The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook Review

The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook by Cathe Olson (amazon affiliate link) is one of my favorite cookbooks of all time.  I used to judge cookbooks by their pictures.  Did the recipes look good?  I would often either not make the recipes or, even worse, spend time and effort for lackluster results.  I got this book while I was pregnant with E, actually according to my records I got it in March of 2007 so I was only into my second trimester.  The book takes you through pregnancy and beyond and has an eye toward freezing meals and nourishing your family.

It has no photos and there are little sentences to introduce the recipes as well as menu plans but everything is clear and simple so you can imagine what you’re getting into with each recipe.  I can’t make many of these things now but I have adapted some of them and they’re still great.  I remember the enchilada sauce being fabulous and the yogurt quiche being perfect (and I don’t usually like quiche).  I combined the spanikopita recipe with some tips from Ina Garten’s version and really had a great thing going before it turned out I was making a pretty dangerous dish (cheese! pine nuts! phyllo dough! the list goes on…).  So if you’re just vegetarian and not vegan this is a VERY useful book but the principles I learned have served me well.

We enjoyed a lot of the recipes while I was still pregnant as my mother in law would cook out of the book when she’d visit but after I had E I was home and didn’t have any more time really than I used the time had come to stop eating processed vegetarian fare all the time.  The gravy recipe is one I have since adapted with potato flour and a couple other substitutions but the best thing of all is that I can start several pans all at once and even make several meals at a time when the chance presents itself and I credit the confidence this book gave me.

I stopped looking for books with pretty pictures and have never looked back.  There are some splendid cookbooks out there if you look for them!

6 thoughts on “The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook Review

  1. I love that book too, and it actually became a favorite years before I got pregnant. I never bought it (as a rule, I generally don’t buy books that are available from the library – it’s a clutter issue with me). I was strictly vegan when using this book, but found that most of the recipes were either vegan or easily adaptable.

    About no pictures – I agree, even though I do still like pictures quite a bit (I’m human, after all). My favorite cookbook is Recipes From an Ecological Kitchen – no pictures whatsoever, but a wonderful regardless. I bought it used because it is out of print, but have since learned that it was republished/updated under the title Lorna Sass’ Complete Vegetarian Kitchen (just looked it up, and it looks like it is now OOP too, and a used copy is more expensive than a used copy the original book). Both books are vegan.

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    1. Half.com has the Lorna Sass’ book for $19.99 which isn’t too bad but I found it under the original name at the library so I put in a request for it so I can see it. Thank you for the suggestion! I remember we’d talked about liking the Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook, I agree that they are easily adaptable to being vegan, it is nice that they are so balanced. I love, for example, Heidi Swanson’s 101cookbooks.com and her two cookbooks are GORGEOUS but she uses cheese and eggs so heavily that her recipes are hard to adapt. But I think you’d really like her books, I think they are “Super Natural Cooking” and “Super Natural Everyday.” Ok, now I’m hungry. Time to make breakfast.

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      1. There’s a used copy of Recipes From an Ecological Kitchen available with prime shipping on Amazon for $5.53. But if it is at the library, go for it!

        I’ll check out those other books too! Thanks!

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