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The Vegetarian Epicure: 262 Recipes and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
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Vegetarian Epicure Paperback – May 12 1972


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1 edition (May 12 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394717848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394717845
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 2.4 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Anna Thomas wrote her first cookbook, The Vegetarian Epicure, while she was a film student at UCLA, and followed it a few years later with The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two. When she is not cooking, she writes screenplays and produces films. Her screen credits include My Family, Mi Familia and El Norte, both of which were nominated for an Academy Award. She lives in Ojai, California, with her husband, Gregory Nava, and their two sons. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
It's definitely a cookbook of its time. The illustrations have a homespun look, and the introduction even makes mention of passing around a joint before dinner "to sharpen gustatory perception". I missed the seventies, personally, but the cheerful hippieness of this book is irresistable.
But what about the darn food?
It's good stuff. Not low-fat, really, but if you compare the olive oil, butter, and eggs called for in these recipes a meal would still balance favorably with the average meat-including diet. My favorite section is the one on curries--having had a lot of real Indian it's not QUITE the same, but it's reasonably close. Given that it was written when supermarkets were less global, I can forgive a few shortcomings in authenticity. She gets the basics across with readily-available ingredients. And every one of the curries is delicious on its own merits. There are sweeter ones, spicier ones, sides, a couple of desserts, and it's impossible to go wrong with any combination of recipes in this section.
Most of her soups and stews are also excellent. The ratatouille in particular is fantastic. However, in place of her potato peel broth or garlic broth I recommend saving a lot of time and effort by starting off with plain water and adding extra seasoning, or by the quick & dirty expedience of a veggie bouillion cube or two. It's okay to cheat.
Perhaps the best thing to bear in mind when using this book is that with a lot of the recipes you'll need either a fair amount of time or a liberal dose of common sense when it comes to cutting corners. The author had a lot of time on her hands, to make broth, clarify butter, and let things simmer for an hour. You probably don't, and neither do I. Use the butter plain. Heck, use margarine. Simmer for 30 minutes.
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Format: Paperback
I'm working on my second copy of this book. Somebody gave it to me when I was first learning to cook, and I ususally had to bungle a recipe once or twice before I got it right. I was frustrated to begin with because so many of the recipes do not list exact times and temperatures, or sometimes even amounts (how much is "a little" anyway?).
But now I know what I'm doing around a stove (mostly), the book has grown on me. I love re-reading the gently humorous between-chapters advice. And now that I have enough confidence not to worry about exactly what temperature is a "medium oven" I'm completely in love with the recipes. I especially like the Indian foods she introduces, like the potato curry and spiced dal.
And this is not just for vegetarians, either. It's great for anybody who wants to make their cuisine more interesting than your standard chicken-and-mashed-potatoes fare. I can't recommend this cookbook enough.
--and now I have to go check on the asparagus pastry in the oven...
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Format: Paperback
I love both of these books. These are not cookbooks for anyone who has never cooked or baked before, but for those of us who have, I find both of them to be invaluable.
I've had both of them for close to 20 years, and I finally had to replace both!
From the first book, I adore the whole wheat bread with the optional onion. And, the herb bread makes *fabulous* stuffing for Thanksgiving if you cube it and dry it out a bit in a low oven. I love the "Dutch Cheese and Potato" soup and the recipe for Tomato Rabbit.
From the second book, my all time favorite is "Menestra de Veduras", or Spanish-style stewed vegetables. It's a *lot* of work, but so worth it. Do try it, especially in the spring when asparagus, peas and artichokes are fresh.
Another favorite of mine is the "melanzana al forno", aka "baked stuffed eggplant. Cook this in the summer when you can get tiny eggplants.
Both of these books are based on one concept - freshness. If you can't buy the best and the finest, change your menu. That's always a good philosophy to cook by, and Anna Thomas consistently emphasizes that concept throughout both of these books.
Just remember, this is *not* low-cal, low-salt, low-fat, no-flavor vegetarian cooking! It's almost vegetarian cooking with a bit of "Julia" tossed in for flavor. The dessert recipes are *to die for*.
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By A Customer on April 7 2000
Format: Paperback
I hate to seem like a spoil sport but though the bread recipes in this book are good (I particularly like the scones and the challah) and every now and then I make a batch of the sharp vinagrette, most of the main dishes are just not worth the time preparation involved. Part of the problem is that the spicing is off. These foods are just too plain and bland. The Potato Peel Broth is as just bad as it sounds. And the commentary in this book is so poorly written that it sticks in my brain like a bad jingle from a commercial. "Saladly crisp and gardenly various is the garden salad." Come on!
I've had this book for 10 years and am weirdly attached to it; if you want a plain solid meal that you spend all day cooking, this is it. The food here is ribsticking but time intensive. Me, I don't see pouring all this effort into what is basically mediocre food but sometimes these dishes are comforting to make for a dinner at home if you've got all day to cook.
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