Passionate Vegetarian

Passionate Vegetarian

4.7 21
by Crescent Dragonwagon, Robbin Gourley

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Ten Years in the Making and more than a thousand pages long, Passionate Vegetarian brings to the table a full spectrum of cuisine that's at once healthy, exciting, imaginative, and deeply satisfying. It triumphantly solves the often perceived entree problem of vegetarian cooking -- lots of side dishes with no centerpiece. And it confidently addresses the issue of how… See more details below


Ten Years in the Making and more than a thousand pages long, Passionate Vegetarian brings to the table a full spectrum of cuisine that's at once healthy, exciting, imaginative, and deeply satisfying. It triumphantly solves the often perceived entree problem of vegetarian cooking -- lots of side dishes with no centerpiece. And it confidently addresses the issue of how to fit vegetarian meals into a time-pressed schedule.

Editorial Reviews

If there is one book that will encourage you to stay home and cook this winter, it is Passionate Vegetarian.
Christian Science Monitor
Don't limit this cookbook just to vegetarians on your list; it deserves a place in every kitchen.
Cincinnati Enquirer
A complete and all-purpose vegetarian cookbook for any time of year.
Seattle Times
How often do you come across a cookbook, vegetarian or otherwise, where every page has something worth exploring.
Library Journal
For many years, Dragonwagon and her husband ran an inn in the Ozarks of Arkansas, and two previous cookbooks, The Dairy Hollow House Cookbook and Dairy Hollow House Soups and Breads: A Country Inn Cookbook, grew out of that experience. Despite having been a vegetarian for decades, Dragonwagon did not feature vegetarian fare at the inn or in her earlier books. This big, exuberant book marks her foray into the cooking closest to her heart, with more than 1000 recipes, from "Welcoming Hors d'Oeuvres" to "Just Desserts." Dragonwagon is indeed a passionate vegetarian, and adjectives like sensual and voluptuous appear in many of her recipe notes. Her food is boldly seasoned and draws from a variety of cuisines. In addition to the recipes, she includes hundreds of boxes and sidebars on ingredients and myriad other subjects; the vegetable chapter, for example, features an A-Z guide to her favorites. There is also a chapter called "Quick Fix," with recipes and suggestions for no-fuss meals. Many of the other recipes offer suggestions for easy variations. Deborah Madison's huge Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone came first, and it and Dragonwagon's book cover similar ground by virtue of having the same topic, but there is little overlap in terms of recipes. With vegetarian cooking more popular than ever, most libraries will want Passionate Vegetarian, too. Highly recommended. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.52(w) x 9.48(h) x 2.32(d)

Meet the Author

Crescent Dragonwagon is the James Beard Award–winning author of seven cookbooks, including Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread Cookbook, Passionate Vegetarian, and, most recently, The Cornbread Gospels. She is also a contributing editor to Relish magazine and has appeared on Good Morning America, Today and NPR’s The Splendid Table. She lives, grows, and cooks her beans on a farm in Putney, Vermont.

Read an Excerpt


Serves 4 to 6

1 large butternut squash, about 1 pound, halved, seeded, and peeled
Cooking spray (optional)
2 teaspoons tamari or shoyu soy sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
About 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
Honeyed Red-Wine Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
8 to 10 cups assorted salad greens, half mild (oakleaf, romaine, and/or Boston lettuces) and half bitter or pungent (arugula, watercress, curly endive), well washed and dried
1 to 2 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped medium-fine
1 sweet, crisp apple, such as Galla, peel on, diced into 1/3 inch pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, or chopped, toasted pecans, toasted pumpkin seeds, or - best yet - tamari-roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

1 - Preheat the oven to 400 F.

2 - Place 4 to 6 salad plates in the freezer to chill.

3 - Cut the peeled squash into 1/2-inch dice. Place the cut-up butternut squash on a large nonstick baking sheet or one that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Toss the squash with the soy sauce and oil and bake until the squash pieces are lightly browned, slightly shriveled-looking and semicrisp on the outside and barely tender all the way through, 20 to 30 minutes. The squash should definitely keep its shape. Remove the squash from the oven, keeping the oven on. Immediately drizzle a little honey over the squash, toss and return to the oven. Bake 5 to 10 minutes more, until the squash is all browned. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.


Makes about 1 2/3 cups

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon tamari or shoyu soy sauce
3 to 4 cloves garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 to 6 solid grinds black pepper
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons honey, or, for vegans, sugar or Rapidura

Combine the vinegar, tamari, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Start the machine buzzing, and gradually, through the hole in the pusher-tube, drizzle in the oil. Remove pusher-tube, and, with the motor running, drizzle in the 2 tablespoons honey. Stop the machine. Taste, and if you feel the dressing should be sweeter, add the remaining tablespoon of honey.


Serves 2

8 ounces fettuccine, dried or fresh
1 wedge (about 1 1/2 pounds) eating pumpkin or any sweet orange fleshed squash, sliced into long, 1/3-inch thick pieces
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for serving
Cooking spray
3 cloves garlic, pressed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan or soy Parmesan-type cheese

1 - Start the fettuccine in vigorously boiling water.

2 - As the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a nonstick skillet or one that has been sprayed with cooking spray. You'll want a skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add the pumpkin or squash and saut� over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Cover tightly and steam over medium-low heat, stirring every now and again. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds or so longer.

3 - When the pumpkin is tender around the edges but still has a bit of bite to it, transfer it to a bowl and toss with the cooked fettuccine. Season. Serve at once, hot, with Parmesan cheese, more olive oil to drizzle, and lots of pepper.


Makes one 9-inch pie, Serves 6 to 8


Cooking spray or oil (optional)
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup crush Nutri-Grain or other no-sugar-added corn or wheat flakes
2 tablespoons unbleached white all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter or mild vegetable oil, such as corn, canola or peanut
2 to 3 tablespoons water, preferably spring or filtered


1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup Rapidura
2 packages (21 ounces total) silken tofu, firm or extra firm
2 tablespoons cashew butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

FOR SERVING (Optional)

Fresh raspberries (you may substitute other fresh fruit in season, such as strawberries or sliced oranges, with or without a sprig of mint)

1 - Preheat the oven to 425 F.

2 - If not using a nonstick pan, spray an 8- to 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray, or oil it.

3 - Combine the graham cracker and cereal crumbs, flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and 2 tablespoons of the water. Add the remaining water only if needed to make a consistency that can be pressed into the pan. Using your fingers, press the mixture into the prepared pan to cover the bottom and sides evenly. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

4 - Melt the chocolate in the top half of a double boiler over hot water.

5 - Place the Rapidura in a food processor along with the tofu and cashew butter. Buzz until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the melted chocolates, cocoa, and vanilla. Process until very smooth.

6 - Pour the chocolate mixture into the cooled pie crust. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours. Serve, chilled, with the fresh raspberries or fruit if desired.

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