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.
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