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on December 4, 2009
I ended up buying this cookbook largely due to the numerous glowing reviews on was not disappointed! While I am not vegetarian I have been interested in healthy eating/cooking for many years. This book is truly a breath of fresh air in the whole foods/vegetarian/healthy eating section. You will not find the standard (and boring) recipes for humus and vegetarian lasagna that are present in SO many vegetarian cookbooks. Swanson's objective is to educate the reader on natural wholefood ingredients and use these ingredients as your guiding inspiration when cooking. In short, natural cooking can be, well, super.

The book is organized as follows:
1. Build a natural foods pantry
2. Explore a Wide Range of Grains
3. Cook by Colour
4. Know your superfoods
5. Use natural sweeteners
6. Basic recipes and Techniques

Good stuff:
-The recipes are fantastic, and truly out of the ordinary.
-The photos are really beautiful, artfully arranged, and present a fresh, modern take on food photography. (All the photos in the book are by Heidi).
-The ingredients are explained and Heidi provides a list of sources for those who may have trouble finding some of the ingredients.

Some of my favourite recipes:
-Risotto-style barley with winter citrus and arugula
-Roasted tomato and Paprika Soup
-Hijiki and edamame salad with creamy miso dressing
-Chocolate turtle bean tostadas
-Fig spread with black pepper and toasted sesame seeds
-Ginger-amaranth shortbread

Not-so-good stuff:
-The binding is pretty bad. And by "bad" I don't mean that it looks bad but that it will start to fall apart VERY quickly. Too bad it's not available in hardcover :-(
-Some of the ingredients for some of the recipes are hard to find. (Although I believe she is purposely trying to get us out of our comfort zone).
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on November 15, 2008
I am practically living off the recipes in this book right now. I went away to school this year and it has been so good for helping me eat cheaply! lots of hearty soups and things you can do with cheap (but tasty) beans. There is also a recipe for espresso banana muffins that warms my heart, and my lactose intolerant boyfriend loves the milk-free chocolate mousse. I 100% recommend this book. fantastic!
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on October 8, 2010
It has beautiful pictures, great information and wonderful looking recipes. I've often been leafing through it and then left it on the counter when friends arrive. Everyone who looks at it has added it to their "must get" list.

I enjoy how the book is not laid out in a standard manner: rather the book is laid out by group of ingredients, ie. Ancient grains, cooking with colours etc. I am an average cook who uses average recipes for the most part but I wanted to gain knowledge of whole foods, raw foods and whole grains and this book is perfect for me.

At times some of the products are hard to find, but she readily admits this. I feel I'm up to the challenge.

I can't wait to get her next book!
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on July 12, 2010
I already tried about half the recipes from this book and all but one were successes (and to be honest, I hadn't exactly respected the proportions). I expected that since I am a big fan of Heidi Swanson's website. For that price, you get plenty of good ideas to cook unfussy, handsome vegetarian meals.
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on November 11, 2015
I have been a fan of Heidi Swanson since a friend introduced me to her website! This book is so interesting. Even If don't really follow the recipes (I mostly use them as a reference to create my own versions) there's many useful informations about all the ingredients we use on a daily basis, like the difference between the different kind of flours and how to make effective substitutions without altering the result, or which oil to choose and why, and so on.... + it contains the most amazing (and way to easy to not make it) vegan chocolate mousse recipe.
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on October 30, 2009
This book is beautiful and the recipes Delicious!
Everything I cook my family Loves and I get the credit.
Just the way it should be.
This book is on of my top five cookbooks.
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on June 19, 2013
I love Heidi Swanson's blog, as well as her cookbooks; her recipes always seem to turn out perfectly and they are consistently delicious, as well as being healthy.
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on June 24, 2013
The book is beautiful! and the recipes are rich in color an nutritional value. I gave it 4 stars in 2007. But now in 2012... I have had this book for 5 years and never done a recipe. I ask myself why. I think the problems are: 1) The organization of the book with a mixture of tips for healthy eating and recipes makes it difficult to navigate, 2) Many recipes have uncommon/difficult to find ingredients and 3) Many recipes are too "natural" to serve at a dinner party ("cooked groats" for example) which is one of the main reasons I cook from a book. If I had to recommend a book, it would be Recipes From The Old Mill which is the opposite from this one: it has no pictures, just a few drawings and it is more a backing book, but has pizza and pot pie recipes among other dishes. I have used it countless times with great results.
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on October 26, 2009
Heidi provides a wealth of healthy ideas in a beautifully organized cookbook. So far I have made the banana espresso muffins and steel cut oats and am looking forward to trying the savory souffle in the near future. Another great cooking resource!
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on January 14, 2016
I feel bad of writing a negative review of this book because Swanson's blog has been a great inspiration for my cooking for many years now. But besides some recipes I selected when I first bought this book (and I was excited about it) I hardly use it any more. As another reviewer pointed out, the organization is terrible. And some of the content is pretty redundant. I particularly disliked some of the personal portraits among the recipes. I wish Swanson will publish another book at the level of her recipes.
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