More-with-Less: A Cookbook Review

The More-with-Less Cookbook

The More-with-Less Cookbook

This is my first review of a series of three cookbooks. This one is a classic that was originally published in 1976. I think I purchased my original copy in 1978. It became so tattered that I finally replaced it with the 25th anniversary edition that is pictured. This cookbook is the one that inspired the other two that I will review in a future blog. The full title of this cookbook is More-with-Less Cookbook: Recipes and suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world’s limited food resources. The author, now deceased, is Doris Janzen Longacre. It is part of A World Community Cookbook series commissioned by Mennonite Central Committee in response to world food needs.

The cookbook begins with chapters that outline the state of the world’s food resources and the spirituality that is reflected in what we eat. The premise of the cookbook is that we are what we eat both physically and spiritually and that change that aligns our eating and food production with the Divine will for the nurture of all creation is an act of faith. This cookbook provides information and real resources in the form of recipes and other helps to assist those of us who want to consume less of the world’s food resources, may not be sure where to begin, and are not sure how to maintain our motivation in the midst of affluence.

There are all kinds of useful resources besides the recipes. For example, there is a table of substitutions – you can substitute 2 tablespoons of flour for 1 tablespoon of corn starch. There is a guide to commercial container sizes, a guide to complementary proteins that create full proteins for those wanting to cut down on meat consumption, a comparative cost of protein sources chart, and there is a section on simple meal themes for entertaining and what might be included in each theme.

This cookbook contains all your usual classifications of recipes but one of my favorite things about it is that recipes from various parts of the world are included in each section. One of our family favorites is Vietnam Fried Rice which is garlicky and peppery. Another favorite is the West African Groundnut Stew which I have served to friends from that part of the world with plenty of hot sauce. Last of all, in the Snacks and Miscellaneous section are instructions for roasting pumpkin seeds which has become part of our family tradition at Halloween.

I do not buy many cookbooks anymore because of access to recipes on the internet, but this is one that I highly recommend and will probably have to replace again from over use in 25 years!

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5 Responses to “More-with-Less: A Cookbook Review”
  1. quakewatcher says:

    Sue – Great review for what looks like a wonderful book! Here is a link to a blog by some Mennonite foodies who come up with some awesome recipes, although I’m not sure that they would all pass the “more with less” test!
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful insights into food and cooking, it is inspiring! Regards, Carol

  2. [...] been known to eat this for breakfast! I’ve been making this for years after finding it in the More-with-Less Cookbook. I’ve adapted it a bit because I like a little more crumb topping than the recipe calls [...]

  3. barb howard says:

    I have a first edition of this cookbook, and I have a box of cookbooks I’m getting rid of before the month is out, but not this one. It is so practica, economical, and delightful to usel. THanks for promoting it.

  4. [...] picking all those apples I just had to make some apple crisp. I adapted a recipe from The More-With-Less Cookbook and just love the addition of peanut butter. It really adds a richness to the crisp topping. I hope [...]

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