61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Is this a "new classic" and what's in this book for the average cook who wants to cook vegetarian food? This heavy tome is packed with useful recipes and is all over the map, both ethnically and in types of recipes. As other Moosewood cookbooks, this is a vegetarian cookbook, but with asides into fish, which I don't mind--being one who limits meat but has not problem eating it. Some people do view fish as living creatures, which, of course, they certainly are.
What's also new here compared to the dairy-laden earlier books is a venture into a few vegan recipes that leave out all milk, egg and other animal-source product, including a recipe for very useful mock sour cream. So there's a little something for everyone, vegetarian, limited vegetarian and even vegan. The recipes tend to the family-style rather than super-gourmet.
One of the most useful recipes for me is a vegetable broth. This is a very good recipe base all kinds of soups. I despise the taste of canned broths and it's a nuisance to make chicken stock from scratch. Vegetable stock freezes well and this recipe makes a particularly flavorful version, using carrots, onions, celery, potatoes and garlic. The potatoes, in particular add consistency to the broth. The recipe offers either sweet potato or carrot for that sweet-spicy element and the sweet potato version also adds body to the broth. There is a version for mock-chicken broth, and an Asian ginger flavored broth base as well.
Italian dishes dominate the recipes, lots of pasta sauces, including a vegetarian kind of Bolognese (meat gravy), a good basic tomato sauce, frittatas, risottos and cioppino fish stew. There are also plenty of diversions into novelties such as an interesting peach salsa.
The breads lean more to biscuits and cornbread than to yeast breads and the dessert section is loaded with cookies. There are also sections on sandwiches, wraps and mock burgers.
In summary, this is a very good vegetarian-based home cooking book, maybe something like Joy of Cooking - Veggie-Style. In that respect, this is a new classic, and certainly found a welcome home on my cooking bookshelf.
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2001
I bought this volume, along with another Moosewood collection, a little over a month ago. To say that I'm totally hooked would be an understatement. I've done more than twenty five of their wonderful recipes. Most are SO good I can't wait to make them again, but I keep finding more and more new ones to do and never get back to them. The soups in here are simply extraordinary, wonderful bean soups, rich vegetable soups, and the many vegetable sides are their equal.
I suspect that Jane Brody's excellent Good Food Book, my kitchen bible, has been displaced by the Gospel according to Moosewood.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2002
I bought this cookbook recently and have already tried about a dozen of the recipes. The strawberry salad dressing was excellent, even made with frozen berries. The Greek lasagna with eggplant and chocolate cherry biscotti also were quite good. I made the asparagus leek strudel for guests, and the entire panful was devoured in no time flat. The recipes that I've tried have been interesting and well-seasoned as written. I have even enjoyed just sitting at the kitchen table, reading this cookbook like it's a novel.
43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2002
This book could be great, like so many of their others, but I think that it's gimmicky in that they rely way too much on soy products in this one. I'm all for adding soy to foods if it belongs there, but not if it is added just to add nutrition only. It can really ruin the texture of a dish, but they claim repeatedly that "no one will even know it's in there!" I think that if you have to hide something in your food, maybe it shouldn't be there at all. The one good thing about this, though, is that there are a lot of dishes for vegans in here.
Where they don't rely on the soy gimmick, the food has been really wonderful, as always. Try these: lemon ricotta pancakes, Indian curried potato wrap, marinated feta with pita, and Muhallabia (cardamom-cinnamon) ice cream.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2006
The first recipe I tried in this book was the Moosewood Muffins -- which I have now made over fifty times. Yes, they are that good! I actually wrote out the recipe and taped it on a kitchen cupboard so it would always be handy. You can vary it to include *anything*. Even graham crackers. Even three different types of nuts. It accomodates everything; that recipe is magic.
And all of the other recipes in this book are fabulous too. Like every Moosewood cookbook, there is a lot of variation; expect this book to take you everywhere from France, to Japan, and back to America for some vegetarian down home cookin'. The few fish recipes that are included are also excellent.
There are also menu suggestions, which make planning meals easy. And the recipes in this book are also more simple than The Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special or Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates -- though not quite as much as Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers, so it's a good middle ground.
If you like cooking, and you also love eating, and you want the food you serve to be healthy and delicious -- I highly recommend this book.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2004
I bought this book a few months ago and use it at least three times a week. It includes everything from dips to desserts, to larger dinner dishes that can be made and refigerated and brought to work for a cheerful, filling break in the day!
