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A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen: Easy Seasonal Dishes for Family and Friends

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Simple, seasonal, real-time vegetarian recipes for everyday and every occasion.   As a busy husband, father of two young children, and full-time writer, Jack Bishop demands a lot from the meals that make it into his family's repertoire. In A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, he guides you through the seasons with 248 of his favorite everyday recipes, which deliciously embody his Simple, seasonal, real-time vegetarian recipes for everyday and every occasion.   As a busy husband, father of two young children, and full-time writer, Jack Bishop demands a lot from the meals that make it into his family's repertoire. In A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, he guides you through the seasons with 248 of his favorite everyday recipes, which deliciously embody his philosophy of "shop locally, cook globally, and keep things easy." Cooking with seasonal produce, he says, is the best way to bring a welcome variety to the table. In spring, dinner might be Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Asparagus and Eggs. Summer brings Savory Corn Griddle Cakes and Fresh Tomato Pizza with Avocado. For fall, Root Vegetable Tarts with Rosemary and Orecchiette with Spicy Broccoli are on the menu. And in winter, when most farmers' markets are a distant memory, Pan-Glazed Tofu with Thai Red Curry Sauce and Caribbean Black Beans with Sautéed Plantains await. With ten years of experience working with Cook's Illustrated, he's also able to provide expert guidance on how to choose a good vegetable broth, select the right potatoes for mashing, and more tips tailored just for vegetarian cooks.


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Simple, seasonal, real-time vegetarian recipes for everyday and every occasion.   As a busy husband, father of two young children, and full-time writer, Jack Bishop demands a lot from the meals that make it into his family's repertoire. In A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, he guides you through the seasons with 248 of his favorite everyday recipes, which deliciously embody his Simple, seasonal, real-time vegetarian recipes for everyday and every occasion.   As a busy husband, father of two young children, and full-time writer, Jack Bishop demands a lot from the meals that make it into his family's repertoire. In A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, he guides you through the seasons with 248 of his favorite everyday recipes, which deliciously embody his philosophy of "shop locally, cook globally, and keep things easy." Cooking with seasonal produce, he says, is the best way to bring a welcome variety to the table. In spring, dinner might be Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Asparagus and Eggs. Summer brings Savory Corn Griddle Cakes and Fresh Tomato Pizza with Avocado. For fall, Root Vegetable Tarts with Rosemary and Orecchiette with Spicy Broccoli are on the menu. And in winter, when most farmers' markets are a distant memory, Pan-Glazed Tofu with Thai Red Curry Sauce and Caribbean Black Beans with Sautéed Plantains await. With ten years of experience working with Cook's Illustrated, he's also able to provide expert guidance on how to choose a good vegetable broth, select the right potatoes for mashing, and more tips tailored just for vegetarian cooks.

30 review for A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen: Easy Seasonal Dishes for Family and Friends

