How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food

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Author of a dozen bestselling cookbooks and beloved columnist for The New York Times ("The Minimalist"), Chef Mark Bittman bookends his award-winning modern classic, How to Cook Everything, with How to Cook Everything: Vegetarian the ultimate one-stop resource for meatless meals. Refreshingly straightforward and filled with illustrated recipes, this is a book that puts vegetarian cuisine within the reach of every home cook. You'll want to spend countless days in the kitchen with Bittman's latest culinary treasure.

5 Questions for Mark Bittman

Q. What motivated you to write a comprehensive cookbook of vegetarian recipes right now?

A: What motivated me--several years ago--was seeing the handwriting on the wall: That although being a principled, all-or-nothing vegetarian was not a course of action that would ever likely inspire the majority of Americans, the days of all-meat-all-the-time (or, to be slightly less extreme, of a diet heavily dependent on meat) could not go on. Averaging a consumption of two pounds a week or more of meat (as Americans do) is not sustainable, either for the earth or our planet. And, as more and more of us realize this, I thought it was important to develop a cookbook along the lines of How to Cook Everything, but without meat, fish, or poultry. Needless to say, there?s plenty of material.

Q: In the course of writing How to Cook Everything Vegetarian did your approach to food shopping, cooking or dining change significantly?

A: Completely. The more I tried new ways of cooking with vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, the more I enjoyed them. I probably eat sixty or seventy percent fewer animal products than I did three years ago.

Q: Because meatless cooking isn't limited to a single cuisine, your recipes introduce the flavors and techniques of many different cultures and cuisines. How did you manage to cover so much ground? Seems like a daunting task.

A: It?s what I do.

Q: Out of the more than 2,000 recipes in the cookbook do you have a favorite dish or dessert that you turn to again and again?

A: No. There are hundreds I wish I could cook all the time, but one can only cook and eat so much. But in the last week, for example, I?ve made Fava Bean and Mint Salad with Asparagus; Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes; Cornbread Salad; and Red Lentils with Chaat Masala.

Q: Why is simplicity so important in cooking? What does the novice home cook need to know to cook and eat well?

A: Simplicity is only important because it?s the way to learn to cook; it?s very difficult to start cooking with complex dishes. For people to learn to cook, they must start simply--the way everyone used to cook. And, for most of us--including me--there?s no reason to carry things much further. Even the simplest cooking is rewarding, enjoyable, and--obviously--the healthiest and best way to eat.

An Exclusive Recipe from Mark Bittman

Crunchy Corn Guacamole
Here's a new twist on the traditional guacamole (which you can find in the form of the first variation). The fresh corn kernels add texture and flavor without taking away from that of the avocado.

Serves 4
Time: 15 minutes
--1 lime
--1 cup corn kernels, preferably just stripped from the cobs, but thawed frozen is acceptable
--1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
--1/2 cup chopped scallion
--1 serrano or jalape?o chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced (optional)
--2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
--1/4 cup roughly chopped toasted pumpkin seeds
--3 medium ripe avocados, preferably Hass --salt

1. Grate the lime zest (or use a zester to make long strands) and reserve; cut the lime into wedges. Put the lime zest, corn, and garlic in a food processor; squeeze in half of the lime wedges and pulse to make a chunky pur®¶e.
2. Put the corn mixture along with the scallion, chile, and a large pinch of salt into a medium bowl and mash until the mixture is well combined. Add the cilantro and pumpkin seeds and mash a few more times.
3. Cut the avocados in half and reserve the pits if you will not be serving the guacamole right away. Scoop the flesh into the bowl and mash, leaving a few chunks of avocado. Squeeze in lime juice from the reserved lime wedges to taste.
4. Season with salt to taste and serve or tuck the pits back into the mixture and cover the surface with plastic wrap (this will help keep the guacamole from turning brown), then refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Remove the pits before serving.

Minimalist Guacamole More traditional: Omit the corn kernels and pumpkin seeds. Add the zest and garlic to the scallion in Step 2 and proceed with the recipe.

Guacamole with Tomatillos. The tomatillos add a nice hit of acidity: Substitute 1/2 cup chopped tomatillo for the corn and pumpkins seeds if you like. Skip Step 1 and add the tomatillos to Step 2.

Avocado and Goat Cheese Spread or Dip. Spread this on bread and layer with grilled vegetables for a fantastic sandwich: Omit the garlic, chile, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds. Substitute lemon for the lime and 3/4 cup goat cheese for the corn. Put everything in a food processor if you want a smooth spread; for a chunkier spread, just use a potato masher or fork.

Pea Spread or Dip. Great on Crostini: Instead of the corn and the avocados, use 1 pound lightly steamed fresh or frozen peas. Omit the chile and pumpkin seeds. Use lemon instead of lime and process all the peas as you would the corn in Step 1. Substitute fresh mint leaves for the cilantro. If you like, thin the consistency a bit by adding a little cream, yogurt, or silken tofu.

Asparagus Spread or Dip. A great low-calorie alternative to traditional guacamole: Follow the variation for Pea Spread or Dip, but use 1 pound lightly steamed asparagus instead of the peas. Pat it dry, slice it into manageable pieces, and proceed with the recipe.

