Article: Going Vegan: Revolutionary cookbook author Mollie Katzen goes lighter, brighter on Oregon Live

By Grant Butler
on September 16, 2013 at 8:00 AM, updated September 16, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Mollie Katzen revolutionized vegetarian cooking when she published the“Moosewood Cookbook” in 1977.

With its hand-lettered recipes and comforting approach, it elevated vegetables from simple side dishes to complex entrees, and made the idea of meat-free eating accessible to Middle America at a time when hamburgers and steak and potatoes were the norm.

Recipes included with this story: Lablabi (Tunisian Garbanzo Bean Soup),FattoushSumac Vinaigrette.

Since then, Katzen has published numerous vegetarian cookbooks, including the just-out “The Heart of the Plate” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; $39.99; 464 pages), a collection of more than 250 recipes that show how vegetarianism and her own cooking style have evolved in the 35 years since the debut of “Moosewood.”

In that first book, many of Katzen’s dishes were comforting and heavy, with an abundance of butter, eggs and cheese making up for the lack of meat. In her new book, most of the dishes take a far lighter, simpler approach, with the emphasis on the vegetables. And while she still uses some dairy and eggs, about 60 percent of her recipes are vegan, or easily made so with the substitution of an ingredient or two.

We talked with Katzen recently about how vegetarian cooking has changed over the years and the importance of cooking at home. Answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Continue reading, here.

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