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Vegetarian Times (1-year auto-renewal)
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393 of 431 people found the following review helpful
First, the disclaimer. I am not a vegetarian. I have, however, planned many vegetarian menus and cooked thousands of vegetarian meals, both professionally and at home.

This magazine has a rather quaint approach to cover art and illustrations that reminds me of magazines that my mom read in the sixties. Apart from its appearance, the recipes are wildly inconsistent. Some are very good, fast, and easy to prepare. Others are bland and lifeless, reinforcing the misconception that vegetarian food is uninteresting and "healthy tasting." Some of the recipes contain obvious errors and omissions or call for such odd proportions that one wonders if they were tested prior to publication.

Vegetarian Times seems to try reasonably hard to avoid the sanctimony and self-righteousness that afflicts so many publications in this genre. Nonetheless, there is enough polemicizing to annoy when it intrudes on the culinary purposes of the magazine.

My final observation is that this magazine has one of the worst advertisement-to-content ratios that I've ever seen. In a couple of recent issues, the ratio of ads to recipes is nearly one to one. I don't mind paying a reasonable price for a useful publication but I do object to paying for the privilege of reading marketing hype.

Bottom line? There are better vegetarian cookbooks readily available through Amazon or other dealers. Robin Robertson and Madhur Jaffrey both offer superior alternatives.
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90 of 96 people found the following review helpful
After admiring Vegetarian Times on magazine racks for countless months, I finally took the plunge and ordered a one-year subscription. VT features numerous helpful product reviews, vegetarian / vegan recipes, health info, interviews, and a spotlight on green restaurants and businesses around the country. The Carrot & Stick section gives kudos to earth-friendly businesses and institutions and shines a light on animal rights violators. For me, this helps me decide which companies will receive my business based on their track record on environmentalism, recycling, and animal rights.

The biggest downside is the amount (and size) of advertising; the already-thin monthly issues feel like they're 50% full-page ads targeted at vegetarians / vegans. This definitely detracted from an otherwise artistic, well-laid-out magazine. Personally, I feel that full-page ads are redundant in the Internet age; I'd much rather have a list of advertisers' products / websites at the back of the magazine, although I realize that advertising revenues are an essential evil inherent to the business.

Many of VT's monthly recipes are ethnic in nature; I was pleasantly surprised to see that the September issue featured vegetarian makeovers of several High Holy Days standards such as Mock Chopped Liver, Noodle Kugel with Caramelized Apples and Raisins, Sephardic Stufffed Cabbage, and Chocolate Apricot Rugalach. It's really rare to find Jewish vegetarian recipes in mainstream magazines, so I greatly appreciated the inclusion (for more Jewish vegetarian ideas, check out Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World and The Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook).

VT's recipes, many of which can be adapted to vegan, use common ingredients and are within the realm of weeknight preparation; I haven't found many recipes that rated "too health-foody" or "just plain out there." Vegetarian Times is an excellent investment for today's vegetarian or vegan, and even for those questioning carnivores who are looking to add more fruits and veggies into their diets.
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89 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2006
I really do want to like this magazine. For one, the cover is almost so pretty and comforting, plus they cover many aspects that may be of concern to vegetarian lifestyle, such as environment, health, politics, etc.

However, the recipes are inconsistent. Some, like the readers' best, can be excellent. Many of their other recipes fall short though, some by glaring oversight (for example, forgetting salt). Also, their 'ethnic' recipes usually aren't that great. Their preoccupation with lowfat recipe also unfortunately lead to sacrific of taste. And seriously does anyone think PAM is healthier than olive oil??

VT is really best when it focuses on American classics done vegetarian. Things like chilis, pot pies, and casseroles.

