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The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook: A Fresh Guide to Eating Well With 700 Foolproof Recipes Paperback – March 1, 2015
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About the Author
America’s Test Kitchen is well-known for its top-rated television shows with more than 4 million weekly public television viewers, bestselling cookbooks, magazines, websites, and cooking school. The highly reputable and recognizable brands of America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated, and Cook’s Country are the work of over 60 passionate chefs based in Boston, Massachusetts, who put ingredients, cookware, equipment, and recipes through objective, rigorous testing to identify the very best. Discover, learn, and expand your cooking repertoire with Julia Collin Davison, Bridget Lancaster, Jack Bishop, Dan Souza, Lisa McManus, Tucker Shaw, Bryan Roof, and our fabulous team of test cooks!
Top customer reviews
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****The book itself: quite heavy for one of their paperback cookbooks. It's got to be at least as heavy as the many of the hardcovers. The binding isn't that great. Although I am super gentle with my cookbooks, I anticipate that this one will have a crack down the spine. It's about 450 pages and I don't see any full-page pictures, most are a quarter page or so. Its layout is standard America's Test Kitchen style, with sidebars and boxes that highlight certain techniques and ingredients.
This book is divided into eleven chapters:
Chapter 1--Hearty Vegetable Mains
Chapter 2--Soups, Stews, and Chilis
Chapter 3--Pasta, Noodles, and Dumplings
Chapter 4--Rice and Grains
Chapter 5--Beans and Soy
Chapter 6--Salads Big and Small
Chapter 7--Vegetable Sides
Chapter 8--Savory Flatbreads, Pizzas, Tarts, and More
Chapter 9--Sandwiches, Wraps, Burgers, and More
Chapter 10--Eggs for Breakfast and Dinner
Chapter 11--Small Bites and Savory Snacks
Note: The cover states that of the 700 recipes, 250 are vegan and 500 are gluten-free. At the beginning of each chapter, the recipes are listed and identified as vegan, gluten-free or fast (less than 45 minutes from start to finish.) Just scanning through the recipe lists, I see some repeats from other cookbooks in each chapter as well as ones that I don't recognize.
****What I don't like about this cookbook:
--Each recipe begins with a small "Why this recipe works" paragraph. I will confess that I love the long articles written by the recipe developers that are included in the annual ATK editions. The little blurbs at the beginning are disappointing to me. I am not a super chef, so I enjoy reading how the recipe was tested. Then I read through the whole recipe. For me, it is kind of like mental imagery that an athlete might do. So by the time I have gone through all that, I feel as if I'm prepared to cook the recipe. I don't enjoy this mini description as much.
--Many of the recipes sound too adventurous for me (Homemade Tofu, Israeli Couscous with Carmelized Fennel and Spinach, Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Peaches and Pecans). Some people may enjoy these kind of recipes, but I will probably never attempt them. NOTE: this is why I gave the cookbook only four stars.
****What I like about this book:
--I feel like I can count on ATK to deliver a consistent, reliable finished recipe. They have taste-tested and honed the recipe to what they believe is the best it can be. I may not always think a recipe sounds great, but the ones that do sound great to me, usually turn out tasting great to me, too.
--This cookbook includes plenty of helpful sidebars, which I always enjoy going through. The beginning includes a section about prepping vegetables--very handy for people who haven't learned all that yet. (i.e., I had never bought or prepared bok choy until I made a recipe from this cookbook, and the vegetable guide was quite useful to me.)
--I have read complaints about other ATK indices, so to briefly test the index in the back, I looked for "Garlic Mashed Potatoes" under Garlic, Mashed and Potatoes and was able to see an entry for the recipe under each of them.
UPDATE: So far I have tried: smashed potatoes, quinoa and vegetable stew, avocado toast with fried egg, curry-yogurt sauce with cilantro for steamed or roasted veggies, cranberry-orange overnight steel-cut oatmeal, and coconut-rice with bok choy and lime. They all turned out well, with the exception of the curry-yogurt sauce. However, I did use a brand of yogurt that I hate--I think it ruined the whole thing. Lesson learned. My family's favorite so far was the Coconut Rice with Bok Choy and Lime, which I served with chicken breast in Trader Joe's Thai Green Curry Simmer Sauce.
I will update as I cook through the recipes further!
Some of the recipes are from the magazine or other cookbooks, but there seems to be many, many new ones. Some of my favorite recipes we've made in the past included in the cookbook are the Chickpea Cakes (SO tasty), Lentils, Rice, and Crispy Onions (Mujaddara), Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup, and Farmhouse Vegetable and Barley Soup. The concentrated Vegetable Broth Base has changed the way we cook ... we can make a batch ahead of time and freeze it. We scoop it out by the tablespoon (it doesn't freeze solid) and add it to soup instead of buying canned vegetable broth.
Some of the recipes I'm really excited to try are the Lavash with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Olives, Sizzling Saigon Crepes (Bahn Xeo), Pupusas with Tangy Cabbage Slaw, and every single one of the soups and stews. I'm also looking forward to trying their recipe for a vegetarian version of fish sauce (and for using it to make their Pad Thai recipe!).
The index is color coded to indicate gluten free, vegan, and "fast" recipes (45 minutes or less). I wish that the recipes had nutritional information, but that's never been a huge emphasis in any the Test Kitchen's products! I love that there isn't any "filler." A lot of vegetarian cookbooks will include recipes for breads, desserts, and other things that will almost always be vegetarian. This cookbook focuses primarily on main dishes, with a few sides, salads, and snacks. I can't wait to find new favorites!