The ultimate one-stop vegetarian cookbook-from the author of the classic How to Cook Everything

Hailed as "a more hip Joy of Cooking" by the Washington Post, Mark Bittman's award-winning book How to Cook Everything has become the bible for a new generation of home cooks, and the series has more than 1 million copies in print. Now, with How to Cook Everything: Vegetarian, Bittman has written the definitive guide to meatless meals-a book that will appeal to everyone who wants to cook simple but delicious meatless dishes, from health-conscious omnivores to passionate vegetarians.

How to Cook Everything: Vegetarian includes more than 2,000 recipes and variations-far more than any other vegetarian cookbook. As always, Bittman's recipes are refreshingly straightforward, resolutely unfussy, and unfailingly delicious-producing dishes that home cooks can prepare with ease and serve with confidence. The book covers the whole spectrum of meatless cooking-including salads, soups, eggs and dairy, vegetables and fruit, pasta, grains, legumes, tofu and other meat substitutes, breads, condiments, desserts, and beverages. Special icons identify recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less and in advance, as well as those that are vegan. Illustrated throughout with handsome line illustrations and brimming with Bittman's lucid, opinionated advice on everything from selecting vegetables to preparing pad Thai, How to Cook Everything: Vegetarian truly makes meatless cooking more accessible than ever.

Praise for How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

"Mark Bittman's category lock on definitive, massive food tomes continues with this well-thought-out ode to the garden and beyond. Combining deep research, tasty information, and delicious easy-to-cook recipes is Mark's forte and everything I want to cook is in here, from chickpea fries to cheese souffl®¶s."
—Mario Batali, chef, author, and entrepreneur

"How do you make an avid meat eater (like me) fall in love with vegetarian cooking? Make Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian part of your culinary library."
—Bobby Flay, chef/owner of Mesa Grill and Bar Americain and author of the Mesa Grill Cookbook

"Recipes that taste this good aren't supposed to be so healthy. Mark Bittman makes being a vegetarian fun."
—Dr. Mehmet Oz, Professor of Surgery, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia Medical Center and coauthor of You: The Owner's Manual

Customer Reviews:

  • Amazing Author
    Mark Bittman is an amazing cookbook author.

    While I am not a total vegetarian, I do like to have vegetarian meals. And this cookbook provides me with the knowledge to do so.

    Also, this is a great text for the beginning vegetarian.

    Highly recommend this cookbook,...more info
  • Easy to follow, clear directions, great food!
    I bought How to Cook Everything Vegetarian earlier this summer after joinign a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share in a local farm and being inundated with vegetables, some of which I'd never eaten. I mean, fennel? What does one do with that? Well, Bittman to the rescue. Now I know what it is, how to prepare it for cooking and eating, and have recipes to use it in.
    ...more info
  • Excellent for vegetarians and everyone else
    I'm not 100% vegetarian, but I love many vegetarian foods and dishes, and was really looking forward to this book. I haven't actually made any of the recipes yet. Those two caveats aside, this book is fantastic. It's absolutely comprehensive, and I would imagine extremely useful for vegans or someone like me who still eats meat but enjoys meatless foods (and everyone in between). Mr. Bittman has a great way of explaining things as if assuming the reader really doesn't know anything, without dumbing it down or writing as if he's talking to a child. I have loved "How To Cook Everything" for a few years, and this book has a similar style of recipes. Very simple, with the emphasis on using the best quality of ingredients (or, making the best use of what you have handy), but also lots of international variations and many lesser known ingredients. He gives a very basic example of a particular recipe, then lists 10 or 15 variations that could be made, to please just about anyone. I sat for a couple hours just perusing the recipes and there are many that I really can't wait to try, and quite a few that I hadn't heard of or thought of before. Also, the book has lots of useful information as far as preparing techniques and equipment.

    Bottom line, I have lots of cookbooks, but would do pretty well with just this and "How To Cook Everything"....more info
  • A must for your CSA box
    As a vegetarian and a cookbook lover, I always love it when these two interests cross paths. And while I usually don't really like huge cooking compendiums (no pictures! too hard to pick something to eat! gems get lost in the shuffle!) I love this cookbook.

    The recipes are nicely organized. I really like that so many recipes have cute little lists after them with names like "10 things you can add to your scrambled eggs" (that kind of makes up for the fact that his scrambled egg recipe takes 40 minutes... my blood sugar doesn't have that much patience in the morning!) or suggestions of what to serve with the dish. Unlike most cookbooks, where the variations are really recipes unto themselves, Bittman's variations are usually cooking lessons unto themselves: how can you change one ingredient to make this a totally different dish? What tastes traditionally compliment eachother?

    But this cookbooks REALLY came into its own when I started receiving my CSA shares this summer. Deborah Madison's "Local Flavors" cookbook should be the go-to, but I find her recipes pretty bland, and decent side-dishes but not all that filling. "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" is just esoteric and the stuff is far too hippyish for my meat-and-potatoes husband. "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian," on the other hand, has not let me down once. Very good, basic, filling recipes for every ingredient that I've have to throw at it. So hearty that the afore-mentioned meat and potatoes husband doesn't even bother to make his own meat side dishes when he sees this cookbook in the cookbook stand....more info
  • The Only Vegetarian Cookbook You Will Ever Need
    This is the quintessential vegetarian cookbook. It is in fact much more than a cookbook. Bittman provides tremendous amounts of information about all ingredients. Recipes should really be used as guides with a lot of room for substitutions and alterations - Bittman provides many suggested alternatives for every recipe.

