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on January 15, 2003
I've been a regular shopper at Whole Foods Market for years and I've been waiting for the company to put out a cookbook with some of their own great recipes, like Ed's Tantalizing Tofu, for the home cook. So when this book finally appeared, I was one of the first in line for it. Unfortunately, it's not what I'd hoped for.
I have no complaints about the ingredients list, that's why I shop at WFM -- beautiful fresh, organic produce, all varieties of grain and pasta products, and a wide assortment of gourmet and International foods not found in other stores. For many of my favorite cookbooks [like Nina Simonds' Asian Noodles] Whole Foods Market provides one-stop shopping.
The problem I have with the book is that of the half-dozen or so recipes I tried, I had to make repairs midway through the making, or the flavors or ingredients didn't come together as I expected, or the end product just plain didn't taste good. I was left with beautiful food made into lousy meals.
If you're looking for great-tasting recipes tailor-made for WFM shoppers, I'm afraid you'll have to wait a little while longer. This one should be sent back to the test kitchen.
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on July 12, 2004
I have made six or seven recipes out of this book--mostly soups and vegetables. They have all turned out quite good, and popular with my non-health-food-eating friends as well. The Spicy Mung Bean Soup, Asian Braised Greens, and Red Beans and Rice are particularly delicious. The tips on natural cooking in the beginning are excellent, and make stepping into the kitchen a fast and simple operation. The book is also consistent with the rules of cuisine and flavor-building, and the recipes are geared towards maximum flavor enhancement (someone put a lot of thought into these). Use of sea salt (commonly recommended by naturopaths as 'healthier' b/c it contains natural iodine) may make things too salty--try using kosher salt instead in the recipes. Use of fresh spices, not old ones that have been hanging around the kitchen for years, is a must. And of course, only the freshest produce. This book is great to have around as a fast reference for a healthy meal because the recipes are simple for the most part, sound delicious when you read them and therefore tempt you to cook them, and ultimately the food is good for you. An added benefit is that you can easily refer to it if you forget your ingredients list when shopping at Whole Foods, as they stock it in the book section. It's one of my most frequently used cookbooks (although a little pricey for a paperback). Definitely a good buy if you like this kind of cuisine, and have a modest understanding of cooking.
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on December 7, 2002
As a vegetarian for 12 years and a former Whole Foods Market Team Member for five years, I think this book is a great representation of what Whole Foods Market food is about. Other reviewers have pointed out that some of the recipes are high in fat or sodium. As a former TM and cheese specialist, I can assure you that though some Whole Foods customers do follow an ascetic diet, (and the stores offer many items in accordance with that practice) that has never been the focus of the company when it comes to food. To think that WFM serves just that "health food" customer is to really miss the mark. Full flavor, small producers, specialty items, and natural ingredients are what WFM food is about, not low-fat, low-sodium cuisine.
The cookbook has a great range of appealing and store-tested recipes with strong vegetable components and an international flavor palette. The recipes are quite accessible for the book's intended audience and aren't overly complicated or long--they focus on getting the best out of fresh ingredients with a minimum of fuss. This is where home cooking should be going. There may be ingredients that are not in average home pantries, but as a WFM cookbook, that's as it should be.
There are lots of vegetarian and vegan recipes, though vegans may want to check out the book in person (as is usually the case) to make sure they're getting enough recipes for things they will enjoy. Even the meat recipes give tips on how the marinade or seasoning can be used for non-meat items.
For those with a little trepidation in approaching unfamiliar ingredients, there is a great glossary in the back of the book as well as some nice menu suggestions. The other appendices are a small wine guide and a cheese guide. The cheese guide is a really well-done, informative four pages--it answers many of the FAQ at a cheese counter.
Good, honest food with natural ingredients, broad appeal, and recipes you'll be proud to serve to guests and give away to friends. A winner.
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on October 24, 2002
If you are thinking this a book for recipes containing sea weed and soy beans, and an aura of good nature, you will get all three but mostly you will get some great recipes. This book isn't about extreme diets that the majority of the population in the US eats, but its about good food. As others have stated all recipes in this book do not always watch salt and fat intake, we will assume if you are on a specialized diet you will follow it. While fat in the diet may be bad for anyone that doesn't eat it in moderation, it makes some things taste better. Each recipe does contain all nutritional info such as calories, fat saturated and unsaturated, cholestrol, so you are armed with the info you need to make wise choices.
