54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Not a lentil loaf in sight,
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This review is from: Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes (Hardcover)
I'll be honest - even though I've been vegetarian for many years, I almost never buy or read vegetarian cookbooks. Too many of them are earthy-crunchy, stuck in the '70's, and bland. They assume that if you're vegetarian, you're also a dour, self-denying, fat-free health nut who could never truly enjoy food.
Enter Michael Natkin and his Herbivoracious blog, and now this cookbook. He LOVES good food, and it shows! The photos are gorgeous, the recipes are just packed with interesting flavors from around the world, and there's not a lentil loaf or gloppy casserole to be found. This is the perfect book for any adventurous eater or cook, vegetarian or not. In fact, it would be a great gift for the foodie friend who's never quite sure what to make for the vegetarians in his/her life.
Some of my favorites so far are the Thai Tofu Salad, Iraqi-Jewish Eggplant Sandwich, Chermoula-Stuffed Eggplant, and my two all-time favorites, Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower and Rice Vermicelli with Ginger-Grapefruit Sauce. I used to dislike both grapefruit and cauliflower, and these recipes actually converted me to loving them. I am seriously thinking of cooking my way straight through the book, "Julie & Julia"-style.
If I had to register a criticism, it would be that many of the recipes call for unusual ingredients that require a trip to various ethnic markets. But that's just part of the adventure, and if you're not willing to try a crazy new flavor or two, then you might as well stick with your beige '70's recipes. Also, substitutions are often noted if you truly can't find an ingredient.
My favorite quote from the book: "I like to think that being mindful of the implications of what one cooks and eats is not an _ascetic_ practice but an _aesthetic_ pleasure." Bravo, Michael, and bon appetit!
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Initial post: Oct 12, 2012 6:24:41 PM PDT
Yay! I have also run across too many stuck-in-the-70s veggie cookbooks. Thanks for your helpful review!
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