    I'm an advanced cook and bought this for a friend but ended up keeping it for myself. It's just a wealth of information and ideas. It will change the way you think about food and cooking - in a very positive way. For folks who are intimidated by cooking or feel like they just don't have the skills or know how - this book would be invaluable.

    In addition to the fact that this is the best vegetarian cookbook in existence, it is a tremendous value. The book is HUGE and packed with information. You'd have to buy many, many books to even come close to the quantity of recipes, ideas and information contained in this book.

    You will love this book more than you realize.

    ...more info
  • Best vegetarian cookbook I've ever owned
    This is a truly great cookbook. It has a terrific, comprehensive range of recipes from soup and salad, right up through dessert, as well as baked goods. I also love this book because it: (1) offers excellent "how-to" advice that helps avoid making mistakes that might ruin a dish; and (2) it offers alternatives to convert many vegetarian dishes to vegan. This vegan-conversion feature is especially helpful to me, since my son is vegan. If you're going to have just one vegetarian cookbook, this is definitely it. In fact, for a young person just setting up housekeeping, this is arguably the only cookbook you need. I think it would also make a fantastic wedding gift for a young couple (maybe along with a few kitchen tools if you have the extra cash)....more info
  • Great recipe book!
    So many mouth watering vegetarian and vegan recipes, so little time! This book is huge and is chock full of veggie goodness! It is a must have for the vegetarian cook, no matter your experience level!...more info
  • Pretty good
    This book is like a general handbook to cooking vegetarian meals. Nothing over the top, like cook's illustrated, just simple delicious meals. Of course, the idea is to get the hang of the recipes and create your own - in the minimalist fashion. Has a section on basically every vegetable you could buy at the supermarket and more. Great sections on grains and legumes.

    For example: last night I ate roasted asparagus and a meditteranean rice salad (both using the book as a reference). It was one of the best meals I have eaten in a couple of weeks....more info
  • A must-have for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
    We use this cookbook more than all of our others combined. I love Mark Bittman! There are many pages of reference-type materials like how to cook grains, and many ways of cooking everything, including mix-and-match ideas to use whatever you've got on hand. It's the cookbook that compliments the way I actually cook. Highly recommended....more info
  • Can't live without this book!!
    I am not a vegetarian but this book is bringing me inch by inch closer to it.

    I LOVE this cookbook - I have to say I own LOTS of cookbooks and frequently get recipes off the Web but Mark Bittman is the best at keeping it simple and taking the scariness that some may feel at approaching cooking with vegetables.

    I cook at least 3 recipes a week from this book and am always learning a better way to prepare vegetables.

