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Rancho La Puerta Cookbook Paperback – June 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway; 1 edition (June 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767901630
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767901635
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #724,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Rancho La Puerta spa in Baja California has been around for almost 60 years and has gained a reputation for its flavor-packed, low-fat vegetarian meals. Longtime chef Bill Wavrin, known for stunning his guests with his expertise, lets his love of Southwestern cuisine show through in his (mostly) simple recipes. Few dishes require more than a dozen ingredients, and he includes information on calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, protein, carbohydrate, fiber, and sodium for each dish. Orange-Corn Muffins and the Rancho La Puerta Granola have been satisfying guests after the strenuous morning hike for years. Dishes such as Mango Tomatilla Salsa, Broccoli Soup, Curried Rice Salad with Fruit, Banana-Oatmeal Cookies, and Blueberry Cheesecake will make you feel like you're indulging, but won't cost you more than 120 calories per serving. In between the chapters, Wavrin offers cooking tips (how to eat a mango; how to identify and prepare various chilies) and soothing ways to "take the ranch home" with you, including stretches and other fitness tips. If you can't get to Baja, this book is the next best thing.

From Publishers Weekly

Executive chef of this 58-year-old oasis in Baja, Mexico, not far from the California border, Wavrin has created an inspired panoply of spa cuisine, designed to keep daily fat levels below 18%. While he has six acres of organic vegetables to draw from, anyone can apply his tantalizing approaches to food likely to satisfy even those who are skeptical of low-fat dishes. Employing chiles, herbs and spices to energize flavors, Wavrin also assembles components that marry intriguingly. Soups are especially imaginative. Yellow Jubilee Tomato-Mint Soup is served either hot or cold. Appetizers include Thai Spring Rolls, which, filled with nine highly seasoned chopped and sliced vegetables, are baked, not fried. Salads can be warm (Sesame Broccoli Stir-Fry Salad; Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Sprouts and Green Beans) or cold (Lentil and Sun-Dried Tomato Salad). Blue Cheese Pepper Dressing features yogurt flavored with feta and blue cheese. Caesar Dressing leaves in the anchovies but replaces egg and oil with buttermilk. Entrees include sauteed rather than fried Chiles Rellenos, Classic Spa Lasagne slimmed down with a filling of vegetables, crumbled tofu and nonfat cottage cheese, and Chile Pasta with Arugula and Coriander. Blueberry Cheesecake has a baked graham cracker crust and a yogurt and ricotta filling firmed with gelatin. Wavrin's recipes are not complicated and most of the prep time will go into chopping.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 15, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's a point at which reducing fat in recipes becomes a little absurd, and they've reached that point in this book. In spite of having many flavorful ingredients like chiles, garlic, and fresh herbs, the recipes I've tried so far somehow still seem bland. Also, texture can suffer when you completely eliminate all fat. The Chile Cheese Pie, for example, has a texture that's like... well, egg whites mixed with cottage cheese (the primary ingredients). So even though the flavor is good, it's not satisfying. I'll still use this cookbook, but it'll never be a staple.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Reissner on October 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
After reading this book, I thought how nice it must be to stay at the Rancho La Puerta and eat Bill Wavrin's food. I have made several of the recipes and the results were highly successful, although some of the combinations seemed a little odd in print. Mr. Wavrin likes to use lots of ingredients in his cooking, so it helps to have a well-stocked kitchen, but it is worth the effort. His comments in the book show a sensitive approach to vegetarianism and I was struck by his confession that even experience in Mexican and Nouvelle California cuisine did not really prepare him for meatless cooking. If you can't go to a spa, my advice is to pamper yourself for a weekend, with a good workout, a massage from someone you like, some time in the sauna and two days' worth of cooking from recipes in this book, with the best ingredients you can find. The low-fat, low-calorie thing is just a nice bonus.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although I agree that some of the recipes do suffer from lack of fat and texture, this is a treat just to read. It stresses the importance of fresh ingredients, and uses spices and cheeses to enhance dishes, not overpower them. The philosophy of the spa is carefully presented, and the reader is encouraged--not lectured--to try a new, healthier way of eating and living. A good find.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
The recipes in this book definitely lean toward the elegant side. It's hard to go wrong with something like Curried Mango-Peanut Yogurt Dip or Carrot-Ginger Salad with Pineapple. The recipes tend toward the exotic and the healthful, including things like Vegetable Barley Soup, Garden Sweet Breakfast Bread, Chinese Dumplings with Chives and Ginger, and Mango Tomatillo Salsa. This book stresses fresh vegetables and salads, and the recipes tend to be fairly light fare in general. You probably won't get a lot of use out of this cookbook if your grocery store doesn't carry good produce; plan these recipes for just after your grocery shopping so that produce is in the best possible condition.
There are some ingredients that might be a little difficult to find depending on where you live. I have trouble finding tomatillos, for example. Most ingredients are fairly common, however. The book's layout is fantastic. Commentary is very easy to tell apart from ingredients are very easy to tell apart from instructions, and instructions are nicely numbered.
While many of the tastes are a touch exotic, to my taste buds they don't take things far enough sometimes and end up tasting a bit bland. Of course I love strong flavors, so to some people this may be a plus; you can always adjust seasoning to taste if you want more flavor. These recipes are vegetarian but not vegan--you will find dairy and eggs in here.
Certainly if you're on a diet this is a fantastic way to serve elegant, impressive dishes that won't pile on the pounds.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By creativedawn on October 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Rancho La Puerta's food is really good! If you're vegetarian like I am you'll especially appreciate the great recipes! The only thing I didn't like about this cookbook was the lack of photos. It would have been helpful to see photos of the recipes prepared & also nice to have more color photos of beautiful Rancho La Puerta. My family spent our first Thanksgiving at the ranch last year and it was really wonderful!
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