Simple Vegetarian Pleasures

Simple Vegetarian Pleasures

4.2 5
by Jeanne Lemlin

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Jeanne Lemlin is keenly aware that we're all vegetarians some of the time and that what we crave is delicious food, quick and simple to prepare. In Simple Vegetarian Pleasures,  she provides 200 tempting recipes to fulfill your every wish. With her tips for keeping your pantry and refrigerator stocked to simplify meal preparation and her vibrantly


Jeanne Lemlin is keenly aware that we're all vegetarians some of the time and that what we crave is delicious food, quick and simple to prepare. In Simple Vegetarian Pleasures,  she provides 200 tempting recipes to fulfill your every wish. With her tips for keeping your pantry and refrigerator stocked to simplify meal preparation and her vibrantly flavored recipes, you have the keys to a terrific meal.

Pressed for time? Because you'll already have onions, eggs and cheese on hand, a Caramelized Onion Omelet is a fast and delicious supper. Always skipping breakfast? A pan of Blueberry Oat Muffins will provide you with several days' worth of breakfasts on the run. Expecting guests? Start with an African-inspired Peanut Soup, followed by Potato, Spinach and Feta Cheese Gratin, a main dish that's both hearty and elegant. Finish with a Nantucket Cranberry Cake that you assembled in minutes and baked during dinner; it's easy, fast and fabulous.

Jeanne's many fans already know that the flexibility and range of her recipes encourage you to take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Her menu suggestions let frazzled cooks move serenely from soup to nuts without that pressed-for-time anxiety. Whether you're vegetarian all the time or only three days a week, a crossover vegetarian, or even a carnivore who enjoys meatless dishes, Jeanne Lemlin has your food right here -- simply delicious and deliciously simple.

Editorial Reviews

Trish Hall
Ms. Wolfert does not just writer recipes; she writes about the recipes, and about the food, and about the people who make the food. —New York Times
Cooks Source
Simple Vegetarian Pleasures is, above all, a collection of recipes that will awaken your palate to the pleasures of vegetarian cooking, simply and easily.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lemlin (Main-Course Vegetarian Pleasures; Quick Vegetarian Pleasures) adds to her meat-free oeuvre with this unpretentious repertoire of quick-to-prepare vegetarian dishes. Without precisely defining "simple," Lemlin uses her introduction to give suggestions for stocking a pantry and a brief rundown on vegetarian nutrition. Recipes are fairly basic, although special touches enliven Mesclun Salad with Dried Apricots and Spiced Nuts; Beer Pizza (the brew's in the crust) and Coconut Lime Rice. Innovative approaches evidenced in such recipes as Tiny Eggplant Turnovers (thin slices of eggplant folded like ravioli around a goat cheese filling) accompany standards along the lines of Kale, Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup; Black Bean and Red Onion Burgers; and Macaroni and Cheese. Chapters like the one on tofu and tempeh dishes (Marinated Fried Tofu and Vegetable Salad with Mesclun, Baked Tofu and Mushrooms Hoisin, Garlicky Tempeh and Potato Ragout) open with useful tips (buy sealed tofu, because the loose variety is a breeding ground for bacteria). The chapter of breakfast recipes and that titled Pizzas, Burgers, Sandwiches, Quesadillas, Etc. brim with good ideas. Lemlin's refreshing, no-nonsense, unproselytizing attitude inspires. (May)
Library Journal
Haedrich (Simple Desserts, LJ 8/95) says that few of the many vegetarian cookbooks around are "grounded in the reality of family life," but his new book should remedy the situation. His four children have grown up on a vegetarian diet, and there are lots of kid-friendly recipes here, as well as advice on feeding a family with different likes and dislikes. Some of the recipes include variations or options for grownups only, and although Haedrich isn't a strict vegetarian, his partner (as he identifies her) is, and she's contributed some vegan recipes and alternatives. Any parents who are committed to a vegetarian diet should be interested in Haedrich's new book. Lemlin, who has written a number of excellent vegetarian cookbooks (including Main-Course Vegetarian Pleasures, LJ 4/15/95), is less concerned with avoiding dairy products, chocolate, and so forth than Haedrich is, but she is no less aware of the time constraints facing busy family cooks. She offers an attractive collection of quick and easy recipes, often with make-ahead suggestions. With its simple but fairly sophisticated recipes, Lemlin's latest should appeal to "sometime" as well as "all the time" vegetarians. Recommended for most collections.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Read an Excerpt

Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries and Pecans

Serves 4 as a main course

Tangy, crimson-colored dried cranberries and toasted pecans are a dynamic combination in this special salad. If you plan to make it more than 2 hours in advance, hold back on adding the cucumbers until serving time so they will retain their special crunch.

