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The Flexitarian Table: Inspired, Flexible Meals for Vegetarians, Meat Lovers, and Everyone inBetween Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (June 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618658653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618658657
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. It's the rare cookbook that encourages the reader not just to cook differently but to think differently about food. In this stylish collection of recipes, Berley (The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen) introduces a practical approach to flexitarian—or part-time vegetarian—eating. Given the confusion most of us face when it comes to our diets, flexitarianism, with its healthful emphasis on grains, lean proteins and beans, is an appealing one. He has developed a series of "convertible" recipes, main courses that work equally well meatless or meat-full. There's delicate choice of Baked Fish or Ricotta Dumplings, either of which is served over French Lentils; a hearty Gratin of Cherry Tomatoes and White Beans can be served with sardines. Throw in two or three side dishes like a salad of Mâche, Pea Shoots with Baby Beets, or Soba with Garlicky Spinach and Sesame Oil, and it becomes a satisfying meal in which no one feels shortchanged. Organized by season, the menus are cross-cultural and appealing. The recipes, while sophisticated, require only moderate experience in the kitchen. Berley's savvy tips on technique and flavor-pairing make this an affable and informative guide for any chef—regardless of diet affiliation. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Peter Berley is the author of The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, which won a James Beard and an IACP Award. Known for his healthful vegetarian food, he has written for Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Natural Health, Fine Cooking, and Cooking Light.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Peter Berley's new book "The Flexitarian Table" is terrific!
Amy Rubinger
Once I began cooking his amazing recipes, however, I discovered that my own family enjoyed the vegetarian dishes as much as they did the meat.
Danielle McClellan
It describes delicious looking food, elegantly organized, with beautiful photos of good presentation.
ThirstyBrooks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Danielle McClellan on November 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My neighbor Lola and I have a great thing going. She cooks for both families on Tuesdays and I cook on Wednesdays so that we each get the luxury of a good meal delivered to our door one night a week. We both rely on fresh, organic whole foods, but Lola's family is vegetarian and my family eats meat. I was first drawn to this book because Peter Berley provides easy menus that incorporate both meat and vegetarian options. Once I began cooking his amazing recipes, however, I discovered that my own family enjoyed the vegetarian dishes as much as they did the meat. Instructions are straightforward and intelligent and so far I have received nothing but rave reviews for every dish I have cooked from this book, including the Risotto-Style Fregola with Chard and Feta Cheese, the Mache and Pea Shoot Salad with Baby Beets, the Spicy Lentils with Pumpkin and Greens over Couscous, the Spicy Roasted Winter Squash, and the Toasted Millet Pilaf. Berley cooks the way we like to eat: big flavors, and lots of greens, grains, and vegetables, with cheese and dairy used in moderation to add punch to a dish. Although my kitchen shelves are packed with terrific cookbooks, these days I find myself turning to the Flexitarian Table again and again.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By SeaShell on November 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a vegetarian, who sometimes cheats and eats fish, and who cooks for a house of omnivores, this book seemed like an answer for my 'please-let-me-think-of-something-for-dinner' prayers.

I loved the idea of pre-planned meals that fit the way my family eats. I loved the mouth-watering photos, and the yummy-sounding recipes. I loved the seasonal menus.

But in the two months I've had this book, I've used it twice and I'm not dying to cook out of it again. Both times, some of the recipes were hits and some were misses. Mostly, though, the recipes are just a little too involved, take a little too much time, and use too many ingredients to rely on for weekday meals. And with only a handful of menus for each season, there really aren't that many things to try in a three month period if you want to cook seasonally.

I'd love to see a second version with a similar concept, but greatly simplified menus and more menus per season. I don't want Rachel Ray - I want to cook from scratch - but I do need something I can throw together in a little closer to 30 minutes.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Shelley on July 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely love this book. Peter Berley cooks exactly the way I want to eat -- mostly but not totally vegetarian, using occasional meat but more like a side dish or condiment, and concentrating on what is fresh, local, and in season. It just seems like the healthiest as well as the most delicious food.

The recipes are clear and easy to follow, the photos are gorgeous, and I love the personal and informal way he writes -- it really feels like chatting with a friend while you prepare dinner together. The useful little asides with hints from his experience as a chef come just when you can use them. Great!

I can imagine this book being the perfect gift for anybody with different food preferences in their home -- makes it easy to prepare one meal for the strict vegetarians and everyone else to all enjoy together.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Harnett VINE VOICE on March 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
From quick dinners to company showpieces, award-winner Berley cooks for a mixed crowd - vegetarians and meat eaters together. Many of his dishes offer meat and vegetarian versions. Seafood/Tofu Ceviche with Quick-Pickled Red Onion simply requires the ingredients be divided into two bowls - the seafood or tofu tossed in once everything else is mixed.

This plan works for many dishes - Giant Lamb/Seitan Turnovers (phyllo and spicy potato-spinach filling); Charmoula Lamb/Tempeh Kebabs - while others, like Pan-Seared Rosemary Duck Breasts/Tofu or Portobello Mushrooms/Steak with Bread Crumb Salsa simply require separation in cooking.

There are also lots of mouth-watering vegetarian dishes designed for everyone to enjoy - Falafel; Lasagna with Fall Vegetables, Gruyere and Sage Béchamel; roasted Winter Vegetable Salad with Red Onion Vinaigrette; Spicy Roasted Pepper Soup with Goat Cheese and Chives.

The book is arranged by season and the recipes are grouped in menus. A comforting winter menu, for instance, includes Winter Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese Crostini; Spanish Style Eggs with Kimchi/Chorizo over Farro, and Fennel with Lemon and Fennel Salt. Luscious color photos accompany each menu.

Berley's ("The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen") eclectic tastes feature something for just about anyone and his flavorful approach to traditionally vegetarian foods like tempeh or millet or unfamiliar foods like hiziki or burdock may tempt even steadfast meat eaters. Side boxes explain some ingredients - different salts, or smoked foods - and Berley's instructions are clear and well organized.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jpot on June 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I flat out love this cook book. Through out the fall and winter I ripped through the recipes. The "my favorite tomato soup" beyond delicious...they all are.

I'd been vegan for years, so when I began buying some eggs, fish and cheese at the local farmer's markets I really had no real idea how the heck to cook them. This book truly came to the rescue. I can now whip out a decent frittata and make a perfect hard cooked egg.

And because I shop local the layout of recipes by season is perfect. I shop, come home and flip to that section and am on my way to preparing something super tasty.

If I were forced to own just one cook book this would the the one.
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