    GOOD WORK, MARK!!...more info
  • Great Purchase
    First, I must admit, the book is a bit overwhelming with the amount of pages it holds (it's pretty thick). But at the same time, that does mean you are getting so many recipes! It's terrific, such a variety of foods. What I like is it is both for vegetarians and vegans (if a recipe calls for the use of milk or cheese, he gives you alternates right there for vegan use, though a good amount of the book also holds vegan recipes). I'm a college student and was looking for a great variety book to get me through my years. With so many options out there it was hard, but I am really happy I went with this cookbook. For first time vegetarians it's great because it gives you plenty of pages in the beginning of the book listing the top 20 food items you will need to be a vegetarian, and he further explains which would be best for you. What I also love is that he explains the techniques of preparing the food (as a college student i have yet to educate myself on cooking terms, so its great not having to call my mom or look up what that means online) I recommend this to anyone. Don't second guess, just purchase it. ...more info
  • vegetarian, but not necessarily healthy
    I bought this book hoping to find lots of healthy, fat/sodium-conscious recipes. Unfortunately, many of the recipes rely on fats (butter, cream, cheese, oil) to enhance the flavor of the veggies. There are many great tips/tricks and recipes in the book, but I'll be returning it and looking for a cookbook with a lower-fat, lower-sodium slant on vegetarian cuisine....more info
  • A Must for All Cooks
    This book is "The Joy of Cooking" for vegetarians. It is highly instructive, easy to follow, and filled with great ideas. Perfect for anyone interested in making a positive change in their diet. Even if you're not a vegetarian, it's a must....more info
  • great book
    Mark Bittman puts together tremendous cookbooks. I have forty cookbooks and I use his most of the time because the recipes are great and easy to follow. Another reviewer said that his ingredient amounts are sometimes off, I have used over a hundred of his recipes and never found that to be the case. I am trying to move toward more vegetarian diet and this book is unbelievably useful....more info
  • Excellent Health
    I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in transforming their health through enjoying new, delicious, healthy meals. Thanks so much....more info
  • Is it absolutely perfct? No. Is it an essential cookbook to own? YES.
    From the interviews I've heard with Bittman he didn't intend this book to be a preachy vegetarian bible. He sees the writing on the wall that the world can ill afford to eat as much meat as we do now. With oil/feed prices going up meat will become more expensive and more and more people will include vegetarian meals as part of their diet. The book is 900+ pages and at that size it has something of everyone and perhaps something to offend nearly everyone too. It's for both long time vegetarians and those looking to include more vegetarian meals in their meat-inclusive diets. Don't like the hundreds of recipes with fats or cheese or eggs? Then use the hundreds of recipes without. Lots of vegan and non-vegan recipes as well. I particularly like that it doesn't ry to make traditional meat dishes vegetarian by using faux-meats. It's just a great collection of recipes that happen to be vegetarian. But on top of the countless recipes there are lots of charts, tables, and other resources to help you in the kitchen. Are there some mistakes? Yup. It's 900+ pages. Bound to be a few. Will it please everyone? Nope. Some people are bound to complain. But this book is an essential cookbook to have in your kitchen. It's not the only book you'll ever need but it's one you can't afford to be without....more info
  • Essential
    This is hands-down the best cookbook I've ever bought, for several reasons. First, at a whopping 900 pages it is far more comprehensive than competitors such as Laurel's Kitchen and the various Moosewood Cookbooks. For example, when I brought home fresh chestnuts from the store and needed ideas on how to cook them, I was impressed to find a good half-dozen uses for them in the cookbook, from basic roasted chestnuts to bean and chestnut soup to chestnut ice cream. I rarely come up empty-handed when I go looking for a recipe in this tome. Second, the straightforward recipes eschew fancy techniques when they are superfluous and thus can actually be made by everyday cooks in a reasonable amount of time. This sets it apart from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, which constantly makes use of specialty sauces described elsewhere in her book. Her approach works fine if your own a restaurant and have an army of minions to prepare these specialty ingredients, but not so well if you're cooking alone and trying to get dinner on the table. Third, the cookbook teaches you *how* to cook, rather than simply follow a recipe by rote, by describing the key techniques and principles of cooking and offering a plethora of variations to go with most recipes. Cook with this cookbook for a few months -- and read the author's "Bitten" blog on the New York Times website --- and you'll find yourself starting to experiment more and more with your cooking, creating your own variations. I find this incredibly freeing! If you're like me, once you get this book you'll find yourself reaching for it to the exclusion of most others....more info
  • Disappointed
    This cookbook contains 0 photos of a completed dish, but it didn't really matter because it is so basic with such simplistic foods that most people wouldn't need to see what garlic bread looks like after it's cooked. I was hoping for more meal planning of healthier and alternative foods and not how to poach an egg or bake a potato. If you never cooked before and have little knowledge of most fruits and vegetables, I would recommend this book. However, if you're looking for a cookbook to help plan healthy meals using recipes more sophisticated than a lettuce, tomato and olive oil salad, I would suggest you keep your $24. I wish I had!
    ...more info
  • A great way to begin cooking for veggie-centric dishes.
    I love Mark Bittman, and this book is really a good resource for someone trying to cook more vegetarian dishes, and spice up vegetable side-dishes. I didn't think it was a perfect vegetarian cookbook, which I might say about the Moosewood series, because the flavor combos are still quite basic. But, the recipes are simple and easy, for the most part, and they are, of course, tasty....more info
  • Yummy!
    Every time I think of something I want to make, I look in this book to see if there is a recipe for it, and there always is! Each recipe has different alterations that you could use also. Soooo much good stuff! I love it!...more info
  • Fabulous, fabulous cookbook for true ominvores
    I, like some of the other reviewers, am not a vegetarian but I am trying to eat healthier and with fewer animal fats in my diet (it is also significantly cheaper to base meals around farmer's market vegetables and beans). What I love the most about this book is that I can go to the farmer's market and pick up anything that looks interesting--even if I've never even heard of it before--and be assured that Mark Bittman will have a suggestion on how to cook it for me.

    A must-have for anyone who loves food, cooking, and trying new things. This, my Joy, my Silver Spoon, and my mother's old Fannie Farmer Cookbook are the four cookbooks that are constantly being pulled off my shelf....more info
  • Boss
    While my boss dose eat meat she loves this book. I have eaten some of the things she has made form this book and I have to say darn good stuff....more info
  • Only Veggi Cookbook You'll Need
    This is the first time I've ever felt the desire to review any product I've purchased online. Seriously. This is honestly hands down the best vegetarian cookbook I've ever purchased. I'm 24, a grad student, a vegetarian for 3 years and married to a meat-eater who'll hardly touch a vegetable. I've had a really hard time finding a veggi cookbook I like, especially since I've found that many veggi books call for expensive or difficult to find items and have complicated, crazy recipes which I don't have the time or effort to make. Not to mention, many veggi cookbooks try so hard to be healthy that the food sucks. But this one, for the most part, shows you how to make amazing meals (some healthy and some DEFINITELY not) quite easily and uses mostly plain-jane items (or offers a plain-jane version of any fancy recipe). Not only does it have crazy numbers of recipes, but it makes cooking fun for me. I never really believed people who told me they liked to cook, but this cookbook MAKES me like to cook. Why? Because Bittman gives TONS of suggestions for tweaking each recipe depending on what you have on hand. I feel like I can always whip up something cool even if I have the most random items imaginable in my fridge, pantry or freezer. It makes me feel creative! Seriously. Who cares that there are no pictures. I mean, Bittman explains over 20 ways to easily make tomato sauces for pasta, suggests poaching eggs in everything from simple water to cream or white wine and gives meal lists, explanations different ingredients... FANTASTIC for any vegetarian and ESPECIALLY for beginning cooks, people who don't terribly like to cook, vegetarians on a budget or vegetarians who live with meat eaters (since Bittman is not a vegetarian). There are a ton of healthy recipes here and a ton of unhealthy ones. So for those of us who love our our fried cheese but sometimes want to make a healthy asian salad or a kickin' black bean burger, this is THE veggi book. ...more info
  • Should be "How to Cook Everything Semi-Vegetarian"
    There's just a hint of hubris in a non-vegetarian writing a vegetarian cookbook, and indeed, he trips up. He writes a paean to cheese and a whole segment on "the thousands of cheeses available" with no reference to the fact that most cheese is made with animal rennet - a product of the organs of newborn calves - so the selection of vegetarian cheeses is fairly limited. He also breezily refers to wine and beer with no apparent awareness of the bone ash and gelatin used to clarify most of these products. I'm just waiting to see gelatin... But let's be fair: *most* vegetarian cookbook writers are equally ignorant. My choice is to tolerate this and buy the books anyway; yours may be different.

