Customer Reviews: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
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Showing 1-10 of 34 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
Days before I happened upon this hefty tome in the store, I was complaining to a fellow vegetarian that I needed a cookbook that was organized by primary ingredient. My friend and I belong to the Good Earth Community Sponsored Agriculture farm (CSA) and had begun to get a dazzling, and sometimes puzzling, variety of vegetables each week. What, I wondered, should I DO with Swiss chard? What shall I make with the abundance of cabbage we received? What goes well with (lots of) carrots? Deborah Madison's latest book, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, answers those questions and many, many more. In addition to being full of practical information on choosing and preparing vegetables, the recipes are organized by dish in some cases, by ingredient in others. Where else would one find a section titled "Chicories?" Well-written and full of apparently well-tested recipes, this cookbook became an instant favorite on a bookshelf with upwards of 100 (nearly all) vegetarian cookbooks!
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on September 22, 2005
I have owned this book for a number of years and use it often. My very favorite recipes are

1. Ginger Cream Scones: sublime way to start your day.

2. Five Minute Beet Salad: I never ate beets until I tried this with parsely and oregano from my garden. Fabulous. Great for potlucks.

3. Millet Porridge: The first porridge I ever ate. It doesn't smell too great when it is cooking, but it is absolutely delicious. Make the effort to have currants in your pantry for this and to lightly toast your almonds before hand. Reheats nicely. This is an especially nice recipe for those who are trying to limit wheat in their diets.
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VINE VOICEon December 27, 1999
An excellent reference. The book exemplifies the California expression of cuisine which is pretty naked. If you believe the sauce is king this is not the book for you. It's spirit is simple and so are the recipes but it is an excellent one stop reference.
I have been very pleased by the book and admire the fact that it sticks to basics. Nothing annoys more than recipe books heavy on pretty pictures but skimpy on recipes or worse yet, the recipes are lifted.
Highly recommended as a reference and an emergency source for inspiration.
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on December 7, 2010
I've got the hardcover and the Kindle edition of this book. As a cook book I've found the recipes to be delicious, but many can be demanding to prepare.

Here I'd like to focus upon the Kindle edition. A possible problem is its index.

Index entries beginning with a capital letter in the Kindle index refer to main topics (like "Acorn squash"), and also to recipes with a title containing the topic word (like "Aioli(garlic mayonnaise)"). These capitalized entries are alphabetically ordered. So far, so good.

However, these true index entries are formatted as if they were sub-topics, not as main topics, so first sight is distracting.

The topics formatted as thought they were main topics actually are misformatted sub-topics of the capitalized entries. In some cases, the linked material appears unrelated to the entry; for example, the main entry "milk" appearing a few lines below the subheading "Almond(s)" links to the recipe "Winter breakfast compote", and doesn't appear to have any connection to milk. Upon paging forward a bit, however, one finds a recipe "Almond milk", indicating this index entry is actually is related to a subheading of "Almond(s)", albeit vaguely linked.

As a saving grace, on the Kindle you also can use the "Search this book" option. This option (found using the Menu button) will locate every entry corresponding to your search words, and you then can sift through them for what you really want. You can somewhat shorten the search by adding words because, although phrases are not tracked, all your key words have to appear somewhere within the four-line display of the search item.

Unfortunately, the "Search this book" option is not available if you're reading the Kindle edition on your PC.

This Kindle edition has useful linking of cross references where the author refers to another recipe inside a different recipe.

In short, the Kindle index is apparently bewildering because its entries formatted as main entries are non-alphabetical sub-entries of the capitalized items, and it doesn't correspond with the hardcover index. However, once one gets past the initial confusion, it works out OK.
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on October 1, 2012
I'm not a vegetarian, but our family is trying to cut back on our meat/poultry consumption, so I wanted a cookbook that would show me ways to make vegetables/legumes the centerpiece of our meals. Thus, I wanted to avoid cookbooks that promote the latest fad dietary restrictions and require one to digest a manifesto about the virtues of soaking grains or fermentation or agave syrup before you even get to the recipes. I didn't want a lifestyle. I wanted food.

