This full color, beautifully illustrated book features cooking tips, nutrition information, and easy to use recipes with photographs on every page. You may purchase this cookbook by downloading, filling out and sending in our replacement parts order form.

Shown below are excerps and recipes from Vita Craft The Basics.


Cooking Meats Without Grease
Pre-heat your pan on medium for 3-5 minutes. The pan is ready when you can sprinkle a few drops of water in the pan and they "dance." If the water just evaporates, the pan is not hot enough. Once the pan is hot, place the meat in the pan, pressing it against the bottom of the pan. The meat will stick at first, which is what is required. After a short time, the meat will sear and then loosen from the pan. When this happens, turn and sear the other side. If meat is not done, or if it is a roast, cover the pan and reduce heat to low until cooked.

Tip: Always roast your meat in the smallest unit into which the meat will fit. This will result in more tender, juicy meat. Also, the meat will shrink less, which allows more servings per pound and greater money savings.

Top-of-the-Range Baking
Vita Craft's design allows you to bake cakes and cornbreads in the pan on top of the stove more efficiently than in the oven. For example, to bake a small cake, take the 8-1/2" fry pan and coat the inside with a non-stick cooking spray. Then pour the cake batter into the pan until the pan is half full, and cover with the lid. Set the pan on a burner and adjust heat to medium. When the lid is hot to the touch (usually about five minutes), reduce heat to low and finish baking (usually 10-12 minutes).

Roasting Beef and Lamb
To roast beef, preheat appropriate size pan over medium heat. Sear first side of meat, partially cover pan or cover with vent open. After first side is seared turn meat and reduce heat to low. Cover and roast to desired doneness. Cooking time begins after turning and covering meat.

Pan Broiling
Preheat appropriate size frypan without grease over medium-high heat until water drops "dance' on pan. Place meats in pan lightly pressing down to ensure surface is in contact with pan. Partially cover pan or cover with vent open. Meat will immediately begin to sear, initially sticking to the pan. When first side is seared (3-4 minutes) meats will loosen, turn over and sear second side an additional 3-4 minutes.

To deglaze the pan for sauce; after removing meats add 1/3 cup (80 ml) of liquid (water, wine, broth, etc.) and stir to loosen the juices from pan. Pour over steaks on platter.

Frozen steaks do not need to be thawed before cooking. Allow longer cooking time and start on lower heat until meat thaws.

Pan Frying
Pan frying is recommended for thin steaks such as cube steaks, or floured and breaded meats. Add a little oil or shortening prior to adding floured meats to the pan.

Steaming Meats
An excellent way to remove the fat from ground beef and other ground meats, is by steaming in place of browning or frying the meat. Place steamer over boiling water, add ground beef to steamer and cover. Frequently remove cover to stir ground beef. Sausage and hot dogs also benefit from this method.

Roasting Poultry
Cooking time is for unstuffed poultry. Start cooking on medium heat, covered. When vapor seal is formed, reduce to low heat and cook all poultry for 10 minutes per pound.

To brown poultry, preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Place poultry in oven uncovered until brown.

Wash and remove blemishes. Do not peel unless recipe calls for it, for by doing so you lose food value. Place vegetables in the pan they most nearly fill. Do not defrost frozen vegetables. Freshen vegetables in water to bring back the natural moisture content and garden crispness, then drain.

Potatoes are usually cooked whole and must be thoroughly dried before cooking. If cut into halves or quarters to shorten cooking time, place skin side against the utensil. Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) water as some of the starch will settle to the bottom of the pan requiring the additional water. A slightly higher temperature is required for potatoes than other vegetables.

Cover and cook over medium heat until vapor seal is formed (approximately 3-5 minutes.) Reduce heat to low and continue cooking. Cooking time begins when heat is reduced to low.

Bring liquid to boil over medium heat, add grain, stir, cover, and reduce heat to low for required cooking time. Do not restir. Fluff with a fork to separate grains before serving. Grains are also an excellent choice for stack cooking, stack on another utensil after grain has been added and vapor seal has formed.

