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The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook (Non) Paperback – February 6, 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anyone who thinks that they could never give up meat will find true enlightenment in The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook. Eating vegetarian does not mean giving up hearty, filling, and, most importantly, deliciously satisfying food. Vegetarian cuisine is not often associated with indulgence, but in this book food writer, chef, and cooking instructor Robin Robertson provides recipes for hearty, soul-satisfying--yet surprisingly elegant--dishes that will entice vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike. Hoisin Eggplant Balls are a rich and flavorful appetizer, replacing that old standby, the chafing dish of little meatballs. In Compari-Scented Vegetable Stew with Fennel and Orange Zest, cured olives and chickpeas provide a substantial backdrop for a heavenly mingling of the more delicate flavors, resulting in an intense and sophisticated entrée. Ginger-Sesame-Glazed Portobello Steaks over Wasabi Mashers relies on an aromatic marinade to add complexity to these "meaty" mushrooms. Familiar comfort foods are also well represented: Mushroom Barley Soup, Flaky Potpie, Layered Vegetable Lasagne, and more. Even the most elegant recipes in the book are surprisingly easy to prepare, and each offers the many advantages of a vegetarian diet without depriving anyone of their beloved indulgences. --Robin Donovan

From Publishers Weekly

Robertson is out to seduce unrepentant carnivores with vegetarian dishes that satisfy those essential animal-fat qualities: intense flavor, luxurious texture, and the comforting sensation of a full stomach. She devotes a whole chapter to "steaks" and another to "stews," making abundant use of high-protein products like tempeh, seitan and tofu. She also relies heavily on ingredients high in natural flavor-enhancing glutamates, like mushroom and tomatoes. Robertson is hearteningly forthright about the limitations of vegetarian cuisine: "I won't try to tell you that grilled tofu can taste like filet mignon. It's not going to happen." Still, in general she ratchets taste up a notch higher and a step further away from the steamed, seasoning-free non-cuisine that once was American vegetarianism. Some are based on the classic ginger-garlic-soy sauce building blocks of Chinese cooking (e.g., Shiitake-Stuffed Tofu Steaks with Hoisin Glaze). She freely borrows high-voltage ingredients from Latin cuisine (Chipotle-Avocado Dip) and Southeast Asian (Wheat-Meat Satays with spicy Peanut Sauce). There's an occasional nod to French cuisine ("Fauxscargots") and New American (Balsamic-Glazed Stuffed Mushrooms, Roasted Red Pepper and Potato Napoleons). Attempting to keep things simple, Robertson sometimes overeconomizes on instructions; anyone making homemade seitan should be warned about the soupy, wrong-looking mess you get halfway through the process. But none are irreparable and most deliver the promised punch. Robertson's easygoing attitude readily beats a path to the heart through the taste buds, and even the most stalwart carnivores will likely find themselves enjoying the ride despite themselves.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Non
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press; 1st edition (February 6, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558322051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558322059
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #627,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a meat eater and lover, I enjoy using this cookbook to prepare meals without meat about once or twice a week. Its clever use of the word "meat" in its title grabbed my attention in the bookstore, and its 275 recipes promises a wide variety of experimentation in the kitchen. Roberston uses a lot of tofu and eggplant as substitutes to meat. Prior to reading this book, I ate eggplant about twice a year, always breaded, fried, and fattening. You had to cover my fried eggplant in Louisiana hot sauce to make it edible. As for tofu, I ate it occasionally, sliced, fried and boring, and usually found it rather tasteless and rubbery. Robertson has rescued me from both of these self-inflicted culinary disasters.

The derivation of Robertson's recipes are Asian, Chinese, French, Latin, and what is now becoming known as "New American." She uses ginger, garlic, and sot sauce as the base for many recipes, and teaches you how to cleverly turn mushrooms, green beans, and eggplant into some pretty good meat type dishes. I eat meat because it makes my feel satiated-that is, I enjoy the flavor and texture of meat, and the fat tells my stomach I have eaten. Vegetables can be disappointing in all three of these important aspects of eating. But, I have to honestly say, with Robertson's help, my argument for eating meat is weakened. I'm working against generations of cultural conditioning relevant to my insistence on eating meat, and with Robertson's help, I hope to one day free myself from its shackles. Time and experimenting with Robertson's recipes will tell.

One of the best aspects of this book is the simple ingredients contained in the recipes. I live in bit of a provincial type town, where exotic vegetables and spices are hard to come by. I'm not a chef either, but found the instructions fairly easy to follow. I recommend you add this book to your collection.
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Format: Paperback
I am not a vegetarian, but my fiance is and I'm not complaining! I certainly eat a lot more vegetables now than ever before and if I can just get the tendency to overdose on carbs under control, all will be well. But another great thing is that I have the opportunity to explore a whole new world of cooking, one of my favorite hobbies.
As such, I've bought several vegetarian cookbooks in recent months-- I found recipes that I like in all of them, but by far, my favorite is The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook. Time after time, I picks something out of this book and give it a shot and it turns out delicious. Usually I have whatever it calls for in the cupboard-- not a whole lot of fancy things required here. The meals are normal, filling and feel like nothing special. That may sound bad, but it's not. Sometimes it's nice to just have everyday dinner without thinking about how vegetarian it is. This book is a great one for the non-gourmet vegetarian. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes is possibly the best ever book written for people wanting to go vegetarian, but still hunkering for meat and potatoes, and also for vegetarians, who want to turn their meat-eating friends on to the vegetarian lifestyle.
After serving Robertson's recipes at several dinner parties, everyone always exclaims that they didn't know that vegetarian/vegan food could be so delicious. In this era where viruses, bacteria and God knows what lurks around every corner, going vegetarian/vegan is no longer a possible choice. It's the only choice to help keep those little bugs at bay. And where better to begin than with this wonderful guide to a new lifestyle success. If you are vegetarian/vegan, buy this book for yourself, and buy it to give those you love, who haven't yet made the change.
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Format: Paperback
I have been a vegetarian for 10 years. In that time, I have collected several vegetarian cookbooks and scoured hundreds of websites, most of which only contain a few recipes that I actually like. The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook is by far the most valuable cookbook I have ever purchased. I continue to try new appetizing, filling recipes that become part of my regular repotoire.

At first I found the cookbook a bit disappointing because it seemed to have so many "exotic" ingredients. I was expecting more home-style American food, wheras this book contains numerous Asian, Indian, etc inspired recipes. But then I tried some of the recipes, and realized their brilliance. This isn't comfort food because it's always the traditional American foods you grew up with, although it does have some recipes like that. It's comfort food because of the filling textures and flavors, that unlike plates of steamed vegetables, leave you satisfied.

I have tried around 30-40 of the recipes in this book, and loved most of them. This is the one cookbook I TRUST is not going to give me flavorless rabbit food. Yes, there is a salad chapter, which I really have not speant that much time on, but the many other recipes are totally worth the price of this book.

The only real flaws are the difficulty of finding some of the ingredients, particularly exotic spices or vegetables that can only be found at an [Insert Ethnicity] grocer or a "well stocked grocery store." At best, I might be able to find them 45 minutes away at the nearest Whole Foods. Soemtimes I just end up substituting, and the results aren't always great.

Also, the recipes are invariably hugely time consuming to make. 2 hours is not uncommon. I wish she'd make a quick vegetarian meat and potatoes book because I just don't have all night on weeknights to spend cooking.
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