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    since august or so, i've decided to retake control of my eating habits. i read an article in the ny times in july (i think) about a woman who planned a week's worth of menus to be sure that her family would have a good home cooked meal every night. the criterion were: quick, tasty (she had two kids under age 10), and nutritious. in reading the article, although many of the dishes she chose didn't apply to me (i don't eat meat, and many of the dinners focused on a main dish of meat), it reminded since august or so, i've decided to retake control of my eating habits. i read an article in the ny times in july (i think) about a woman who planned a week's worth of menus to be sure that her family would have a good home cooked meal every night. the criterion were: quick, tasty (she had two kids under age 10), and nutritious. in reading the article, although many of the dishes she chose didn't apply to me (i don't eat meat, and many of the dinners focused on a main dish of meat), it reminded me of something that i had done a few years ago that worked very well for me. every weekend, i would choose 2 or 3 entrees from a cookbook. it was either from a cookbook that i owned - my favorite being vegetarian cooking for everyone by deborah madison - or from a cookbook borrowed from the library. deborah madison has yet to let me down; i recall pledging to myself that i would cook each dish at least once. as for the library, being able to borrow a cookbook to try out a few entrees and mix things up is a blessing. writing up a shopping list and having everything ready to go (or precooked, if i had sunday evening to spare in the kitchen) meant that i had a full week's worth of office-envy lunches and quick and easy dinners. so i went to the library in september and borrowed "a year in a vegetarian kitchen", by jack bishop. one of my exes had a cookbook by jack (if i may be so casual), and i really liked it because the food was simple -- although often composed of less than 10 ingredients, the dishes would be hearty and have complex flavors. a year in a vegetarian cookbook was just what i was looking for - seasonal dishes to take advantage of the farm share that i have this summer, and easy to assemble. everything in the cookbook looked like it could be made in under a half hour, and i have to say that this is true of 80% of the dishes that i have made so far. the main thing that i have really taken from this book are that the booking is really seasonal. jack makes good use of weird vegetables that i get in my CSA box, that i would have merely used for decoration instead of eaten (pattypan squash is a case in point.) he also has novel ideas for flavorings that i think are great - juice to add dimension to a sauce, cheese rinds to make a soup more rich. however, some of the "seasonal" choices are a bit odd to me - for example, is tofu really just a winter food? to get to some of the more protein based dishes that include legumes and soy proteins, you need to read out of season recipes. i have renewed this book twice already, and may extend it another time. the only thing that keeps me from buying a copy of my own is that i don't feel that this is really a cookbook for my every day lifestyle. i am a hungry girl. the thing that i don't like about this cookbook is that it leans too much towards the "vegetarians eat salad. lots of salad." school of vegetarian cooking, and i am disappointed that a lot of the spring and summer dishes are a little scant on what i feel to be the makings of a substantial dinner. everything is tasty, though, and i have enjoyed everything i've put together under jack's direction.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Darcie K

    Julie bragged about this book not so long ago and it definitely looks like a "buy" rather than a "borrow." UPDATE: Reader, I bought it. Julie bragged about this book not so long ago and it definitely looks like a "buy" rather than a "borrow." UPDATE: Reader, I bought it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    Whenever someone asks for recommendations of vegetarian cookbooks, this is usually the first one I mention. Some of my favorites that I cook often come from this book. The recipes aren't overly complex so it's approachable for less experienced cooks, but the combinations of flavors are interesting and not the same recipes I see repeatedly in vegetarian cookbooks. While not all ingredients are going to be readily available to people without easy access to natural food stores and the like, many of Whenever someone asks for recommendations of vegetarian cookbooks, this is usually the first one I mention. Some of my favorites that I cook often come from this book. The recipes aren't overly complex so it's approachable for less experienced cooks, but the combinations of flavors are interesting and not the same recipes I see repeatedly in vegetarian cookbooks. While not all ingredients are going to be readily available to people without easy access to natural food stores and the like, many of them are. The pan fried/glazed tofu recipes are a quick and easy way to make something delicious with tofu, an intimidating ingredient for those newer to cooking vegetarian food. A few of my favorites are the black bean chilaquiles, enchiladas, and pan-glazed tofu with thai red curry sauce. This is also one of the few cookbooks I have which makes use of purslane, which I found growing in my yard last summer and decided not to treat as a weed. I also appreciate the seasonal approach it takes (although, related to another reviewer's comments, those seasons are a bit different than mine in Minnesota).