Let's look at the wonderful range of recipes, Whole Foods has always had a unique position catering to Vegetarians, and Meat Eaters, this book accomodates both very well. If you are Vegan you may want to thumb through a copy before you purchase as there tend to be a fewer amount of recipes for Vegans. Recipes include things like Chipotle Potato Salad which was just yummy, Creole Rice and Bean Soup, Panang Green Pea Soup, all sorts of delicious desserts, salads, and much more. If you are a person that likes to experiment with the every day, this book is for you.
There is a recipe on each page. Each recipe is written very clearly and the instructions are easy to follow. Most recipes have a paragraph about each recipe. For example the Chipotle peppers are really dried jalopeno peppers that are smoked, I found this out when I made the Chipolte Potato Salad. The recipes are something you would like to make for company. I personally loved this book, and the variety of recipes found in here.
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on October 6, 2002
I know what you are thinking (just as I was)-a natural foods/organic store cookbook can't have tasty recipes. This book will prove the naysayers wrong. It is filled with wonderful, great tasting recipes. I bought this book at my local Whole Foods store after tasting one of the dishes (Mediterranean Tuna Salad )of which samples were being handed out. One taste convinced me that I needed to buy this book. A lot of the same dishes in the book are sold at the Whole Foods Stores. The tuna salad is top-notch, as is the Sonoma Chicken Salad. The Tuscan Vegetable Saute is a good cold weather dish. It can be served by itself over rice or polenta or as a side dish. These are just a few examples of the diverse selection of recipes in this cookbook. There are hints/suggestions from the authors throughtout the book on how to alter the recipes to your taste, as well as descriptions and history of some of the ingredients. Every recipe has the nutritional explanation for dish. This book is a wonderful reference for any cookbook library..
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on November 11, 2003
I'm in love with this cookbook. All of the recipes that I have done have turned out fabulous! My most recent adventure with this cookbook was to make the Labor of Love Cheesecake. The title is true to word; this cheesecake does take more effort than other cheesecakes, but it is well worth it. My cheesecake was silky smooth, not heavy as some cheesecake recipes come out. You could taste the cream cheese without feeling like it was a cake of cream cheese. The graham cracker crust was a nice change because of the added cinnamon & nutmeg. I love the fact that this cookbook looks at foods in all cultures and has given us a tangible way of making those foods. I've used the mojo marinade on both pork & chicken, side it with the cilantro-lime rice recipe and you have a fabulous meal. Each time I go into the cookbook I find something new and it's a great adventure.
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on June 23, 2003
This is a beautiful cookbook, with a few very good recipes--Fragrant Ginger Lime Chicken Fingers and Southwest King Ranch Casserole among them. Unfortunately, these are far outnumbered by the recipes that simply do not work, especially those involving the delicate manufacture of dough. At first I thought I had it wrong, but over the course of repeated failures, I realized that the problem was in the testing and/or proofreading. And it's not just dry measures; the text of one recipe calls for onions, when it means potatoes. Several re-readings later, I finally cracked the code. I sincerely hope that the authors try again to get it right. The tragedy is how close they came...
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on January 6, 2003
Whole Foods recipes are not as healthy as they prescribe, nor that tasty. We have tried several recipes from this book with hopes that we would find something that would satisfy us. We never found any.
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on February 26, 2003
My daughter and I both bought this book after my sister recommended it, and we love it. My husband was suspicious when I bought some of the ingredients, especially the tofu, but he has loved every recipe I've tried. My whole family has especially enjoyed the Javanese Roasted Tofu, Mediterranean Tuna Salad, and Carmelized Onion Turkey Roulade. We have found every recipe we have tried to be appetizing and a very satisfactory alternative to red meat. I have given this book as a gift, and I would buy the sequel if it existed!
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on November 27, 2011
As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I am constantly referring to this book for reference and recipe ingredient ideas. It is clearly written, easy to follow and gives valuable insight into the concept of eating more foods in their natural state with minimal processing. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to adopt a more plant-based diet.
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