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Simple Vegetarian Pleasures Paperback – May 3, 2000
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It would appear that the idea underlying Simple Vegetarian Pleasures is vegetarian food that doesn't require a great deal of labor to deliver big flavors--"simple" as in "not too much trouble." Lemlin also alludes to the simplicity movement, where simple means cutting back to what's really important, gaining both time and quality of life. If one has actually embraced the simplicity movement and has the time and ambience, it remains unclear why there's so little time available to give to the preparation and eating of food, one of the more important elements of daily life.
Ignoring all the simplicity stuff, however, leaves the cook with a cookbook filled with recipes pulling on the flavors of all corners of the world. Fill your pantry according to the master plan, shop wisely, plan ahead, and have at it. This is vegetarian cooking of a sophisticated kitchen and palate (using "sophisticated" in the title would presumably scare off anyone not inclined to struggle with food). Many of the recipes could fall out of cookbooks of various ethnic origins where a mainly vegetarian diet is the rule rather than the exception.
What this book really helps us do is move beyond the notion of vegetarianism as just so much brown rice, ragg socks, hairy legs, and save the whales. That is, Simple Vegetarian Pleasures moves right to the heart of cuisine, of food with soul, and makes the absence of meat an insignificant thing. It's that simple.
Ultimately, that it is simple, and that it is vegetarian, means a lot less than that it is exceedingly pleasurable. Enjoy these lush recipes. --Schuyler Ingle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Lemlin (Main-Course Vegetarian Pleasures; Quick Vegetarian Pleasures) adds to her meat-free oeuvre with this unpretentious repertoire of quick-to-prepare vegetarian dishes. Without precisely defining "simple," Lemlin uses her introduction to give suggestions for stocking a pantry and a brief rundown on vegetarian nutrition. Recipes are fairly basic, although special touches enliven Mesclun Salad with Dried Apricots and Spiced Nuts; Beer Pizza (the brew's in the crust) and Coconut Lime Rice. Innovative approaches evidenced in such recipes as Tiny Eggplant Turnovers (thin slices of eggplant folded like ravioli around a goat cheese filling) accompany standards along the lines of Kale, Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup; Black Bean and Red Onion Burgers; and Macaroni and Cheese. Chapters like the one on tofu and tempeh dishes (Marinated Fried Tofu and Vegetable Salad with Mesclun, Baked Tofu and Mushrooms Hoisin, Garlicky Tempeh and Potato Ragout) open with useful tips (buy sealed tofu, because the loose variety is a breeding ground for bacteria). The chapter of breakfast recipes and that titled Pizzas, Burgers, Sandwiches, Quesadillas, Etc. brim with good ideas. Lemlin's refreshing, no-nonsense, unproselytizing attitude inspires.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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When I received the book and looked through the recipes, I must admit I was a bit disheartened. The recipes seemed too simple to be enjoyable.
I was wrong. Despite the simplicity, the recipes tasted great! The author seems to know which ingredients work well together, and what quantities to use for maximum flavour.
I am a person that never seems to have the right ingredients on hand to cook a good meal, and the things that I do have - I never use! Somehow with this book, I seem to have most things on hand! I think I will be trying out the other books.
I have prepared about ten of the recipes from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures, and all were fantastic. Some I have made more than once. I never think of this as a vegetarian diet, but instead as great food. Lemlin is probably the most approachable cookbook writer who understands the limits of time, energy and ingredient availability without sacrificing the desire to eat well and enjoy it!