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Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World Paperback – March 2, 2010


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Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World + Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker: 200 Recipes for Healthy and Hearty One-Pot Meals That Are Ready When You Are + The Indian Slow Cooker: 50 Healthy, Easy, Authentic Recipes
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Original edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158008074X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580080743
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Overabundant quotation marks and occasional preaching aside, the recipes in this concise collection are simple and tempting. Organized by broad cuisine categories (Indian, Mexican and Southwestern, Greek, and so on), the dishes in this book don't school readers in the finer points of different cultures' cooking styles, but they do offer easy, tasty options for meat-free comfort food: slow-cooked grits with chili and cheese; polenta gnocchi in tomato sauce; wild mushroom stew on noodles. Appealing photos showcase prepared recipes that feel a step above traditional slow cooker fare, such as rustic potato and poblano gratin; risotto with lentils; polenta lasagna with tomato mushroom sauce; and Japanese-style braised tofu. The handful of surprisingly chic desserts sprinkled throughout—including red wine and cherry risotto; Mexican chocolate pudding cake; walnut and apple bread pudding—are a sweet bonus. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"[G]ives both vegetarians and omnivores a sophisticated excuse to pull out that dusty slow-cooker."
--Washington Post Express, 3/17/10

More About the Author

Lynn Alley began her career in cooking as a middle school teacher where she and her students gained notoriety selling their hand made gourmet items at Neiman Marcus. Alley long ago began writing and saving recipes so that down the road she could write the cookbooks for which she has become known. Since leaving the classroom, she has traveled to teach cooking in southern France and at cooking schools throughout the western United States. She has, over the years, contributed articles on both food and wine to the San Diego Union Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Fine Cooking, Cook's Illustrated, The Herb Companion, Health, Natural Home, Organic Style, and Organic Gardening, and has authored six cookbooks, the latest of which, "50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker" is scheduled for release in September of 2011. For more than ten years, she has also been a regular contributer to the Wine Spectator online and magazine, and her "Conscious Cook" blog appears weekly on the Yoga Journal's website, yoga journal.com.
An avid animal lover, she has also contributed article on animal diet, travel and wellbeing to the Natural Dog, Dog Fancy, and the Herb Companion.

Customer Reviews

All three recipes I tried were soupy and didn't taste very good.
stephvivian
I would recommend either (or both) of these books instead of "The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker."
Tilly
There was not one recipe that I tried that I did not feel needed to be altered to suit my tastes.
Cristina Rivera

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

162 of 174 people found the following review helpful By Tilly on June 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had high expectations for this book but, in the end, I can not recommend it.

I found this book in the wonderful, old-fashioned Shackford's Kitchen Supply in Napa, California and I couldn't wait to try the recipes. Since I prefer to grind my spices as needed, I was undaunted by that aspect of the book. I get most of my whole spices from World Market, or an Indian grocery store. I did have difficulty finding the whole allspice (I don't normally use allspice), but I eventually found the berries at Smart and Final.

The first dish I tried from this book was Moussaka with Artichokes, Tomatoes and Potatoes. The note for this recipe indicated that this dish baked in a slow cooker "may be a bit juicier than if baked in an open casserole dish in the oven." Perhaps I am arguing semantics here, but I would describe the resulting dish as "watery" rather than "juicy." I have never tasted actual moussaka before, so I cannot say whether this dish tasted similar, but I did not care for either the flavor or the consistency. I will not be making this dish again.

The next dish I tried was Creamy Dal because I am on a continual search for a recipe for whole lentil Indian dal that rivals the dals served at my favorite Indian restaurant. This was not it. The recipe calls for 4-5 cups of water, indicating that 4 cups would produce a stew consistency, whereas 5 cups would produce a porridge consistency. Since I like the consistency of my dals somewhere in-between, I used 4-1/2 cups of water. However, the finished dal was extremely soupy - so much so that I believe the minimum four cups of water would still have made it too watery!

In addition, I found that the proportions of the spices indicated in the Creamy Dal recipe were odd.
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99 of 110 people found the following review helpful By S. D. Fischer VINE VOICE on March 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
I haven't been overly impressed with the vegetarian slow cooker cookbooks that I have seen so I was happy to discover the publication of a new one. Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World doesn't disappoint.

In the introduction, the author discusses how she prefers inexpensive slow cookers over their fancier, more expensive counterparts (which often have more parts, such as digital control panels, that are susceptible to breaking). She mentions that the possible drawback of less expensive models, uneven heating, can easily be addressed by rotating the slow cooker insert midway through cooking.

The author provides a brief overview of ingredients with helpful tips about selecting beans, choosing the specialty salt best suited to a dish (which she recommends but is not a requirement for recipes), and grinding your own spices for maximum freshness. The only equipment suggested is a slow cooker, immersion blender, electric coffee mill (for grinding spices) and a mortar and pestle (another way to grind spices).

Recipes are divided into regions of cuisine: India, Mexico and the Southwest, Asia, Italy, France, Greece, and the Middle East. Recipes are mainly for main dishes and side dishes but there are a few for breakfast, appetizers and desserts.

Of the 57 recipes, 17 are accompanied by a full page color photo of the finished dish.

I liked that the author recommends a beverage for each recipe.
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Little Amy Dorrit on April 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
Upon first glance at this book, I thought I was going to really like it. I already have a large collection of vegetarian cookbooks, but I was drawn to this book as it has the type of recipes that appeal to me. I also like that the book has very nice pictures and that the author offers serving suggestions.

I was anxious to try the Dal with Ground Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom and Cumin. Unfortunately, when I looked at the recipe, I noticed it called for cinnamon stick, whole cloves, cardamom pods, and cumin seeds. The instructions say to grind these to a powder. I then noticed this is the case for many of the recipes, especially those that interest me. The required grinding negates what I like about slow cooking- that it simplifies my meal preparations. The author offers an explanation in the beginning for why she grinds the spices, but it is just not realistic for me. Plus, I have had great meals using powders and have not been more impressed with personally ground spices.

I did try some of the recipes that don't call for grinding. The Korean Black Beans, super-easy with only 4 ingredients, tasted ok I guess, but needed something more. The Japanese style braised tofu with miso was also just ok, even though I'm a big miso fan, and it wasn't a hit with others. I wanted to try the Curried Chickpeas, but I was not going to grind cumin seeds, peppercorns, whole cloves, and cardamom pods. The Chili required grinding as well.

I'd be interested in one recipe after the next only to be disappointed by the extra work (including the extra clean-up). In my opinion, a "simple" recipe does not add unnecessary steps, and the word simple is right on this cover. Conversions for using pre-ground spices were not provided. Therefore, this book is not for me.
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