Absolutely fabulous recipies that are extremely simple to prepare. The names of the vegetarian dishes are inventive and somehow make the recipes really come to life.
If you're like me, you like eating healthy and great-tasting food, but dread food preparation time and following hundreds of directions and end up missing a crucial step that ruins the dish. Some people are born with a gift for whipping up recipes from their own imaginations, but I'm not one of those people.
The only reason this book doesn't get 5 stars from me is that it should have been spiral bound. It's almost impossible to keep the book open on a kitchen counter unless you put heavy objects (very heavy) on both pages or you go an buy one of those gizmos that hold books open.
Nonetheless, this is my favorite recipe book. My kitchen is full of them, but this is the only one that almost never has any dust on it like the other ones. :-)
on February 16, 2000
First published in 1977, this classic vegetarian cookbook still has the same charm and warmth of hand-drawn pictures and handwritten recipes, and now it also has bright color photos interspersed among the familiar pages. There are 30 new recipes, and many of the old ones have been rewritten, since, as the author describes, her cooking has become "more streamlined in preparation-and lighter in `weight' while richer in flavor" over the years. The oil content has been pared down and only 15 recipes include eggs. Tips for "dairy reduction or substitutions" are included, so this version will probably appeal more to the vegan set. Also included: pantry notes, recommended tools for the kitchen and a table of conversions.
on April 25, 2008
I loved the original Moosewood cookbook. I had borrowed it from a friend and cooked with it often. When I bought the new version, I was quite surprised at the changes in the recipes. The recipes had lowered the fat and upped the sugar content. That's good you might say - well I didn't know too many fat vegetarians in the 70's. Good fats from eggs butter and cream - satisfy your hunger plus give you good nutrition. Sorry to say these revised recipes are just not as good as the old ones. I am very disappointed in this version. Plus the new photos take out the charm of the book.
I do recommend buying the original version used if you can find it.
on June 30, 2000
I don't like to cook. It bugs me. But I love to eat. I'm a strict vegan, and the only one in my family, so its hard to find good food to eat. To be honest, I don't like tofu much more than the average schmo, and I like to eat entrees that actually has flavor, not something like a slimy "healthy" greens salad you'd be served on an airplane. If you can relate to me, you can appreciate the New Moosewood Cookbook. The recipes in this book are meatless and pretty low-fat, but I'm sure you can add something meat-based to them if you wanted to. The recipes are simple, and they taste good. They are recipes you wouldn't mind giving up so time to make. One of my favourites was the Lentil-Bulgar salad. Instead of the refrigerated tabouli like version, I just ate it fresh and warm. It was so good I scarfed it all in about two days, a total of 12 hours, and I made enough for the average household. Lentil-Bulgar Salad and the other recipes in the book are that good. Even non-vegetarians enjoy her recipes. Thank you, Mollie.
on March 4, 2005
In college, I was a summer intern at an international school and one of my jobs was to prepare lunch for 30+ people who came from all over the world. I wasn't going to just put out cold cuts, so I found this cookbook on a shelf in the kitchen. I recognized it because my mother often used it and so I knew the recipes were vegetarian-friendly and healthy. But I had no clue how to cook (the only thing I knew how to do was to boil water for pasta)! That summer, I made the ratatouille, spanikopita, carrot-mushroom loaf, gazpacho...basically most of the dishes! This book is fabulous; a great step-by-step guide. It is very basic and the directions are clear and simple. Everything is spelled out. I had no clue how to cook and I learned by using this book. At the end of the summer, the head of the school toasted me for "the best lunches in the history of the program." Thank you Moosewood! ps: and these dishes pleased everyone from France, Japan, Russia, Bulgaria, and Italy!
on January 3, 2004
This cookbook might be a good introduction to vegetarian cooking, but I prefer the "old" version of this cookbook, although that one was a bit heavy on more fattening ingredients (cheeses, for example). The "Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home" might be a better choice for someone who doesn't already have a Moosewood Cookbook, or who is looking for a beginner vegetarian cookbook. Still, it's worth having on your cookbook shelf if you don't have the original version, and already have started your veg cookbook collection with other cookbooks.
