Facebook Logo Twitter Logo Pinterest Logo

Nut Gourmet Blog Logo

only search Vegetarians in Paradise
VIP Bird
VIP Banner
Fill out your e-mail address to receive our newsletter!
*E-mail address:
*First Name:
Last Name:
Please let us know your location for special events:
Los Angeles:
(Outside USA):
Subscribe Unsubscribe


Vegan for the Holidays

Vegan for the Holidays has sold out its first printing.
New copies and the Kindle Edition are still available for purchase at Amazon.


Translate This Page

sphere Homepage

sphere News from the Nest

sphere Vegan for the Holidays Blog

sphere Vegan for the Holidays Videos

sphere Zel Allen's NutGourmet Blog

About Us


Weight Loss

Food History/Nutrition/Recipes


Nutrition Information

Los Angeles Resources

Cooking Tips/Recipes

Guest Contributors

Books/Media Reviews


sphere Archive Index

sphere Contact Us

*Privacy Policy: When you subscribe to Vegetarians in Paradise (vegetarian e-zine) your email address will not be sold or rented, and will only be used to let you know in an email what's new in our monthy web magazine.

All the world is nuts about

    What's in The Nut Gourmet

The Nutty Gourmet

Vegetarians in Paradise

Vegetarian Books

Each issue the VIP birds endeavor to soar to the highest literary peak to peck out the most unique, informative, and accomplished book that contributes to vegetarian enlightenment.

This month we review a cookbook that emphasizes buying produce locally and in season as well as supporting farmers' markets.

Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes

By Devra Gartenstein

Book Publishing Company, 2007
Paper $17.95

Cookbook author, former caterer, and now farmers' market concession owner, Devra Gartenstein is a devoted vegetable aficionado who loves the challenge of greeting new fruits and vegetables as they make their seasonal appearance at the farmers' market. Her cookbook, Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes, is the delicious result of feeding the farmers at the market in exchange for the fruits and veggies they have in excess or couldn't sell. This veg devotee loves the culinary adventure of creating a new dish with "whatever the vegetable gods send my way."

Gartenstein recognizes the necessity of supporting local farmers and stresses the urgency of discouraging the corporate food industry of globalizing our food choices and availability. She makes a clear case against industrial agriculture that focuses on monoculture rather than diversity and puts Third World farmers out of business.

Buying locally and seasonally brings to market the freshest and tastiest produce when fruits and vegetables are at their peak of ripeness and most nutritious. Supporting the local farmer is also a way to reduce the use of fossil fuel and become more attuned to eating different fruits and vegetables with the changing of the seasons. Local farmers tend to use fewer pesticides and offer better prices for abundant produce in season. The author says, "Ask questions about where your ingredients are produced. Read labels and signs at the supermarket. Support your local farmer's market."

In her brief chapter on Simplicity, Gartenstein coaxes readers back to the kitchen to prepare from-scratch meals with fresh ingredients rather than opting for processed convenience foods. There's even a section on optimal cooking techniques that are ideal for vegetables, like sautéing, braising, steaming, roasting and grilling. She agrees it does take more time to chop vegetables and cook them, but "The more often you do it, the less time it will take," she says.

The Seasoning chapter informs readers that foods from different parts of the world taste uniquely different because of indigenous seasoning combinations. A handy chart offers a number of seasoning suggestions for recreating international favorites at home.

Local Bounty The recipe section begins with Spring and offers new veggies at their most tender stages. Gartenstein favors simple recipes with familiar ingredients that allow the vegetables to play starring roles. Soups like Roasted Leek and Carrot Soup begin with roasting a pound each of sweet spring carrots and leeks, combining them with onions and garlic and roasting them until browned to create "an exquisite broth."

Only at the farmers' market will shoppers encounter vegetable treasures like garlic scapes, which are the garlic stems and tops considered a spring delicacy. Bring them to the table with the recipe for White Beans with Garlic Scapes.

Gartenstein says, "Summer produce is abundant and flamboyant, ripe and ready and easy to use." Tomatoes are one of the jewels of the summer season and are deliciously enfolded into recipes like Quick Tomato Sauce, Puttanesca Sauce, Casponata, Okra with Tomatoes, Minestrone, Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes, and Fried Green Tomatoes.

Summertime also delivers fresh fruits to the farmer's market for making homemade treats like Blueberry Bars, Raspberry-Almond Cake, Caramelized Apricots with Hazelnuts, and Nectarine and Blueberry Cobbler.

As summer concludes, the Fall portion of Local Bounty combines the last of the tomato crop into tempting dishes, while Gartenstein welcomes the first of the winter squashes into creations like Harvest Corn and Squash Soup, Pumpkin Coconut Soup, and Acorn Squash and Wild Rice Patties. Fall brings parsnips, fennel, broccoli, and greens like collards and Swiss chard and adds beans and whole grains to some of the dishes.

In Winter, when the vegetable variety shrinks to only the hardiest of offerings like root vegetables, greens, potatoes, cabbages, and squashes, this innovative vegetable guru dresses up Lentil-Barley soup with chopped spinach and blends pungent seasonings to create Pickled Beets.

Among the many features that give the book appeal is a helpful glossary to explain less familiar foods like capers, Israeli couscous, nori, nutritional yeast flakes, seitan, and quinoa. The earthy brown and olive green color accents bring warmth to the pages, while the vegetable photographs in muted tones complete the pleasing graphic design.

Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes is not only a vegetable treasure trove of innovative recipes with a seasonal focus, but it is also a book that brings home the important message of buying local produce and supporting the local farmers. The recipes are uniquely conceived and introduce unusual vegetables that may be available only at farmers' markets. Easy enough for newcomers to the kitchen and tempting enough to entice home chefs into preparing homemade dishes, the recipes really put vegetables in the forefront of the mealtime offerings.

Click here for past book reviews

Vegetarians in Paradise

Homepage sphere Los Angeles Vegan Events Calendar sphere Our Mission sphere The Nut Gourmet sphere Vegan for the Holidays sphere Vegan for the Holidays Videos sphere Vegetarians in Paradise Diet sphere Vegan Survival Kit sphere News from the Nest sphere Vegan Recipe Index sphere Los Angeles Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants sphere Vegan Basics 101 sphere Protein Basics sphere Calcium Basics sphere Ask Aunt Nettie sphere VeggieTaster Report sphere Vegan Reading sphere VegParadise Bookshelf sphereHeirloom Gardening sphere Cooking with Zel sphere Dining in Paradise sphere Cooking Beans & Grains sphere On the Highest Perch sphere Road to Veganshire sphere Words from Other Birds sphere Using Your Bean sphere Ask the Vegan Athlete sphere Vegan Holiday Meals sphere Great Produce Hunt sphere Farmers' Markets sphere Natural Food Markets sphere Vegetarian Associations Directory sphere Links We Love sphere VegParadise Yellow Pages sphere Media Reviews sphere 24 Carrot Award sphere Vegetarian Food Companies sphere Archive Index sphere Contact Us

© 1999-2015 vegparadise.com