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book makes me want to eat more veggies!!! We are not vegetarians but want to incorporate more whole grains and vegetables into what we eat... this book is a great inspiration... on the menu tomorrow is a tomato soup from this book using canned tomatoes that you first roast. I would never normally eat tomato soup in the winter... that's something I usually save for the summer so I can use the bounty of San Marzanos and Genovese basil from the garden but I already have some of the canned toma This book makes me want to eat more veggies!!! We are not vegetarians but want to incorporate more whole grains and vegetables into what we eat... this book is a great inspiration... on the menu tomorrow is a tomato soup from this book using canned tomatoes that you first roast. I would never normally eat tomato soup in the winter... that's something I usually save for the summer so I can use the bounty of San Marzanos and Genovese basil from the garden but I already have some of the canned tomatoes in the pantry and am craving more soup and just want to start cooking from this book NOW! I wish there were more photos (shouldn't every cookbook have a photo to go along with every recipe? maybe that's just me! But I DO love me some good photography!!)... and nutritional info too - that would have been a great help. If it had both of those I would have given it 5 stars. I checked this out from the library first but will be buying this one the next time I place an order online.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    This is by the author of my favorite cookbook, The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook: 350 Essential Recipes for Inspired Everyday Eating, so I had lofty expectations. Given the wider range of styles in this one, I'm not disappointed that I don't love it QUITE as much - there are still a lot of good recipes here. It's on the wishlist! Ones I will make again or for the first time eventually: -radish and white bean salad -baked chard stems with tomatoes, garlic, and parmesan -roasted beet and arugul This is by the author of my favorite cookbook, The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook: 350 Essential Recipes for Inspired Everyday Eating, so I had lofty expectations. Given the wider range of styles in this one, I'm not disappointed that I don't love it QUITE as much - there are still a lot of good recipes here. It's on the wishlist! Ones I will make again or for the first time eventually: -radish and white bean salad -baked chard stems with tomatoes, garlic, and parmesan -roasted beet and arugula salad with feta and garlic pita crisps -grilled vegetable and kidney bean salad with sherry-orange vinaigrette -radish and st andre sandwiches with lettuce -fettuccini with caramelized onion sauce

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I'm not veg, but I am constantly seeking more variety in my diet. In this book Bishop puts forward a bunch of can't-fail recipes (he is an editor at Cooks Illustrated, after all) that inspire you to think outside the tofu block (though tofu is well represented, too). Best of all, he presents the recipes by season, which not only helps you eat locally and seasonally but also breaks down the overwhelming number of recipes into manageable chunks. I don't know that I'd cook everything in this book, b I'm not veg, but I am constantly seeking more variety in my diet. In this book Bishop puts forward a bunch of can't-fail recipes (he is an editor at Cooks Illustrated, after all) that inspire you to think outside the tofu block (though tofu is well represented, too). Best of all, he presents the recipes by season, which not only helps you eat locally and seasonally but also breaks down the overwhelming number of recipes into manageable chunks. I don't know that I'd cook everything in this book, but it's definitely worth checking out from the library if you want to cut down on meat and need inspiration.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This has been our go-to cookbook for several years now. The author is an editor at Cook's magazine, and the food is good, ranging across cultures. This particular book is very seasonal, using produce at its best (and lots of beans and things in the winter). But the two best things are that he has two small children, so these recipes are child friendly (if your child is used to eating vegetation), AND these recipes are more of the weekday made in 30-45 minutes variety. We look here first when we This has been our go-to cookbook for several years now. The author is an editor at Cook's magazine, and the food is good, ranging across cultures. This particular book is very seasonal, using produce at its best (and lots of beans and things in the winter). But the two best things are that he has two small children, so these recipes are child friendly (if your child is used to eating vegetation), AND these recipes are more of the weekday made in 30-45 minutes variety. We look here first when we need to try something new. And many of these recipes have made it into our standard rotation. Highly recommended to all.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This is one of my all time favorite cookbooks. Jack Bishop organizes his recipes by season rather than by dish, with some staples in the back. The recipes are good for week night eating with most of them taking about an hour or less to prepare. Another thing I like about this cookbook is that, unlike a lot of veg. cookbooks, this one does not rely on eggs, cheese, or tofu for the "bulk" of meat. Bishop includes lots of recipes with tofu and cheese, but most if his are all veggie. It's changed th This is one of my all time favorite cookbooks. Jack Bishop organizes his recipes by season rather than by dish, with some staples in the back. The recipes are good for week night eating with most of them taking about an hour or less to prepare. Another thing I like about this cookbook is that, unlike a lot of veg. cookbooks, this one does not rely on eggs, cheese, or tofu for the "bulk" of meat. Bishop includes lots of recipes with tofu and cheese, but most if his are all veggie. It's changed the way we eat.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pangolin

