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Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes Hardcover – May 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558327452
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558327450
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 8.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Michael Natkin on Herbivoracious

My journey as a serious cook began when I was 18 years old. My mother was dying from breast cancer and was trying a macrobiotic diet to see if it would help. A friend of mine, a vegetarian and a good cook, showed me the ropes so that I could make meals for my family. It didn’t take me long to realize that I loved everything about cooking.

When I moved to Providence for college, I was exposed to international cuisines that I’d never seen in my hometown of Louisville. I subsequently worked in a beautiful Zen Buddhist farm kitchen in California and traveled the world, gradually settling into a career as a software engineer, making dinosaurs for "Jurassic Park" and animation software for Adobe.

My love for cooking deepened through the years. I wanted to do more than simply prepare meals for my own family. I started my blog, Herbivoracious.com, in 2007. Thousands of people see fit to visit daily and share my passion for vegetarian food that draws on global inspirations and, above all, puts flavor and pleasure first. I also spent some months interning at restaurants in Seattle and New York. This book is the next step. I’ve brought together classic techniques and flavor combinations from around the world, along with ideas from cutting-edge cuisine, to create 150 original recipes that you will be able to use for every occasion, from casual weeknight suppers to your fanciest dinner party.

It seems that everyone I meet, even dedicated carnivores, recognizes the value of eating more plant-based meals. I’ve written Herbivoracious both for vegetarians and for others who are just looking to broaden an omnivorous repertoire.

This is the book for you if you’d like to eat lusty Crispy Polenta Cakes with White Beans and Morel Mushrooms, rich and fragrant Brown Butter Cornbread, or an unusual and refreshing salad of Persimmon, Parsley, and Black Olives. I get excited thinking about the aroma of making red curry paste from scratch, the first taste of a new year’s olive oil, or the texture of beautiful chanterelle mushrooms, and I want to share those discoveries with you.


Review

"Michael Natkin has a talent for enticing and boldly flavored creations, in recipes that are colorful, thoughtful, and fresh!"
--Heidi Swanson
 
"If we had to choose one book to cook from in 2012, this would be it."
--The Washington Post

More About the Author

My journey as a serious cook began when I was 18 years old. My mother was dying from breast cancer and was trying a macrobiotic diet to see if it would help. A friend of mine, a vegetarian and a good cook, showed me the ropes so that I could make meals for my family. It didn't take me long to realize that I loved everything about cooking. When I moved to Providence for college, I was exposed to international cuisines that I'd never seen in my hometown of Louisville. I subsequently worked in a beautiful Zen Buddhist farm kitchen in California and traveled the world, gradually settling into a career as a software engineer, making dinosaurs for "Jurassic Park" and animation software for Adobe.

My love for cooking deepened through the years. I wanted to do more than simply prepare meals for my own family. I started my blog, http://herbivoracious.com, in 2007. Thousands of people visit daily and share my passion for vegetarian food that draws on global inspirations and, above all, puts flavor and pleasure first. I also spent some months interning at restaurants in Seattle and New York. This book is the next step. I've brought together classic techniques and flavor combinations from around the world, along with ideas from cutting-edge cuisine, to create 150 original recipes that you will be able to use for every occasion, from casual weeknight suppers to your fanciest dinner party.

It seems that everyone I meet, even dedicated carnivores, recognizes the value of eating more plant-based meals. I've written HERBIVORACIOUS both for vegetarians and for others who are looking to broaden an omnivorous repertoire.

This is the book for you if you'd like to eat lusty Crispy Polenta Cakes with White Beans and Morel Mushrooms, rich and fragrant Brown Butter Cornbread, or an unusual and refreshing salad of Persimmon, Parsley, and Black Olives. I get excited thinking about the aroma of making red curry paste from scratch, the first taste of a new year's olive oil, or the texture of beautiful chanterelle mushrooms, and I want to share those discoveries with you.

Customer Reviews

I have only made one recipe out of this so far and it was good.
L. Sorenson
If you are looking for a cookbook, this is the one for you, the food is delicious, pictures are amazing and recipes are easy to follow.
SiriAnna22
Overall, Herbivoracious is a great cookbook - it has a wide variety of cuisines that are appealing to vegetarians and omnivores alike.
shelfishness

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Anne Campbell on May 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll be honest - even though I've been vegetarian for many years, I almost never buy or read vegetarian cookbooks. Too many of them are earthy-crunchy, stuck in the '70's, and bland. They assume that if you're vegetarian, you're also a dour, self-denying, fat-free health nut who could never truly enjoy food.

