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Review of "The Angelica Home Kitchen"

By Leslie McEachern
Ten Speed Press, 2003
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Nov 8th 2004
The Angelica Home Kitchen

For most people, when they think of organic vegan food, they think of health rather than taste.  The Angelica Home Kitchen should help to change that rather dull image.  Dining at the Angelica Kitchen restaurant in New York City is reliably satisfying and pleasing, and the recipes in this cookbook faithfully reproduce many of the items on the menu.  It is a nicely produced book, with easy-to-follow recipes and beautiful pictures.  The first 85 pages are devoted to the ideas behind veganism (eating no animal products, including milk, eggs, and honey) and organic food.  Throughout the book, there are also boxes with stories about the restaurant and people associated with it, including food suppliers.  This adds to the personal dimension of the book, centering it more in New York and strengthening its human feel. 

Some of the recipes in The Angelica Home Kitchen are very simple.  The miso-tahini spread takes 10 minutes to prepare, and contains just mellow barley miso, tahini and water.  The creamy watercress, leek and potato soup can be prepared in about 45 minutes, and is distinctive because it uses lots of garlic, fresh tarragon and lemon juice.  Ingredients like these can be found in most good supermarkets.  On the other hand, other recipes use harder-to-find ingredients such as seitan, kombu, kamut berries, spelt berries, and amaranth.  One would have to go to a specialty or health food store to find them.  But the recipes they go to make are full of taste: chickpea tart with potatoes and onions, classic vegetable lasagna, sweet potato biscuits, lentil-walnut pate, and baked tempeh with soy-mustard marinade.  The instructions are easy to follow and it doesn't take too long to prepare the meal. 

Obviously, not everyone is going to be enthusiastic about eating tofu, kimchee, or quinoa.  But for those who like to try new foods and also want to eat healthily, The Angelica Home Kitchen is an excellent collection of recipes.  Highly recommended.  

 

© 2004 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

 

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.

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