I still give this 4 stars because I think except for the recipes, the magazine isn't all that bad, plus there aren't many other competitors for this market. Their CS has been very friendly when I called. If you aren't as picky as I am about getting the exact recipes right, then this is a nice magazine. As for me, once my subscription stops, I'm switching to buying time-tested recipes books instead.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2009
I used to have a subscription to Veg Times for years. The recipes were 99% reliable, the food photography was excellent, and they had interesting articles that appealed to more than just women on diets.
I did let the subscription lapse however. Eventually the recipes and issues became repetitive (I suppose after a few years they will) but at least they were good. It had been a long while since I had read the magazine and decided to pick up an issue.
First thing I noticed was the food photography. It was horrible. Bad layouts, bad displays, bad color. It looked like a Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1960s. Dreadful.
Something was wrong. Then I noticed the publisher had changed. I think Rodale Press published it back when I had a subscription to it.
I didn't recognize the name of the new publisher.
I put the magazine back. Just didn't instill a desire to make the recipes because the food just did not look appetizing.
Must have let a year pass before I looked at it again at my local co-op. Photography looked better and the recipes read fairly decently. I decided to buy it and try a few.
Don't judge a magazine by its cover. The two recipes I tried were horrible. One was from some article that turned out to be pushing particular advertiser's products. The recipe was followed step-by-step and I'm a pretty good cook having had to learn vegetarian cooking nearly 25 years ago. I learned how to make good veggie food during the "brown" years and I knew what bland vegetarian cooking was. The result of this particular recipe was brown, gloopy, and probably the very worst dish I had ever made from a published recipe.
A tasteless and greasy mess. I should have dropped the mag in the recycle bin right then. However, I gave another recipe from it a chance. It too resulted in cr@p tasting food. Total dreck.

Since then the magazine has tempted me back with great cover shots and tasting sounding dishes but they always result in terrible dishes.

I don't know what happened at Vegetarian Times... they must have hired people who hate vegetarians.

You're better off with a shelf-full of good cookbooks.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2008
I've read and have been a subscriber for years. Vegetarian for most of my life.
The magazine goes through editors like we go through soy milk. They just can't find their way it seems.
These days, most recipes call for expensive and / or hard to find ingredients. Worse, some call for pre-made items that just can't be found. Case in point, the latest issue with the very yummy looking pizza on the cover? You will not find the recipe for the crust in the magazine. Funny, eh? Also, the magazine, for the most part, ignores the male reader.

After all this time, I'm saying farewell to VT. With a host of wonderful blogs on the net, and amazing cooks who generously share there "secrets", I'll save the trees it takes to produce this advertising biased magazine.

Update 7/3/12
The magazine now sells ad space that highlight items that are NOT vegetarian. (Solgar No. 7, in the most recent issue.)
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2011
I've been a vegetarian for 14 years, and always saw this magazine in my local Whole Foods so I decided to give it a try, as I'm always looking for new recipes. I so very disappointed. The recipes are so-so, and the already thin magazine is LITERALLY half ads. I actually counted. Page of recipe/article, full page of ads....with the exception of a page or two, it was literally 50/50.

I'll stick to looking online for new recipes.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2007
I got this magazine to help give me more ideas on how to cook more veggies. I absolutely LOVE it. They have such great recipes in every issue. I am never disappointed. And its not chocked full of ad's, as some of those other more well known magazines are. If you're tired of eating the same veggies, cooked the same way, then you should give this magazine a try.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I've been a vegetarian for over a third of my life at this point, and VT doesn't offer any info i didn't know when i was just starting to toy with the idea in my teen years. Now, i admit, i grew up in California, where vegetarianism is pretty commonplace, so maybe there's lots of interesting stuff in these magazines if you're from a less veggie-friendly region.

Worse yet, the recipes are awful. I tried a couple and they came out totally bland. Then i realized the recipes almost never call for salt. This is one of those 'if you're a vegetarian, you must be health-obsessed' oversights, maybe, so i started adding salt when it seemed appropriate. Turns out, all the recipes i tried are bland and boring, even with salt. Some other reviews suggest that the recipes are merely inconsistent, in that some are great and some are awful, but so far i've only tried the awful ones.

The only thing i've actually gleaned from this magazine in the past year is how to freeze a few veggies, but i'm sure i could have found that same information online when i needed it.

We won't be renewing this subscription.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2009
Very disappointed with this magazine subscription despite the gorgeous glossy front covers. Content is scant and recipes are not great tasting. I've been a vegetarian for several yrs and was looking for some decent recipes. But don't expect it from this publication. Recipes does not seem to have been tested for taste. Futhermore, delivery is sporatic at best. My Jan and Feb issues went missing (and that was not the first time this happened). After contacting them, I was promised replacement issues would be sent. They never appeared. My subscription ends in May and I can't wait to try another publication. What a waste of money and time.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2008
My husband and I have been vegetarians for a year now and have loved every minute of it. We both feel healthier. With the recent meat recalls we are so glad we went "veggie". This process has been made easier with this magazine. Great receipes, easy to follow and taste good. Some you would not know you weren't eating meat, all you do not miss it. It would have been a lot harder going "veggie" without this mag. Lots of other info too, not just food.
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