The Moosewood Cookbook: Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Ithaca, New York

The Moosewood Cookbook: Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Ithaca, New York

Among the most influential cookbooks of our time, the Moosewood Cookbook is such a powerful symbol that the publishers were tempted not to tamper with it. But times have changed, and knowledge about the foods we eat and their nutritional value has increased. So, after many inquiries and requests, the author has revised many of her recipes to be lighter and healthier. Illus...

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Title:The Moosewood Cookbook: Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Ithaca, New York
Author:Mollie Katzen
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Moosewood Cookbook: Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Ithaca, New York Reviews

  • Chris Van Dyke

    The first cookbook I ever owned. Actually, I stole it from my mom when I went to college, and the recipies are annotated with her notes from when I was a little kid. I love the dated aspects of the writing, like when Katzen explains what tofu is and how its hard to find, or when she introduces you to this exotic, wonderful dip called hummus. Classic, hearty veggie cooking, this is before TVP or Morning Star, back when being a vegetarian meant eating vegetables. I've used this less as I've aquire

    The first cookbook I ever owned. Actually, I stole it from my mom when I went to college, and the recipies are annotated with her notes from when I was a little kid. I love the dated aspects of the writing, like when Katzen explains what tofu is and how its hard to find, or when she introduces you to this exotic, wonderful dip called hummus. Classic, hearty veggie cooking, this is before TVP or Morning Star, back when being a vegetarian meant eating vegetables. I've used this less as I've aquired more cookbooks, but I always come back to it. I prefer this classic, older edition - the newer one is just wrong. Moosewood is NOT supposed to have color-photographs, its just not.

  • Leslie

    To appreciate this cookbook, which is famous for being hand-lettered and illustrated by the author and covers both the fundamentals and specifics for cooking hearty, earth-crunchy, mostly vegetarian dishes, you have to acknowledge that it is very much a product of its times. Meaning that when it was published (the 1970's), you were pretty groundbreaking if you even knew what samosas and guacamole were, and vegetarianism was still fringe and undefined enough that this book, and the Moosewood rest

    To appreciate this cookbook, which is famous for being hand-lettered and illustrated by the author and covers both the fundamentals and specifics for cooking hearty, earth-crunchy, mostly vegetarian dishes, you have to acknowledge that it is very much a product of its times. Meaning that when it was published (the 1970's), you were pretty groundbreaking if you even knew what samosas and guacamole were, and vegetarianism was still fringe and undefined enough that this book, and the Moosewood restaurant itself, probably had to be flexible enough to serve the needs of vegans, vegetarians, pesco-ovo-vegetarians, "I'm a vegetarian but I eat chicken" vegetarians and meat eaters all at the same time!

    As often happens with me and cookbooks, I started using the Moosewood after moving into a group apartment where it was already sitting in the kitchen. When I reported this to my sister, she responded with complaints - she and her friends had tried the cookbook and were annoyed with its approximation of Asian foods that they knew how to cook better. So I went into things with open eyes, deciding to look at the book as a representation of the food of not many different cultures from which it borrowed recipes, but of a particular American culture and time: the brown rice, beans-and-sprouts hippie culture which we so easily poke fun at now but which was responsible for so much of the diversified eating options we now take for granted, from the availability of yogurt and cottage cheese in normal supermarkets to the return of cooking with the seasons.

    Later, as so often also happens with me and cookbooks, the Moosewood cookbook and I parted ways when the roommate who owned it ([

    ]) moved away. I forgot to buy a new copy, and then moved to Germany, where I'm guessing it's not so easy to come by. But then again, here it is easy to eat whole grains and lots of veggies. So I thank the Moosewood Cookbook for preparing me, and I will keep cooking the many recipes I just internalized along the way.

    Roasted beet salad, anyone?

  • Allison

    My mom's copy has been taped back together, set on fire, and covered in too many ingredients to list. That adds to the appeal for me because I know it is something that she has cherished. When I became a vegetarian I thought "oh yes now Moosewood is mine." Then I realized that probably 350ish days out of the year I don't have time to be a bloody gourmet chef, you know?

    This doesn't diminish my love for the cookbook. It does mean that I can't really move past loving anything but the aesthetics bec

    My mom's copy has been taped back together, set on fire, and covered in too many ingredients to list. That adds to the appeal for me because I know it is something that she has cherished. When I became a vegetarian I thought "oh yes now Moosewood is mine." Then I realized that probably 350ish days out of the year I don't have time to be a bloody gourmet chef, you know?

    This doesn't diminish my love for the cookbook. It does mean that I can't really move past loving anything but the aesthetics because I have never really had time to explore the culinary value of the dishes inside. Maybe someday. I haven't lost hope.

  • Deb

    I have not cooked from this old favorite for quite a while but pulled it out to make the Hungarian Mushroom Soup this week and remembered just how much I love Mollie Katzen. A classic.

    Link to a pretty wonderful bowl of soup:

  • Barbara (The Bibliophage)

    Classic, delicious vegetarian recipes, although some are dated because it was published decades ago.

  • Nick

    This is very good on soups.

