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The Simple Art of Vegetarian Cooking: Templates and Lessons for Making Delicious Meatless Meals Every Day Hardcover – April 22, 2014


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The Simple Art of Vegetarian Cooking: Templates and Lessons for Making Delicious Meatless Meals Every Day + The Very Best Of Recipes for Health: 250 Recipes and More from the Popular Feature on NYTimes.com + Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (April 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 162336129X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1623361297
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From Booklist

A creative and imaginative cook approaches a recipe as a guide rather than as a set of inviolable commands. In her latest compendium of vegetarian cuisine, Shulman puts this idea into practice. For each category of finished dish, she gives the cook a template: a structure with classes of ingredients, some ratios, and some general cooking guidelines. In so doing, she encourages the vegetarian cook to make use of seasonal offerings, of leftovers, of whatever components present themselves at the moment. Shulman shows how risottos, pastas, stir-fries, pizzas, quesadillas, and tacos all lend themselves to this sort of culinary buffet. This book will prove itself particularly valuable for someone seeking to explore vegetarian cooking without rigid commitment. Equally beneficial for all cooks, Shulmans tables sort out the increasing varieties of squashes and rice that now appear in so many markets. --Mark Knoblauch

More About the Author


For over 30 years I have been writing cookbooks devoted to eating well. A pioneer in vegetarian cooking, I began my career in 1973 at the age of 23. This was long before well-educated people from upper middle class backgrounds fantasized about becoming the next Food Network star or owning a successful restaurant. I was then a student at The University of Texas at Austin. I changed my major every semester, but my passion for cooking and for giving dinner parties was unwavering. I also had an interest in health, and combined the two in my approach to food, drawing upon many of the world's cuisines to create vegetarian dishes that were much better than the standard brown rice fare of the early 1970s. Culturally I was very much a product of my era, but as far as my cooking was concerned, I have always been way ahead of my time.
Once I'd had my epiphany about my calling, I developed a series of vegetarian cooking classes that I taught through the University of Texas Extension, and I opened a private "supper club" in my home. Every Thursday for two years I prepared a sit-down 3-course dinner for 30 people. My cozy "home restaurant" allowed me all the fun and few of the headaches of running a public restaurant, and at the same time gave me a place to experiment and develop a repertoire of dishes to showcase. I also learned to cook for a crowd. Soon I had a vegetarian catering service; I catered everything from breakfasts in bed and dinners for two to wedding receptions and conferences for two hundred.
I had also been, all along, a writer in search of a subject. I knew that I would write a cookbook, and when The Vegetarian Feast came out in 1979, my career had evolved from cook/caterer to food writer and cookbook author. The Vegetarian Feast won a 1979 Tastemaker Award (a precursor of the prestigious James Beard Awards) for Best Book, Health and Special Diets category, and remains in print.
I was never doctrinaire about vegetarian cooking; I just felt that I'd had my quota of meat by the time I reached the age of 21. I admired all good cooks, especially Julia Child, with whom I corresponded. In my first letter to her, a fan letter dated September 2, 1976 in which I described my cooking classes and my supper club, my catering service and the book I was trying to get published, I told her I was "trying to shed a new light on vegetarianism, to present it as an unmysterious, classical, and memorable cuisine. The art of cooking with an emphasis on nutrition as well as flavor is my interest, and because I am a vegetarian my cuisine is a meatless one."
Two years after the publication of The Vegetarian Feast I moved to Paris, where I continued to write cookbooks and articles, revived my Supper Club, and became a much better cook. During the twelve years I lived in France I traveled extensively in the Mediterranean to research its many cuisines. My book Mediterranean Light was published in 1989, just as the benefits of the Mediterranean diet were coming to light in the United States. The region continues to be my richest source of culinary inspiration.
To date, I have 27 cookbooks to my name. My work has been of a piece; not all of my books are vegetarian, but they all have a healthy focus. Several of my books have been nominated for cookbook awards and three have won them. In addition to the 1979 Tastemaker Award for The Vegetarian Feast, I've received the following nominations and prizes for my work:
*2001: International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), The Best Vegetarian Recipes, Nominee, Single Subject category
*1995 James Beard Awards, Great Breads, Nominee, Bread and Pastry category
*1994 Bertolli Olive Oil Award, Provençal Light, First Prize, Health and Special Diets category, Julia Child Awards
*1991 International Association of Culinary Professionals, Entertaining Light, First Prize, Health and Diet category
*1991 James Beard Awards, Entertaining Light, Nominee, Entertaining category
*1989 Tastemaker, Mediterranean Light, Nominee, Health and Special Diets category
*1988 Tastemaker, Supper Club chez Martha Rose, Nominee, Entertaining category

My cooking continues to evolve, as I hone and simplify my recipes to make them accessible to a wide range of cooks. I feel that I have played a role in improving the eating habits of many Americans, particularly since I began writing a daily recipe feature called Recipes for Health for the health section of The New York Times on the Web, in 2008. Its purpose is to empower people to cook healthy meals every day by giving them straightforward, delicious recipes. Each week's column is themed around a fresh ingredient from the market, a pantry item or a type of dish, with a new recipe posted every day. The reader response has been enthusiastic; my recipes regularly appear in the "10 Most Emailed" list on the health page. It has been extremely satisfying to know that I am reaching so many people and having an impact on their cooking.

