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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious! Perfect for vegetarians who love Greek food., 7 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Greek Vegetarian (Hardcover)
Being a vegetarian in Greece, or in most Greek restaurants in America, is no easy task. One can eat stuffed tomatoes only so many times! Fortunately, even Greek dishes with meat are usually chock full of veggies, so the conversion to meatless is nicely accomplished by the author of this book. You'll find all the wonderful classics, like pastitsio and souvlaki, as well as many less well-known dishes, all meatless. I also like Ms. Kochilas' healthy attitude that tabulating every last calorie and fat gram in a recipe is silly - just prepare it in all its glory and eat a reasonable portion, and you'll be fine. (You'll realize the wisdom of this if you're ever in Greece, where you'll notice how trim everyone is, despite their habit of eating all sorts of foods swimming in olive oil.) The recipes here are authentic and deliciously satisfying. Oh, and the photos make my mouth water!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful find!, 13 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Greek Vegetarian (Hardcover)
For those who think vegetarian equals deprivation, they need only pick up this book to find that meat is not always necessary for rich, delicious meals. Many of the recipes require only a few ingredients, and none are difficult to prepare, so this is excellent for those just beginning to cook or interested in trying out a meatless diet. Most definitely worth adding to any cookbook collection
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to be vegetarian to enjoy this, 11 Jun. 2010
By 
Carole (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Greek Vegetarian (Paperback)
We don't see a lot of vegetable dishes while on holiday in Greece other than salads and stuffed vegetables so I bought this book to see what the Greeks eat at home. The range of dishes is good and there is a lot of information about traditional Greek cooking and the ingredients used. Everything I have cooked has turned out well and I could happily cut out meat while working my way through the recipes. Like a lot of Greek receipe books the quantities given provide very large portions!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best veggie books around, 28 May 2010
By 
N. Page - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Greek Vegetarian (Paperback)
One of the best veggie cook books around this has lots of quick and easy dishes that are bursting with flavour. I'm glad it seems to be back in circulation. It's been a present for many a person and when all else fails to entice me with food, this does the trick. In fact it's been used so much I may have to buy myself another one, as my own copy is falling apart. And if you want to wow friends with easy-going but dead tasty food, then this hits the mark.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Greek dishes for the veggie at home, 20 Oct. 2012
By 
This review is from: The Greek Vegetarian (Paperback)
I love the Mediterranean style of eating - with a big variety of tastes, textures and when lots of vegetables are involved colours too. As a vegetarian I've found eating out in Greece fairly easy because of the wide choice of veggie mezes. I have a lot of cookery books and several with Greek cooking as a theme. This one is far and away the best of those and indeed one of my top choices for ideas overall.

For a bigger party you will find plenty of choice here (I once catered for 20 for lunch mainly from this book and hardly anyone noticed they had not been presented with any meat or fish). For a quick meal, you can easily select some simple but tasty dishes to make.

I love recipes such as the carrot tzatziki which not only is an different twist on the classic, but by following the instructions I made my first successful yoghurt dip (without it going too runny). The pumpkin patties are another favourite and there are some lovely rice salads as well as plenty of tasty suggestions for pulses eg the fava with sun dried tomatoes (oh what a difference from the stodgy splodges from the early days of veggie cooking). Roasted beetroot and especially the beet and apple salad are great if you are a fan of that root and the stuffed tomatoes go down a treat. Just try it for yourself!
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very tasty recipes - but not traditional, 1 Dec. 2010
This review is from: The Greek Vegetarian (Paperback)
Diane Kochilas, an American of Greek origin who didn't grow up in Greece (I understand she came to live here as an adult), and has written many books about Greek cuisine, has done a good job with her recipes, but it's still obvious that she's a Greek from abroad. As, this is not only a cookbook, it also contains extensive information on Greek cookery, that's why I'm so sorry that the information in this book, while trying to be comprehensive, contains so many mistakes, some of them just funny, others more important, as they will lead the readers to false assumptions.
For instance, see page 3 of the book's introduction:
"Only recently have Greeks gained the dubious title of biggest meat eaters in Europe, and even then all they did, according to the author, was make their plates bigger for the added meat. They still eat a diet rich in vegetables. Always have; always will."
Not true. Traditionally Greeks didn't eat lots of meat because of poverty, not because of choice. Whenever they could, they did. Some couldn't more than twice a year, or once a week, but it was considered the best thing to offer if you had an honoured guest. There is no tradition of vegetarianism here. And I know some men that say that vegetables are for women, meat is man food. And, while it is true that even middle class families before WW2 ate meat or chicken only on Sundays and fish on Fridays, leaving all the days as vegetarian or semi-vegetarian, now I know many people who need meat on every meal and if they don't eat it, they felt they "haven't eaten".
The author also states (on page 1 of the introduction) that "even today, when meat is no longer considered a luxury, it often plays a subordinate role, combined (in small portions) with greens or beans or other vegetables." Again, not true at all. Ask my son what there was on offer in summer camp, and how he had to survive on milk and muesli he had brought along, so the other children gave him the sobriquet "muesli" (he never went to a summer camp again, and I wonder what he'll do in the army for food)!
Just go to any eatery in Greece, and see the options you have as a vegetarian: beans, French fries, salad, horta, maybe if you're lucky some stuffed vine-leaves and tomatoes (often these too are with mince meat). And women, who don't want to get fat, don't eat meat in addition to other things, they eat it alone, with some lettuce.

