Mollie Katzen was my first introduction into vegetarian cooking. Her Moosewood cookbooks were so loved and well used. I am not a vegetarian, but I love vegetables, and I love to cook. Mollie Katzen's philosophy of cooking, unfussy food, simply cooked, maximally flavored, and embracing as many plant components as possible, is akin to my heart.
First of all, Mollie has not changed much, except to lighten her food, spice it up, lose a lot of the butter and cheese and to make the foods she loves more flavorful and delicious. She has organized this new cookbook to maximize it's usefulness. She has an introductory chapter to further explore and explain her philosophy of cooking and to give us a peek into her kitchen. The kind f oils she uses, mostly olive and she has helpful hints about storing the oils and when to use them. Her tools, knives, cutting boards, zesters, peelers, tongs, scissors. The really useful info that we need for our use in our kitchens. And, then we are given 20 vegetarian menus and 15 vegan menus. A year round myriad of menus.
And, then, Mollie covers the food. Eleven chapters devoted to the foods she loves. From soups, salads, stews, cozy mashes, ( love this chapter), rice and grains, pasta and Asian noodles, suppers from the oven, burgers and savory pancakes, vegetables, sauces, vinaigrettes, and toppings, and finally desserts. I have had time to try two of the recipes, and they were so good! My family loves macaroni and cheese, so, I made the Roasted Cauliflower, and Mac And Cheese. This could be one of my all time favorites. Does not take too much time and is the most delicious of foods, a sure hit in my family. The second recipe is Fruit Studded Madeline Cake with fresh blueberries. Very simple with marvelous flavor, and the fresh fruits that are in season now, will uplift this cake to magnificence. I intend to try more recipes, bountiful fruits and vegetables are overflowing from farm stands. What a terrific time to receive this cookbook!
The one complaint I have in this 440 page cookbook, is that the pictures are all done in black and white. This does not distract from the cookbook, per say, but colorful pictures would be a real plus. None the less, I am absolutely fascinated and excited by this new cookbook from Mollie Katzen. She is a true mentor of mine.
Recommended. prisrob 04-01-16
Through this rather large book the author promises to redefine vegetarian recipes for a whole new generation. A broad promise, to be sure and something that perhaps this meat eater might not fully appreciate...?
Certainly vegetarianism can have a bit of a poor reputation, if only through tired-old preconceptions about the relative boring selection of recipes that invariably are to be found. So anything that shows that even vegetarians can have interesting, exciting, tasty and varied food must be a good thing. Matters start with a series of introductions and overviews that are informative, not patronising and neither shouting about the benefits of vegetarianism. You are either sold on the idea or not. Take it or leave it. Yet with a book like this even the most devout meat eater will find some things to add to their list of favourite dishes.
As you would expect the recipes are split into typical chapters such as soups, rice and grains, vegetables and desserts, each chapter beginning with a list of recipes and corresponding page numbers and an informal overview or observations. The design of the book is quite low key, spacious, clearly signposted and unfussy - you tend to notice that you focus on the recipes, immersed and spoilt by the sheer range and selection and that is the sign of a good book. Can vegetarian food really be so diverse? Yes it can is the clear, unambiguous answer and whilst this reviewer is not planning to give up meat in a hurry, there is a very long "shortlist" of recipes to try over time.
It is frustratingly annoying that this book has quite a few little niggles: the lack of a clear estimated preparation and cooking times, the use of sole U.S. measures and not every recipe has its own photograph. If this was a lesser book you might have not noticed these little things so much but when you have an otherwise perfect thing in front of you ANY imperfection is more visible, more magnified.
This pre-release review copy did not feature an index or any appendices so no opinion can be given as to them but one hopes that the list of recipes is very detailed. You need it with this book, that is for sure.
on 3 June 2015
Mollie Katzen has been a favourite for many years but she has honed her skills, reducing the butter and cheese in her delicious vegetarian recipes. This book is loaded with creative, beautiful, delicious, health-conscious recipes, using a variety of real food ingredients. High quality eating!