Viva Vegetariana

Fledgling vegans are spoiled for choice, without ever realizing it. Beyond the obvious conveniences of readily available meatless meals in both restaurants and grocery stores, newbies might not know that the entire cookbook section has been turned upside down in the past decade. In fact, that distinct lack of vegan baking books is what motivated me to write My Sweet Vegan to begin with.

Compared to Nava Atlas, however, I was still late to the party. Truly a pioneer in the culinary world, activism, literature, and art, Vegetariana first hit bookshelves in 1984, before I was even born. It’s unbelievable how far we’ve come since then, thanks in no small part to such bold moves. Now, 37 years later, Nava’s premier work encompassing recipes, food lore, and imaginative illustrations has been reborn for a whole new generation of compassionate cooks.


Reprinted with permission from Vegetariana by Nava Atlas

While I’ve often flippantly declared that I could never use a cookbook without photos, Vegetariana has made me eat those words, along with a wide assortment of sweet and savory delights. Nava brings these recipes to life with her incredibly artful drawings and stories, giving them even greater presence on the page than a mere snapshot could allow.

These recipes have truly stood the test of time. Tested and tasted again and again, over the course of nearly four decades, they’ve been polished like diamonds, each one a culinary jewel. I’ve had the great fortune of working with Nava for a mere quarter of this book’s lifetime and can easily attest to this fact. Not once have I hit a single dud through the course of our collaborations.

Given such extensive experience with Nava’s work, it’s hard to pick even a dozen favorites from the bunch. Tofu Rancheros make eggs obsolete in this upgraded Tex-Mex standard. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, there’s no time I would ever turn down a heaping helping.

Sweet & Sour Cabbage Soup could soothe the soul better than any scrawny chicken. Tangy and tart, sweet and soft, every spoonful is bright, full of vibrant flavors the belie such a simple preparation. Humble, affordable, and accessible ingredients are transformed into exquisite creations with minimal effort.

Speaking of fast favorites, Quinoa Sloppy Joe or Taco Filling is the all-purpose meatless stuffing for any lonely bun, bread, or tortilla you’ve got on hand. Made for one or an unexpected hoard of visitors, it scales easily, keeps beautifully, and reheats like a champ.


Reprinted with permission from Vegetariana by Nava Atlas

Prepare to add a whole new collection of instant hits to your standard recipe arsenal. Nava Atlas has been so generous to kick-start that inspiration by giving away three copies of Vegetariana to those hungry for comfort food, and food for thought.

To enter, leave me a comment below about your favorite go-to recipe. What’s the dish that you’ve made a hundred times, and could easily make a hundred times more? Don’t forget to come back and fill out the entry form to log your submission, and unlock a number of additional methods to rack up extra entries.

Vegetariana: A Rich Harvest of Wit, Lore, and Recipes by Nava Atlas

10 thoughts on “Viva Vegetariana

  1. My husband was a vegetarian for years, and where we live it was nearly impossible to find any healthy ingredients and substitutes. Our closest city is Oklahoma City, and Whole Foods was only built in 2011. It’s getting better, but thank goodness for online shopping. I remember my husband ordering a black bean burger way back when at Chili’s, one of our finer local restaurants 🙄 and they’d ask how he’d like it cooked. Then it would come to him smelling like a burger griddle. Ah, the Midwest. But wherever you live, know that things really have come around! Such great options now.

    1. Oh yes, we’ve come such a long way in just a few years! It’s amazing to look back at the difference.

  2. I like revisiting some of her older books – as well as the Moosewood Cookbooks – throwbacks are neat! Plus there are some really great way to veganize the vegetarian ideas from way back. LOVED seeing this post!

  3. Love you bringing this back! I go for noodles and peanut sauce, I could eat it in some form for every meal :)

  4. Blackened Tofu Burger on a sprouted wheat burger bun with avocado, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and grilled onions.

  5. I adore that book!!!! I make a garbanzo bean, kale, coconut milk curry originally from Isa Moskowitz. I love it, one of my favorite recipes.

  6. Maybe it’s because I just read about your sheet pan cookbook preorder, but oven roasted broccoli and sweet potato with peanut sauce has always been one of my go-tos – I think those three foods together make such a perfect balance in the tummy. Excited for this giveaway! That book is as old as me!

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