How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, by Mark Bittman

Cover of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, by Mark Bittman

Oddly, I don’t have a great deal to say about this book. I purchased it for our household fairly close to the beginning of this challenge. This challenge wasn’t the driver for the purchase, but I’ll admit I wanted to get this cookbook before the rules kicked in (there’s a couple of those lurking about this house).

The main driver for this book, however, was that I would like Bill and I to be eating more vegetarian meals. I think Bill doesn’t care one way or the other about whether or not our meals contain meat. He loves meat, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not nearly as meat-fixated as I am. I think, thus, he doesn’t worry about how to incorporate more vegetarian eating into our lives. Certainly, if I just left the cooking up to him, I’d probably eat more vegetarian meals by default!

Why this book, rather than the million other vegetarian cookbooks out there? Or rather than a subscription to something like Vegetarian Times? Well, for pretty mundane reasons. I loved How to Cook Everything (1st Ed.), as I’ve mentioned in the past. His recipes/ideas in the New York Times are often mouthwatering. I trusted that this book would actually have a variety of recipes for a crazy variety of veggies (which it does, but it’s treatment of kohlrabi leaves something to be desired).

But what I think pushed me over the edge is a blog I used to read awhile back1. The author is a fabulous cook, it seems, vegetarian, and she loved the book, “despite expecting it to be a basic retelling of meat recipes, with the meat removed.”:

Frankly, with that endorsement, I was sold that it’d be a great cookbook. Like her, I’d been hesitant to buy such a large volume because of the expectation of dull “no meat, and thus less” meatless recipes. So when I went looking for vegetarian cookbooks, this was high on the list.

I should have considered the impact buying this monster would have on the challenge we were embarking on…

Number of recipes in the book: 2000 (Estimated from size & comparison with it’s sister book, How to Cook Everything, Revised)
Number we’ve cooked: 4

You can click the “how to cook everything vegetarian” tag on this entry to see everything we’ve cooked out of this book.

fn1. There’s not actually a good reason I don’t follow 101 Cookbooks anymore. The bad reason is that my harddrive crashed back in April 2008, and I was without a computer for a week or two. By the time I got the machine running again, I’d forgotten what I read before. When I finally stumbled back across 101 Cookbooks (about a year later), I couldn’t bear the thought of having another set of archives to go back through. I am highly likely to pick it up again. If you’re reading this blog (and are interested in vegetarian food) you should probably be reading that blog. I reserve the right to take that back if I start reading again and she seems to have gone off the rails, but I highly doubt that will have happened.