Lisa Vegan's Reviews > The Natural Vegan Kitchen: Recipes from the Natural Kitchen Cooking School

The Natural Vegan Kitchen by Christine Waltermyer
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's review
Apr 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: cookbook, non-fiction, vegan, vegetarian, reviewed
Read from April 08 to 17, 2011 — I own a copy

These are macrobiotic vegan recipes and most are either gluten free or can be made gluten free (and are marked as such when this applies). For each recipe, stats are also given for amount of calories, protein, fat, carbohydrate, fiber, and sodium. Because of the macrobiotic focus, many recipes have ingredients I don’t normally use, including such things as umeboshi vinegar, mirin, mochi, and other foods often used in macrobiotic dishes.

The layout overall is good but the “text boxes” don’t work at all. There is not sufficient contrast between the boxes and the rest of the text on the same pages, so they look as though they’re part of the rest of the text. At first I was confused and even though I quickly figured it out, on pages that have them, neither section on the pages are easy to read. One thing I found irritating at first, but then I saw the reasoning, is that major ingredients for recipes are sometimes listed far down on the ingredient list; you really have to read the full list of ingredients to get a good idea of what the recipe contains.

There isn’t a large amount of accompanying text, but what’s there is succinct, useful, and communicated in an interesting way.

There are photos for selected recipes only, but the ones there do make the recipes look appealing.

I even love the chapter names:


Foreword by Rory Freedman
The Journey
Chapter 1: The Way of the Natural Vegan Kitchen
Chapter 2: What’s for Breakfast
Chapter 3: Appetizers
Chapter 4: Nourishing Soups and Stews
Chapter 5: Ballads for Salads
Chapter 6: Spectacular Salad Dressings and Sauces
Chapter 7: Radiant Grains
Chapter 8: Savory Beans
Chapter 9: The Main Dish and Casserole City
Chapter 10: Delectable Vegetables
Chapter 11: Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!
Mail Order Suppliers
Suggested Reading

The recipes that look best to me are:

from breakfasts: Sioux Indian cornmeal pudding

from appetizers: easy scallion hummus

from soups and stews: vegetable broth (No salt is added! Hooray!), ginger-squash soup, navy bean soup, creamy cauliflower-broccoli soup

from salads: corn and black bean salad, Israeli salad

from salad dressings and sauces: pea pesto, onion gravy, mushroom gravy

And, I love how at the beginning of this chapter, there are lists of foods to add if you want to make the recipes go in these directions: bitterness, pungency, richness, saltiness, sourness, and sweetness.

from grains: mushroom-rice pilaf, millet-cauliflower mash, basic polenta, confetti bulgar

from beans: creamy black beans with squash

from main dishes and casseroles: tofu pot pie, enchilada casserole

from vegetables: easy one-skillet meal, breaded cauliflower

from desserts: jelled fruit dessert, chocolate pudding (with the) tofu whipped cream

There is also a glossary, a short list of six websites that have supplies/foods, a suggested reading list, and an index, which lists the recipe names in bold, a nice touch.

What I appreciated most about this cookbook is that because it’s a cooking school cookbook, I’d expected the majority of the recipes to be overly complicated, but many of the recipes are actually simple and easy. I liked that!
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Reading Progress

04/08/2011 page 1
04/16/2011 page 163
85.0% "I'm surprised at how many of these recipes are not overly complicated and how many seem very simple & easy. Heavily macrobiotic though so many contain ingredients I don't normally use."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Petra X (new)

Petra X Great review, very informative.

Lisa Vegan Thanks, Petra. I try to do that with cookbooks, and this one especially, because there are no other reviews or ratings, yet anyway.

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