Perhaps the most succinctly named cookbook ever. This is a cookbook meant for cooks who like to include all of their friends and family at the table, meat eaters and vegans alike. Author Anna Thomas published The Vegetarian Epicure, an early vegetarian bible, in 1972. The idea that Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore is structured around is best described by Thomas herself: “Start with the food everyone eats, design a meal or a dish around that, then expand and elaborate with just the right amounts of the right cheeses, meats, or fish for your omnivores. Everyone feels welcome, and we eat the same meal — but in variations.” Recommended By Tracey T., Powells.com
What I will add to her words is that, no matter your eating preference, these are fully flavored home-style recipes. It will be hard to top Vegetarian Epicure in its vast popularity, but I can see VVO becoming a staple cookbook in many a kitchen, including my own. It's a great book for those trying to cut back on meat, but still allowing for some carnivore activities.
Synopses & Reviews
Can we all sit down and have dinner together?
For years, Anna Thomas’s fans have cooked from her trailblazing vegetarian cookbooks. Now, Anna turns her thoughts to that larger question. We are eating differently: your daughter is a vegan, or you are but your in-laws don’t think it’s dinner without meat, or you’re hosting Thanksgiving for a mixed group… In this timely and useful new book, Anna offers her solutions for reuniting our divided tables.
“My idea is simple,” says Anna. “Start with the food everyone eats, design a meal or a dish around that, then expand and elaborate with just the right amounts of the right cheeses, meats, or fish for your omnivores. Everyone feels welcome, and we eat the same meal—but in variations.”
Anna shows us how to cook for today’s table, with over 150 recipes for all tastes, and menus for every occasion. For a casual evening with friends, Farro with Lentils and Lavender served with Ratatouille from the Charcoal Grill makes a beautiful vegan supper—and also pairs wonderfully with garlic-and-herb rubbed lamb chops for the omnivores. Anna’s crowd-pleasing Easy Fish Soup begins as a robust vegetable soup, with seafood added five minutes before serving—an ideal two-way dish. A vegetarian Lemon Risotto with Sautéed Fresh Fava Beans is perfect on its own, and can easily take on tender shrimp. For dessert, have vegan Pumpkin Gingerbread and add vanilla ice cream, or serve a delectable Dark Chocolate Almond Bark studded with ginger and dried cherries.
Anna’s festive “Thanksgiving for Everyone” menu centers on a sumptuous Polenta Torta with Roasted Squash and onion marmalade, surrounded by an array of seasonal vegetables—all pairing equally well with roast turkey for the traditionalists. “Taco Night at Home” allows everyone to design their perfect meal, mixing and matching from a spread of Spicy Black Beans, Poblano Peppers with Portobello Mushrooms, Carnitas, and Guajillo Chile Salsa. Anna’s exuberant Mediterranean mezze menu is a relaxed summer party, featuring vegan Roasted Eggplant and Poblano Chile Spread with flatbread, Tabbouleh with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemon, Charred Zucchini with Lemon and Mint, and Baked Lamb Kibbeh Wedges for the omnivores.
With dishes inspired by the vibrant produce of farmers’ markets, Anna shares her love of cooking and of hospitality. Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore shows us how to navigate a world of change, and bring all our friends and family together at one big, generous table.
"What an exuberant and inspirational collection of recipes! Poring through the pages of Anna Thomas's new cookbook is like entering a bustling and joy-filled home where there's always something delicious on the stove—and room for everyone at the table. Here's a book I could happily cook from every day and never grow bored." Molly Stevens, James Beard Award–winning author of All About Roasting and All About Braising
“For us vegetarians, Anna Thomas’s earlier books are true classics. With this spectacular new book, she casts the net wider, inviting eaters of all stripes to join her in the kitchen. The result? A beautiful, inspirational volume that belongs in every cook’s library.” James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Rodale’s Organic Life and author of Cradle of Flavor
"I have been inspired by Anna Thomas since her Vegetarian Epicure first rocked my world in the early 1970s. Now, in this fresh, edgy book, Anna sets out to help both vegetarians and omnivores eat better—and to help us all eat together. There are few experiences more exciting than when a pioneering creative spirit still surprises and sparkles. I love this book!" Mollie Katzen, James Beard Award–winning author of The Moosewood Cookbook
"Anna’s new book is imbued with warmth, generosity and ease. The food is luscious and beautiful in its simplicity and the text is full of wisdom. I want to make every recipe." David Tanis, James Beard Award–winning author of One Good Dish
About the Author
Anna Thomas wrote The Vegetarian Epicure in 1973, which transformed the landscape of American cooking. She is the author, most recently, of the James Beard Award–winning cookbook Love Soup. She lives in Los Angeles and Ojai, California.