Enter Michael Natkin and his Herbivoracious blog, and now this cookbook. He LOVES good food, and it shows! The photos are gorgeous, the recipes are just packed with interesting flavors from around the world, and there's not a lentil loaf or gloppy casserole to be found. This is the perfect book for any adventurous eater or cook, vegetarian or not. In fact, it would be a great gift for the foodie friend who's never quite sure what to make for the vegetarians in his/her life.

Some of my favorites so far are the Thai Tofu Salad, Iraqi-Jewish Eggplant Sandwich, Chermoula-Stuffed Eggplant, and my two all-time favorites, Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower and Rice Vermicelli with Ginger-Grapefruit Sauce. I used to dislike both grapefruit and cauliflower, and these recipes actually converted me to loving them. I am seriously thinking of cooking my way straight through the book, "Julie & Julia"-style.

If I had to register a criticism, it would be that many of the recipes call for unusual ingredients that require a trip to various ethnic markets. But that's just part of the adventure, and if you're not willing to try a crazy new flavor or two, then you might as well stick with your beige '70's recipes. Also, substitutions are often noted if you truly can't find an ingredient.

My favorite quote from the book: "I like to think that being mindful of the implications of what one cooks and eats is not an _ascetic_ practice but an _aesthetic_ pleasure." Bravo, Michael, and bon appetit!
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Format: Hardcover
Michael Natkin has had his blog since 2007. I stumbled across it sometime in November or December 2007. The photography needed some help and the writing could be a little clunky (then), but here was a blog where I could learn about dragonfruit, umami, and gremolata from someone who knew a lot about food but wasn't a snob. There was something, some passion for ingredients and the joy and craft of food, that kept me coming back to his blog. Over the past few years, Natkin has tweaked his recipes, experimented with new ingredients, tasted his way through Israel, staged at several restaurants, and polished his presentation. This book, Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes - so much more than a cook book - is but one product of many labors of the heart, and it's a fine, fine first formal product.

There are recipes, to be sure, and they are colorful and flavorful, bright and comforting, exotic and familiar. His photography is beautiful, his writing careful but easygoing and creative. In the cutthroat world of "want it now," easily-accessible recipe websites, a cable channel with millions in marketing and bright fresh cooking wall-to-wall 24/7, there has to be more than flash and color. This collection has it all going on. This collection has two things that flashy web sites and thousands of other cook books do not. First, Natkin's recipes have essential appeal that is neither about cramming too much action into them (olive oil! butter! pancetta! All at once!) nor about removing an ingredient (meat) and building around the hole. Natkin's recipes are simple and elegant, even when they are humble.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By CrimsonGirl VINE VOICE on June 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a "flexitarian", I've found that many vegetarian recipes I've tried are a bit dull and not all that appetizing. The kind of entrees that I eat not because I really enjoy them but rather because I know intellectually it's better for the environment, my budget, and my health to limit my consumption of meat/poultry/fish. I was therefore very pleased to find that "Herbivoracious" is chock-full of truly scrumptious recipes. It truly lives up to its subtitle of being "vibrant" and "original".

The reasons why I've decided to give it 4 rather than 5 stars are:

(1) many of the ingredients are relatively obscure and can be hard to find. I love to cook and while I wouldn't call myself exactly a "foodie", I was surprised to see how many things in "Herbivoracious" that I had never before heard of. Pomegranate molasses? Genmaicha tea? Scamorza cheese? Fregola sarda pasta? Ras el banout spice mixture? Amba (pickled mango)? Achiote paste? Umeboshi plum paste? Berbere spice mix? Sumac powder? Dried pasilla? Kochujang paste? Purple cauliflower? There were a number of interesting-sounding recipes that I simply could not try because I wasn't about to spend a bunch of time and money trying to track down these oddball ingredients.

(2) NO NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION!!!!! This is probably the biggest problem I had with "Herbivoracious". I'm not making vegetarian cuisine because I have some ethical problem with meat consumption. No, a major reason I'm eating tofu instead of steak is because 4 oz. of tofu has only 94 kcal and 5 grams fat vs. 230 kcal and 11 g fat for 4 oz. of porterhouse. I lost 20% of my bodyweight a decade ago and I'm trying to keep that off. With a few exceptions (nuts, olive oil, avocados, etc.
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