Customer Reviews

This is an excellent book, with clear instructions, a clean format and good index.
Martha Atlanta
There is a comprehensive Pantry Checklist at the front of the book, suggesting foods to keep in stock.
Tess
This is a go to cookbook: Martha Rose Shulman is one of the best vegetarian cooking authors out there.
Serge Ratkovsky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Suvir Saran on April 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Martha is one of the best American cookbook authors writing today", says the best selling cookbook author, Mollie Katzen. She could not have said it better.

Martha Rose Shulman has for three decades brought clear and precise recipes to countless home cooks. Many a time without people even paying attention to that fact. Her genius has helped bring recipes of many a chef across America to kitchens throughout the nation and beyond.

Her recipes are mindfully delicious and thoughtfully written. Each one comes with a clarity of instructions and sound guidance that is not always the case. There is a simplicity of approach but far from simplistic magic to Martha Rose's deliciously addictive plant based cooking.

Accesible and mouthwatering dishes open new doors for those that are suspicious of veggies and yet want to romance them for taste, flavor, health and wellness. These are recipes that will give you delightful meals to savor with friends and family.

I never thought a minestrone could be made simpler still and made even more accessibly doable for the dummy. Martha Rose does just that. Her templates are easy to follow and guarantee success with every recipe recreated in our kitchens.

Her recipe for Savory Bread Pudding with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese should be a must try for all. Once you eat it, you are never too shy of vegetables. You want to romance them more and more.

Buy this book and see your life become a celebration of the plant based magic that has kept many across the world inspired and inspirational for generations.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tess on June 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a vegetarian for a little over a year - eating meat or fish occasionally before that.
This cook book is perfect because it consists of basic templates, in various areas, such as soups, pastas, legumes, grains, that I can add to or modify, to produce a wonderful meal.
The book is well written and the recipes easy to follow and achieve. Many recipes are vegan, or can be easily made so without adding the eggs or cheese.
So far all of the ingredients have been readily available. There is a comprehensive Pantry Checklist at the front of the book, suggesting foods to keep in stock.
I highly recommend this cook book, especially to someone who is recently a vegetarian and is looking to learn how to cook healthy, nutritious and delicious dishes. My family have been enjoying the dishes I have made from this cook book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Beverly McCalmont on April 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have bought dozens of cookbooks and never felt the need to review them.
This book is WONDERFUL!
Lots of advice, information and excellent recipes.
Best cookbook I have bought in many years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Meadows on September 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic book! It has rapidly become not only the most useful cooking book I now own, but the most useful one I've ever owned; and I have owned a boatload of cookbooks. This is not simply a book of recipes; it is (as the title clearly states) a template or lesson book for vegetarian cooking. The author gives you templates for various types of vegetarian main courses, and then some recipes demonstrating this type of main course, and then tells you how to slot your own ingredients into these recipes.

The actual physical book is lovely, Rodale has done an excellent job with it, including quite a few color photos. Lovely layout too, each page is a joy to see, and then a joy to read.

If you institute Ms. Shulman's suggestions, you will never again waste any vegetables, and you will be eating more fresh vegetables than you used to, thus improving your health! I just cannot say enough good things about this book. Your food will taste better too.

Pat Meadows
Crawford, Maine
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Martha Atlanta on July 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
One of the best cookbooks I've bought in year (and that's a lot). Ms. Shulman's template approach makes meal planning and preparation so easy. Her approach also encourages the use of leftovers, even a few spoonfuls of something, reducing food waste. I also love that she gives good information about how long foods prepared in advance can be stored for and what freezes well (and not). These recipes can easily have a meat-based protein added to them if you want. This is an excellent book, with clear instructions, a clean format and good index. And it looks good too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Serge Ratkovsky on October 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First rate recipes and instructions for newbie and advanced vegetarian cooks. The instructions are exceptionally clear, informative, and concise. Very handy template recipes in the first chapter can be modified in many ways by the cook depending on taste and ingredients in season. This is a go to cookbook: Martha Rose Shulman is one of the best vegetarian cooking authors out there. Check out 'Mediterranean Harvest' too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KR on November 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book. A little different format than most, takes getting used to. Have both on Kindle and Hardback... kind of a waste of $ on Kindle due to format. I also have the class Big Bowls on Craftsy and would highly recommend that. My husband and I both are truly enjoying the foods that are as a result of this author's ingenuity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kate on October 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The recipes are so flexible where you can substitute one grain or another, one green or another, depends on what you have in the pantry. Lots of practical ideas. Most recipes have easy to find ingredients. I collect cookbooks, some sit on the shelf and I had a great time reading them. Some like this one I cook from.
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