Let's go on.
The author says that ancient Greeks made bread with baking powder, or that Greeks make generous use of spices like cinnamon, cloves and allspice in sauces and other savory dishes. In reality, Greeks use mostly herbs and very little spices. Those particular spices are used in some dishes from Asia Minor (they came after the burning down of Smyrna by the Turks in 1922 and the subsequent exodus of the populations to mainland Greece), but mostly in sweets.
She says that "filotimo" (literally "love of honour", but meaning more generally sense of honour/justice/dignity/duty) means "sense of hospitality" which in Greek is not "filotimo" but "filoxenia" (the world "xenos" meaning "stranger", so filoxenia was a loving way to treat strangers). OK, so she doesn't even understand the Greek language correctly? Not a crime, of course, but she should have looked it up.
At the end of the book, there are measurement conversions. She states that drams are "a measure still used in Greece". WHAT????? Look it up in the Greek wikipedia site, it says it was abolished in 1959. Who on earth was she talking with?

But all of this, irritating as it is, for a self-proclaimed expert on Greek cuisine, is not the most important part. The most important part in a cookbook are the recipes. Let's come to them. Here things get better, because you'll find many treasures here, things that taste delicious.
But if you think that by trying them out you're learning to cook traditional Greek dishes, you might be wrong.

There are some traditional ones but many (most) are INSPIRED - as the title says - by Greek cuisine, not traditional. Some come from the author's friends. Some she has tasted at modern creative restaurants. You know, the ones which combine traditional ingredients in new ways and make unusual combinations, sometimes with excellent results, sometimes not. Greece is now full of these. Don't get me wrong. No big deal if a recipe isn't traditional, as long as it's tasty. And at least the author honestly acknowledges it. I'm pointing it out just to set the record straight, because so many reviewers seem to have overlooked it.
For instance, the first recipe you'll find are "Pickled Brussels Sprouts" (unknown to Greece until a couple of decades ago). Then you have "Spicy Lentil and Wild Rice salad" and then "Ziti with cranberry beans and celery". Again wild rice is an imported delicatessen item, not a Greek food. Same for cranberry beans. I would never know where to find them in Greece. They might be available in some specialist place or health food store, but surely not your local supermarket or vegetable market. Otherwise, the recipe is fine.
On page 52, she advises to substitute Cretan graviera cheese with Gruyere or Emmenthaler. Absolutely not. The name might be the same, but Greek graviera is a lot harder and saltier. Not as much as Parmesan, but still salty. (Maybe a Caciotta? I don't know - but she should.)

To conclude this:
There are some really wonderful recipes in this book, and it's strongly recommended that you try them out. The book is worth buying, but not if it must be your only Greek cookery reference. Use it and enjoy it. Just don't take the book as your Bible as far as the information goes, and don't think that this is all traditional Greek fare.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vegetarian in Greece, 10 Jun. 2011
This review is from: The Greek Vegetarian (Paperback)
I think this is an excellent book! It's well illustrated and easy to follow recipes have given great results everytime. I live in Greece and most of the recipes seem to have been presented to me at various houses and restaurants without being labelled 'vegetarian' since most of the older Greeks that I know eat meat infrequently at home.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous recipes, 9 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: The Greek Vegetarian (Paperback)
I love Greek food and this is the best recipe book for Greek Vegetarian food. I love the way it's laid out and can't wait to try out some of the recipes. The only thing that prevented a 5 star review was having to anglicise several ingredients and some ingredients are a little hard to source in the UK. Regardless, this is a beautiful book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greek Vegetarian, 9 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The Greek Vegetarian (Hardcover)
The book did not have the cover when it arrived, but i was able to scan a copy of the cover as my brother has the book too. Other wise the book was in very good condition and we have tried some of the recipes and they have been lovely. Lots of information also included.
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The Greek Vegetarian
The Greek Vegetarian by Diane Kochilas (Paperback - 15 July 1999)
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