    At least one dinner this week will come from this book. Probably a red curry spring vegetable stir fry. The cookbook is arranged seasonally, which I'm always a big fan of. The spring section is perhaps the least inspiring to me (though I couldn't pinpoint why), but there are a few really good recipes in there. Overall this is a really good cook book (though not as good as Vegetables Every Day. Recipes are fairly easy, use fresh, seasonal ingredients and can serve as inspiration for your own modi At least one dinner this week will come from this book. Probably a red curry spring vegetable stir fry. The cookbook is arranged seasonally, which I'm always a big fan of. The spring section is perhaps the least inspiring to me (though I couldn't pinpoint why), but there are a few really good recipes in there. Overall this is a really good cook book (though not as good as Vegetables Every Day. Recipes are fairly easy, use fresh, seasonal ingredients and can serve as inspiration for your own modifications.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachel McCready-Flora

    This is one of our favorite cookbooks, hands down. The recipes are consistently tasty and fairly easy and fast to prepare, and they are wonderfully diverse and creative with flavors and texture combinations. The seasonal arrangement of recipes is especially helpful as we try to do as much of our shopping at the farmers' market as possible each week. This cookbook actually has better and a greater diversity of recipes our farmers' market veggies and CSA box each week than our two farmers' market This is one of our favorite cookbooks, hands down. The recipes are consistently tasty and fairly easy and fast to prepare, and they are wonderfully diverse and creative with flavors and texture combinations. The seasonal arrangement of recipes is especially helpful as we try to do as much of our shopping at the farmers' market as possible each week. This cookbook actually has better and a greater diversity of recipes our farmers' market veggies and CSA box each week than our two farmers' market cookbooks.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    I've been looking for some good non-scary vegetarian recipes to use for all the CSA veggies this coming season, and this was quite useful. Still no viable beet ideas, but turnip chips, fennel & leek frittata and fried green tomatoes with buttermilk coleslaw all sound pretty tasty. Again, no pictures, but the long ingredients lists can be cut down to the bare necessities if you want to avoid grocery shopping. I've been looking for some good non-scary vegetarian recipes to use for all the CSA veggies this coming season, and this was quite useful. Still no viable beet ideas, but turnip chips, fennel & leek frittata and fried green tomatoes with buttermilk coleslaw all sound pretty tasty. Again, no pictures, but the long ingredients lists can be cut down to the bare necessities if you want to avoid grocery shopping.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book is fairly uneven in the quality of the recipes, but most of it is easy, fast, and healthy, and good to have around for that reason. Another benefit is that he clusters the recipes in terms of the seasons, so that you can cook in harmony with what is available at your local farmer's market. Of course, he's assuming that the seasons are those in the Hamptons, but it turns out that for someone in Pennsylvania that's close enough. This book is fairly uneven in the quality of the recipes, but most of it is easy, fast, and healthy, and good to have around for that reason. Another benefit is that he clusters the recipes in terms of the seasons, so that you can cook in harmony with what is available at your local farmer's market. Of course, he's assuming that the seasons are those in the Hamptons, but it turns out that for someone in Pennsylvania that's close enough.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    i adore jack bishop. nearly everything i've cooked from this book (and i've cooked from it more than any other cookbook i own) has been both easy and very tasty. very straightforward, nothing really takes more than an hour, and yet he still gets me to make my own tomatillo salsa and fresh tortilla chips. i adore jack bishop. nearly everything i've cooked from this book (and i've cooked from it more than any other cookbook i own) has been both easy and very tasty. very straightforward, nothing really takes more than an hour, and yet he still gets me to make my own tomatillo salsa and fresh tortilla chips.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Loraine

    I think I am going to have to buy this cookbook, rather than rely on my friendly library. I have already made several of the most excellent tofu recipes and am most pleased with the results. I like that it flows through the seasons, has a nice layout, and good index. It will serve as an excellent companion to Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone. I think I am going to have to buy this cookbook, rather than rely on my friendly library. I have already made several of the most excellent tofu recipes and am most pleased with the results. I like that it flows through the seasons, has a nice layout, and good index. It will serve as an excellent companion to Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Great book for easy, weeknight dishes. All I've tried have taken less than 30 min to prepare. My favorite recipes are the basil tofu and the vegetarian chili. The book is divided by season so it is great if you frequent farmer's markets, too. Great book for easy, weeknight dishes. All I've tried have taken less than 30 min to prepare. My favorite recipes are the basil tofu and the vegetarian chili. The book is divided by season so it is great if you frequent farmer's markets, too.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Clark

