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Passionate Vegetarian [Paperback]

Crescent Dragonwagon
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 15.05 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 May 2003
Introducing a new voice in vegetarian coking. Packed with 1000 recipes that are seductive, sexy and utterly delicious, Crescent Dragonwagon's PASSIONATE VEGETARIAN covers all the bases of meatless cooking, from east (Stir Fry of Asparagus with Black Bean-Ginger Sauce), west (Talk of the Town Barbecued Tofu), from the Mediterranean (Swiss Chard with Raisins, Onions & Olives) to the American South (Black-Eyed Pea Ragout). PASSIONATE VEGETARIAN employs innovative methods and introduces lesser-known ingredients. Opinionated, passionate and deeply personal Crescent Dragonwagon's tantalizing headlines will have readers rushing to the kitchen to start cooking.

Product details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing (30 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563057115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563057113
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 20.3 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,200,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Does not skimp on information 5 Oct 2003
This book is well laid out with every thing from dietary information to cooking time. This book has tables and sketches for just about everything vegetarian. Included is a comprehensive index. There are a lot of items here that took me hours to find searching through the cook and diet library.

With 1120 pages it would be cumbersome to describe the many items and variations. Therefore I will narrow it to beans. Big warning Hold the salt until after they are cooked tender, as they will toughen the skins.

Other items are subjective. She says a traditional use for pinto beans is in Texas chili. Everyone knows you do not put beans in real chili.

It may be suggested that some items may be rare or expensive. This is much better than having two pages dedicated to beans, rice, and water. The recipe is not written in stone and I often make adjustment to taste and to adjust to sugar free cooking. I usually by my ingredients in a whole foods or organic store anyway so cost and availability is negligible. In any event this does not distract form a well-written book that tries to leave nothing out.

Again time availability has nothing to do with the recopies in this book. I take time on the weekend to cook enough for lunches and quick dinners. Can you say freezer? Many times it take time for the elements to homogenize.

Bottom line is this book is essential to any cooking repertoire.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very comprehensive book 1 Mar 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
UK readers should not be put off by the 'in your face' cover or by her name CD writes both cookery and childrens books (around 50 published!). It is in fact her real name - changed when she was sixteen. I have many vegetarian cookery books and I cannot emphasise how much I use this book and I've had it for years. It's big, covers anything you might wish to know about vegetarian cookery with plenty of options for vegans. She ran an Inn for many years and the book features numerous menus with a lot of suggestions for time saving and simplifying things in the kitchen. It's an absolute bargain for the price, I wish I could get it in hardback here as mine is definitely showing signs of a 'well loved' cookery book. Useful, practical and highly recommended. I also have two other books by CD, both of which I use regularly.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute nonsense 3 May 2010
By S. Wood
I have no idea why the person who bought me this book thinks that because I'm a vegetarian I must be a new age hippy who needs tips on 'living fearlessly'. Or that I have hours to trawl around shops looking for the ridiculous ingredients listed in this book. I'm sorry Ms Dragonwagon (or can I call you Crescent? Hey, who cares it's not like it's your real name. I might as well call you moonbeam shinebucket for all you care), but this book is ridiculous from start to finish. I actually suspect the writer made up a lot of these ingredients for laughs. Avoid at all costs if a) you like eating and b) you like cooking.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  104 reviews
77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid memorial to the rich culinary life 5 Dec 2002
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Passionate Vegetarian: More Than 1,000 Robust Recipes With Notes On Cooking, Eating, Loving, And Living Fearlessly is one of those ''bible" type of vegetarian cookbooks that contains so much more than recipes that it is almost an invitation to live, or to live more fully. Almost overwhelming in its 1000 plus pages, it is dauntlessly studded with jewel-like recipes within recipes for special sauces, seasonings, condiments and exotic blends.
Author/creator Crescent Dragonwagon is the famed Vegetarian chef and owner of the former celebrated Bed and Breakfast establishment Dairy Hollow Inn in Eureka, Missouri. Though it is now a writer's retreat, many remember fondly the days of its other operation which saw the evolution of many of the succulent recipes contained in Passionate Vegetarian. I never was lucky enough to be a guest there, but I had a friend who did with her husband and never stopped raving about the place and the food.
Chock full of delicious vegetarian classic recipes, Passionate Vegetarian is that wonderful composite, a cookbook designed to educate. Though you might be looking for, say, the definitive recipe for a garbanzo bean stew, when you arrive at the recipe entitled "Spice-Market Melange of Chickpeas and Cauliflower" in the chapter entitled "A Bountiful Bowl of Beans," you absolutely cannot help reading page after page about "Bean Diversity, ""Beans and Grains," "The Three Sisters (beans, corn and squash)," and more. Divided into fifteen exciting chapters, each crammed with scrumptious recipes and suggestions, Passionate Vegetarian covers all things vegetarian from hors d'oeuvres, to soups, stews, savory cobblers, wraps, beans, soyfoods, savory cakes, burgers and patties, to sauces, salsas and seasonings. And of course the grand finale of Just Desserts contains such gems as Triple-Caress Moch Chocolate Chip Cookies, Hazelnut Biscotti, and Ginger Sorbet. However my absolute favorite new recipe that I tried and fought with my husband over the division of was Roasty-Toasty Jerusalem Artichokes, a simple recipe made with Jerusalem artichokes, vegetable oil, and tamari sauce. Clearly, Chef Dragonwagon is unafraid of simple combinations and doing more with less, as well as complex and palate- teasing adventurous dishes, for which she must be justifiably famous. I really cannot rave enough about this cookbook.
It is a classic, a "must-have", and destined to become a favorite of vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. It is all the more enriched by the author's marvelous sense of humour and her willingness to share her history. I am very sorry to learn of the sudden death of her husband Ned November 30, 2000. Passionate Vegetarian stands as a splendid memorial to the rich culinary life they shared as vegetarians.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Vegetarian Cookbook Ever 5 Mar 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a must for every vegetarian (and vegan, too) out there who spends time in the kitchen wondering what to do about the next meal. I am not a total vegetarian and, to be honest, I tend to be a very lazy cook, but the recipes in "The Passionate Vegetarian" are clear and simple enough for even someone like me to follow...and the taste rewards are enormous. Crescent Dragonwagon has convinced me that I don't have to rely on a rather bland diet to eat meatless meals, and she has dishes here that stack up better than anything I've enjoyed at the homes of great vegetarian cooks and the best vegetarian restaurants. I am kind of a picky eater, but there is so much in this golconda of vegetarian delights that I could probably eat these meals the rest of my life. This book has made a great gift for my vegetarian friends and relatives (hint: if you give this to them, they will cook up some of Crescent's delights for you!). Try the sweet potatoes with Grand Mariner in orange cups and you'll never forget it. The cabbage/apple kugel is to die for, as is the deviled corn and tomato pudding. If I were rich enough to hire a full-time cook, this is the one cookbook I'd give to that person. For vegetarians, a must -- for everyone who loves food, it's also wonderful. And the author's wry and profound reflections on life are an added bonus. Great writing, great cooking and great eating!
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destined to Become THE Cookbook of the 21st Century 15 Nov 2002
By Poet in the City - Published on Amazon.com
Vegetarian diets are becoming more popular as nutritional concerns arise and environmental awareness increases, and vegetarian cookbooks are a perfect gift for anyone who has a new domicile or simply loves to eat. In fact, Crescent Dragonwagon has crafted a cookbook so generous and intriguing that I think it would inspire anyone to roll up their sleeves and create a meal. Vegetarian meals are not for vegetarians only anymore!
Dragonwagon takes into account the time and budgetary constraints under which the typical reader may be living and gives wonderful suggestions about how making a little extra of one recipe will be such a time-saver when creating a new dish later in the week. She gives all kinds of anecdotal information about the recipes. I am reading the book cover-to-cover, honestly, because it's so interesting and fun. It conveniently stays flat while you're cooking from it, too-- amazing that all cookbook publishers haven't caught on to this trick yet.
This is the most accessible cookbook I have ever read, and at over 1100 pages and 1000+ recipes, the cover price is an incredible bargain. I predict that The Passionate Vegetarian will become the cooking tome passed from generation to generation and will have a venerated place in kitchens all over the world.
62 of 67 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed if comprehensive 29 July 2005
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First the pros: She certainly has passion, and totally covers every possible grain, and ingredient with Asian, Italian, American influences. She also does a great job of suggesting alternative ingredients and substitutions, which is nice, since while northern california is pretty good about finding every ingredient under the sun, she still does use a fair number of ingredients that are local to her eastern location.

