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How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food Hardcover – October 15, 2007
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Recipe Excerpts from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
5 Questions for Mark Bittman
Q. What motivated you to write a comprehensive cookbook of vegetarian recipes right now?
A: What motivated me--several years ago--was seeing the handwriting on the wall: That although being a principled, all-or-nothing vegetarian was not a course of action that would ever likely inspire the majority of Americans, the days of all-meat-all-the-time (or, to be slightly less extreme, of a diet heavily dependent on meat) could not go on. Averaging a consumption of two pounds a week or more of meat (as Americans do) is not sustainable, either for the earth or our planet. And, as more and more of us realize this, I thought it was important to develop a cookbook along the lines of How to Cook Everything, but without meat, fish, or poultry. Needless to say, there’s plenty of material.
Q: In the course of writing How to Cook Everything Vegetarian did your approach to food shopping, cooking or dining change significantly?
A: Completely. The more I tried new ways of cooking with vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, the more I enjoyed them. I probably eat sixty or seventy percent fewer animal products than I did three years ago.
Q: Because meatless cooking isn't limited to a single cuisine, your recipes introduce the flavors and techniques of many different cultures and cuisines. How did you manage to cover so much ground? Seems like a daunting task.
A: It’s what I do.
Q: Out of the more than 2,000 recipes in the cookbook do you have a favorite dish or dessert that you turn to again and again?
A: No. There are hundreds I wish I could cook all the time, but one can only cook and eat so much. But in the last week, for example, I’ve made Fava Bean and Mint Salad with Asparagus; Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes; Cornbread Salad; and Red Lentils with Chaat Masala.
Q: Why is simplicity so important in cooking? What does the novice home cook need to know to cook and eat well?
A: Simplicity is only important because it’s the way to learn to cook; it’s very difficult to start cooking with complex dishes. For people to learn to cook, they must start simply--the way everyone used to cook. And, for most of us--including me--there’s no reason to carry things much further. Even the simplest cooking is rewarding, enjoyable, and--obviously--the healthiest and best way to eat.
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is exactly the cookbook I've been trying to find for a long time. It has the simple, everyday recipes that I sometimes need, combined with a LOT of wonderful vegetarian dishes from ordinary supermarket ingredients. How about Peanut Soup, Senegalese Style? Or Korean-Style Noodles in Cool Bean Broth (in less than 20 minutes for when the kids are whining for dinner) Mustard Cheese Fondue?
This book is written in Bittman's typical `theme and variations' style, with a basic recipe (like for waffles) and then a sidebar or list following the recipe that gives variations (like a list of things you can add to waffles for flavoring). The great thing about this is that it means you rarely have to reject a recipe because you don't have the exact ingredients, just go with a variant. The only quibble I have with it is, it's sometimes difficult to keep track of what you are supposed to sub out & sub back in when you have a crying toddler on your ankle.
A basic cookbook should also walk you through basic techniques and ingredients. I was a little surprised to see the vegetables chapter was nearly 200 pages. Then I looked through it and realized a lot of that is guidance on how to select and prep the various vegetables.Read more ›
I'm relearning the way I prepare even the most basic things, like sandwiches and scrambled eggs. Who would have thought scrambled eggs could be so good? And the Pan-Grilled steak has weaned me from the backyard grill forever. No other cookbook would warn you that "clouds of smoke will instantly appear; do not turn down the heat." That bit of fear that your fire alarm will go off at any second just adds spice to the whole cooking experience.
The breadth of this book is amazing. Besides having nearly every type of Western cooking you can imagine, it also has recipes from Japan, India, Thailand, and... you get the idea.
There is one drawback -- this book has no photos, just a few hand-drawn illustrations. However, the book is so big that if it did have photos, it would cost much more.
That being said, I'm certainly not sorry that I have this book. It has a good section on condiments that I'm sure I'll make use of fairly often, and it's a good cookbook to have on hand if you're tinkering in the kitchen and want some perspective on your technique. It's really more of a reference book than an book of recipes, and in that it is useful. But if you want ideas for delicious, satisfying vegetarian food, get "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Best. But I prefer my earlier edition that contains safe cooking times inside the back cover.Published 4 days ago by Nina Jo Smith
What a great book to accompany my first apartment. The pesto recipe (veganized with nutritional yeast) is a staple in my life and the roasted chickpeas are just so yum. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
Hands down my favorite cookbook, no matter what I have in the fridge it will tell me how to best cook it. Always delicious, and with my cooking skills that's saying something.Published 15 days ago by celiac_foodie