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The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet: 250 Simple Recipes and Dozens of Healthy Menus for Eating Well Every Day Paperback – June 19, 2001

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The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet: 250 Simple Recipes and Dozens of Healthy Menus for Eating Well Every Day + Quick-Fix Vegetarian: Healthy Home-Cooked Meals in 30 Minutes or Less + Fresh & Fast Vegetarian: Recipes That Make a Meal
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (June 19, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076790690X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767906906
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

If you don't get home until six or later and still need to get dinner on the table, this is the book for you. The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet pares down ingredients to their simplest and most flavorful form. "Keeping things simple takes the frantic quality--and pressure--out of preparing a meal," says author Nava Atlas. "Simplifying helps you to slow down and enjoy the process of cooking."

Atlas devotes a whole chapter to tofu and soy products, including seitan and packaged products like soy "hot dogs" and "sausage." She also has a chapter on "Rudimentary Wraps," which includes recipes for Avocado and Ricotta Soft Tacos, Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Wraps, and the ever popular Black Bean Burrito (spice them with green chiles). Pasta is a quick and easy favorite. Keep jarred sauce on hand and you have the beginnings of Pasta with Triple Red Sauce or Pasta with Olive Sauce. Serve veggie burgers on whole-grain buns with a side of Creamy Coleslaw or Baked Barbecued Tofu and Potato Kebabs for an easy weeknight meal. Or try Asian Sesame-Soy Noodles paired with Broccoli and Tofu in Peanut Sauce.

Every recipe includes a nutritional breakdown including calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, cholesterol, and sodium. Nearly every recipe has suggestions for what to pair the dish with and on what page to find it. This is an especially handy cookbook for time-crunched families. The food is easy, quick, healthy, and doesn't require great concentration to prepare. --Dana Van Nest

From Publishers Weekly

Vegetarian expert Atlas (Vegetariana and Vegetarian Express) offers a slew of simple, quick recipes, most of which make use of packaged and canned foods. A few unusual soups stand out, such as Rice, Lettuce, and Mushroom Broth, and Cold Curried Cucumber Soup made tangy with a dose of buttermilk. Salads include Chickpea Salad with Roasted Peppers, made with canned chickpeas and jarred red peppers, as well as a more upscale Warm Potato Salad with Goat Cheese. Some recipes, Pinto Beans and Corn, for instance, involve little more than warming up and stirring together the contents of various cans. Although this is not a vegan cookbook, many of its recipes do eschew butter; Ravioli or Tortellini with Sweet Potato Sauce calls for ricotta ravioli, but replaces butter or oil with nonhydrogenated margarine. Each recipe carries a suggested menu Atlas encourages readers to match Mixed Olives Pizza (made with a store-bought crust) with Corn Slaw and nutritional information. A chapter on wraps offers some nice alternatives to sandwiches, such as Eggplant Parmigiana Wraps. Desserts are fruit-based, such as Miniature Fresh Fruit Tarts made with packaged graham cracker pie shells, applesauce and yogurt. Many of Atlas's recipes are already familiar, but will be useful for beginning vegetarians, as well as for those who lead busy lives. 100 b&w illustrations. (June 19) Forecast: The Use-As-Few-Ingredients-as-Possible genre may be reaching saturation, so the title could backfire. On the other hand, Vegetariana sold more than 100,000 copies, and clearly huge numbers of health-conscious people are pressed for time, so this book stands a good chance of finding its niche.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Nava Atlas is the author and illustrator of many vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, most recently Wild About Greens, Vegan Holiday Kitchen, Vegan Express, and Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. Her earlier books include Vegetarian Family Cookbook and The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet.

In addition to cookbooks, Nava also produces visual nonfiction books including The Literary Ladies' Guide to the Writing Life (2011;, exploring first-person narratives on the writing lives of twelve classic women authors, and commenting on the universal relevance of their experiences to all women who love to write. Secret Recipes for the Modern Wife (2009) is a satiric look at contemporary marriage and motherhood through the lens of a faux 1950s cookbook.

Nava is also an active fine artist specializing in limited edition artist's books and text-driven objects. Her work is shown and collected by museums and universities across the U.S. You can see her work at Her home is in the Hudson Valley region of New York State, where she lives with her husband and two sons.

