Monday, April 6, 2009

A Critical Look at Vegetarian Times

Probably I'm just too critical.

I've subscribed to Vegetarian Times for years, but lately it seems to have changed its focus. For one thing, a lot more of the recipes seem to be based around eggs and dairy. Of course, they do include some vegan recipes--like the current (April '09) issue's feature on making your own vegan faux cheeses--but most have a lot of oil. (See? I'm never satisfied!)

Obviously, a commercial publication has to appeal to a broad spectrum of people in order to stay in business; I can't fault them for that. And there are alternative publications that cater to vegan readers; among them are Vegetarian Resource Journal, a quarterly publication, and Dr. McDougall's monthly newsletter containing health-related articles and a selection of health-promoting recipes. These publications don't include dairy or egg recipes. (They don't include beautifully-styled, glossy food photos either, but you can't have everything!)

Back to VT--another thing I've noticed is that many of the articles in recent months seem to be aimed at the proverbial young person who doesn't yet know how to boil water. Of course, this may be a conscious decision, an attempt to appeal to a new generation of vegetarians--and, looked at from that perspective, it's not a bad idea.

I have to admit, though, that every month there are several recipes in Vegetarian Times that I enjoy tremendously; recipes that can easily be adapted to be lower in fat. Last month (March '09) there was the Mixed Vegetable Kootu and the Spicy Asian Stir-Fry with Whole-Wheat Linguine.

And this month? My copy arrived only a few days ago, and already I've made--and blogged about--three of the recipes. All were absolutely delicious! Tonight's dinner--Potato and Spinach Masala--is definitely something I'll make again. I also enjoyed the descriptions of readers' favorite vegetarian restaurants in the Dining Out awards.

So I guess I should just quit my griping and enjoy the beautiful magazine, skipping over the parts that don't interest me. Like the obligatory Easter article about eggs.

What do you think? If you're a vegetarian or a vegan--or even if you're not--please leave a comment and give your opinion. Do you read Vegetarian Times? Do you like it? Is there another food-related publication you like better?


  1. i will not subscribe again...yes it is vegetarian but too much cheese, eggs, oils and crud. No way is it healthy vegan but yes they do a a few vegan recipes but very few. i just got mine and haven't read it yet so I won't say I won't do any of the recipes but I am just not happy with most of the recipes. Just my opinion. I subscribe to their newsletters and delete most of it. Yes I can leave out the oil, but most recipes have eggs, dairy, etc.

  2. There is a vegan magazine with glossy food pictures called Veg News. I'm not sure, but there may not be as many recipes as Vegetarian Times. Unfortunately, there will be lots of oil and margerine in it though.

  3. Sounds good--I'll check it out.

  4. I still like it, though I have my issues with it. Different from yours: I get tired of all the non-food features. Sorry, I'm not really into Carrots and Sticks beating people up for being insufficiently envirovegetarian; I don't want to read about alternative electric power (all our usual forms of energy, even fossil, are vegetarian [coal--hey, it comes from trees and other plants!]--or so distant from their animal origins [oil, from microbes] that they're good by me) or alternative light bulbs, and I don't care about vegetarian or "earth-friendly" fashion.

    I want to read about vegetarian (yes, preferably vegan) food in Vegetarian Times; I think it's arrogant of them to presume that I buy into their entire political perspective. I don't.

  5. I am pleased to have found your blog via the Mcdougall board.

    I doubt I will ever buy another cooking magazine or cookbook again since there are so many wonderful vegan recipes available on the internet. I have four binders full of recipes - all from the internet.

  6. I get a lot of recipes from the Internet, too--but I love cookbooks too much to ever swear off them completely!

  7. I want to be more into Mcdougall's diet , but we have a hard time doing no oil. I use a little oil in making bread.

    Some of his recipes are good, especially the soups....My husband does not like the whole grain pastas....He would probably like the brown rice good quality ones I have to use but they are expensive.

    We are trying to be basically Vegan, but we do occasionally have fish.

    I plan on having the potato dish you mention this week. I did find the potatoes!