I'm surprised that there aren't more reviews for this wonderful book. I am a new vegetarian and my husband and I have been less than impressed with a lot of the veg cookbooks we've tried so far. This one really does deliver great flavor and wide variety without getting too wrapped up in exotic or hard to find ingredients. My picky hubby gets *filled up* on these meals and even gobbles up the leftovers! The other thing I like is that the recipes are well-explained with simple down-to-earth instructions and there's a nice smattering of Mr. Brown's sense of humor and Zen observations throughout. Even if you never try a single recipe, it's a pleasant read.
So why 4 stars instead of 5? I have two minor complaints about the book.
Firstly, it's apparent that many recipes are conversions from much larger portions. After all, the original recipes were meant to feed a whole retreat's worth of folks. Sometimes the amounts in the ingredients lists are a bit off - nothing that destroys the recipe, but they do take a bit of tweaking to make right. Not all the recipes have this problem. On the upside, most of the recipes are very flexible so you can change the ingredients quite a bit to suit your taste or whatever veggies you have on hand. (He gives many suggestions of substitutions if you're not feeling daring enough to try your own.)
Secondly, he must really like "sour" as a flavor. There is a lot of vinegar usage in this book, many vinaigrettes, and several recipes that can best be described as pungent. If that's your thing, you will be very happy with this book! If not, don't automatically dismiss it. For one, there are other recipes here that are more than worth the cost of the book and secondly, you might just surprise yourself! We tried both the "Cumin Cheese and Onion Tart" and "Mustard Butter Pasta with Broccoli" and went into both meals with a LOT of skepticism - but they're awesome! They're both now regular favorites.
Even if you aren't a vegetarian, I highly recommend this book. It will add great flavor and variety to your cooking repertoire. :-)