Home Ec 101 Cookbook Review: Cooking Light Way to Cook Vegetarian

Cookbook Reviews are a new category at Home Ec 101. Check out the Home Ec 101 review policy.

Heather says:

This cookbook started off with two strikes against it, I’m not a vegetarian and I have little interest in cooking light. That said, I spent two hours last night poring over the book and I believe Cooking Light’s Way to Cook Vegetarian: The Complete Visual Guide to Healthy Vegetarian Cooking would be a valuable addition to almost any cook’s library.


Cooking Light’s Way to Cook Vegetarianยน is written exactly as I hope to someday write a cookbook. It’s a large cookbook, just over 400 pages and contains 150 recipes with over 700 pictures.

Each chapter teaches cooking techniques and then gives recipes that apply the lesson. The photos are gorgeous, but they are also key to the instructional value of this cookbook. After reading many of the tutorials, I believe almost any novice to intermediate cook would find Way to Cook Vegetarian a fantastic resource. The value lies not only in the variety of recipes, from appetizers to soups and stews, but also in the information on diet and technique.

I was surprised by the range of techniques taught in this book. Included are tutorials for making yogurt and ricotta. Don’t worry, many of the tutorials cover very basic techniques such as roasting vegetables or julienning carrots.

The only drawback to this book I found is some of the ingredients may be difficult to find in some areas. As an example I don’t believe my local grocery store carries tamarind pulp, but I haven’t tried the nearest Asian grocery store. I can find quinoa, but it’s at the fancy grocery store about 40 minutes from here. That said, most of the recipes in this book are diverse without venturing into the scarily exotic. Perhaps some, I’m a meat and potatoes only type people would turn up their nose at the tempeh coconut curry, but you can’t please everyone all the time.

Despite my overwhelmingly large pile of recipes to try, I have added several to my list, including Potato Roti Curry and Winter Minestrone. Most of the recipes, if not all, can be found online or are from past issues of Cooking Light. Personally I enjoy the experience of flipping through a cookbook for ideas; I’m tactile like that.

Ready for the fun part?

I will be giving away my review copy of Cooking Light Way to Cook Vegetarian: The Complete Visual Guide to Healthy Vegetarian Cooking to a lucky reader. How does one enter this amazing giveaway? It’s simple and open to residents of the US and Canada. (Anyone else, I just can’t afford shipping, I’m sorry).  Each reader can have up to 3 entries and the winner will be chosen by random selection.

  1. A plain, old-fashioned how ya doin style comment. Just tell me how excited you are to enter.
  2. A link to a tweet on Twitter sharing this post.
  3. A link to a blog post or Facebook entry referencing this post. (just copy the url of the timestamp for Facebook)

The comments will close on Sunday October 24 at 6pm Eastern. If you aren’t the winner, don’t worry this will become a weekly occurrence and you will have another chance soon. I plan on supplementing the review cookbooks with ones I find on my own.

Good luck.

ยนAffiliate link.


  1. back2basics on October 24, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I am a huge fan of the Cooking Light cookbooks, and this one sounds like another one to add to the list. We are not vegetarian, but have started buying local, organic meat– due to the cost involved, we are eating vegetarian more often : ) If you haven't seen it, Cooking Light Through the Seasons is one I am loving right now– we have a CSA, so we get produce from the local farm weekly, so the "Through the Seasons" cookbook is great because it provides recipes based on what is in season.

    Happy to have entered the contest!

  2. Nil zed on October 24, 2010 at 3:54 am

    I suspect a ‘real meat andpotatoes’ type would turn their noseup long before they got to the tempeh curry. Luckily we are not ‘real’ m&p types here. I’m not sure if I’d keep it or pass it on to my daughter. We are sometime. Vegeterian but her husband iscompletely veg.

  3. Amber on October 24, 2010 at 1:46 am

    I would love Cooking lights vegetarian cookbook. Thanks for offering it.

  4. Noelle on October 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    We're a totally vegetarian (though not vegan) household and we NEED NEW MATERIAL. Great review, thanks!

  5. Caanan on October 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Sounds like an interesting and informative cookbook.

  6. Sarah on October 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    My MIL is vegetarian and I never know what to make when we invite her for dinner…this would help SO much!

  7. StacyF. on October 22, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for the book review. I'd love to win the book!

  8. Illume Eltanin on October 22, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Can we enter via a comment and Facebook timestamp more than once?
    Here's my latest Facebook post timestamp: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=

  9. sheruns on October 22, 2010 at 11:49 am

  10. sheruns on October 22, 2010 at 11:46 am

  11. sheruns on October 22, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Oooh! I would love this cookbook! I've been a vegetarian since 1998. =)

    Entry #1

  12. mbgeek on October 21, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    I need this book!

    (Entry No. 2)

  13. coffeemamma on October 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Oh my! That book sounds perfect for my 15yo vegetarian daughter!


  14. Danielle S. on October 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I tweeted about your review here: http://twitter.com/?status=Home%20Ec%20101%20Cook

  15. Danielle S. on October 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I am a vegetarian, and I would love to win this book! Thanks for the contest!

  16. The Hungry Crafter on October 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Sounds good — your review sold me on it! Hope I win!

  17. @idahojill on October 21, 2010 at 10:18 am

    shared on FB – Idaho Jill – http://www.facebook.com/#!/IdahoJill/posts/160474

  18. @idahojill on October 21, 2010 at 10:17 am

  19. @idahojill on October 21, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I love not having to cook meat at least a couple of times a week. But those meals always seem to be pasta. I would love to have more veggie recipes!