Soft Cooked Eggs
In a cool 1-quart saucepan (1.5 L utensil) place eggs and 2 tablespoons water for one egg, adding 1 tablespoon for each additional egg, up to six. (Use 1/2 cup (120 ml) water for 6 more eggs.)

Cover pan. Cook on medium heat until steam appears, about 2 minutes.

For electric range turn off heat. For gas range, turn flame to as low as possible. Time eggs the instant steam appears. Continue cooking 3-4 minutes for soft cooked, 5 minutes for very firm white and medium soft yolk.

Hard Cooked Eggs
Use same method as above, adding additional water for a additional eggs.

Cover. Place over medium heat cooking for 5 minutes. Turn burner off and leave covered 10 minutes.

Cool in cold water, then peel.

Poached Eggs
Pour 1 cup (240 ml) hot water into large frypan with grater/steamer tray. Break eggs into lightly buttered egg cups. Place eggs on grater/steamer tray. Cover with 4 L dome cover. Cook over medium heat until steam appears or the knob whistles. Reduce to low. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes for soft cooked eggs, or longer to desired firmness.


marinated flank steak Marinated Flank Steak
Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
2 pounds (1kg) flank steak
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
1 lemon, juice of
1/2 cup (120 ml) red wine
3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoon dried parsley

Lightly score flank steak on both sides against the grain of the meat. Mix all other ingredients in bowl to marinate meat. Place steak in bowl, turning to coat, cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. The longer the steak marinates the better; however, 30 minutes flavors the meat well.

Preheat large frypan over medium-high heat until water drops "dance" when sprinkled in pan. Remove flank steak from marinade and place in hot pan, allowing some garlic and onion to remain on steak. Sear meat until it releases from first side, approximately 4 minutes. Turn, reduce heat, and sear second side, cover for 4 minutes for rare, or longer to desired doneness.

Deglaze pan with marinade mixture. Pour over flank steak. Slice diagonally across the grain in 1/4" (1 cm) strips.

Serve with baked potatoes or rice.

caesar salad and grilled chicken Caesar Salad and Grilled Chicken
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
2 chicken breasts, boned and skinned
1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 head romaine lettuce, rinsed, spun dry and cut into 1" (2.5 cm) wide strips
1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
1/2 red pepper, sliced very thin in rings

Preheat 10" chef pan or large frypan over medium heat until water "dances" on pan. Add chicken breasts, cover, and cook 5 minutes. Turn chicken, cover and cook additional 5 minutes. Remove from pan, cool and slice.

For dressing blend together yogurt, anchovy paste, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and Parmesan. Place in refrigerator to cool.

To serve: In large bowl add cut romaine, red onion, red pepper, chicken and dressing. Toss well, top with fresh cracked pepper and salt if desired.

basic lasagna Basic Lasagna
Serves: 16
Preparation Time: 1 hour
4 cups (1 L) meat sauce
1 8 ounce (230 g) box lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 16 ounce (460 g) carton low-fat ricotta cheese
2 cups skim mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Pour one cup of meat sauce into bottom of 13" (33 cm) chef pan. Place one layer of uncooked lasagna noodles on top. Continue layering in the following order: 1 cup meat sauce, the ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1 cup meat sauce, another layer of noodles, 1 cup sauce, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and finally Parmesan cheese on top. Cover.

Turn heat to medium for 5 minutes. Reduce to low and cook for 35 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with Garlic Bread.

bbq baby back ribs

BBQ Baby Back Ribs
Serves: 10
Preparation Time: 3 hours
6 pounds (3 kg) baby back pork loin ribs

5 quarts (5 L) water
1 onion, cut into 1" (2.5 cm) chunks
4 celery ribs, cut into 1" (2.5 cm) chunks
2 cups (480 ml) Burgundy cooking wine

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup (240 ml) molasses
1/4 cup (60 ml) mustard
2 tablespoons Tobasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups (480 ml) prepared barbeque sauce
1-3/4 cups (420 ml) ketchup

Put whole racks of ribs into pasta pan or 6-quart (6 L) utensil and cover with water. Add the onion, celery and Burgundy wine. Cover, bring to a boil lower to simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until meat is tender and pulls easily away from the bones.