on March 25, 2006
I loved the first (1970s) edition of this cookbook, just as I do Mollie Katzen's other books, and those by the Moosewood Collective. Unfortunately, however, everything I tried from this book was a poor imitation of the version in the first book (and many were grossly inedible). If you want a good, healthy vegetarian book, I recommend those by Martha Rose Schulman (I've never had a failure with any of her recipes; even the fat-free, salt-free are okay), or Moosewood's Low-Fat Favorites (which vary in quality; some are wonderful and other's mediocre, but none were this bad)
on December 22, 2002
Because of its overwhelming popularity, this was one of the first books I consulted when I began cooking a few years ago. My college housemates and I followed the book's instructions dutifully, but many of the recipes turned out to be utter failures. Now my palate is a bit more sensitive (from frequenting the excellent and diverse restaurants in the Bay Area) and I finally have my chops in the kitchen (from cooking regularly, paying attention to how different ingredients behave, and working on technique). I now know why the Moosewood recipes were so bland . . . by way of a few examples:
Pg.9--Miso soup--Traditional miso soup requires miso and dashi (a fish stock made from shavings of a dried bonito fish). This recipe calls only for miso and water. The result is a near-flavorless soup. I know dashi would be off-limits in this vegetarian cookbook, but AT LEAST suggest miso and veggie stock.
Pg.31--Gazpacho--Way too tangy, flavors are not balanced. Tastes like a salsa cruda/fresca with the strange addition of cumin and cucumber.
Pg.80--Italian Tomato Sauce--Recipe calls for honey, which does NOT belong in an Italian tomato sauce. This recipe, as with so many of the others, does not call for browning the solids before adding liquid. The result is more bland food!
Pg.95--Mexican Red Sauce--Perfect example of how this book strives for mediocrity. This recipe is really light on flavor. Would benefit from the addition of a flavorful chile (chipotle, ancho, negro, guajillo . . .), less tomato, more intense reduction, and straining.
Pg.114--Corn Bread--Recipe does not have enough egg, honey, or butter. The result is a dense, dry, corn-like hockey puck.
Pg. 180--Gado Gado--Terrible. Nothing could salvage this recipe. Anyone who has tried a good Chinese or Indonesian peanut sauce knows that this isn't it.
THE EXCEPTION--Pg. 189--Ukranian Poppyseed Cake--Excellent recipe, but it benefits from cutting out 1/3 of the butter.
Instead of Moosewood, I would suggest Sauces and Splendid Soups by James Peterson--two books that give incredible foundational knowledge for a beginner AND new, exciting ideas for a pro.
I can not believe I have had this wonderful cookbook for over 20 years, but never had tried the carrot mushroom loaf. Ever since Morningstar was sold to Kellogs, and Kellogs stopped making frozen Lentil Rice loaf (which I shall never forgive Kellogs for!!) I have been looking for a good vegetarian meatless loaf.
When I was at the wonderful Monty's Blue Plate Diner in Madison, WI, I tried their "Meatless Loaf of the Gods" served with cashew ginger gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots and parsnips and an incredible dinner roll (still only $8.99 and enough for 2 meals). Incredibly light and flavorful and wholesome. I knew they had a cookbook, but only their real meatloaf was in that. The kind waitress told me the recipe was in the Moosewood cookbook, so I searched online and couldn't find it. There are now so many Moosewood cookbooks, I didn't know which one. Finally, tonight I came across the 2 recipes in my very own cookbook. Both carrot-mushroom loaf and cashew ginger gravy are in this book--worth the price of the book alone!!!!!I also love the recipe for mushroom streudel.
This is a GREAT cookbook. I love the "handwritten" feel of the book itself, the author's commentary, and the delicious, but "different" recipes. This book is great inspiration for not only using the recipes as presented, but also adding your own touches to customize what you are given.
One reviewer commented that this cookbook would not be great for someone of "unrefined" tastes [a meat and potatoes type perhaps]. I have the back them up on that - my husband is a meat and potatoes guy and I haven't made even one single recipe from this book that he would eat. However, for those who are more adventurous, you'll adore the treats in this book!