  20. Tinkerschnitzel on October 21, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I need this book! I've been trying to find recipes that satisfy a lot of guys that don't always include meat. I know it's not impossible, but it definately gets tricky. I can't eat a lot of meat due to internal medical issues, so this book would keep us from having more of the baked potatoes or grilled cheese sandwich dinners.

  21. Alison on October 21, 2010 at 8:31 am

    My daughters are vegetarian and it would be great to have some new recipes to add to our growing file!

  22. Shelley on October 21, 2010 at 7:29 am

    I love cooking and / or eating adventures! As a runner I'm definitely in to 'light' – less to haul around the miles with me! We're not vegetarians – we try to eat a little of everything, but especially more oily fish and less red meat and cheese. Being very frugal, we are always looking for new bean and lentil recipes. Sadly, a lot of vegetarian recipes seem to rely on cheese, nuts and other fats for flavour, so a 'lite veggie' cookbook sounds fab. I have my fingers and toes crossed!

  23. Lee Wilkins on October 21, 2010 at 6:57 am

    I would love to take a look at this cookbook! Living in the Deep South which has such a long growing season, I have become almost an "accidental" vegetarian because there are so many yummy veggies available for so long. I'd love to expand my "repertoire!"


  24. Kenneth Andrews on October 21, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Holy cow a lot of people are entering…oh crap, I guess I just did too! heh

  25. Jean on October 20, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    I need to get out of my "vegetarian eats too much dairy" rut. Especially because all of my kids are varying degrees of dairy intolerant.

  26. Unruly Reader on October 20, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Real live vegetarian here! This looks like a great cookbook. As long as the flavor remains when the bad-for-you ingredients are omitted, I'm all for it.

  27. @simonashton on October 20, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    I was vegetarian for about 12 years. I don't think I'd ever go back to it full time, but I'd love a copy of this book!

  28. Malia on October 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    This would be a great cookbook for our family! Thanks for the review!

  29. Rachel on October 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Even as a loyal meat eater, I’ve had a subscription to Cooking Light and various vegetarian magazines because I like to know what to do with all parts of a meal. I don’t think meat always has to be the main focus (even though it usually is in my household). I think being a good cook is going outside your comfort zone and for me that is appreciating what the ground provides.

  30. Stacy on October 20, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I have another Cooking Light cookbook and like it. I'd love to try this one since I'm always looking for vegetable recipes, even though I'm not a vegetarian. I am vegetarian-friendly, I guess.

  31. Illume Eltanin on October 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    As a former vegetarian, I love adding new recipes to my collection. This sounds like a great resource.

    And here's my Facebook timestamp: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=

  32. Sarah on October 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Gotta love a cookbook with lots of pictures. And Cooking Light has the best recipes!

  33. Deirdre Opp on October 20, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I love Cooking Light cookbooks, and I have been hoping to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our routine!

  34. Laura Ragsdale on October 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I've been wanting to work more vegetarian meals into the menu (and it would give me yet another excuse to go to the Farmer's Market) Thanks for the contest!

  35. sydney on October 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    how does it compare to Mark Bittman's cookbook, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian? That is one of my bibles?

  36. Tosha on October 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I started a vegan lifestyle less than 5 weeks ago and am loving it! I'd love to have this cook book as a resource when menu planing, I spend an enormous amount of time each week looking for recipes for breakfast lunch and dinner on the internet:)

  37. Kat on October 20, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    This vegetarian would love a chance to win!!

  38. Erica Mueller on October 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    We're not vegetarian, but I do try to cook one or two meatless meals each week, and am always looking for tasty healthy recipes!!

  39. Jenny on October 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I'd love to have some lighter dinner options to add to the rotation. Thanks!

  40. Andrea on October 20, 2010 at 11:49 am

    A very genuine and heartfelt review–but I wouldn't expect otherwise! ๐Ÿ™‚ I follow a mostly vegan diet with the occasional celebratory venture into omnivore territory.

  41. Sheri on October 20, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Sounds great! I'd love to have a copy. Thanks for the offer.

  42. Zhac Eve L Rahkonen on October 20, 2010 at 11:41 am

    My husband is a vegetarian whereas I'm more a pescetarian (I eat fish and seafood) but last year I was told that I have high cholesterol. How does this happen? Eating too much dairy and pasta and having a job that keeps me sitting on my butt all day long! This book sounds like a great way to explore healthier meals and I love the concept of teaching cooking techniques followed by recipes that apply the lesson. So in short, I'd love to give this cookbook a try or in other words, pick me! pick me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. Sandra Gomes on October 20, 2010 at 11:34 am

    ahh yes! a new range of ideas to add to Tofu Tuesdays ๐Ÿ™‚ Id love to have this book

  44. Jen on October 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

    My husband and I started doing "Meatless Mondays" a couple months ago and I'm running out of ideas that appeal to us and aren't 90% cheese, so I would be so excited to try out this cookbook to perk up our Mondays!

  45. Linda Petersen on October 20, 2010 at 11:09 am

    As a vegetarian, I am usually a bit dubious about meat & potatoes people reviewing a vegetarian cookbook. Ya did good! Oh, and I'd love to add this one to my collection.

  46. @skimtheocean on October 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I want to cook light & eat vegetarian!