For the sauce, run green pepper and onion through blender with the water until smooth. Pour into 3-quart saucepan (3 L utensil). Add all other ingredients; stir and cook over low heat uncovered for 45 minutes.

When ribs are tender, drain and remove from pan to dry. When BBQ sauce has simmered, remove from heat to cool. Both items may be made in advance and refrigerated until needed.

Dip whole rip rack into BBQ sauce or paint on with brush. Place in large chef pan. Preheat in oven at 350ºF (180ºC) 15 minutes or until ribs are glazed and appear candied.

Place cooked rib rack on cutting board. Cut between the bones. Serve entire rack on a plate with a side of BBQ sauce for dipping.

thai grilled sirloin salad Thai Grilled Sirloin Salad
Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
1 pound (460 g) beef sirloin, trimmed
1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
1 head romaine lettuce, cut in 1" (2.5 cm) strips
1/2 cup mint leaves
2 shallots, thinly sliced and separated into rings
8 green onions, chopped including tops
2 hot peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 can chicken broth
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon roasted rice powder

Preheat large frypan over medium-high heat. Rub black pepper into meat. Sear meat in frypan, turning when it releases itself, leave on second side 3 minutes only. You want the beef very rare. Remove to platter and place in freezer 30 minutes.

While meat is cooling, combine cabbage, romaine lettuce, mint leaves, shallots, green onions and hot peppers.

Slice meat very thin across the grain. In same frypan (drain any fat) combine chicken broth, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and rice powder. Bring to a boil. When boiling add sliced beef and immediately remove from heat. Pour over prepared salad and toss well. Serve with soy sauce if desired.

pasta primavera Pasta Primavera
Serves: 8
Yields: 2 quarts (2 L)
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 pound (115 g) fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup broccoli floretes
1/2 cup fresh snow pea pods
1/2 cup yellow squash, sliced
1/2 cup zucchini, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
8 ounces (230 g) fresh linguine, uncooked
1/4 cup (60 ml) hot water
2 tablespoons Chablis or dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon chicken-flavored bouillon
3/4 cup (180 ml) skim milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon fresh Parmesan cheese, grated, divided
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons basil, chopped
fresh ground black pepper to taste

In large frypan over medium heat lightly brown garlic and mushrooms. Add remaining vegetables, and cover for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Set aside.

Cook linguine according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.

Combine water, wine and bouillon in a 1-quart saucepan (1.5 L utensil) and heat to boiling.

Combine milk and flour in a small bowl; stir well. Gradually add flour mixture to wine mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Pour sauce over linguine, and toss gently. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, and toss gently. Transfer linguine mixture to a large serving platter, and top with reserved vegetable mixture; sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.

eggplant parmigiana Eggplant Parmigiana w/ Marinara Sauce
Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 1 hour
3 medium eggplants
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups (720 ml) tomato sauce or Marinara Sauce (Recipe Below)
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Romano cheese, grated

Slice eggplants in 1/2" (1.5 cm) thick rings, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse eggplant and pat dry. in large frypan, fry eggplant in olive oil until golden brown then drain.

In 6-quart (6 L) roaster spread sauce to cover bottom of pan. Place one layer of eggplant in roaster, one layer mushrooms, one layer of mozzarella cheese, a layer of sauce then repeat. Sprinkle with Romano cheese.

Cover, cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.

Marinara Sauce
Serves: 12-1 cup servings
Yield: 2 quarts (2 L)
Preparation Time: 1 hour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
5 cups (1.25 L) water
1 12 ounce (345 g) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh or dried basil
1 tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons parsley
1/2 cup (120 ml) red wine (optional)
1 14.5 ounce (435 g) can diced tomatoes

In 3-quart saucepan (3 L utensil) sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat just until tender. Add water, tomato paste, spices, and wine. Mix well, simmer uncovered 30-45 minutes to reduce. Add diced tomatoes, simmer an additional 15 minutes.

rice pudding Rice Pudding
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
1 cup rice
1-1/2 cups (360 ml) milk
1 vanilla bean
pinch of salt
raisins (optional)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg

Wash and drain the rice. Pour into a 3-quart saucepan (3 L utensil); add enough water to cover rice; cover pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As son as the water has been absorbed (about 10 minutes), add milk, vanilla bean, and salt. Raisins can be added if desired.

