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The Vegetarian Epicure


The late 60s, early 70s "classic." If you thought the only contributions the so-called hippies made to fine dining was to empty a bowl to get up an appetite for dinner, you have another think coming. This is the pre-fat hysteria, pre-vegan guide to delicious vegetarian food that won't leave you hungry an hour after dinner. Don't forget to visit her web site where she has posted new recipes, as well as information about her life and cookbooks. And don't forget to order a copy of this essential cookbook at or

Important note: As if I haven't said it a zillion times already, I don't own the rights to these recipes. If you want them for commercial purposes, please contact Anna Thomas through her web site so that you can arrange to purchase the appropriate permissions.

Index to the recipes:

Corn Bread

"When I first tried this recipe, I expected it to shoot right through the top of the stove from all that baking powder. It didn't, and I do recommend you try it because it is the most delicious corn bread I've ever eaten. (Note: Amen, sister!)

"Sift together dry ingredients. Beat the egg with the milk and add it to the flour mixture along with the melted butter. Stir everything up well.

"Spread the batter in a buttered 9-inch pie dish and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is lightly browned around the edges.

"Serve hot with butter.

"Serves 4 to 6 generously--and that's the way you have to serve this bread."

Lentil-Tomato Soup

"Put the first 6 ingredients into a large pot and simmer gently for about 3 hours (it usually takes closer to 60 to 90 minutes), replenishing the water as needed. If you have a taste for it, try adding a little dry white wine. Then, tasting to see what quantity is right for you, add very small amounts of the herbs and spices of your choice. Finally, stir in a cup of tomato paste and let it all heat through."

Serves 6 but you can freeze the extras.

Lentil Soup Creole

"Douse the lentils with the boiling water, add the salt, and let them stand, covered, for about an hour. Chop the onion, the celery stalk, and the bell peppers. Melt 3 tbsp. butter in a saucepan and add to it the Bakon yeast and vegetable broth powder. Add the diced vegetables, brown sugar, and a bay leaf, and saute for a few minutes before adding it all to the lentils.

"Cook over a very low flame for about 1-1/2 hours. Mix together the flour and the catsup (or tomato pureer). Add a little of the hot soup to this, stirring well, then return it all to the pot. Grind in some black pepper, heat through, and serve."

6 to 8 servings but, don't forget, you can freeze extras for later.

The strange thing about this recipe is that I have never once followed it step-by-step or word-for-word. It is more a good memory jog for ideas about how to make a good "creole" lentil dish than it is something that needs to be slavishly followed. Often I cut back quite a bit on the water and make it as a side or main dish rather than a soup.

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