Vegetariana: A Rich Harvest of Wit, Lore, & Recipes by Nava Atlas
The revised and updated 2021 edition, now completely vegan
First published in 1984, Vegetariana was one of the quirkiest entries in the field of hand-illustrated cookbooks. Publishers Weekly’s review predicted: “This book should prove itself a classic.” Now in its fourth edition and for the first time entirely vegan, Vegetariana is here for new readers to enjoy and original fans to rediscover.
While more than 170 easy recipes are at the heart of its pages, Vegetariana is much more than a cookbook; it’s a sampler of literary quotations, folk wisdom, botanical lore, and historical anecdotes. So even if you don’t like to cook, this is a cookbook to read in bed!
Taking her cues from her subjects, Nava Atlas animates the pages with whimsical pencil illustrations to create an unforgettable visual experience that will delight food lovers of all culinary persuasions.
Vegetariana’s quirky art and design tap into a nostalgia both for beautifully illustrated books and simple, hearty food. While it may not have the lush photography and jazzed-up cuisine of contemporary cookbooks, it does have a kind of soul and wit that appealed to its first generation of fans and will surely appeal to new readers.
Vegetariana has been recognized for its artistic and literary merits. Several of its original drawings are now a part of several public and private collections, including The Wichita Museum, The Weatherspoon Museum, and The New York Public Library’s collection of drawings and prints.
See more illustrations from Vegetariana here.
Interspersed with recipes for soups, salads, grains, legumes, pasta, vegetables, breads, and desserts, are witty food quotes by notable thinkers and authors, plus lots of food lore and folk beliefs from around the world. Along with a brief history of vegetarianism and veganism, this unique book adds up to a celebration of all things veg. It’s a great gift for longtime vegetarians, vegans, and food aficionados.
Praise for earlier editions
This book should prove itself a classic…savory recipes, witty anecdotes, delightful aphorisms, and fascinating food folklore…a stunning visual feast. The author’s illustrations render this a very special and unusual book.
A one-woman masterpiece celebrating vegetarianism, it’s an offbeat, lighthearted look at the lore of vegetarian foods, as well as a compilation of good, appetizing recipes.
A treasure…Atlas’s historical journeys are whimsical and memorable. Good, simple recipes, enough to form an entire repertoire of healthy, ethnic cuisine.
A cookbook that is as much a pleasure to look at as it is to cook from.
—Washington Jewish Week
Aside from great recipes, this charming cookbook provides an overview of vegetarianism.
A book to read cover to cover…appealingly illustrated; the recipes are out of the ordinary.
—New Age Journal
For the inveterate cookbook reader, this book provides additional enjoyment beyond the recipes.
—Ann Arbor News
Vegetarian or not, you’ll turn to Vegetariana’s pages again and again for lore and history, as well as recipes.
—El Paso Times
Charming tidbits, along with her skillful drawings, make Ms. Atlas’s book stand out from the array of vegetarian cookbooks.
—Durham Morning Herald
Ms. Atlas’s good-humored approach makes her book appealing both to the herbivore looking for a lift and the meat-eater who wants a little variety…an excellent cookbook.
A unique compendium of imaginative recipes, witty illustrations, and literary anecdotes on the delights of vegetarian cookery…with plenty of great ideas.
—Dade Jewish Journal
The recipes are comforting, unassuming, and usually easy to make. Even without its recipes, Vegetariana would be an enjoyable, fact-filled book you can curl up with and enjoy.
See more of Nava’s books.