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Silk Road Vegetarian: Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free Recipes for the Mindful Cook [Vegetarian Cookbook, 101 Recipes] Paperback – June 17, 2014
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"This book is more than a (primarily) vegan or vegetarian cookbook. It's a terrific resource for gluten-free folks, with a wide variety of options and tastes. Silk Road Vegetarian by Dahlia Abraham-Klein is a genuinely approachable book, with recipes that really work. It's worthy of a special place in any international vegetarian or vegan cookbook collection." —The Weiser Kitchen blog
"There are so many recipes in Silk Road Vegetarian that I can't wait to try. As long as you've got spices on hand (or know where to find them), these recipes will transport you to places you dream of travelling (or at least, I do)." —The Jew and the Carrot blog
"The recipes in Silk Road Vegetarian are delectable, creative and healthy! I love the fact that every recipe includes a generous garnish of Dahlia's personal memories and cultural insights. This user-friendly cookbook will become an asset in my kitchen." —Rinku Bhattacharya, author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles
"Imagine a vegetarian and gluten-free excursion along the Silk Road that is redolent with spices and scented with roses, oranges, and herbs. Silk Road Vegetarian will bring you along on a journey through Asia, Africa, Europe, and India—with a bit of Latin influence as well."—with a bit of Latin influence as well." —Dr. Jean M. Layton, co-author of Gluten-Free Baking For Dummies
"Kudos for Dahlia's beautiful Silk Road Vegetarian cookbook. Its food and lore are vibrant, evocative, and colorful, as are the pictures of the dishes and family gatherings. Each dish is as simple and wholesome as it is delicious. The book spans several cultures and cuisines while always remaining straightforward and within reach. All this and perfectly vegetarian and gluten-free. All I can say is WOW! You'll be eating your veggies, I guarantee it!" —Levana Kirschenbaum (www.levanacooks.com), celebrity chef and author of The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen and Levana Cooks Dairy Free!
"A collection of vegetarian recipes from Central Asia (including the Middle East and India), this book is right up my alley. I have many recipes bookmarked and am enthused to keep using this cookbook!" —The Spiced Life blog
"Chickpea Dal with Coconut Broth and Basmati Rice is a wonderfully fragrant, 15 minute, "storm gourmet" recipe that you'll love. The dal is nutty, creamy, and beautifully spiced." —Steamy Kitchen blog
"Sharing the "secrets of healthy and sustainable eating as practiced along the trade routes of Asia for centuries," this book is perfect for mindful cooks who want to eat a healthy diet filled with locally-sourced ingredients." —Diabetic Foodie blog
About the Author
Dahlia Abraham-Klein holds a Masters in Education and a degree in naturopathy. She is the Environmental Commissioner in her local community and the CSA site holder.
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Top Customer Reviews
In "Silk Road Vegetarian," Dahlia Abraham-Klein has compiled over 120 vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free recipes that serve as an exploration and a celebration of the foods from the Silk Road, from elegant jeweled polos / palaus, curries and dal, Persian kookoos and soups/stews, Bukharian stuffed veggies to shawarma-spiced potatoes, curried veggies, and a wealth of lighter desserts.
Along the way, you'll read about Dahlia's culinary pilgrimage and her family's roots in Persia, Afghanistan, Bukhara, India and Israel. The book begins with an excellent and compact illustrated guide to the spice pantry, tips on basic preparation for tofu, legumes, rice and quinoa (with a handy illustrated guide to the various types of rice available and four pages of descriptions and cooking instructions), an excellent guide to food preservation via freezing (which I have not seen in other cookbooks) that gives a step-by-step overview of various cooking and storing methods that will allow you to make the most of an abundance of seasonal produce (or leftovers from your CSA box).
You'll find quick and basic staples like hummus, tahini, harissa, za'atar, and chutney, light appetizers including stuffed grape leaves, kookoo (herb frittata), Sephardic leek patties, and an amazing Indian red lentil falafel (especially since I am not normally a fan of either lentils OR falafel!). There are many fresh salads like orange and fennel, minted beet salad, curried spinach salad with apples and grapes, and roasted veggies (I particularly enjoyed the roasted carrots with feta and parsley, which I made with rainbow carrots and sheep's milk feta).
Curries and hearty stews tend to dominate the main dishes, including curried lentil burgers, chickpea and lentil curries. I really enjoyed the Afghan squash goulash and Afghan risoto; Afghan cooking is relatively unknown to me. As I am a huge fan of rice dishes (and frequently serve them as a main meal), I really appreciated the wide range of polos (shirin polo, with jewel-like dried orange strips, adas polo with apricots and caramelized onions) and Bukharian pilafs. The quick and easy veggie sides are the perfect way to round out a meal.
The chapter on desserts offers many lighter (mostly vegan) options, including several rice puddings, parfaits, quick breads, and fruit-based desserts (I tried the orange blossom date balls and they were a hit). Those who are on a gluten-free diet will also appreciate that all the baked goods are also GF, including buckwheat hamentaschen, cinnamon apple cake, and berry-almond coconut scones.
The instructions are clear (and the font thankfully large / dark enough to read easily from a cookbook holder) and the ingredients should be commonly available at your supermarket (despite the many Persian and Central Asian recipes, Dahlia uses commonly available substitutes - cranberries for barberries, for example, although you will find one that calls for limoo Omani - dried limes). Gorgeous full-color photos illustrate about half of the recipes. There are step-by-step photos for some of the techniques, making "Silk Road Vegetarian" approachable by any level of cook.
"Silk Road Vegetarian" has given me many new quick and healthy recipes that can be assembled even on a hectic weeknight, and the exotic spices will transport your taste buds. I loved the section on preserving and freezing fruits and veggies, as all too often I found myself throwing away perfectly good produce. This is a perfect cookbook for one who is new to vegetarian / vegan cooking as the clear instructions (particularly for washing and soaking the various types of rice and the guide to preserving fruits and veggies) and step-by-step photos make it easy to follow along.
(Review copy courtesy of the author)