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The Real Food Daily Cookbook: Really Fresh, Really Good, Really Vegetarian Paperback – September 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Gentry opened her first vegan restaurant, Real Food Daily (RFD) in Santa Monica, Calif., in 1993, naysayers said a meat-free, dairy-free restaurant with a focus on organic produce would never make it. But Gentry knew she could serve "real food"—satisfying, nutritious and delicious cuisine—without animal products. Three RFD restaurants later, she presents this cookbook, a reflection of what she has learned about seasonal, organic, macrobiotic and vegan cooking. Gentry doesn't break new ground—sandwiches made with tempeh instead of meat, and nut cheeses like cashew cheddar will be familiar to most vegans—but she provides clear and comprehensive directions on how to make them more interesting and flavorful. For example, she adds tofu ricotta cheese to her Reuben sandwich and enhances Lentil-Walnut Pâté with fresh basil and thyme. Gentry explains the basics without preaching or condescending to readers, and discusses nutritional benefits without unnecessary jargon. Beginning cooks and those new to veganism will find much to enjoy here. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This vegan cookbook springs from Gentry's experiences at her Southern California restaurant chain. Gentry has attracted a host of followers to her vegan lifestyle by cooking with carefully chosen and imaginatively seasoned fresh, organic ingredients. In making pasta salad, Gentry uses spelt pasta rather than the customary wheat version. With this salad's julienned peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, olives, and toasted pine nuts in balsamic vinaigrette, one needs no extraneous meat. Soymilk substitutes in many recipes for cow's milk, and tofu cheese makes up for the absence of dairy cheese. She transforms hackneyed green bean-canned mushroom soup casserole by steeping fresh green beans in vegan mushroom gravy and topping them with homemade fried onion rings. Tempeh substitutes for meat where necessary. Since many devoted vegans avoid refined sugar, desserts call for maple syrup and swap in vegetable oils for butter. Gentry advocates using only seasonally available fresh ingredients, preferring not to prepare any dish that calls for an item not immediately locally available. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1St Edition edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580086187
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580086189
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Amalfi Coast Girl on June 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
A passionate home cook that has been honing her cooking skills for the last 25 years, concentrating on Italian cooking for the last 10 years, writes this review. My favorite cookbooks are "The Professional Chef" by the Culinary Institute and "Culinary Artistry". With more than 500 cookbooks in my collection I am usually disappointed in my recent cookbook acquisitions. As a very recent convert to the vegan lifestyle (94 days) I have been feverously adding books to my vegan cookbook collection. This book is the best addition to my vegan cookbook collection so far.

I love the fact that the author does not rely heavily on white sugar and wheat flour to make vegan substitutes for old favorites. I did see a few recipes with white flour, but they are definitely in the minority.

The recipe section is subdivided as follows:

Starters and small plates

Salsas, sauces and gravies


Salads and dressings

Breads and spreads


Side dishes

Daily spring entrees

Daily summer entrees

Daily autumn entrees

Daily winter entrees

RFD meal


The directions provided for the recipes are very clearly written and easy to follow. I also like the beautiful photographs of many of the finished dishes.

As a recent vegan, the food that I miss the most has to be cheese. I was thrilled to see a number of cheese recipes included in this book. The author provides recipes for cashew and tofu cheddar as well as tofu ricotta.

The Bolivian samosa recipe that does not have a pastry outer wrapper fascinates me. This recipe is more a filled potato gnocchi, but is still good.
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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Stelle Smith on November 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
Ok, I am NOT a vegan, nor a vegetarian, nor macrobiotic. I dont particularly like vegetables. In traveling to LA, I had the good fortune to eat at ann gentry's restaurant in santa monica, real food daily, where this cookbook was on sale... Never, have I eaten food that literally ten minutes after eating do I feel stronger, healthier or invigorated. Based upon the great food at the restaurant, I purchased the cookbook, simply to make my dish from the menu, soba noodle surprise. At home, the effect was the same as the restaurant, so, I made a few more dishes. I am hooked! EVERY dish in this book is flavorful, rich, visually appealing and DELICIOUS. I have not gone wrong with ANY recipe. Ms. Gentry is a true master of this interesting cuisine. This book can be used by vegetarians and non vegetarians alike. I made the acorn squash with savory brown rice stuffing and golden gravy and brought it to a dinner party for 8. by the end of dinner, they all went online and bought this book. For my mom's garden club meeting, I made udon noodles with thai rice croquettes... again, by the fruition of the evening, I sold ten more copies of the book. Per week, I prepare at least 50% of my meals now from this one cook book. AMAZING - Stelle
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Melanie on December 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
You know a vegetarian restaurant is good when celebrity sightings are a regular occurrence. Real Food Daily has seen the likes of famous veggies such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Tobey Maguire, and Moby, just to mention a few. Located in Southern California, owner Ann Gentry steered away from the "granola" image of health food and created instead two hip, sophisticated and very successful restaurants, one in West Hollywood and the other in Santa Monica.

Comfort is the key word to this food. This beautiful cookbook with magazine styled food pics, is a joy to thumb through. I am one of those people who likes to see what the finished product will look like, so this is a bonus for me. I also love to read cookbooks, so I appreciate when they have good introductions. This one meets all my requirements.

The book opens with Gentry's story, a Real Food Daily Profile, and information on eating organically and with the seasons. There's also a useful Guide to Real Food, which tells you step by step how create a fabulous atmosphere and an unforgettable meal and lists all the tools you'll need to do it. Then, if you don't have much experience cooking with whole foods, there's a section on preparing grains, legumes, soy foods and more. Wouldn't you like to know the "top twenty real foods to always have in your kitchen"? I can't list them all here, but the list includes maple syrup, quinoa, and root vegetables just to give you an idea of the variety (and peak your curiosity, of course).

Finally, the recipes. Oh, the recipes. I started with guacamole. I figured if they could make it special, then they'd have me hooked. The intro boasts that their guac is "so rich and sinful tasting that people never believe we make it without sour cream.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Buenaventura Rice on March 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I recently moved to Austin, TX from Los Angeles, CA. While my husband and I have managed to find some very good restaurants here, we've yet to find a vegetarian restaurant we love as much as Real Food Daily. Imagine our delight at discovering Ann Gentry had written a cookbook!

The recipes in her cookbook are excellent! We've made the Lentil Walnut Pate, Hummus, Miso Soup, the Chocolate Chip cookies, the Double layer chocolate cake, and the Double layer Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting and they all came out just as delicious as the restaurant's versions. We've also made the Creamy Broccoli Soup with Red Pepper Cream, the Turkish Lentil Soup, the Thai Rice Croquettes with Udon Noodles and Peanut Sauce, the Tofu Quiche with leeks and Asparagus, the lasagna, Barbequed Tofu and finally tonight we enjoyed the Sweet and Sour Tempeh with Vegetables served with Basmati Rice Pilaf with Roasted Peanuts and Cilantro.

I am bragging about having made all these dishes in order to point out how "do-able" they are. Not one of these recipes disappointed us, and they were all easy to make. Some require a little more planning and prep time than others, but there are several that are super simple. If we have any criticism it would be about the enormous amount of food each recipe makes! Perfect for dinner parties, but for two or three people you may want to consider cutting the recipes in half.

My two-year-old son also approves of these recipes! He especially loves the Lentil Pate served with rice crackers and of course he loves the cookies!!.

I must also point out that my husband is a meat-eater and loves these recipes. He is always fully satisfied after eating one of these meals (and usually gets to the left-overs before I do!)

I've never cooked so many recipes from one cookbook before!

Thank you Ann for finally sharing your great recipes with the rest of us!
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