs as you bring in the hay from the monastic fields. Those of a more sedentary life-style might choose a less caloric concoction from this wonderful book.

In fact, Brother Victor-Antoine begins his book with a goodly list of "Useful Tips for a Healthier Diet" including herbs as salt substitutes (which reminds me of the old joke: I tried a low-salt soup once. It was great; all it needed was salt.) and substituting pastries with fruit, and white flour with whole grain, and butters with olive oil, etc. the things one does without a thought nowadays.

The recipes as mentioned are arranged by Season, including Liturgical Season, and are really five star, more elaborate and sophisticated than first few I have presented here. I found a few of the titles rather inventive and more poetic or evocative than factual. For instance, the Subiaco Fish Fillets. I have been to Subiaco, the site of Saint Benedict's original hermitage and monasteries. I am an Oblate of the Subiaco Congregation. I cannot imagine any fish scaling those high and dry mountainous cliffs, filleted or not.

But such idle gossip has no place in a silent monastic refrectory. I am very grateful for this book and the warm companionship and even better food that it brings. And the prayers, of course, the prayers for peace together. In fact, please accompany this present book with Brother Victor-Antoine's excellent table prayer collection: Table Blessings: Mealtime Prayer Throughout the Year.

Many of the recipes reflects Brother Victor-Antoine's French heritage very well, and very simply. You will be surprised at how easily and how cheaply you too can prepare an excellent French meal worthy of the highest honors, and vegetarian.

Please take and read, for this too is our Body.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 19, 2000
From a Monastery Kitchen is a cookbook of natural foods, "natural foods" in the sense of simple, vegetarian foods. The cookbook is divided into the four seasons with recipes assigned to the season their ingrediants are most available. Within each season, there are four sections: (1) Soups and appetizers (2) Main dishes (3) Salads and (4) Desserts. The volume is peppered with quotations, line drawings and other delightful tidbits.
To give you a flavor of the variety of recipes presented: for Autumn we have Escarole Soup, Vegetable Fritters, Saint Hubert Fish Stew, Risotto, Eggplant Omelette, Kasha Salad, Bessarian Avocado Salad, Saint Bruno's Coffee Cream, Cold Spring Rice Pudding, Quick Apple Cake. The recipes are simple to follow, simple to make, and simply wonderful to eat.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2004
Variety, simplicity and the lovely stories that go with many of the recipies make this book a wonderful addition as well as a wonderful gift. These soups are great by themselves, and they are also easy to modify- add a little here, a little there to make them all time favorites! I highly recommend this book for the experienced and not so experienced cook.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2007
I really appreciate this book! It offers easy, no-nonsense recipes, simple, on the healthy side (no meat) and tasty. I particularly enjoy the "Indian Curried Lentils" and the "Candied Sweet Potatoes with Raisins".
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2007
I BOUGHT THIS COOKBOOK ABOUT 2 YEARS AGO, AND HAVE ENJOYED IT SO MUCH, AND HAVE USED IT A LOT, SO I BOUGHT THIS COPY FOR MY DAUGHTER. THOSE WHO FAST/ABSTAIN FOR LENT WILL FIND IT PARTICULARLY USEFUL.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 1999
I am inspired by the monks' dedication to preserving the simple way of life, and challenged to find my own solitude within these recipies. My family is excited to sample new fare, and will be blessed by the healthy benefits from vegetarian monastic cooking.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2005
I really couldn't imagine what would be in this cookbook, but was delighted to find everything easy, delicious, and so healthful. The simple and seasonal recipies call for everything available to the city dweller, and are arranged by the seasons, with beautiful passages that make this cook book a joy to use.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2009
Easy, simple and delicious and more often than not, the recipes do not require you to run to the store for a spice you've never heard of before. Plus the quotes and prayers are nice (and I'm not religious).
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2009
Like all of Brother Victor's books this one is full of really tasty, but fairly simple recipes. He has his recipes sorted first by season and then in categories such as soups, main dishes, salads, etc. His chick pea soup, vegetable cheese casserole, and spinach casserole with tomato topping were requested again by my son. We will by trying his asparagus-stuffed eggs coming up soon.

If you like tasty vegetarian food, or nearly vegetarian food (he has a few recipes for fish) I am sure you will find something to enjoy in this book. Also we all need to eat more vegetables, and Brother Victor has plenty of them in just about everything. Getting your "five a day" will not be problem with "From a Monastery Kitchen."
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2012
Simple, seasonal, hearty! One reviewer here complains about the use of dairy. Substitute! Rice milk, coconut milk, even home made vegan cheeses!

I love that this book is seasonal, using very simple ingredients. Pick them up fresh at your local Farmer's Market or grow them in your back yard. This book is also quite prayerful. Loaded in recipes that celebrate saintly feast days through out the year. Even a recipe dedicated to a saint from our Orthodox cousins with a brief exerpt about his life.

Many of the recipes are geared towards cooking for a number of folks, be it a family or a community of monks or friars. I am a single person. So I have the option of sharing with my neighbor, or cutting the recipe in half. The soups freeze well.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Twelve Months of Monastery Soups
Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Victor-Antoine D'Avila-Latourrette (Paperback - January 5, 1998)
$11.30

Twelve Months of Monastery Salads: 200 Divine Recipes for All Seasons
Twelve Months of Monastery Salads: 200 Divine Recipes for All Seasons by Victor-Antoine D'Avila-Latourrette (Paperback - March 8, 2006)
$15.26

Simplicity from a Monastery Kitchen: A Complete Menu Cookbook for All Occasions
Simplicity from a Monastery Kitchen: A Complete Menu Cookbook for All Occasions by Victor-Antoine D'Avila-Latourrette (Hardcover - February 6, 2001)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.