The New Laurel's Kitchen
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The New Laurel's Kitchen

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  3,123 ratings  ·  90 reviews
The complete cookbook and reference center for the whole-foods kitchen - over a million copies sold!

The New Laurel's Kitchen is everything that made the first edition loved and trusted, with hundreds of new recipes and the latest nutritional information.
• Over 500 recipes, ideas, menus, and suggestions, each tested and perfected for satisfying, wholesome home cooking
• Imag...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published October 1st 1986 by Ten Speed Press (first published June 1st 1976)
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Kelly
If you're looking for a good vegetarian cookbook that is not puffed up and is green through and through this is it. Some friends invited us over for dinner and served us the black bean soup from this book. I was so impressed by the simplicity of it that I bought the book immediately. I have been cooking with this book for years and love the whole philosophy of using what you have and not wasting and of overall health in eating and living. I love it's humble, thankful, respectful take on eating a...more
Natalie
A favorite book, not so much for the recipes but rather for the introduction and the story of Laurel and her two friends. I read this years ago and it resonated with my soul. What is so interesting is that this book was written during the time of the women's lib movement by a woman who lived in Berkeley! Yet the introduction speaks much truth to what I feel is "true feminism," embracing who we are as women. The books talks about women as the "keeper of the keys" and about the creativity we can f...more
Chris
As crunchy and granola as cookbooks come, this is old-school, hippie vegetarian cooking; there's a chapter for recipies titled "munchies," so you know its authentic. The recipies are hearty and good, but there's only so much of this heavy, sometimes bland cooking I can take. I like back-to-the-basics veggie food more than most people I know, but I like a bit more variety; this is the sort of food that makes people think they could never be vegetarian.
Polly
I love reading this book, and some of the recipes are good, but it's an example of the "if it's good for you, it must taste good" school of thought, and I've never been able to agree. Whole wheat pie pastry made with oil does not taste as good as white with butter or lard, nor is soy sauce a reasonable substitute for salt, although this cookbook would have you believe both are delicious alternatives. And I won't even mention my feelings about tempeh and parsnips, nor my unprintable reaction to t...more
Heidi
Yes, it's a cookbook, but it's a cookbook that changed my life. One reviewer thought that the emphasis on a woman's role in the home was "neo-fascist," which made me laugh pretty hard. But then again this same reviewer commented that the photo of the authors looked "hippie/Mormon," which also describes me pretty well. Except that by "Mormon" I think she meant "polygamist," which certainly doesn't apply. (Come on, it was 1971--give 'em a break. I saw a more recent picture, and there wasn't a bun...more
An Odd1
When illness (lupus) repeatedly threatened my life, I tried preventative measures, reading and experimenting with nutrition. The first edition of this book lost its cover because every single recipe I tried actually tasted good, unlike most early low-fat low-sugar cardboard. Flexibility was a plus. Variations, like adding fish to the corn chowder, held up. My sister has my old copy, and the chickpea falafel patties are family favorites, even with the 8-year old and teen fed fast food by their fa...more
Amy Lou
I ran across this book in the clearance section of a used bookstore and bought it for $3.00. It is worth a million dollars!! It initially caught my eye because its illustrations reminded me of the black and white silhouette drawings in the original Boxcar Children Series. It is part cookbook, part nutritional textbook and part "peace, love and happiness" philosophical storybook. An absolute gem and a must have for any vegetarians out there!!
Loraine
Reading The New Laurel's Kitchen brought back wonderful memories of my hippie days, when my mind started wrapping around how our health, food production, and earth's health are one and the same. My lodestone books were Diet for a Small Planet and The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook, but I often borrowed my friend's copy of Laurel's Kitchen. Her recipes hold up. Her information and philosophy are timeless.
Bethanne Bailey
Sep 14, 2011 Bethanne Bailey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Bethanne by: friend
My go-to cookbook. I always have it handy. My copy is old and ratty because it's my favorite of my entire cookbook collection. The book was published in 1968 and 1972 so the recipes are older but endure because of their wholesomeness and proven nutritious value. The most thorough and balanced approach to vegetarianism that I have found over the years. Highly recommended if you can still find a copy.
