Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Shambhala (November 4, 2003)
Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #70,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #29 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > U.S. Regional > California #149 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Special Diet > Vegetarian & Vegan > Non-Vegan Vegetarian #201 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking by Ingredient > Natural Foods
I would love to give this book five stars. When I first bought it, I certainly would have. However, as I worked my way through the book and cooked with more of the recipes, I found myself with headaches as often as I had great food.Here's why: This book is not edited well, and it is not written with a beginning or even an intermediate cook in mind. That combination spells disaster. In roughly a third of the recipes in the book, vital details are missing, details that might seem minor to a casual reader or obvious to advanced cooks but mean the difference between beautiful food and a disgusting, and in some cases expensive, catastrophe.Here's a good example. Many of the book's recipes call for a meat substitute called seitan, a sort of gluten loaf cooked in broth. A recipe for seitan is provided in the early chapters of the book. Interested in making at home what can be a very expensive item in the store, I set out to make seitan one day according to the recipe provided in Petrovna's book.So, I followed the directions to the letter, going through the entire process of making the dough and rinsing out the starch and kneading the resulting gluten ball, a process that takes place over the course of hours. Then, I prepared the broth that the gluten is cooked in - a very salty broth, I should add - and put the whole thing on the stove to cook, a process that also took hours. However, as I put the pot on the stove, I found myself rereading the directions over and over again, hoping that I'd find a clue as to whether or not to put the lid on the pot while the seitan cooked. There was none, except a picture of the seitan cooking, which featured a pot with no lid on it. So I decided to take a chance and leave the lid off.
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