    The book has been well-described by other reviewers. I've just gotten it from the library - I always do a preview before buying a cookbook - and haven't decided whether to buy or not. It's a comprehensive how-to with great respect for the food, and includes options for vegans throughout. It would be a fabulous choice for a beginning cook. Some of the recipes look interesting and I've already been reading a few of the aloud. Some of the recipes seem intriguing. It's certainly worth looking at and considering....more info
  • Simply a great cookbook
    I was excited to get this cookbook, but I was even happier when I started looking through it. It has all sorts of recipes I've been waiting for- I've been looking for that Japanese steakhouse salad dressing recipe all over the place! And samosas! I approve. I appreciate that the author offers lots of options with both high- and low-fat food, and I have to say that this is the first cookbook I've read where the author discusses such food issues as organic, fresh & local realistically. Not everyone can shop at a farmer's market or buy organic food off the farm.

    Some wishes I had with this book were that there were MANY recipes which were not marked vegan which were easily made vegan. I felt there ought to be some sort of denotation, especially since in some cases the vegan question came down to using butter or olive oil. I want my vegan options to be as wide as possible. Also, I could stand to see more sauces, especially more vegan sauces. Sauces keep my food world goin' round, and while I am an experienced and wide-ranging cook without a dearth of sauciness, I was really hoping to see some more exciting ideas from an author whom I have come to hold in the highest esteem....more info
  • Fair book, wrong title, wrong audience
    In general, I think you're better off getting your vegetarian cooking ideas from a vegetarian. After all, if one of the many good vegetarian cookbook authors you can find on Amazon came out with "The Great Steak and Burger Book", how believable would they be?

    I've heard Bittman speak on radio, and his slightly patronizing attitude toward vegetarians is well reflected in the book. Also, I agree with the other reviewers who conclude that he has no actual cooking experience with many, if not most, of the recipes in his book.

    That said, if the publisher reissued the book under the title "Meatless Cooking for non- Vegetarians", he'd hit his target audience. So, it does have its place. As always, you can't judge a book by its cover....more info
  • Fills in the gaps in your cookbook collection. Especially useful for non-vegetarians.
    Whether this is your first cookbook or 100th, "Everything Vegetarian" is the best! Not only is it "encyclopedic", making it great for beginners, but it is basically the opposite of typical cookbooks, so it will fill in the gaps in even the most extensive cookbook collection. For this reason, it actually makes MORE sense for non-vegetarians than vegetarians! Most cookbooks are focused on main dish meat recipes. So, if you have a bunch of typical cookbooks, this will provide you with plenty of side-dishes and less meaty recipes.

    Now, in terms of content, the recipes in "Everything Vegetarian" are practical and fairly simple. After learning the basic versions of the recipes in "Everything Vegetarian", there are plenty of variations which allow you to master the recipes and gain a deeper understanding of what you are doing. You actually learn something beyond following instructions. Also, there are great tables describing and comparing different vegetables, grains, etc. which helps in learning about and exploring new ingredients.

    If you're a non-vegetarian and can't bring yourself to buy a vegetarian cookbook, check out the revised (red) edition of "How to Cook Everything". It appears to have been updated to incorporate key sections of "Everything Vegetarian". But, I really recommend giving "Everything Vegetarian" a chance. Vegetarian recipes are in many ways easier and there is so much variety if you're willing to move beyond the "hunk of meat" concept of a meal. Plus, vegetarian recipes are cheap!

    Bottom line: I love meat, but "Everything Vegetarian" is my favorite cookbook....more info
  • You must buy this book
    This is one of the best cookbooks I own. I refer to it all the time. It's full of great recipes, useful tips, and detailed explanations. It's the bible of vegetarian cooking. Even though I am vegan, I find this book to be extremely useful as it contains many vegan recipes (or recipes that can easily be veganized)....more info
  • Great book, couldn't contact seller
    Purchased this book for a Christmas present and accidentally had it shipped to the wrong address. I immediately emailed the seller to change the address, but never recieved a reply and the book arrived at the first address. Book was in excellent shape though....more info
  • In constant use
    I love this cookbook. I accidentally became a vegetarian cook (I eat meat out sometimes, but never cook it at home) because of my vegetarian spouse. For the last two years I've been eating what I used to eat, minus the meat. I never had a heavily meat-based diet, but my pallet of vegetarian possibilities was limited.

    This book has opened up the world of cooking to me again, and made me adventurous again. I've cooked some things from this cookbook and hated them, and had other things simply not work. But, mostly, things come out well, and I always learn something from a recipe. I absolutely adore the huge number of variations that Bittman puts at the end of many of the recipes.