Jeanette
This is a well-loved classic from the days when vegetarianism and foodie-ism weren't so trendy. There are so many great, practical tips and recipes for simple, healthful meals without a lot of the exotic ingredients you find in more recent cookery books.
Sarah
So far not very useful when one already owns various Moosewoods and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
Jennifer
Mar 29, 2008 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: amanda
Recommended to Jennifer by: amazon search
I rented this book expecting to find some recipes I might like for whole foods eating. I must say I was surprised when the first section of the book did not start off as recipes, but rather a long conversation about how the Laurel's kitchen book came to be, and more specifically, about how the author came to change her dietary habits from meat centered to vegetarian, and the trials she faced in learning these new ways. I was completely enthralled. I am not interested in becoming vegetarian, but...more
Sian Lile-Pastore
This book is kind of lovely. Reading it made me think of being in a commune in the 70s (crocheting a blanket at the same time helped) and how I might have used this book to learn how to cook vegetarian food. The best bits are the first few chapters which are the writers personal stories about cooking for their families and how they didn't know how to cook beans etc. There's a bit where one of the authors says that people were giving up meat in the 60s and 70s but had no idea what to eat instead,...more
Brenda Funk
An unusual cookbook in that there are not a lot of pictures, and there is a lot to read. Good stuff though, which I will keep reading as I use the recipes. And they do look great and well tested.
Parvati
Wow. This is my vegetarian cooking bible. As a 35 year vegetarian and former owner of a veg restaurant, this is a great veg sourcebook. For simple solutions, for expert recipes and a list of the contents in foods, tips and charts...it's excellent. My copy from the 70's is worn and has a makeshift cover on it now. So, I bought the new one just to have it, in case my worn one completely disintegrates in time! It's superb. Try Diana's Apple Crisp. It's become a standard for our home. Etching illust...more
laura
my mom gave me her old beat up copy of this book a few years back-- i mean really beat up-- coverless, and i remember it from childhood (i'm about to turn 28). so i'm finally reading it. it's riveting, seductive even, but this woman-as-spiritual/nutritional-nurturer lifestyle that they seem to be shilling fucking kills me. i'm riveted, though. and seduced! it's like reading danielle steele or something-- bewildering, horrifying, strangely compellingly easy to read. and, of course, once you get p...more
Valerie
Apr 17, 2008 Valerie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who cooks healthful food--or wants to start.
Laurel's Kitchen comes across as so old-fashioned, until I reflect on the fact that this is one of the books that started it all...this is the venerable grandma to the contemporary health food craze/movement (I can never tell which it is), and as such deserves some respect! It is true that I don't make more than 2 or 3 of the recipes--but I refer to it all the time: cooking times for legumes, proportions needed for yogurt, nutritional info on nuts, etc. (I have a poor memory for such details.) I...more
Stacie Slotnick
I don't cook from this book much any more, but in college it was really an influential text for me. I really learned a lot about food and cooking from this book, and about cooking without using anything pre-made or frozen or from a mix. There are a few recipes that are my go-to versions of things, but I find now that a lot of the recipes are just too involved with too many ingredients, and take too long to make except for special occasions.

But everything I've ever made from this cookbook has be...more
Grace Krilanovich
Jun 23, 2007 Grace Krilanovich rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: neo-fascists
I actually read this cookbook. There's an odd, culty Waco-like insistence on a woman's return to femininity vis-a-vis daily bread baking and an amount of cooking that would cripple a restaurant. The back cover (of my 1971 ed.) depicts the three authors in modest updo's and ruffled dresses -- kind of hippie-Mormon. But everything seems tasty. It checks out, foodwise. I made a sandwich with cottage cheese, cinnamon, raisins and sunflower seeds at the book's suggestion.
