The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen Paperback – May 1 2001
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The medical world has been touting the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet for decades. In The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, Donna Klein provides more than 300 recipes suited to anyone who wants to eat a healthful diet free of animal products. Unlike many vegetarian or vegan cookbooks that simply take the meat or dairy products out of a recipe--or even worse, use tasteless substitutes--this book includes only recipes that actually exist in Mediterranean cuisine. You won't find any grainy cheese substitutes or spongy meat imposters here.
In chapters on every course from appetizers to desserts, the author presents recipe upon recipe for flavorful and healthy dishes--all without meat, dairy, or eggs. Appetizers like Mushrooms Stuffed with Bread Crumbs, Parsley, and Garlic--given a sweet and nutty zing from the addition of a fortified wine--or Baked Black Olives with Herbes de Provence and Anise are so full flavored they certainly don't need the richness of animal products. The Poor Man's Pesto (so named because of the absence of cheese) that tops fluffy Potato Gnocchi proves that fruity green olive oil is the heart and garden-fresh basil is the soul of a good pesto. Desserts don't disappoint either. Relying on fresh fruits for flavor, they are just the sort of sweet and rich concoctions we expect from the Mediterranean. Baked Pears are stuffed with a rich blend of bread crumbs, toasted almonds, and chocolate and baked in a flavorful mixture of marsala, white wine, and pear or apple juice.
An extremely helpful Meals in Minutes section offers menu suggestions for those whose schedules allow only an hour or less for meal preparation, and the nutritional information provided for each dish is a welcome bonus for health-conscious cooks. --Robin Donovan
From Library Journal
Food writer Klein's goal was to include only vegan recipes "that really exist in Mediterranean cuisine," and because much of Mediterranean cooking is vegan by nature olive oil is used in many cuisines rather than butter, and meat has never been the centerpiece of the meal, for example she was successful. Rather than experimenting with replacements for anchovies and the like, she chose recipes that already met the requirements of a vegan diet, from a Moroccan Couscous with Seven-Vegetable Tagine to Proven?al Tomatoes Stuffed with Herbed Rice. The one ingredient that is conspicuously absent, which Klein acknowledges, is cheese, as it's difficult to think of pesto and many pasta dishes without it; she leaves the option of using cheese substitutes to her readers. For all vegetarian collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
There are three particularly exceptional things about this cookbook:
First, it has an extraordinarily high percentage of great recipes. In fact, out of the approximately 15 recipes I've tried I would say that 90% of them are great, with 2 or 3 of them rising to the "Wow, that's fantastic!" level. No other cookbook I've ever owned has had recipes as consistently good as this one.
Second, the author has gone to tremendous lengths to stay as close to authenticity as possible. All of her recipes are based on some regional variation of a traditional Mediterraean (or sometimes Middle Eastern) dish that, for reasons of economics or location, is mostly or entirely vegetarian. One of my favorite recipes in the book, the Quick Farmer's Paella, is based on an inland region variation of Spanish paella, which, because of its location in a fertile growing areas, just happens to incorporate primarily fresh vegetables instead of seafood. This adherence to authenticity is probably the reason that so many of her recipes are so good.
Third, there are absolutely no soy products in this book whatsoever... none! I, personally, can't stand tofu and soy substitutes, and am always disappointed when I buy a new vegan or vegetarian cookbook and find that it's chock full of "tofu" this or "soy cheese" that. This book is a welcome relief from all of those cookbooks that try to "fill in the missing ingredient" with tofu products.Read more ›
I made the Couscous with Peas, Lettuce, and Mint first. Once it was simmering on the stove, I thought uh-oh I don't think I'm going to like this one. Well, I was wrong - I will definitely make it again and again. The Vermicelli Nests with Chickpeas, Spinach, and Tomato - yum! Baked Tomatoes Corsican-style - great way to use up the tomatoes from the garden.
This is food that will make your co-workers jealous when you heat up your leftovers for lunch the next day. (As opposed to a lot of my vegan food, which tends to be more ethnicly inspired, containing curry or chili powders, and smells unusual to the sandwich or frozen-entree-eating lunch crowd I work with)
If a newly minted vegan asked for a good cookbook recommendation for getting started in this lifestyle, I would definitely say this one is first on the list. The foods are appealing and familiar enough to enable smoothe deprivation-free transition to the vegan way of life.
Leading a vegan lifestyle is not easy, especially if you really enjoy food. If you're having problems with eliminating dairy from your diet, you must buy this book. The recipes are easy and delicious and you really won't feel like you're missing out.
The few cookbooks that I do own have all the basic, standard recipes using meat, dairy and eggs. I did an on-line search and came across "The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen". What a lifesaver this cookbook is! I have been cooking suppers from this cookbook for almost two weeks now and every single recipe that I've tried has been delicious! Even my husband is impressed with the recipes!
The recipes use real food with no soy substitutes and the ingredients have been found easily at our local supermarket. The recipes have been easy to follow and easy to prepare.
I would highly recommend this book!
I've cooked several of the dishes, all of which have been hits with vegan and non-vegan eaters - satisfying even to my meat-eating friends who believe only meat makes a meal! I served the squash gnocchi recently at a dinner party, and my guests were bowled over by it (it was worth every minute of effort). A cold cauliflower salad with a dressing involving capers was outstanding.
What I most enjoy about the book is its quintessentially mediterranean nature: simple, fresh, uncomplicated, and absolutely delicious. Having grown up in an Italian family, I've hungered for vegan recipes with mediterranean roots that are not the usual pasta and sauce fare. This book has this and more.
While I enjoy cooking with and eating soy products, this book takes a creative approach that doesn't rely on this as many vegan cookbooks do. It also has recipes appealing to every level, from the person wanting only a few ingredients and easy prep to the experienced cook willing to invest a good amount of time. Buy this book - you won't regret it!
Most recent customer reviews
Definitely one of my go-to cookbooks. The one minor criticism is the lack of colour photos, but the quality of the recipes is excellent.Published 2 months ago by RachelC
As a vegetarian with many vegetarian friends, I can't believe this book isn't better known. Donna Klein has combined here a fabulous selection of plant-based vegetarian dishes --... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Sally Seton
I had read other reviews of this cookbook that sounded really good. I have tried 2 recipes so far that were not that great. Read morePublished on Dec 23 2012 by Lyn Hartfield
I have been enjoying this book so much. It is hard to find a cookbook for vegetarians with no soy or animal products in it. Cooking is fun again. Thanks.Published on March 8 2012 by Debora
We got this book because we were starting a trial of being a vegetarian for one month. While the book does have lots and lots of recipes and ideas, it would really help if there... Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2012 by Amazon Customer
I ordered due to the great reviews but the cookbook in it's format is just not right for me. It's small print and long text layout made me put it in the 'will get to' pile. Read morePublished on Sept. 8 2011 by veganwannabe
I'm neither a vegan nor vegetarian, I bought the book for Mediterranean Vegetable recipes because I love the food from that area. Read morePublished on Dec 17 2009 by B. Best
I think every vegan has got to have this cookbook - every recipe calls for basic ingredients which then turn out to be the most delicious dishes you have ever tried. Read morePublished on Nov. 13 2009 by Oleksandra Dramova