I really like reading it, but here is the con, I've tried two recipes, and both were disasters because of flawed cooking techniques. I've practically cooked my way through say Deborah Madison's or Mollie Katzen's or even Jamuna Devi's cookbooks for e.g. and while some recipes may be challenging and require hours of prep, I have never been left with raw, dry inedible casseroles etc. Which happened to me with a gratin recipe. As I prepared it according to her very much eyeballed measures I was concerned because most I've made in the past required more fluids or blanching to precook, and sure enough the results were off.

Similarly, another recipe I made also did not have good results, so I have now relegated this to least used category, and merely use it if no other cookbook I own has any suggestions for some really exotic grain or vegetable. Happens maybe once a year when you have deborah madison, alice waters, etc to look up first. I would cook/try a recipe from any one of the other mentioned authors in my review for the first time, for company, but will never trust this cookbook again to that extent.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glorious, must-have book; a joy to cook from & read 21 Oct 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
With this exuberant, deeply felt, beautifully written work, I think Crescent Dragonwagon has reinvented the cookbook! While PASSIONATE VEGETARIAN is filled with recipes that will make you want to get into the kitchen immediately, it's also personal, funny, joyful, sad, full of dimension and color --- a vivid slice of life itself, as told through and in food. You feel the author as a friendly, reassuring kitchen presence: knowledgeable but gentle, careful to explain but taking time to laugh with you, swap stories, and enjoy every step of the way. Delicious (the artichoke-lima bean stew with lemon and garlic is on my must-make list; I've already tried her divine tempeh-broccoli-mushroom stroganoff, quick but irresistible Garlic Spaghetti, and fabulous "Killed Lettuce Salad," with hot sauteed mushrooms), it's also diverse (curries, chillies, lasagnas, Asian dishes, great appetizers and desserts), and definitive (info on every grain, every vegetable, every bean as well as an amazing trove of well-researched culinary information). Astonishing! It would be worth purchasing at almost any price, but at a 1000-plus pages (they say 800-something pages here, but it's longer)...[and this price](much less at amazon) it is a bargain... as well as the book everyone, vegetarian and otherwise, is getting from me for Christmas! For just as it reinvents the cookbook, making it literature as much as how-to (though excellent how-to it certainly is, in every recipe's clearly detailed instructions) it also rethinks vegetarianism, making it take its rightful place as a distinct and global cuisine, not just healthful or an "ism". Vibrantly flavored, this book has every color of the palette and palate. It is indeed passionate: also playful,intimate, full of life, and something anyone who appreciates good food would love. A joy to cook from, eat from, and read, its food and words will nourish the body, mind, heart and soul.
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