Disappointment in gifted vegetarian cookbook - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-10-2012, 06:55 PM
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I was given a vegetarian cook book, and looking through it, I have picked out several things that have annoyed me. It is almost like this was written for omnis or vegetarians in it for health only. At no point do they mention how you are helping animals, but only how much you are helping yourself. They even state out right that most are in it for health only, and some may enjoy meat broths. And this paragraph:

"Eating vegetarian today is so easy- not to worry if one of the kids has turned full-time vegetarian, or if you need to serve vegetarian friends. With recipes this good, you'll be making them often and no one will care if they are vegetarian or not."

They make it sound like eating vegetarian was such a hassle and boring thing. And what they say about vegans is that it can be unhealthy, makes it next to impossible to eat out, and just all around is a bad thing. I am not a vegan (yet), but I certainly respect them and agree with them.

Also, I don't much like how several recipes have a note at the bottom that says "And you could add [insert whatever kind of meat] in step 4!" Bit of a pointless rant, but I wanted to let it out. But anyway, I am going to use one of the recipes tonight.
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#2 Old 05-10-2012, 07:01 PM
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I'd recommend getting a vegan cookbook like Vegan with a Vengeance or another (there are so many good ones now) that is written by a vegan who is excited to come up with vegan recipes and help animals at the same time.

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#3 Old 05-10-2012, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

I'd recommend getting a vegan cookbook like Vegan with a Vengeance or another (there are so many good ones now) that is written by a vegan who is excited to come up with vegan recipes and help animals at the same time.

Next cook book that I buy, I'll have to make sure of that. And I like the thought of getting a vegan one too, I am hoping to make the leap to veganism sometime soon.
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#4 Old 05-10-2012, 07:49 PM
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I was once given a cookbook for Christmas that was some kind of a healthy eating book and probably 2/3 of the recipes were meat based. The person gave it to me because the recipes did use a lot of veggies and fruits so they figured with me being a vegan (well they thought I was vegetarian) that I'd like it since it had healthy recipes. I just don't think they understood that it wasn't a health thing for me but an ethics things. I wound up donating the book because none of the recipes looked that appealing or looked worth trying to veganize.

I agree with getting yourself some good vegan cookbooks. I love Veganomicon and some of my other favorites are Vegan Fire and Spice by Robin Robertson and Viva Vegan by Terry Hope Romero.

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#5 Old 05-10-2012, 08:02 PM
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#6 Old 05-10-2012, 08:41 PM
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I don't know, I tend to skip all that stuff and just read the recipes. If they're good, the cookbook is good, IMO. If the recipes are bad, it doesn't matter what other words are in the cookbook. Just try some recipes and see if you like 'em.
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#7 Old 05-10-2012, 09:08 PM
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I have a number of vegetarian cookbooks that I really love and I plan to learn how to substitute some of the lacto-ovo things in the recipes. But I was really picky when I bought the books. I made sure the books werent built around eggs and cheese to the expense of vegetables- the ones I bought were very vegetable centred. Also it helped if the author was vegetarian or at least had a very positive attitude towards vegetarianism.

I even have a pesco-pollo book which contains mostly health "vegan" recipes: "You are what you eat cookbook" and I love this cookbook though I ripped a couple of pages out and took to a couple of recipes with marker pen... now it is a vegan cookbook thanks to my black marker.

A couple of my veg cookbooks say the odd annoying thing but they mostly have a very positive slant. I have one I like published in 1989 and another from the early 90s and it has lots of lentil loaves and bean casseroles. The author seems pretty enthused about the recipes, though she is omni.