Customer Reviews

The recipes are simple and easy yet very delicious.
Until now, I have never found a vegetarian cookbook that actually made me excited to try new foods!
D. Heller
This book is great for new cooks who want easy vegetarian dishes to make.
Sanrio fan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

186 of 188 people found the following review helpful By Melanie on August 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Hooray! This is the cookbook for which I have been waiting. In fact, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you have very likely been waiting for it, too. It truly has wide appeal. Whether you are a veggie teen, an active and over-committed adult, or a senior citizen wanting to keep it simple (as in easy), you will enjoy and value Nava Atlas' book as much as I do. There is so much I love about it, and only two things I would change; but they are teensy-weensy criticisms. First, about the recipes: true to her word, Ms. Atlas has somehow managed to create 250 recipes, each with five or less ingredients. You will find familiar stand-bys, as well as new and imaginative dishes. Looking for a hummus recipe? It's in there. How about veggie pizza? It's in there, too (twelve pages of pizza recipes-delicioso!) Do you enjoy a comforting, nourishing soup? Yep; you will find that, too, in "Chapter 1: Simplicity in a Soup Pot." What about tofu? I have been eating tofu regularly for nearly ten years now. You can imagine that my favorite tofu recipes no longer create much excitement at the dining table. Therefore, I am always on the lookout for an addition to my tofu repertoire. Was I ever excited to find an entire chapter ("Chapter 5: Essential Soy") devoted solely to tofu recipes! That's where I headed first.
There is so much more to The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet than recipes. If your mantra is, "I don't have [pick one or more] a) the time, b) the inclination, c) the know-how to successfully prepare a vegetarian or vegan meal," have no fear. Ms. Atlas has done all the thinking and the work (except the cooking, of course), including a complete shopping list for stocking your cupboards, menu suggestions for each and every recipe, a menu-planning guide, and nutritional statistics.
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80 of 80 people found the following review helpful By "mr_ducati" on June 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have been vegetarian(ovo-lacto) for over 10 years and I have plenty of vegetarian cookbooks, but this one will be a big workhorse in my kitchen. I am a mom and I work outside the home as well, and this book has given me hope and inspiration to get out of the "sandwich-pizza-frozen dinner" slump that I've been in. All the recipes in this book call for only 5 ingredients, but there are endless ways that you can change or add to the recipes. I made two of the recipes tonight and both came out really well (Cabbage, Carrot & Apricot Slaw and Red Pepper and Corn Quesadillas). Also, the prep didn't take that much time or require a lot of clean up. Many recipes can be made using fresh convienience foods like pre-shredded or chopped veggies and canned broth and tomatoes. There are a few recipes for kids and also menu suggestions for dinner, parties and potlucks. I think that this is a very well thought out addition to anyone's kitchen library.
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104 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Shantiananda on April 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because as a busy Mum and new vegetarian I needed some pointers on easy healthy cooking. However, I just didn't find many of the recipes appealing. I was also put off by the fact that, though each recipe has five ingredients or less, in order to make a balanced meal, you need to use three or four of the recipes. That's probably fine for a lot of people, but I find that overwhelming to co-ordinate. However, I do think that, for what it is, it lives up to it's promise. It is a book of uncomplicated healthy recipes for busy people. I find it best as a jumping off point - a place to get ideas that I can jazz up with my own touches. However I think it is most likely to star as my husbands favourite cookbook. He is a fairly inexperienced cook who is striving to become more self-reliant in the kitchen. He finds the long lists of ingredients and detailed instructions in most of my cookbooks overwhelming (as would I if I didn't know how to cut corners) and finds the idea of cooking from this book more acceptable. I hope he starts soon! ;)
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106 of 112 people found the following review helpful By C. Ebeling on October 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
I don't think I was quite the right audience for this cookbook-for me, it rated a 3; but for the right person, it's a 4.
The right person for this book is seeking a way to make regular, balanced vegetarian (ovo-lacto) weeknight meals on the fly, who wants tried and true fare. Much is made of canned goods, dried herb blends, bottled salsa and salad dressings, frozen corn, and like ingredients that are easily found in supermarkets. This is strictly family food, not party impressive, with an eye on the fact that kids may be in the mix. There is little to chop, mostly there is throwing together in one pot or bowl. Menu suggestions are offered here and there, as well as basic helpful hints.
I need more originality and flavor than this book offers. The helpful hints are very basic. I appreciate the menu suggestions--I'm still learning about what goes with what in a vegetarian meal--but they were not consistently available. A different editor might have caught some inconsistencies in the text. An example: for the Split Pea and Barley Soup, there is a helpful hint on the same page on which it appears that reads something like, "Sometimes I like to add rice or barley to the Split Pea and Barley Soup (page 'x')." Well, yes, you might like to add barley since it is called for and yes, it is on page 'x', the same page you are reading at the moment. If you choose to do rice, do you substitute it for the barley? It does not elaborate.
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