    I forgot this book has "vegetarian" in the title. It's just good! Divided by season, excellent, flavorful recipes that draw from many culinary traditions. Really fun when you are looking to make something new but don't want to spend days making it. I forgot this book has "vegetarian" in the title. It's just good! Divided by season, excellent, flavorful recipes that draw from many culinary traditions. Really fun when you are looking to make something new but don't want to spend days making it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I think about 80% of the recipes in this book I liked. 40% of them have a lot of kick. If this were a book of poetry, it would probably be described as having a "quiet fierceness." Maybe. My former housemate owned this, but then I moved out. I miss it. I think about 80% of the recipes in this book I liked. 40% of them have a lot of kick. If this were a book of poetry, it would probably be described as having a "quiet fierceness." Maybe. My former housemate owned this, but then I moved out. I miss it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sherron Watson

    I thought this was an excellent read. Jack gave so much information about individual ingredients. I enjoyed the recipes too, but the recommendations on buying and using individual ingredients was so helpful to me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Isabel Brinck

    One of my go-to recipe books, as much for inspiration as for what are now standards at my house: the pan-glazed tofu, the sesame quinoa pilaf. I would watch a TV show starring Jack Bishop, cooking vegetarian food. Fantastic.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Megan Stembridge

    It's not bad--but I prefer functional cookbooks, and this one is too bulky for ease of use. Also, the recipes don't match well to my veggie palate--but I'm picky. It's not bad--but I prefer functional cookbooks, and this one is too bulky for ease of use. Also, the recipes don't match well to my veggie palate--but I'm picky.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Delicious and beautiful, but easy enough to make on a weeknight, (after work, before planning the next school day). Encourages you to eat seasonally and locally, but also conveniently.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    If you are to get one vegetarian cookbook this would be it. You can't go wrong with any of his dishes. Happy cooking! If you are to get one vegetarian cookbook this would be it. You can't go wrong with any of his dishes. Happy cooking!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Simple but creative recipes using seasonal ingredients. M-m-m-m...Spanish Omelet with Peas, Potatoes, and Saffron for a picnic at the beach! Well, maybe not the beach; I live in Ohio.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cara

    Not bad, but not good. Didn't find any recipes in this book I'd really want to try making. A large, informative book, but possibly too advanced along the lines of vegetarian "cuisine" for me. Not bad, but not good. Didn't find any recipes in this book I'd really want to try making. A large, informative book, but possibly too advanced along the lines of vegetarian "cuisine" for me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah H

    A great cookbook, even if you aren't a vegetarian. Imaginative and reasonable recipes. A great cookbook, even if you aren't a vegetarian. Imaginative and reasonable recipes.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kristel

    This is probably the best vegetarian cookbook I've ever bought - I've liked everything I've tried and I've tried quite a lot. This is probably the best vegetarian cookbook I've ever bought - I've liked everything I've tried and I've tried quite a lot.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Executive editor of Cook's Illustrated. How could I not get this one? And $2 at that. (Another of the garage sale finds). Executive editor of Cook's Illustrated. How could I not get this one? And $2 at that. (Another of the garage sale finds).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Beka

    I would've loved more of his great photos, but I still really enjoyed this book and found some recipes that I'm excited about. I would've loved more of his great photos, but I still really enjoyed this book and found some recipes that I'm excited about.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Not very practical for me or my family. And most of the recipes were of the same vein...sort of asian/indian. I enjoy both types of food. But not all. the. time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Perkins

    I'm working on copying out the 37 recipes that look so tastie I can't live without them. Otherwise, not a keeper for me. But some of the food sounds GREAT!! I'm working on copying out the 37 recipes that look so tastie I can't live without them. Otherwise, not a keeper for me. But some of the food sounds GREAT!!

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