From Publishers Weekly
Wells (The Spices of Life and Global Vegetarian Cooking) provides a wide array of appealing and tantalizing vegetarian offerings from all over the globe. From Tanzania's corn-on-the-cob in coconut milk and Greek cheese pies to the Middle East's hummus with several variations and the Sudan's falafel, Wells offers up flavorful and distinctive recipes, most of which are vegan or vegan-adaptable. Main dishes include baked sweet potato casserole from Canada, and creamy mixed vegetable curry from India, among a wealth of others. She also includes appetizing side dishes, sauces, and salads, such as crunchy garlicky potatoes, fiery spinach with chilies, and lentil salad with feta cheese and vegetables. Most recipes are accompanied by luscious full-color photos that serve to whet the appetite as well as demystify dishes for the uninitiated. Ethnic desserts are given their fair due in a wonderful chapter that includes West Africa's banana cake and South Korea's cinnamon buns. Recipes are clear-cut and fairly simple, use mostly easily found ingredients, and do not require a huge amount of time to prepare. Both vegetarians and those simply looking for a way to incorporate more vegetables into their diet will delight in this treasure of a book. (Dec.)
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Although many vegetarian cookbooks crowd the market, this effort from English cookery author Wells distinguishes itself by accumulating recipes from scores of different cuisines from nearly every corner of the globe. Peru contributes avocado stuffed with vegetables and eggs. Thailand comes forth with coconut-based soup fragrant with galangal and Kaffir lime. Potatoes and sweet potatoes combine in an unusual gratin from Canada. South Africa’s famed bobotie retains its myriad spices but loses its customary lamb. Great license is taken with Italy’s fettuccine Alfredo, substituting cashews and oregano for its creamy, rich cheese sauce. On the other hand, France’s ratatouille needs no alteration. What could be more typically American than Boston baked beans, here not baked but quickly simmered and served improbably over rice? Desserts include a complex, dairy-free tiramisu. Wells lists a few cocktails, such as mojitos, to enliven the fare. Full-color photographs illustrate virtually every dish. --Mark Knoblauch