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Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven    by Mollie Katzen order for
Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven
by Mollie Katzen
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2000 (1997)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

An older cookbook from celebrated, award-winning Molly Katzan, Vegetable Heaven is just what the title says, heaven for an almost vegetarian like me. Peppered with the chef's own delightful illustrations, this book proves that using Mollie Katzen's delicious recipes can make one forget there's no meat on the plate. Works for me. Katzen says in her introduction, 'Based upon taste, this is the cooking I love. I am delighted to share it with you, through recipes, commentary and pictures to show you just how easy and accessible this can be.'

After the introduction come 'Some Ingredient Notes in a Nutshell'. Don't miss this page. The recipe for garlic paste is worth more than the minute it takes to read it. Conversion tables follow, and then the glorious, wonderful, mouthwatering, easy-to-prepare recipes. Sound like I'm hooked? You better believe it. Good food. I'd like to try each and every recipe with the exception of any dish containing beets. Don't ask; it's an ugly story.

Mollie Katzen isn't asking anyone to give up meat, but to use these recipes when meat isn't on the menu. Or use them as an accompaniment to meat; your preference. But if you do jump on board, meat will play a smaller part in your meal planning. From Tortilla Soup with Roasted Red Peppers to Brussel Sprouts in Creamy Mustard Sauce; from Fusilli with Sweet and Hot Peppers, White Beans, Lemon and Olives to Chocolate-Topped Almond Cake, there are a multitude of dishes to choose from. Try just one and tell me you won't try some more. What's not to like?

The twenty-six menus for all occasions at the back of this wonderful cookbook are inspired. Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven will be a birthday present for my twenty-seven year-old grandson who hasn't eaten meat for at least thirteen years. Probably stunted his growth, though - he's only 6'4"! Just try this one, already. You'll be glad you did. And so will your family.

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