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Entertaining for a Veggie Planet: 250 Down-to-Earth Recipes [Paperback]

Didi Emmons
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 27 2003
The queen of vegetarian hip is back! Convinced that entertaining doesn’t have to be high-stress or high-maintenance, Didi Emmons presents an alternative view: the best parties aren’t meticulously planned. Crammed with innovative ideas for delightfully informal gatherings and hundreds of globally inspired, big-flavored vegetarian recipes, Entertaining for a Veggie Planet proves that having friends over — whether for the season finale of a favorite TV show or for a book group discussion — is not only easy, it’s fun.
From dips and cold bites (Malaysian Spring Rolls) to main dishes (Shiitake Mac ’n’ Cheese), from brunch (Cardamon Blueberry Cake) to “sweet eats” (Oreo Key Lime Pie), Emmons’s dishes offer endless possibilities for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone else in search of a satisfying meal. Her creative menus (“Vegetarian Solutions to Turkey Day”) and her spirit of fun (“if you’re serving only one food, make it homemade ice cream”) will put all cooks in the mood to share.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Emmons (Vegetarian Planet) comes to the rescue for vegetarian dinner-party hosts with this guide to orchestrating intimate gatherings or large parties with food so good the guests won't notice it's meatless. Sound principles are at work here: parties exist so you can "feed people (yourself included)" and "enjoy people (yourself included)." Emmons gives tips on making dips (Greek Skordalia, Roasted Red Pepper Dip) and crudites, using salads (Green Bean-Sweet Potato Salad with Peanut Dressing, Mango Slaw) as buffet centerpieces, and buying pre-made snacks at Asian groceries. Festive touches, like beets for Pink Eggs and "Seizing" Hot Fudge Sauce (it hardens over ice cream) add creativity without hardship. There's even an ingenious "miraculously cheap wedding for fifty in ten easy steps" sidebar that includes tea sandwiches and brie with currant jelly and pecans. Even if you're just entertaining your kids, they'll enjoy Sloppy Joes and Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls. Plentiful tofu and seitan recipes will satisfy vegans. There are chapters on "intimate gatherings," brunches, pizzas, risottos, and sweets and drinks, although no comprehensive beverage chapter. Main courses like Spaghetti with Green Olive Pesto and Spinach, Crunchy Chickpea, and Hazelnut Ragout are piquant yet easy to make. With sidebars on such topics as the great Turkey day conundrum, how to make inexpensive centerpieces and how to get people to help out, this is exactly what veggie hosts need in order to plan, execute and, most importantly, enjoy their own parties.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Exactly what veggie hosts need in order to plan, execute, and most importantly, enjoy their own parties." -Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly

"...ways to make entertaining easy and fun are offered throughout. For most collections." -Library Journal. Library Journal

"Whether you are a steadfast vegetarian or simply searching for meatless alternatives, Entertaining for a Veggie Planet may inspire many of yoru holiday celebrations"--Cookbook Digest

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Commentary, Bad Recipes March 17 2004
Format:Paperback
I purchased this book several months ago, in hopes of delightful recipes even non-vegitarians would love. Since then, out of all the meals I have prepared, about 50% of them were just plain disgusting!! Some of the recipes were so bad we couldnt even choke them down, and ended up throwing them away and heading for the nearest fast food.
If you are good in the kitchen, you could probably fix some of the recipes; As, I have thought of better things I could do the next time I prepared the meal... If there ever will be a next time!
On top of the gross outcome, most of the recipes call for unusual, hard to find, ingredients. She includes a glossary that recomends where to find the strangest ingredients (usually from various ethnic markets). Living in a small town, ethnic markets are few and far between... and definatly out of the way for saturday morning shopping.
On a lighter note: She does have alot of helpful tips and comments mixed in among the recipes, which i really enjoyed (I wish every cookbook included her commentary)...
And of the recipes that were good, they were really WONDERFUL!
I think Didi Emmons relies entirely too much on her cat's taste approval for her recipes... or perhaps she has burned out her human taster's tasteing sense and thats how she was able to publish these recipes.
I guess I would only recomend this book to experienced cooks, who live in large cities with several different ethnic markets around (Indian, Asian, Latin, Middle-Eastern, Mexican, etc. etc.).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Light up your mouth flavors June 28 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a delightful cookbook which will light up your taste buds as it takes you into uncharted territory in vegetarian cooking. As the primary cook in a vegetarian household, I often find myself at a loss for new ideas, or uninspired by the typical offerings of vegetarian cookbooks. This book changes all that - I now have a wide range of possibilities that excite me, turning a chore into a fun activity.
Full disclosure here: I tested many recipes during the development of this cookbook. But I knew nothing about Didi Emmons before this testing - and with three young kids and a demanding job, I had no interest when a mutual friend suggested I might enjoy testing recipes and providing feedback. I declined, but the message was lost and a recipe was sent to me. I decided I'd try just one (Chard and Eggplant Salad with Miso-Sesame Vinaigrette). When I put a forkful of the finished product into my mouth, I was shocked to discover how good it was. This was the first of what were to be repeated experiences of finding that, in Didi's recipes, the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts - and that surprisingly good and often completely unexpected synergies develop from her recipes.
After this first test, I was hooked. I tested approximately 30 recipes over the next six months. With few exceptions, the recipes were excellent. In a remarkable number of cases, they were sublime. The "Hip Dip" always goes fast at parties. It's an edamame (green soy bean), cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, etc. mixture with a fresh and wholesome flavor. It's perfect slathered on hearty bread and cut into small sandwiches. Other must-try recipes include: Crispy Rice Cakes on Spinach with Viet Red Pepper Sauce - as visually appealing as it is delicious.
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Format:Paperback
This book is worth the price for her pan-fried tofu recipe alone. Indisputably the BEST way to prepare tofu. Even people who are confirmed tofu haters love this method.
My only minor quibble with Didi is that she (page 219) eats fish on occasion and thus considers herself a "95% vegetarian". For a vegan, the suggested use of "fish sauce" in a vegetarian recipe book is annoying. However Didi does suggest alternatives - and her recipes are fine without it.
A good friend suggested that the lone negative reviewer may have substituted some other yeast for the nutritional yeast called for in many recipes, I'm sure she's correct. Folks, there is NO substitute, you need genuine nutritional yeast (mild and cheesy) - NOT brewer's yeast (bitter), and definitely not (shudder) baker's yeast!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!! Sept. 5 2003
Format:Paperback
I had been struggling with trying to pull together a meal for relatives who are non vegetarian - pulling out lots of different cookbooks to create a feast that they'd enjoy. I still love the creative aspects of pulling out lots of different cookbooks and creating a palate of flavors but this book makes it easier to do when I'm in a pinch. It has sections on appectizers, soups, snacks, casseroles, rice/noodles, etc as well as sections such as "intimate gatherings", "memorable mornings", etc. The recipes seem to all go well together so you can mix and match while still having diversity but not having to go through a bunch of different cookbooks.
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