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The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet: 250 Simple Recipes and Dozens of Healthy Menus for Eating Well Every Day [Paperback]

Nava Atlas
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 19 2001
“Nava Atlas has solutions for maintaining sophisticated flavors in the dishes she creates and still manages to keep the ingredients healthy.” —Cooking Light

Eating healthfully is a challenge for those with fast-paced lives. In The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet, Nava Atlas pares meal preparation down to the essentials, using just a few high-quality ingredients in each delicious dish. Focusing on whole foods and fresh produce (with a little help from convenient natural sauces and condiments) she serves up a varied range of choices for everyday fare.
More than 250 recipes include soups, salads, and pastas; grain, bean, and soy entrees; wraps and sandwich fillings; simple side dishes; fruit-filled finales; and more. The full-flavored fare made from five ingredients or less includes Curried Red Lentil and Spinach Soup; Greek-Flavored Potato Salad; Black Bean Nachos Grandes; Baked Barbecue Tofu and Peppers; and Miniature Fresh Fruit Tarts. Filled with ingenious shortcuts and sprinkled with kitchen wisdom and tips throughout, The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet also offers the reader dozens of menu suggestions to help make meal planning effortless.
From sophisticated (Mixed Greens with Pears, Cranberries, and Goat Cheese) to kid-friendly, (Peanut Butter Noodles), here are recipes to suit every taste. Nava Atlas makes it simple for busy families or active singles to eat the kind of high-nutrient foods everyone needs and to enjoy the robust flavors everyone craves.

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If you don't get home until six or later and still need to get dinner on the table, this is the book for you. The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet pares down ingredients to their simplest and most flavorful form. "Keeping things simple takes the frantic quality--and pressure--out of preparing a meal," says author Nava Atlas. "Simplifying helps you to slow down and enjoy the process of cooking."

Atlas devotes a whole chapter to tofu and soy products, including seitan and packaged products like soy "hot dogs" and "sausage." She also has a chapter on "Rudimentary Wraps," which includes recipes for Avocado and Ricotta Soft Tacos, Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Wraps, and the ever popular Black Bean Burrito (spice them with green chiles). Pasta is a quick and easy favorite. Keep jarred sauce on hand and you have the beginnings of Pasta with Triple Red Sauce or Pasta with Olive Sauce. Serve veggie burgers on whole-grain buns with a side of Creamy Coleslaw or Baked Barbecued Tofu and Potato Kebabs for an easy weeknight meal. Or try Asian Sesame-Soy Noodles paired with Broccoli and Tofu in Peanut Sauce.

Every recipe includes a nutritional breakdown including calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, cholesterol, and sodium. Nearly every recipe has suggestions for what to pair the dish with and on what page to find it. This is an especially handy cookbook for time-crunched families. The food is easy, quick, healthy, and doesn't require great concentration to prepare. --Dana Van Nest

From Publishers Weekly

Vegetarian expert Atlas (Vegetariana and Vegetarian Express) offers a slew of simple, quick recipes, most of which make use of packaged and canned foods. A few unusual soups stand out, such as Rice, Lettuce, and Mushroom Broth, and Cold Curried Cucumber Soup made tangy with a dose of buttermilk. Salads include Chickpea Salad with Roasted Peppers, made with canned chickpeas and jarred red peppers, as well as a more upscale Warm Potato Salad with Goat Cheese. Some recipes, Pinto Beans and Corn, for instance, involve little more than warming up and stirring together the contents of various cans. Although this is not a vegan cookbook, many of its recipes do eschew butter; Ravioli or Tortellini with Sweet Potato Sauce calls for ricotta ravioli, but replaces butter or oil with nonhydrogenated margarine. Each recipe carries a suggested menu Atlas encourages readers to match Mixed Olives Pizza (made with a store-bought crust) with Corn Slaw and nutritional information. A chapter on wraps offers some nice alternatives to sandwiches, such as Eggplant Parmigiana Wraps. Desserts are fruit-based, such as Miniature Fresh Fruit Tarts made with packaged graham cracker pie shells, applesauce and yogurt. Many of Atlas's recipes are already familiar, but will be useful for beginning vegetarians, as well as for those who lead busy lives. 100 b&w illustrations. (June 19) Forecast: The Use-As-Few-Ingredients-as-Possible genre may be reaching saturation, so the title could backfire. On the other hand, Vegetariana sold more than 100,000 copies, and clearly huge numbers of health-conscious people are pressed for time, so this book stands a good chance of finding its niche.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite weeknight cookbook Nov. 21 2002
By A Customer
I disagree with the previous reviewer. Everything I've made from this book is simple but tasty. That's the point of it. I stocked my pantry according to the author's suggestions and so there is always something easy and healthy I can make for my family, even if it is 6:30 and I am already brain-dead. Because the recipes are so clear and simple, if I am in the mood and time allows, I improvise on them. That makes it fun, too. I have a lot of cookbooks but this is the only one I use during the week. Not everyone in my family is vegetarian, but they are always happy with these meals.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I bought this cookbook for my mom, a vegetarian who seems to subsist on peanut butter and crackers and vitamins. The problem is that she doesn't seem to ever have the ingredients or the time to make good vegetarian dishes. And it doesn't help that my dad, an extreme carnivoire, insists on doing all the grocery shopping. This book is genius in it's ability to provide tasty recipes with very common and very few ingredients. In fact, the author gives a sample list of things to keep your pantry and refrigerator stocked with. The recipes are so appealing that I'm tempted to become a vegetarian myself. This is a recipe book that you will actually use on a regular basis rather than letting it look pretty on your shelf. And, it's fairly inexpensive.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serviceable, Prosaic Oct. 15 2002
I don't think I was quite the right audience for this cookbook-for me, it rated a 3; but for the right person, it's a 4.
The right person for this book is seeking a way to make regular, balanced vegetarian (ovo-lacto) weeknight meals on the fly, who wants tried and true fare. Much is made of canned goods, dried herb blends, bottled salsa and salad dressings, frozen corn, and like ingredients that are easily found in supermarkets. This is strictly family food, not party impressive, with an eye on the fact that kids may be in the mix. There is little to chop, mostly there is throwing together in one pot or bowl. Menu suggestions are offered here and there, as well as basic helpful hints.
I need more originality and flavor than this book offers. The helpful hints are very basic. I appreciate the menu suggestions--I'm still learning about what goes with what in a vegetarian meal--but they were not consistently available. A different editor might have caught some inconsistencies in the text. An example: for the Split Pea and Barley Soup, there is a helpful hint on the same page on which it appears that reads something like, "Sometimes I like to add rice or barley to the Split Pea and Barley Soup (page 'x')." Well, yes, you might like to add barley since it is called for and yes, it is on page 'x', the same page you are reading at the moment. If you choose to do rice, do you substitute it for the barley? It does not elaborate.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great buy March 7 2004
I decided to buy a vegetarian cook book to try and cook mostly vegetarian at home. The recipes were delicious, quick, easy and healthy too. I've decided to only eat vegetarian at home because of this book and am now collecting Atlas's other books.
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1.0 out of 5 stars One Star June 27 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gave it as a gift
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Dec 7 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I use this cookbook all the time, very simple recipes ... great for a fast easy meal. I like that she has recommendations for complementary sides, etc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks July 17 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Got a lot of use from this. Easy to follow and a quick read. Would recommend this book to all
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4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says Jan. 31 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Pictures would have helped make this book better. Although the recipes are quick easy to follow and ultimately that's what I wanted.
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