I have even convinced my dad that you don't need to put meat in every meal to make things taste good. My personal favorites are the lasagna primavera, italian gratin, vegan chocolate cake, apple zuchini muffins...I guess I could go on and on!
good stuff here. I recommend it to anyone who likes to cook, eat, and feel healthy afterward.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2009
I'll start off by saying this is my first cookbook, so, true I don't have much to compare it to but I'll try to give it a solid review anyway:
first, if you are a vegetarian, I'd say this cookbook is definitely worth owning. I never cook meat at home, and am continually frustrated when I try to look up vegetarian recipes online and discover the only recipes that don't call for meat in one form or another are salads. So, if you want to get creative with some vegetarian entrees, this book is for you!
Second, there are a great variety of dishes in here, so you really feel you get your buck's worth for this cookbook. There are breakfast dishes, soups, salads, sides, grans, wraps/rolls/sandwiches/burgers, drinks&snacks, casseroles, sautes, stews, sauces, breads, and desserts! (and that's not even a complete list!). I really enjoy that I can go to one cookbook for every meal of the day, plus all the sides and extras and even something sweet.
Third, there are a few things I'd like to reiterate that other reviewers said: 1)Their "curries" and generally many of their ethnic dishes don't have the spice and flare of the traditional dish it is trying to be. For example, I made the curried corn, and I couldn't even taste the spices! very mild, bland, and blah. 2) They rely too heavily on fake meats a lot of the time. If you are a the type of vegetarian that always has tofu and seitan on hand, you may not mind, but I don't particularly like either of those foods and just try to eat tons of fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains, without the meat substitutes in the picture. 3) their desserts are not exactly healthy. Another reviewer said she was surprised at the copius amounts of sugars in their desserts and I agree. There are not many fruit-based sweets or desserts that at least use maple syrup/agave or something besides just REFINED SUGAR!. oh well, this to me is a minor flaw because if you make the dessert, just eat it in moderation :)
Last, here is a list of what I've tried and what I thought:
*Moosewood Muffins = awesome! made w/ whole wheat pastry flour, healtheir AND good!
*Spinach coconut soup = soo good. kindof like a tom yum khai
*Warm potato salad = to die for. not good reheated tho for some reason.
*Curried corn = blah. don't waste your time.
*Hot Flash Cooler = best. thing. ever.
*Sour cream onion dip = very tasty, but a total heart attack
*Homespun pot pie = easy breezy and YUM! can make with whatever veggies you have on hand, will def be making this again!
*Deep chocolate vegan cake = great. would never suspect its vegan.
*Chocolate rasberry glaze = this "glaze" hardens to the consistency of chocolate chips once cooled, but if you micro it and eat it like a lava cake then it's great!
*Muhallabia massawa = very tasty. like a chai pudding. but use only half the sugar or you will gag from the sweetness.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2005
Moosewood tries to broaden its horizons once again with this new classics cookbook. Since the previous reviewer has already gone into detail some of the recipes, I'll just go directly to the overall impression.
First of all, the recipes themselves range from ok to decent. The American-style cusines fare better, but not great. A truely great dish should not taste like a sum of its parts, which unfortunately a couple of the recipes in this book do. The ethnic-inspired recipes are pretty ho-hum. The Thai curries are some of the blandest curries I've had (and I've had some bland ones). It's not even an issue of spiciness of the dish, it's simply that the spice combination left me feeling something is missing inside a dish. Lastly, the book itself does not feel like a unified cookbook. Rather, it feels like just different recipes thrown together into a book. There's no theme to it, no personal touch, and in fact, no great or terrible recipes. It's just an average, decent fallback for something you need to make quickly, if you're not looking for a mouth-aweing dish. If you're new to vegetarian cooking, the book will offer tons of ideas but little personlized touch for you to feel for the fundamentals of cooking, and if you're experienced, there are better recipes to be found. If you want a great new classic, try Martha Rose Schulman's 200 new vegetarian recipes instead.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2003
This has quickly become one of my favorite cookbooks. Almost all of the recipes we have made are wonderful- the squash and tomatillo soup, the Indian curried potato wrap, the mushroom pecan burgers- all are great and easy to prepare. Many of the recipes draw from world cuisine, some even combine ingredients from several cultures. Sure, some of the combinations sound strange, but they manage to come out wonderfully. This book is full of creative main and side dishes.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2003
I have made several dozen of the recipes contained in this book, and almost all have been something I would definitely make again! One feature I really enjoy is an estimated time required to both prepare and cook each dish, so you can easily thumb through, looking for something which fits your time schedule. One thing I did not appreciate was the excessive use of refined sugar in every single one of the dessert recipes. I assumed that Moosewood would be more concerned with making desserts and cookies with maple syrup, honey, etc., but unfortunately, I was wrong.
Overall, I think the book is great and am planning to buy it as a gift for several family members.