Cover, reduce to medium-low heat and cook for 10 minutes

Remove from heat, add the sugar and egg. Cover, and let stand to finish cooking completely (approximately 5 minutes) before serving.

pineapple upside down cake Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Serves: 12
Preparation Time: 35 minutes
1 20 ounce (570 g) can sliced pineapple (reserve liquid)
1 package yellow cake mix
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
maraschino cherries
heavy cream, whipped

Drain pineapple juice into measuring cup. Mix cake according to package directions, using reserved pineapple juice for the liquid. In large frypan, melt butter over medium low heat, add brown sugar spread evenly over bottom of pan. Arrange pineapple, place cherry in center of each slice, add beaten cake mixture so pan is two-thirds full. Cover with 4-quart (4 L) dome cover, form a water seal over medium heat, (approximately 7 minutes). Reduce to low, bake 25 minutes. Remove cover quickly so condensed moisture does not drip back on cake.

Invert large platter over pan and turn quickly. Lift pan gently from cake. Serve warm or cold with or without whipped cream topping.

poached pear Chocolate Glazed Poached Pear
Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
6 firm but ripe pears
3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
3 ounces (90 g) German sweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces (90 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 unsalted butter
sprigs of mint for garnish (optional)

Using a vegetable peeler, peel pears and leave stems intact. If necessary, cut a small slice off each pear's bottom so it will stand upright.

Stand pears in water in the 3-quart saucepan (3 L utensil) and cover. Place pan over low heat for 30 minutes.

As each pear is done. Remove pears with a slotted spoon and place it on a baking sheet or wire rack to cool. Pears may be refrigerated several hours (or overnight), if desired.

Several hours before serving, melt both varieties of chocolate and butter in top of a double boiler over simmering water at low heat, stirring occasionally. When smooth, remove from heat.

Blot all pears dry with paper towels. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Holding each pear carefully by its stem, dip each into the chocolate glazing mixture, tilting pear and spooning glaze to cover pear completely. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate for several hours. Before serving, remove each pear with spatula to serving plate, garnish with fresh mint.

indian cauliflower salad Indian Cauliflower Salad
Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
1 head cauliflower
8 green onions
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/3 cup (80 ml) warm water
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, spun and torn

Separate cauliflower into 1" (2.5 cm) florets. Peel stems and cut into thin slices. Set aside. Trim onions and chop entire onion including tops. Set aside. Have spices and water ready right next to stove. Heat oil in wok or large frypan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Reduce heat to low. Keep lid handy if seeds sputter too much. When seeds stop sputtering add turmeric and stir, add cauliflower and stir to coat, add water and cover 10 minutes. Place prepared romaine in bowl, top with green onion and cilantro, pour cauliflower over top and toss.

This dish is bright, attractive, unusual, and very good.

Serve with prepared brown rice or low fat sausage.

sesame chicken wings Sesame Chicken Wings
Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
12 chicken wings
1 tablespoon salted black beans
1 tablespoon water
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices fresh ginger, minced
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons dry sherry or rice wine
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 green onion, chopped

Cut off and discard wing tips using a sharp knife or kitchen shears. In small bowl, crush the beans and add the water, set aside. Heat wok or large frypan over medium-high heat; add chicken wings, garlic, and ginger. Lightly brown chicken. Add soy sauce and sherry, stir 30 seconds. Add the soaked black beans and pepper. Cover wok, reduce heat to medium and simmer 8-10 minutes.

Uncover, return heat to medium-high and continue to cook, occasionally stirring wings until liquid is almost evaporated and wings are glazed with sauce. Remove from heat, sprinkle on sesame seeds, stir to coat completely and serve. Garnish with green onion.