    I literally go to the farmer's market, buy things that look good, and then use the index to find recipes that use them (title ingredients in the variations show up in the index). I've been able to find a recipe that I can make, maybe with a little bit of substitution of ancillary ingredients, for everything I've bought in the last two months. For example, I had no idea what to do with eggplant (despite looking in the Joy of Cooking several times and trying a few things), and now I'm buying it every week (it's eggplant season!) and doing something different with it.

    I've improved some of my old stand-by dishes with tips in this cookbook, started making soups again, entered the world of home-made veggie-burgers, and more than tripled my list of good stand-by recipes. If you like vegetarian food, but are stuck in a rut or simply have trouble being creative, you should buy this book....more info
  • An Amazing Compendium of Delightful Easy Dishes
    I am an avid cook, but also a busy person concerned with heart healthy dishes for myself and vegetarian dishes for my so-inclined 5 year old son. This is by far the very best vegetarian cookbook I've ever come across. I'd go even further and say that it is one of the best cookbooks in my (extensive) collection. My problem with most vegetarian cookbooks is that most recipies are the "same old, same old." This one however, gives plenty of fresh ideas. I have been working with this cookbook since it was first published --about a year and a half now-- and use it a few times a week. The recipies are simple (for the most part) which fits the bill for the average busy person. Best of all everything I've made from it, with one possible exception of an olive oil cake, was truly tasty. Even my husband who is not particularly inclined to vegetarian fare loves this book. I especially like the huge selection of soy-based dishes. Bittman's approach to providing a main recipie with several variations works well because his variations are truly different enough from the basic recipe to be good. The true test of the quality and accessibility of this book is that my sister, who is not an avid cook is enthusiastic about it. I have a couple of Bittman's other books, but this one is especially inspired.

    Having raved about this book here are my two peeves with it--- nothing's perfect after all. First, some people are "cooks" and some people are "bakers." I am the former and I think Bittman is too. His baking recipes just don't have the same top quality (although they're not bad). Second, he does have some recipes with white flour. If you are concerned about health, the white flour has just got to go--so has the unbleached stuff. Bittman never purports to have created a heart-health book, however, and I just do a lot of substituting. He does has a great section on using different flours (spelt, soy, etc) which is useful.

    This book is one of my main shelf cookbooks. It will keep any cook engaged and interested for a very long time. It's a great one for getting the creative juices flowing....more info
  • the first time I wanted my money back for a cookbook
    This is *not* a cookbook. It's not even a guide for new vegetarians, which is what I was looking for since being told by doctors that I have to restrict my diet to no red meat, poultry, four-legged types, etc.

    What it does appear to be is a poorly organized encyclopedia of every vegetable and fruit, some grains, eggs, and this and that in very basic terms with extremely common, mostly bland recipes.

    Putting the word "vegetarian" on it just makes it trendy, but it doesn't make it good....more info
  • Poor choice all around
    I'm new to vegetarian diet but this book isn't very good at all. Hard to follow and recipes aren't that great do not recommend this save your money. ...more info
  • Somewhere in this book you'll eventually learn how to cook something
    I've actually learned a lot about what I want in a cook book after using this book for a month or so and this isn't it. What I prefer is Chef So-n-so showing me a beautiful photo of some great dish he's made with the recipe right along side it. Plus, if he adds a side dish or two to go with it -- perfection. I want to be inspired by the cookbook. This is not that book. I'm not saying every cook book has to be that way, I'm just saying that my simple mind prefers that.

    However, this isn't really a bad book. It's just that I find it difficult to figure out what to cook using this book. The book isn't organized by entres or side dishes. It's not organized by ethnicity or dinners or breakfast food. It's organized alphabetically by what you want to cook. Wanna carrot? It's under "Fruits and Vegetables" under "C", for "carrot". So, if you already know what you want to cook, it can teach you how to cook it (OMG, I guess that is the title...).

    There are some mundane, repetitive parts of this book (did you know you can roast a carrot?...did you know you can roast a potato? ...and under turnip....yes!, you can also roast a turnip! who could have guessed?). The variations on simple recipes are nice, though. For example the author takes a simple salsa and gives five or six variations by substituting different ingredients -- sometimes fairly dramatically -- from the original. Same basic food, with different, interesting outcomes.

    This is more of a reference book than a regular cookbook. Using this book to make dinner is a little like trying write a paragraph using a dictionary as your guide. But, if you've got a strange, new find from the grocery, this book can help you figure out what to do with it (hint: did you know you could roast it?).

    ...more info
  • Vegetarian Cookbook
    This cookbook is pretty comprehensive. It has many, many recipes to begin with but also includes variations too. Although it does have illustrative drawings, the one drawback (and the only reason I gave it four stars instead of five) is that it doesn't have color photographs of the dishes. Nothing is a bigger incentive for me to get to cooking than to see what it is I'm going to be eating! Otherwise, for the price and sheer volume, this cookbook is definitely worth a look-see!...more info
  • The Best cooking book I've ever had
    This is the best book i've ever had, excellent cooking book and vegetarian... even better. It's a very complete book, everything you need to cook is here, all vegetables, pasta, grains and others. What i like the most is that recipes have variations so at the end you have multiple options for each and new flavors every day. I love it. ...more info
  • Must have cookbook, vegetarian or not
    Not only are his recipes great, Bittman offers interesting explanations with his recipes from preparation to shopping tips. His "how to illustrations" are easy to follow. All the recipes that I have read so far sound great. I received the book last Thursday and over the weekend I started cooking with it. ...more info
  • An exhaustive vegetarian cookbook
    If you're looking for an extensive vegetarian cookbook that produces great results this is the perfect cookbook for you. It's extremely thorough and covers almost anything a vegetarian could want to make. Most importantly, the recipes come out well without any tinkering. So far I have made several recipes and have been impressed by how well they turn out and how varied the flavors are. Some of my favorites include the Braised Winter Squash in Caramel Sauce, Mushroom Barley Soup, Warm Chickpea Salad with Arugula, and Spinach with Cheese and Yogurt (Saag Paneer).

