I hadn't done a review in a while (okay, so I haven't posted much of anything really), but I put this one up on Amazon tonight so I figured, hey why not also put it up for the lovely readers of this blog! So here ya go, just think of it as a belated Valentine's Day present :) (Maybe I could have done something more related to romance... Maybe next year.)
I've been a vegetarian for a few years now so I have a few other books on the subject, but most of the cookbooks I have are healthy cooking books that I just take the meat out of recipes for. I wish this had been out a couple years ago when I made the switch; it could have saved me time, money, and some frustration. In an age when I can look up most recipes that I want on Google, I still feel like this would still be a good investment. For now, I have it checked out from work. Because I can do that.
What I like:
There are pictures for every recipe! This really isn't a huge deal usually, but it is a really nice bonus.
The layout is easy to navigate and recipes are categorized/cross-referenced well. Plus, there's an index with recipes listed by ingredient.
I'm a pretty picky eater, but these recipes are (for the most part) not so adventurous that I won't try them. There are a few that I'm hesitant about, but they still look so good, maybe one day, I'll attempt them. The vegetables aren't limited to just a few selections, they span a wide variety. Some books tend to focus on just a few vegetables and it's nice that this one is so diverse.
There are a lot of "extras," including some basic skills needed (the different ways to cook an egg, how to prepare some of the most essential staples of vegetarian cooking - tofu, nuts, legumes, etc), stock recipes for soups and sauces, and combinations of recipes to make more complex menus. Each recipe also has a few extra tips and suggestions.
Nutrition facts are included! And not just calories and carbs, but also protein and fiber. Protein is something I struggle with at times because I don't have the patience to cook tofu, and it's more difficult for me to track in just raw vegetables, but this lets me know how much is in it right off the bat.
Things that I didn't mind, but may be important for people to know:
**This is not a vegan book.** The recipes include cheese, milk, and eggs. Invariably, there is always someone who will comment at some point that the recipes aren't vegan friendly. Take the cheese out, make it with egg substitute and soy milk. Or skip those recipes.
This isn't a raw diet book and does include tofu. I believe there are only 10-15 of these recipes though, out of 200.
It's paperback. This isn't a huge deal for me, but I know it is for a lot of people. My suggestion though, is to get some clear plastic and put it on the counter anyway. Or, if you're going to be using it for a long time, just be ready for it to get a little messy.
The words are a little small. This is probably so that they could fit the recipes and the pictures into a book this size.
Overall, this is one of the most complete, but still simple enough vegetarian books I've found thus far.