4 out of 5 stars
A comprehensive how-to cookbook – this is the perfect alternative to your non-vegetarian Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook or Betty Crocker Cookbook. Similar to the aforementioned classics, the most helpful parts of the cookbook are not the recipes themselves (which are relatively basic), but the cooking time charts, illustrated techniques, in-depth ingredient descriptions, serve-with lists, and many, many tips, tricks, and how-to’s between the recipes. Randomly opening the book a few times, I get: a 2-page chart on “Types of Vinegar” with columns for acidity, best uses, and substitutes; a half-page blurb on “Tips for Making Asian-Style Noodle Bowls”; and a list of “6 Simple Additions to Cooked Beans”.
My personal favorite feature of this cookbook is the Menus appendix, especially the Summer Southern-Style BBQ Dinner & Superbowl Buffet Dinner menus – two party styles that aren’t so vegetarian friendly.
One disappointment – there are no allergy-free ingredient finders or markers. If you do have food allergies, you’ll have to read through every recipe’s list of ingredients.
Recipes we tried:
Espresso Black Bean Chili – ***** - a new family favorite this makes a huge pot, perfect for make-ahead lunches. Very good the first day, fantastic the second.
Spicy Autumn Vegetable Burger - *** ½ - the first home-made veggie burger we’ve tried, this is a pretty good base recipe but it could use some adjustments. We thought it needed more flavor and some way to make it less mushy – next time we’ll try baking them first then grilling or broiling. High fiber ingredients include sweet potato, kale, and white beans –the next day we joked they should be re-named “The Easy Flow Burger”.