    I also appreciate that the cookbook offers recipes for many basics that you can use as the foundation for recipes in the book as well as others in your recipe box. The tofu croutons, however, have proven to be one of my favorite ways to prepare tofu since they yield a moist interior and a chewy exterior. I also absolutely love the roasted vegetable stock. It takes some time to prepare, but the results are fantastic. The flavor easily blows away any of the boxed/canned stocks I've bought at the store.

    The only recipes I've found haven't been as consistent are the bread recipes. I've made the Bran and Oat Sandwich Bread and didn't feel like the book provided me with enough instructions for a beginner. I am sure these recipes would be fine for someone who is more experienced in bread baking. However, I found other cookbooks to be much more intuitive and detailed. I've since become a more accomplished bread baker with other books, but wouldn't pick this one as my starting point.

    Bread recipes aside, this is a great book and full of diverse and reliable recipes. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants an extensive collection of vegetarian recipes all in one book. However, if you're looking for bread recipes for beginners I would recommend The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook or Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand: 200 Delicious, Healthful, Simple Recipes. ...more info
  • My current favorite recipe book
    I love How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. It is my current favorite cookbook, and paired with the second place The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, should be all anyone needs. I am not vegetarian, but shun processed foods and commercial meats, and like simple preparations based on good ingredients. I have a vegetable CSA with members who are encountering new-to-them veggies.

    How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is great because the recipes are simple and flexible. Frequently they have only 4 to 6 ingredients, and those ingredients are pretty standard in a vegetarian or whole foods kitchen. The recipe may be written/titled for one vegetable, and then has suggestions of several other vegetables that also would do well with the same preparation. Or he gives a recipe for a vegetable, and then lists alternative ingredients. For instance, Braised Lentils Spanish Style has options for Moroccan Style, Ethiopian Style, with Roasted Winter Squash, with Celery, and with parsnips, all just substituting ingredients from the original. And a whole page describing the different types of lentils and their best uses. He also mentions simple substitutions when necessary to make a recipe vegan.

    I recommend my CSA members buy this book (which they can from my website, as their basic book. I also recommend Peter Berley's The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen because I am allergic to dairy and the only dairy he includes is an occasional yogurt. ...more info
  • How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
    The absolutely best cookbook I have ever owned. It is wonderful for not just vegetarians, but anyone who is wanting to cook or just get started. Highly recommended....more info
  • Great and Informative for EVERYONE - Not just for veggies/vegans
    I bought this book since my boyfriend is vegetarian and I realized I didn't know much about cooking with vegetables creatively (other than the basics). I have also been turned off by other veggie books that are constantly preaching an agenda or use crazy or artificial ingredients I can't get locally. This book is literally like an encyclopedia of information about fruits and vegetables, dedicating a section to each type you might find in a store. It gives basic information, prep and cooking variations that I found fascinating and very helpful along with lots recipes (the book is 1000 pages after all!). It even has a whole section just on how to cook cheese! He also provides lots of tables that break down information about herbs, nuts and more. It even has a sushi instruction section which was great! And although there are some recipes that call for Tofu, Tempeh and Setain, overall the majority of the recipes are focused on vegetables and ingredients you can find in almost every grocery store. (Note: He doesn't include recipes with premade meat substitute chucks, since he says they are not something you can make at home with makes them unnatural). He does include everything from soups to sides to entrees, that everyone would love and enjoy. So if you want to educate yourself on cooking more exciting dishes with veggies, this is it. No preaching, just solid recipes everyone can enjoy....more info
  • Absolutely Love This Cookbook
    I received this book as a gift and have been so happy with everything I've made from it. Even hard boiling an egg turned out better with these instructions. I probably would have been intimidated about purchasing the book because of it's size (it's huge) but I can't imagine cooking vegetarian meals without it now.