  • Katie

    This is a nice vegetarian cookbook if you can figure out how to make it work. It has some very appealing recipes in it. It’s heavy on vegetable salads and vegetable entrees, and very heavy on tofu and cheese. Katzen tends to recommend tofu as a substitute for cheese. I’ve tried the marinated sweet potato and broccoli salad, which is delicious, and I’m going to try the gado gado next because I love anything with a peanut sauce. (The potato, cabbage, onion and yogurt casserole was awful, but Katze

    This is a nice vegetarian cookbook if you can figure out how to make it work. It has some very appealing recipes in it. It’s heavy on vegetable salads and vegetable entrees, and very heavy on tofu and cheese. Katzen tends to recommend tofu as a substitute for cheese. I’ve tried the marinated sweet potato and broccoli salad, which is delicious, and I’m going to try the gado gado next because I love anything with a peanut sauce. (The potato, cabbage, onion and yogurt casserole was awful, but Katzen can’t be blamed for the fact that I picked up vanilla yogurt by mistake.)

    As a real cookbook, however, it wants improvement. I don’t recommend it for beginning cooks, and particularly not for beginning vegetarian cooks. Judging from the introduction and notes within the recipes, it seems to be aimed at the nostalgia-for-the-commune crowd, not people who are going green now. For one thing, it doesn't seem very well organized. It does have chapters; but within the chapters, recipes are all over the place. There are nice color plates of some dishes, with page references, but once you're reading the recipe, there's no reference to the picture. It lacks any advice on nutrition or how to create a balanced meal—pretty much a must for a vegetarian cookbook. There’s a nice author’s introduction, but it’s an introduction to Mollie Katzen, not the book or the food, so don’t read it if you’re looking for anything practical.

    Every recipe is accompanied by lavish pen-and-ink decorations by the author, cute little folk-art type things, and these are

    annoying after about, ooooooooh, one page. Which is too bad because she has a degree in cutesy drawing and you can tell she worked really hard on them. She also worked reasonably hard on the recipes, but not as hard as the Moosewood Collective worked on

    which, as I mentioned, I much prefer.

    is meant for the serious cook--someone who is actually going to set up a vegetarian kitchen, shop, plan meals, entertain guests, feed children, worry about nutrition, and clean up afterwards. It's got whole sections on stocking your kitchen, planning menus, and preparing basic things like dry beans, polenta, and greens. It's got a glossary.

    By contrast, Katzen's book, like a lot of 21st-century cookbooks, seems to be aimed at readers, not cooks. The visually attractive recipes leave out some key instructions, like cooking times ("put the sweet potatoes in to cook, either in or over boiling water" is the not a sufficient direction. They turned to mush). There's nothing to suggest to the novice how you might construct a meal for your family, let alone for one or two people or for a party. It’s okay, but kind of a disappointment if you bought it to feed your boyfriend or something.

  • R. C.

    I sat down to meal plan one day and ended up reading this book cover to cover. It was a pretty interesting cookbook. I of course knew it would be, having hung out for a decade with interesting cooks who love it. I remember an unschooling advocate using Mollie Katzen as an example of a "glorious generalist," which seems funny to me now: "ZOMG she can cook AND draw!"

    After I had read the whole thing, I knew why I had never made anything from this cookbook, and I knew that I never would make anythi

    I sat down to meal plan one day and ended up reading this book cover to cover. It was a pretty interesting cookbook. I of course knew it would be, having hung out for a decade with interesting cooks who love it. I remember an unschooling advocate using Mollie Katzen as an example of a "glorious generalist," which seems funny to me now: "ZOMG she can cook AND draw!"

    After I had read the whole thing, I knew why I had never made anything from this cookbook, and I knew that I never would make anything from it. I am a food racial purist. Maybe I've just had too much Mexican food that's really Italian, but the idea of putting oregano and basil and bell peppers in enchiladas makes me want to puke. Tomatillos go in enchiladas. Jalapenos. Not bell peppers. I just can't trust a cook who advocates stuff like that.

  • Emily

    This cookbook is not without its flaws -- the "ethnic" dishes are frequently repulsive -- but there's some really good, hearty earnest-white-person food up in here. The hummus, pasta sauce, Brazilian black bean soup, refritos, and lasagna recipes are absolute staples.

  • Catherine Woodman

    While there are many flaws in this cookbook by 21st century standards, it was a miracle in the mid-70's. I went to college n 1977 and this book changed my eating life forever--so while it lacks alot in the way of spicing complexity that would seem altogether common today, it had vegetarian recipes that were easy to follow, and they worked. it is whimsical and wonderful. It had things from my childhood that I could never give up (like quiche and sour cream coffeecake) and things I would never hav

    While there are many flaws in this cookbook by 21st century standards, it was a miracle in the mid-70's. I went to college n 1977 and this book changed my eating life forever--so while it lacks alot in the way of spicing complexity that would seem altogether common today, it had vegetarian recipes that were easy to follow, and they worked. it is whimsical and wonderful. It had things from my childhood that I could never give up (like quiche and sour cream coffeecake) and things I would never have tried if they hadn't been in here. It is a book that literally changed my life, and while I have over 500 cookbooks, the Moosewood series remains amongst my most used and most valued cookbooks--not to mention how much I loved the restaurant when I was in Ithaca, the summer after my junior year of high school. It is a piece of cooking history, right up there with The Joy of Cooking.

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