Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore: Dinner for Everyone at the Table

By Anna Thomas

Photography by Victoria Pearson

W.W. Norton & Company  2016      



Can we all sit down and have dinner together? 

            For years, Anna Thomas’ fans have cooked from her trailblazing vegetarian cookbooks.  Now, Anna turns her thoughts to that larger question.  We are eating differently:  your daughter is a vegan, or perhaps you are but your in-laws don’t think it’s dinner without meat, or you’re hosting Thanksgiving for a mixed group… In this beautiful and inspiring new book, Anna offers her solutions for re-uniting our divided tables.


             “My idea is simple,” says Anna.  “Start with the food everyone eats, design a satistying meal or a dish around that, then expand and elaborate with the right cheeses, meats, or fish for your omnivores.  Everyone feels welcome, and we eat the same meal – but in variations.”


            In her warm and lively style, Anna shows us how to cook for today’s table, with over 150 recipes for all tastes, and menus for every occasion – always with flexibility in mind.  For a casual evening with friends, Farro with Lentils and Lavender served with Ratatouille from the Charcoal Grill makes a beautiful vegan supper -- and also pairs wonderfully with garlic-and-herb rubbed lamb chops for the omnivores. Anna’s crowd-pleasing Easy Fish Soup begins as a robust vegetable soup, with the seafood added five minutes before serving – an ideal two-way dish.  Lemon Risotto with sautéed fava beans is perfect on its own as a vegetarian or vegan dish, and can easily take on tender garlic-sautéed shrimp. For dessert, have vegan gingerbread and add vanilla ice cream, or serve a delectable Dark Chocolate Almond Bark studded with ginger and dried cherries...


Anna’s festive “Thanksgiving for Everyone” menu centers on a sumptuous Polenta Torta with Roasted Squash and onion marmalade, surrounded by an array of seasonal vegetables – all pairing equally well with roast turkey for the traditionalists.  “Taco Night at Home” allows everyone to design their perfect meal, mixing and matching from a spread of Rajas con Hongos, Spicy Black Beans, Carnitas, and Guajillo Chile Salsa. Anna’s exuberant Mediterranean Mezze menu is a relaxed summer party, featuring vegan Roasted Eggplant and Chile Spread with flatbread, Tabbouleh with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemon, Charred Zucchini with Lemon and Mint, and Baked Lamb Kibbeh Wedges for the omnivores.

With dishes inspired by the vibrant produce of farmers’ markets, Anna shares her love of cooking and of hospitality.  Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore shows us how to navigate a world of change, and bring all our friends and family together at one big, generous table.

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