    I like how there are suggestions for modifying recipes or combining with others from the book. I think everyone, not just vegetarians, would benefit from having this cookbook. I pretty much stopped looking at other vegetarian cookbooks now that I have this one....more info
  • Recipes that even my non-vegetarian husband loves
    A co-worker of mine brought this cookbook to work and said "here, take this home and look it over." I thanked him politely, but inside was feeling imposed upon. Sure I'm a vegetarian, but does this mean I have to take home YOUR gigantic cookbook and look at it? I ended up taking it and also cooking from it. The things I discovered were that Mark Bittman is talented and knows how to create food that tastes really good. Dependably good. The recipes are not complicated, and sometimes very easy yet produce delicious and interesting vegetarian food. This book engaged me in a way no other cook book has. There is something thrilling to me about making a exotic sounding Senegalese Peanut Soup full of rich flavors including chard and having my 16 year old picky son tell me it is delicious. Or seeing my husband (carnivore) with a plate heaped with black-eyed pea fritters looking blissed out as he snarfs them down. As a result, I got hooked, maybe even a bit obsessed with the cookbook for a while. It seemed to have the same effect on others, however. I caught another co-worker holed-up with the copy machine and the book. I fortunately got a copy for Christmas. I am really happy about that. ...more info
  • Adding to the applause...
    I'll just add to the raves of other readers who found this book to be a wonderful addition to their cookbooks. I must have over 150 cookbooks, and this was on my shelf for quite some time before I picked it up recently. I was amazed at the recipes, and I will turn to this book more and more in the future. I'm trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my diet, but beyond that, I just find this book to be quite useful in all aspects of my menu planning. I will now reconsider other books by Mark Bitman....more info
  • Eat your veggies!
    I was looking for a good vegetable cookbook and this is the best! It is perfect for the cook who wants to put more vegetarian recipies on the table without fancy ingredients. These are plain and simple recipes and cover vegetables from A to Z. ...more info
  • my new "go to" book
    We're not strictly vegetarian but this is my new "go to" book. The recipes are easy to follow and easy to adjust/improvise. Our new thing when discussing dinner is "Let's see what Mark has to say." I use it several times a week and, being a former restaurant owner, I have a lot of cookbooks....more info
  • I never met a Mark Bittman cookbook I didn't like...
    This one is my new favorite. Here's what I like about it:

    * His approach to vegetarian cooking. I learned the term "flexitarian" from this book, which is how I now describe myself. His approach to meat consumption is reasonable and works with where I am in life (limited weekly consumption of animal products).

    * This is not a "diet" book, a nutritional guide or a lecture on why you should eat more plant-based foods. You can find that elsewhere. This is still, first and foremost, a cookbook. Bittman has a demonstrated appreciation for the environmental and practical benefits of consuming more plant-based foods. This book will help you appreciate that you can have a more wonderful, flavorful diet by increasing your consumption of vegetables, fruits, grains, and dairy. You will not get bored with these changes and will not be doomed to a austere life of celery sticks and bland purees. You can also cook delicious meals for others who don't share your outlook on food (and they probably won't realize you are omitting meat). If you eventually remove dairy and eggs from your diet, this cookbook will still serve as a comprehensive guide to great cooking.

    * Bittman's recipes are typically minimalist and focus on fresh, simple ingredients. They also encourage creative expermentation. I appreciate how he will start with a good, basic recipe (i.e., pancakes), and provide several realistic and effective variations. This flexibility is great for those times when you want variety in your diet (or your pantry is lacking in certain ingredients).

    * Every time I read through this book, I learn something new. He doesn't pretend that you aspire to be the top chef at a 5-star restaurant, but realizes that most of us can take our daily cooking to the next level. Essential tools, techniques and shopping tips are covered. He also guides you through what you need to know about a particular food. For example, he will explain the characteristics of a specific vegetable, how it can be cooked, what to remove, and how to clean it; then he presents recipes that feature the vegetable.

    * It makes a lovely gift. I should know... I gave it to myself. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it for a friend who would appreciate it.
    ...more info
  • FINALLY a book with the recipes and the INFO to do it right!
    I LOVE this cookbook. I checked it out from the library and had to buy one.

    As a vegetarian I have been searching for a book that was more than just a compilation of vegetarian recipes and less than a lecture on the advantages of vegetarianism. I wanted something that would explain the details and give me some technical info on the subject.

    This book satisfies in every way. For example consider the section on breads. Bittman gives you explanations on basic bread-making techniques, explains the differences between flours, leaveners, yeasts, kneading techniques, and so on. I found the tips on letting the oven preheat for at least an hour and planning your baking to make the best of your time to be examples of very practical advice.

    The recipes for breads follow the detailed advice. This allows you to get the benefit of detailed explanations and easily access recipes if you have mastered the techniques.

    Each section follows this pattern.

    Following the information I learned in the bread-making section I have made the best loaf of banana bread I have ever made. In addition I have properly stocked my cabinets and now have a baking day with the kids.

    Bittman is very easy to read; the right balance of information, personal stories, opinions, and humor. I actually ENJOY reading this cookbook. I don't think I have ever thought this about a cookbook. I have only previously read cookbooks as I would a dictionary.

    If you are a new vegetarian or an experienced one you will find this book a highly valuable addition to your collection that will improve your cooking technique and the pleasure you get from eating vegetarian. Non-vegetarians will welcome Bittman's lack of preaching a vegetarian lifestyle. Vegans will find plenty of recipes and useful info. Until Bittman writes an "Everything Vegan" cookbook, this may be your best bet!

    Buy this book, you won't regret it!

    ...more info
  • How to Cook Vegetables for Carnivores.... ?
    Its an ok book, I don't own any of his other books but have learned I do like his writing. I thought it might be good to add more vegetation to the diet. Eggs, butter and milk are still prevalent, which I understand; vegetarian not vegan, but I still was not expecting. ...more info
  • Excellent for veg's and non-veg's alike
    I bought this cookbook as a gift for my vegetarian friend (she enjoys several recipes out of the version I have, "How to Cook Everything") - but I found myself wanting a copy after leafing through it before I wrapped it! He's updated several recipes found in the original "How to Cook Everything" and added some truly delicious takes to replace the standard "meat and potatoes" sections of his other book. Can't wait to get my own copy.
    ...more info