cover image High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking

High-Flavor, Low-Fat Vegetarian Cooking

Steven Raichlen, Raichlen. Viking Books, $29.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-670-85782-1

Raichlen, whose Miami Spice won the 1993 I.A.C.P. Julia Child Award for Best Regional American Cookbook, admits that college vegetarianism of ``soybeans and brown rice'' turned him into a ``committed carnivore.'' But age, health and experience caught up with him, and the result is this collection of 225 recipes relying on such ``big-flavored'' ingredients as herbs, spices and chiles and flavor-intensive cooking methods like smoking and grilling. Recipes, drawn from a wide range of culinary traditions, are occasionally straightforward translations (Vietnamese-Style Spring Rolls), but most are modified to lessen fat (the Fishless Ceasar Salad uses no-fat sour cream instead of eggs), and some reflect Raichlen's imagination (Pineapple Gazpacho). Appetizers, salads, soups, desserts et al. get their own chapters, while entrees are organized by main ingredient, e.g., pasta, beans, grains and vegetables. This may slightly frustrate the browser: Chiles Rellenos are found with vegetable dishes, Tamales with grains, Enchiladas with beans. Nevertheless, Raichlen is a helpful guide, dealing out tips (Florida avocados have less fat than the California variety) and trucs (turning a wok into a stovetop smoker) as he delivers on the promise of his title. Author tour. (Mar.)