1 cup shelled pecans
1 1/2 cups couscous
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups boiling water
1 cup thawed frozen peas
3 scallions, very thinly sliced
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil

Lemon Dressing

Zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

1. Toast the pecans in a shallow pan in a preheated 350-degree oven until very fragrant, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Place the couscous, cranberries, and turmeric in a large bowl. Pour in the boiling water, stir, then cover the bowl with a large plate or foil. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the cover, then fluff the couscous with a fork. Cover again and let sit 5 more minutes.

3. Stir in the pecans, peas, scallions, cucumbers, and basil.

4. Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Pour onto the couscous mixture and stir to blend. Let the salad sit at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend. If longer than 1 hour, cover and chill, but then bring the salad to room temperature before serving. (Don't forget — if you make the salad more than an hour before you intend toserve it, hold back on adding the cucumbers until serving time or thereabouts.)

Fresh Fettuccine with Spinach, Red Peppers, and Smoked Cheese

Serves 3-4

This pasta dish is a knockout, and one of my favorite recipes to serve when company's arriving on short notice. Even a die-hard vegetarian like myself will readily admit that the bacon-like flavor of smoked cheese is hard to resist, and here, it weaves magic. If you can't get fresh pasta, 3/4 pound dried linguine could be substituted (odd as it may seem, fresh fettuccine and dried linguine are the same width), but a little character will be lost.

1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin 2-inch-long strips
1 (1-pound) bunch or 1 (10-ounce) package fresh Spinach, stems discarded and leaves washed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Generous seasoning freshly ground pepper
1 pound fresh fettuccine
1 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese

1. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil.

2. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in the pepper and sauté until tender yet crisp, about 7 minutes.

3. Pile on the spinach, and cover the pan. Cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the salt and ground pepper. Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.

4. Drop the fresh pasta into the boiling water and cook about 3 minutes, or until al dente. (If you are using dried pasta it will take 7-10 minutes.) Remove 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water and stir it into the sauce. Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce. Mix in the cheese and serve immediately.

Meet the Author

Jeanne Lemlin has been writing about great vegetarian food for more than a decade. Her many books include MainCourse Vegetarian Pleasures, Simple Vegetarian Pleasures, and Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, for which she won a prestigious James Beard Cookbook Award. A cooking instructor and food writer, she is a columnist for Cooking Ligbt and a contributor to Gourmet and Country Journal. Jeanne lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

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Simple Vegetarian Pleasures 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
look4nook More than 1 year ago
A really good, simple vegetarian book even for part-time vegetarians as myself. The recipes have ingredients that are easy to find at stores.
yesterdaysnews31 More than 1 year ago
I received this book for Christmas and made a handful of the recipes so far...fantastic! The mushroom, onion, and feta sandwich is an excellent recipe, and perfect for a light dinner. Both pancake recipes are fantastic. What I also enjoy is that most of these recipes serve 2-4 people, so one person can easily make the entire recipe and enjoy the leftovers in a variety of ways for the rest of the week. I have another one of Jeanne Lemin's cookbooks and she continues to live up to my expectations as an awesome vegetarian chef!
greg-hfr More than 1 year ago
this is one tremendous book for those who want to eat wisely and not even miss meat. Each recipe is clearly stated and the results are incredibly delicious. I can't say enough good things about this author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is not only disappointing,but the recipes were bland and not tasty. Worst of all, the recipe for oatmeal scones was a disaster, and was deemed uneatable.I follwed the recipe exactly.I have made scones before and decided to try hers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great cook book for easy, great tasting and unique recipies. It love to cook for my family or guests using recipies in this book. They are easy to follow, don't take too long and are always fabulous to eat.