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Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone cookbook by Deborah Madison --Easy or complicated recipes?

Thinking of getting this cookbook for a gift--are the recipes complicated or relatively easy?

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  1. Most are relatively easy and straightforward. She has another cookbook, Greens, that is a little more involved but also produces very delicious food.

    1. I agree with the mostly-easy assessment, but I would add that this book is very informative aside from the recipes. If your gift-recipient is a nascent veg fan, it's a great buy. If your recipient is fairly far into veg. cookery, he/she may already have it. Inquire slyly, I guess.

      It is a good book. Buy yourself one while you're at it! :)

      1. Mostly very easy.
        It's a great book, really. Great reference, and lots of good recipes, including my favorite little nut cookie.

        1. Mostly easy, and my favorite everyday cookbook. I've given it as a gift several times, mostly to non vegetarians, all of whom report using it frequently.

          1. This is one of my favorite cookbooks. Some people say it's too simple, but that's exactly what I like about it. The dishes turn out delicious, even though they're simple. And there are enough complicated recipes that if you're in the mood for a challengs, they're available.

            And it's HUGE. Something for every occassion. My friend bought me a copy and she and I e-mail each other all the time about "Madison's this" and "Madison's that."

            1 Reply
            1. re: Pei

              Yes, Pei, exactly, the beauty of it is the simplicity. Everything I have made has come out well, and the results are more than the sum of their parts.

            2. It was one of two the favorite cookbook of my geologist boyfriend who actually used tupperware lids as plates. So it definitely has some relatively uncomplicated recipes. I remember a baked polenta with great fondness.

              I agree though that if your giftee is a vegetarian, they may already have this cookbook. It's a classic.

              2 Replies
              1. re: heatherkay

                What was your boyfriends other favorite cookbook?

                1. re: Displaced California Foodie

                  Jamison and Jamison's Border Cookbook. I went out and bought that one myself. It has a range of recipes from Northern Mexico and the Southwest. It's worth it for the New Mexico carne adobada recipe alone.

              2. It is a comprehensive book so there are both. There is a large section that lists vegetables alphabetically and each vegetables will usually have several straighforward preparations with recipes. There are both easy and more complex soups (the lentil minestrone is fantastic) and there is a baked section that I've made yeast rolls from. It was indispensible when I was getting a weekly organic vegetable box. Everything from onion frittata(so good and simple) to goat cheese and corn enchiladas in chipotle chile sauce (a winner.)

                1 Reply
                1. re: coconutz

                  Totally agree with cocnutz--it's a comprehensive book, so there are both straightforward recipes that can be prepared easily by folks with little cooking experience, as well as more challenging recipes as a cook advances. But, all are good.

                2. So,what are your favorite recipes from this book? Are there any "must make" dishes? Please be specific.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: bxgirl

                    Arancini. There are three or four risotto recipes. I really like the mushroom one and then turn this into arancini.

                    Also really like her Vietnamese Spring roll recipe

                    Oh and I almost forgot. I LOVE the Lasagne with chard and eggplant. I make it for friends and they all love it --even my friends who don't like eggplant. I've made it so many times and have some standard alterations:

                    I don't par boil my noodles or
                    prebake the eggplant. I slice and salt the eggplant let it sit and then and layer it on top of the sauce. I've found that it turns out just as good and saves time.

                    I also add mushrooms to the sauce and cook the chard in the sauce as well instead of sauteeing it. Saves a pan and time.

                    1. re: bxgirl

                      First, let me say that we have barely scratched the surface of the recipes. For me, this book is more of a basic guide, a reference book. Still, here are some (not all) that we love from the book and have made lately:
                      Polenta gratin with mushroom and tomato
                      Cauliflower gratin with tomatoes and feta
                      Butternut squash gratin
                      (Gratins and autumn/winter are a great pairing for me)

                      I make an olive linguine dish and a cauliflower with red wine dish that I thought I got from this book, but I don't see them now. I use several of the broth and stock recipes regularly, and go to the cookbook almost every time I get my produce from my CSA.

                      1. re: debbiel

                        The winter squash galette is HEAVEN in a tart pan.
                        Cardamom cookies
                        Basic buttermilk pancakes
                        Olive tapenade

                        Those are just the recipes that I've made over and over again, and that I pass along to others; there are lots of other recipes I like but don't make all the time.

                        1. re: Pei

                          I love the winter squash galette so much that I make only the filling on a regular basis and serve it as a side dish. The combo of sage, goat cheese and roasted garlic is one of my go-tos. Another winner is her upside-down almond cake. I don't have the book here, as it is as work (where I cook) but I remember making it once with fresh apricots, and it was gone in 60 seconds by moi and one other person. All of her sauces, entrees, heck, everything is inspiring and delicious, and the book is sooooo comprehensive.

                        1. re: NYchowcook

                          I LOVE the little nut cookie. Totally second this. Her ginger oat shorties are also good. I like a lot of her desserts, but I think she and I have a similar dessert sensibility (I don't like desserts that are too sweet).

                          Also, (to the OP) try doing a search on the book title or on her name. This book (with favorite recipes) has come up before, and I imagine you could get some good recs that way.

                        2. re: bxgirl

                          I like the indian style saute of cauliflower and greens, mujadarrah is a great quick weeknight meal (I add spinach sometimes), eggplant stew with peppers and chickpeas, I'm trying the lentil minestrone tonight, which comes pretty highly recommended too.

                        3. Cabbage and Rye Panade, pg 278. Delicious.

                          1. Winter squash flan w/ red wine shallot sauce!

                            1. I streamline the Asian ingredients a bit, but I adore the Stir-Fried Roasted Eggplant. I have done the initial eggplant cooking in the microwave as well as the oven. The former is quicker and will do in a pinch, but the latter has the best flavor. I use the finished dish as a pasta sauce, bruschetta topping, bed for poached eggs, and omelet filling.