This book delivered.

The author is not prudish about using butter and dairy or (in the cases of desserts/breads) sugar. Her recipes are filling, flavorful dishes that make me wonder why I'd spent so many years cooking dull, plain greens as side dishes and then wondering why nobody wanted to eat them.

I have two small caveats: one, she usually instructs you to add salt at the end of a recipe. In my experience this is the number one way to oversalt your food. Because the food hasn't had time to absorb the salt, you won't taste it until you've added more salt than is healthy. Adding salt at the beginning rather than the end fixes this problem. Two, she often recommends thickening stews and such with very fussy, time-consuming sauces that you must make beforehand. Adding more conventional thickeners--a bit of flour or some breadcrumbs--will usually do the trick just fine.

Also, and this is a printing error, the illustrations of my copy were not properly sewn into the binding and fell out as soon as I opened the book.
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on October 24, 2005
Cooking for vegetarians proved challenging until I found Deborah Madison' "Vegetarian Cooking". Her recipes are fairly easy to follow & result in truly delicious food. Some might find the recipes lacking in spice, but, that does'nt mean it lacks in flavour. I loved the sections covering kitchen basics & how-to's, among others. This is a great book for anyone who enjoys cooking vegetarian food.
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on February 28, 2008
This cookbook was recommended for everyone (all eaters) by the instructor at a Gourmet Retreat I recently attended at [...] in Napa (which was fabulous, btw).

I am a vegetarian and have found most veg cookbooks just too "out there" for my non-veg family and friends, and even myself. So I will say I was pleasantly surprised with this one! The instructor recommended it particularly for things like sauces, herb butters, and other little extras that can be made ahead, then frozen or stored, and used to add some quick pizazz to weekday meals.

However I have already found several great rice dishes and other things the whole family has enjoyed, both as side dishes to meat-centered meals and as main dishes.

I would consider it more of a very detailed "how to cook well" book as opposed to a veg cookbook. There is so much depth to this book I haven't even gotten through it yet.

--Highly recommended, 4-stars only because I'm one of those people that likes more pictures in my cookbooks.
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on March 6, 2009
Do buy this book if you have a lot of time to experiment, love to read, and have good upper-body strength. This is a HEAVY book! Right up there with Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian." Want to exercise, but have no weights? Problem solved with these books!
That said, Deborah Madison's book merits your attention both for its basic instructional values and for its recipes, which are at once understandable and good-tasting - usually. It is fair to say that among her seemingly endless recipes, some are - please forgive - rather bland. But hey, you do know how to spice things up, don't you? For the timid, there's great "how to" guidance, so be not afraid.
If all you want is a day-by-day recipe list, look elsewhere. But if you want to find a wealth of information about herbs, spices and food preparation, this is vegetarian cooking 101.
I thought the book might wind up either on the coffee table or in what my wife calls "cookbook hell" in the kitchen. Nope. I use it every day, and never tire of Ms. Madison's gentle persuasion. Heck, vegetables never tasted so good!
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on December 15, 2008
This vegetarian cookbook is a treasure trove of recipes! Deborah Madison emphasizes fresh ingredients and simple flavors. If you are looking for exotic recipes, lots of sauce or spices you need to look elsewhere. Deborah Madison's genius is in letting the flavors of the vegetables, grains and dairy products shine through in her recipes. I wish I had had this book when I first became vegetarian; I was put off by the often bizarre ingredients in other vegetarian cookbooks. This is book I most often pull out when non-vegetarian friends and family come over for dinner.
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on September 6, 2009
My new daughter-in-law is a vegetarian and we do love her dearly. Therefore, I have embarked on a mission of becoming adept at preparing vegetarian meals. Now hubby is a confirmed carnivore, so immediately a problem exists. But I have made a couple of things in this cookbook already and they have been delicious. And hubby thought so too. He has eaten the vegetarian dinners and HAS NOT COMPLAINED!!! That is quite a tribute to this cookbook.
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