Beth
Warmly written, highly informed, non-oppressive vegetarian cookbook with a very useful nutrition scale at the end. I never feel like I'm reading a preachy anti-meat diatribe; it's great for a well-informed vegetarian whole-foods diet, and equally useful for omnivores looking to expand their side dish repertory, especially into the dark leafy greens. Favorite recipes: Creamed Spinach, Gingery Tomato Soup, Potato Dill Soup, Rasam (spicy Indian broth).
kathryn
You wouldn't think a cookbook could be good reading, but this one is. Simple recipes for everyday wholesome cooking combined with explanations for using ingredients make this more than a compilation of recipes. Making your own yogurt, sprouting beans, making granola and miso soup...all the basics are here. And advice on things you wouldn't expect in a cookbook such as how to raise your children so they don't become fussy eaters.
Meghan
Sep 02, 2010 Meghan added it
I am actually reading the original version of this book printed in 1976. I am re-reading it and have thought about buying the updated version in the past, but then I look at how much "love" this book has already taken (including my notes such as dates I first tried the recipe, and thoughts on how to make the recipe "mine") and I always end up passing it up when I am in the bookstore. It is a book that I always come back to, I love it!!
Amy Ruth
Probably the first cookbook I ever bought myself, I may have even still been in high school (and a freshly converted vegetarian). I still love it for its gentle tone, simple woodcut-type illustrations, and straightforward recipes. As a teen I think I was also intrigued by the author photo. I knew there was a commune involved somehow and I wondered if the young male co-author was boyfriend to one of the ladies. Hot stuff!
Abilouise
The lumpier, blander side of vegetarian cooking, and I think that the nutrition in this book is a bit dated. I still love the woodcut art and the writers' vision for a better and more loving and wholesome future. I just wish they had a little more flair with their food. I share their vision and I'm glad to have read it, but I'll be using the recipes in Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian to be part of it, ok?
Liz
Oct 24, 2008 Liz rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Liz by: Catherine
A combination of recipes for people in delicate conditions and kind suggestions for their care and for the care of the care-giver. As always in Laurel's kitchen, the ingredients are vegetarian and healthy and wholesome. I read most of it in one night and will go back and try - probably - the timbale, the St. Patrick's puree and the tapioca variations. And maybe savory bread pudding.
Beth
Sep 16, 2007 Beth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who cooks!
I love to cook ... and I cook a lot of whole foods for our family. So that being said, I am constantly referring to this book - a mix between a cookbook, and a good nutritional guide, with little ideas for how to make dishes more delicious AND nutritious (it rhymed!). Admittedly crunchy, but sooo yummy (especially the recipe for homemade graham crackers and vanilla pudding - mmmmmm!).
Leslie
Dec 07, 2011 Leslie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vegetarians and potential vegetarians
This book was formative in my life, in that I have based my diet on it for about 30 years! I have carried the same old battered and beloved copy with me from continent to continent, and its recipes are the staple foods produced by my kitchen. Her good research on how to make a vegetarian diet work has been essential, for me and my family. I love this book!
G.G.
As interesting for its rejection of consumerism and espousal of a Gandhian-inspired intellectual domesticity as for its recipes. Some of the nutritional suggestions (margarine instead of butter, for example) have been superseded, but with a few adjustments, many of the recipes are still good. Personal favourite: Carrot Fruitcake.
Cwalsen
The 1976 version of this book recalls exactly the mood in Berkeley in the 70's. It also has some good recipes; I trace my love of adzuki beans directly to this book. The description of the lunch that Laurel packs for her husband in the introduction is worth hunting down the book at the library or used bookstore.
Sheherazahde
A classic vegetarian cookbook. Like all good cookbooks it reflects the personal cooking style of the author. This one tends to lean heavily on whole grains and buttermilk. My favorite recipes are "Whole Beet Borscht" p152, "Green Potatoes for Six" p206, "Baked Zucchini" p 216, and "Lasagna al Forno" p256
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