Moosewood Cookbook (40th Anniversary Edition): Review

If you did not know (which, why would you?), I was a vegetarian for many years. And I was raised in a house that didn’t really eat that much meat anyway. So the Moosewood books were a staple. Vegetarian recipes that don’t feel “vegetarian”.

I love cookbooks, I have an ever-growing collection of them – but it never even occurred to me to buy any of the original Moosewood cookbooks for a couple of reasons: First, my grandma has them and I can borrow hers. And second, they’re really hefty paperbacks and I have limited apartment space.

First Impressions

I was VERY pleased to see a heavy-duty and durable hardback. I love paperback books to read, but they don’t stand up to constant use in the kitchen (and I promise I will be using this one a lot). It was also much thinner than I am used to seeing with Moosewood cookbooks, so my overcrowded bookshelf was pleased with that.

I feel like this book was a part of my childhood, and when I opened the anniversary edition I was not quite sure what to expect. It was thinner, and newer, and I was wondering if it had maybe been updated for modern times “Joy of Cooking style”. So, I don’t have an original to compare it to – but from what I can see (and from what the author included in her note) it has been tweaked for modern tastes in some parts, and “about 25 new recipes” have been added! Sounds good to me!

Not to mention: They still have the original introduction from 1977, and a history of the book. How awesome is that?

The Recipes

I’m thinking that I will make their Cream of Asparagus soup tonight (which, yes, is the first recipe in the book. I LOVE ASPARAGUS AND CREAM SOUP, OKAY?!). And maybe Miso soup tomorrow. Salty, umami, deliciousness.

The salad section, which I am ever suspicious of, consisted of more of a guide to make salad to your tastes to start. Rather than a recipe for what needs to go into the salad. If you’re a recipe follower, though, don’t worry, it had some of that, too. Really, though, what interested me was the dressings. I hate to admit it, but, I’ve never made a real salad dressing before? Probably time to start! To clarify, it wasn’t just leafy salads though. They also had Tabouli and a White Rabbit Salad (which, no, did not contain rabbits).

There was an Antipasto section with Marinated Artichokes! And remember when I said I might make that soup a few paragraphs ago? Well, now I might make these. Marinated Artichokes is a balanced meal, right? RIGHT?!

I have to say though, despite my undying love for the recipes in all of the other sections, my heart stopped at the “Sauces and Dips” section. I loovvveeeee sauces and dips. I LIVE for sauces and dips. Pasta Sauce, Pesto, Stir-Fry Sauce, Hummus. Dips and sauces (which are sometimes the same thing) make the world go ’round. If most of your meals do not contain sauce, you’re doing it wrong! Also, lets talk about the fact that they have Chinese Duck Sauce in here! It is SO hard to find Chinese-American sauce recipes that are reliable. I may have just died and gone to homemade “takeout” heaven.

I do not, however, agree with their (or anyone’s) take on guacamole. Guacamole should be lemon/lime, avocado, salt, and garlic. Period.

The next section was baked things and sandwiches. I’ve actually eaten the falafels from a previous incarnation of this book and can vouch for their deliciousness. And a page on “Celebratory Sandwich Fillings”? Yes, please. I literally just posed a question to my game at large about what they fill their sandwiches with. I need to up my sandwich game.

As if I couldn’t be MORE drawn into this wonderful book, the entrée section features all sorts of things I need to make, like, yesterday.

I’m not even sure where to start on the dessert section, but let’s just say that Maple-Walnut Pie is definitely going to Thanksgiving dinner.

Final Thoughts

I may be rambling at this point – but to be totally fair – this is a big book. It’s not as big as it’s predecessors in size, but it has just as much (and more!) content. You could also probably give someone a fair lump on their head with it, too. Not that you SHOULD. You should cook with it. Not hit people with it. Jeez.

I’m just trying to fairly cover all aspects of the book, okay? Okay. Plus, if it gives you any indication about how full this book is, and about how brimming with advice and recipes it is, then I’ve done my job as a lifelong advocate for Moosewood books.

I would recommend the Moosewood cookbooks to anyone. In fact, I did recommend it to one of my customers. It’s vegetarian, yes. But it’s vegetarian in an approachable way. You don’t open the book and immediately see words like “Tempeh” or “Seitan”, and if you didn’t know any better you might not even realize the recipes were meatless.

The recipes don’t NEED meat. And they don’t miss it.

 

Want to look into it more? Here’s more info about the book, and here is the author bio.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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