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The Real Food Daily Cookbook: Really Fresh, Really Good, Really Vegetarian Paperback – September 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
When Gentry opened her first vegan restaurant, Real Food Daily (RFD) in Santa Monica, Calif., in 1993, naysayers said a meat-free, dairy-free restaurant with a focus on organic produce would never make it. But Gentry knew she could serve "real food"—satisfying, nutritious and delicious cuisine—without animal products. Three RFD restaurants later, she presents this cookbook, a reflection of what she has learned about seasonal, organic, macrobiotic and vegan cooking. Gentry doesn't break new ground—sandwiches made with tempeh instead of meat, and nut cheeses like cashew cheddar will be familiar to most vegans—but she provides clear and comprehensive directions on how to make them more interesting and flavorful. For example, she adds tofu ricotta cheese to her Reuben sandwich and enhances Lentil-Walnut Pâté with fresh basil and thyme. Gentry explains the basics without preaching or condescending to readers, and discusses nutritional benefits without unnecessary jargon. Beginning cooks and those new to veganism will find much to enjoy here. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This vegan cookbook springs from Gentry's experiences at her Southern California restaurant chain. Gentry has attracted a host of followers to her vegan lifestyle by cooking with carefully chosen and imaginatively seasoned fresh, organic ingredients. In making pasta salad, Gentry uses spelt pasta rather than the customary wheat version. With this salad's julienned peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, olives, and toasted pine nuts in balsamic vinaigrette, one needs no extraneous meat. Soymilk substitutes in many recipes for cow's milk, and tofu cheese makes up for the absence of dairy cheese. She transforms hackneyed green bean-canned mushroom soup casserole by steeping fresh green beans in vegan mushroom gravy and topping them with homemade fried onion rings. Tempeh substitutes for meat where necessary. Since many devoted vegans avoid refined sugar, desserts call for maple syrup and swap in vegetable oils for butter. Gentry advocates using only seasonally available fresh ingredients, preferring not to prepare any dish that calls for an item not immediately locally available. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
I love the fact that the author does not rely heavily on white sugar and wheat flour to make vegan substitutes for old favorites. I did see a few recipes with white flour, but they are definitely in the minority.
The recipe section is subdivided as follows:
Starters and small plates
Salsas, sauces and gravies
Salads and dressings
Breads and spreads
Daily spring entrees
Daily summer entrees
Daily autumn entrees
Daily winter entrees
The directions provided for the recipes are very clearly written and easy to follow. I also like the beautiful photographs of many of the finished dishes.
As a recent vegan, the food that I miss the most has to be cheese. I was thrilled to see a number of cheese recipes included in this book. The author provides recipes for cashew and tofu cheddar as well as tofu ricotta.
The Bolivian samosa recipe that does not have a pastry outer wrapper fascinates me. This recipe is more a filled potato gnocchi, but is still good. This concept opens up a lot of possibilities for additional fillings. I also appreciate that it is baked, and not fried like a traditional Indian samosa.
Having recipes for pecan pie and chocolate chip cookies makes a vegan lifestyle much more palatable. Also, I will be trying both the carrot cake and cheesecake for the next celebratory occasion.
I have one minor criticism of the book. Locating some of the more unusual ingredients is easy in a major metropolitan area, however in more rural settings this could prove to be a problem. It would have been nice if the author had provided substitutes for some of these items. Some of the more unusual ingredients that the book relies on are as follows: Agar, Kombu, Nutritional Yeast, and Umeboshi. If you don't live near a Whole Foods, or Wegman's I would confirm that you have a source for these products before picking up this book. I would suggest trying Amazon's gourmet food area. I have found some very unusual food items there.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to serve healthy meals to their family, be it everyday or just occasionally.
First, I am not a vegan, so that tells you how good this food is. Not a real tofu fan so I normally skip it and make the recipe without it.
So, I am a huge fan of the Real Food Daily. I practically ate there everyday until I moved to New Jeresey (where nothing is healthy). I have missed eating there dearly so I bought the book. Of course the one recipe I really wanted is not even in there. They are almond jam cookies and they are to die for.
The food is wonderful in this book. I made the burrito supreme and it rocked my world. The only thing is how time consuming these recipes are. I will continue to make the cilantro sauce because it was so yummy.
I make it a point to eat at RFD every time I am in LA and now I can enjoy their wonderful meals at home! Everything from Country Style Miso to BBQ tofu to Salisbury Seitan. I have a new love for simply steamed Collard Greens and Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips.
The only reason I am not giving 5 stars is because of the complexity of the recipes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have found that this cookbook has many omissions and errors..Read more