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Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World Paperback – March 2, 2010
Cooking in the New Year
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More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my absolute favorite cookbooks. Try each recipe, they will all keep you warm and well nourished.Published 11 days ago by MissKAdventures
Did the author ever cook those recipes in a slow cooker?? I tried numerous recipes out of this book and they came all out watery and bland. This one is going to goodwill. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Blue
I rarely purchase cookbooks, preferring just to try new ones out from the library, but I knew I could not easily give this one back after I had checked it out. Read morePublished 6 months ago by NotPrettyEnough
I'm very glad to have this as a resource for introducing my friends to this healthier way of eating. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Bama
I don't use this book. I sent the slow cooker back......not worth the troublePublished 13 months ago by Andrea Brewster