I also have a book which is by a health vegetarian which has great recipes, though the book kind of indicates all the health benefits and encourages me to find God and Christianity. But I try and just focus on the food. : )
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#8 Old 05-13-2012, 07:17 AM
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When I get a cookbook like that I am getting ideas about cooking meals not animal rights, there are enough books out there for animal rights.
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#9 Old 05-13-2012, 07:58 AM
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Assuming that the sentiment behind giving you the cookbook was well-intentioned, I would do as others have said and ignore the parts that don't pertain to being vegetarian and see if you can salvage some good recipes from it.
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#10 Old 05-13-2012, 08:09 AM
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Geez my first veg cookbook was Recipes for a Small Planet. I combined proteins religiously until someone gave me The Moosewood cookbook, and then I started having fun. I like to read all kinds of cookbooks and recipes and love that the library has so many veg cookbooks now.
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#11 Old 05-13-2012, 08:33 AM
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Not everyone eats vegetarian for the same reasons (or all the time for that matter - some just want to eat more healthy). It's good they have books that appeal to a wide variety of people. The important thing is people eating less animals.

As others have pointed out maybe you just need to find one that appeals more to you.

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#12 Old 05-13-2012, 09:10 AM
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#13 Old 05-13-2012, 09:26 AM
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I'm a little jealous. Nobody gives me cookbooks.

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#14 Old 05-13-2012, 09:40 AM
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To the OP: I'm curious to know the title of this cookbook you don't like.

My mother once gave me the Sunset Vegetarian Cookbook (published by Sunset magazine). I noticed that for some recipes, chicken was listed as an optional ingredient. My sister thought they took a lot of omni recipes and "converted" them to vegetarian for the cookbook. My thought was that some people make vegetarian meals for themselves and omni meals for others,so chicken would be added for the omnis. Either way,I thought it was a good way of showing that some recipes could be easily vegetarianized or de-vegetarianized, and that would make things a little easier for busy spouses, parents, etc. As long as all the recipes are vegetarian, and as long as the cookbook author isn't some delusional idiot who includes chicken because he or she thinks chicken is a vegetarian food, I wouldn't worry about it.

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#15 Old 05-13-2012, 10:39 AM
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Even when I ate dairy I still chose vegan books.
But- I also like to check out all kinds of recipes for comparison.
I found Julia Childs books are great for cooking vegetables, grains, and beans that I hadn't seen elsewhere. She also does amazing things with vegetable recipes.

I'm just glad to find books geared towards omnis that feature veg recipes.

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#16 Old 05-14-2012, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy SF View Post

To the OP: I'm curious to know the title of this cookbook you don't like.

It is a Betty Crocker, everyday vegetarian book.

I still need to try more recipes (I only had one so far, and did not like it) before I can make a judgement on how good the recipes are. And it would make sense if the book was more geared towards omnies that have to often cook for vegetarians, reviewing the wording of it all.
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#17 Old 05-17-2012, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erratus View Post

It is a Betty Crocker, everyday vegetarian book.

I still need to try more recipes (I only had one so far, and did not like it) before I can make a judgement on how good the recipes are. And it would make sense if the book was more geared towards omnies that have to often cook for vegetarians, reviewing the wording of it all.

I have that book - I've made a few recipes from it, and they were pretty good and easy. It uses a lot of convenience foods, like premade biscuit dough and such, but there are also plenty of recipes from scratch. I think the book is definitely geared toward omnis who may have vegetarian children or guests, rather than people who want to become vegetarian or already are. Regardless, I would judge the book by the recipes rather than the front matter, which is usually just fluff to bring up the page count IMO. I don't buy a cookbook to learn the author's views on nutrition (unless they are a registered dietitian), ethics, etc, I bought it for the recipes. It's sometimes helpful if they explain techniques, but unless you are just learning to cook, there probably won't be anything new.

A couple of the recipes I have made and liked: Easy Italian skillet supper p44 and Tomato vegetable stew with cheddar cheese dumplings p227. Actually paging through, there is a fair amount of variety. Although some recipes aren't all that healthy, there are quite a few recipes with beans or tofu and lots of veggies, so it kind of balances out.
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#18 Old 05-17-2012, 06:52 AM
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I am really not sure why they're mentioning health at all in a cook book.
Where I am from cook books usually center around food, not health or
animal abuse.
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