I require two things of a cookbook for me to check it out:
♥ There must be lots of photos.
♥ Those photos must be beautiful.
Checking out a cookbook is not the same thing as USING a cookbook. For me to actually use a cookbook, I require two additional things:
♥ Simple ingredients.
♥ Simple instructions.
Very, very few cookbooks meet these requirements (thus I am forced to make frozen pizza at least twice a week. Sigh. It is so difficult being a lazy cook with high cookbook standards). So when I discovered that Mary McCartney’s new cookbook, FOOD: Vegetarian Home Cooking, exceeded all of my requirements I just had to hug it. Yup, I hug that cookbook. On a regular basis. Because I love it. I really really love it.
For those of you who are not as obsessed with the McCartney family as I am, Mary McCartney is the daughter of Sir Paul McCartney and the late Linda McCartney, and thus grew up in arguably the most famous of vegetarian families. I was worried that Mary’s long history with vegetarian cooking (not particularly my favorite type of food) would result in complicated and unappealing fancy cuisine and thus dash my hopes that I would ever be able to comfortably tuck in if invited to sit at the McCartney supper table.
Upon opening the cookbook, I was first struck (and almost brought to tears) by Mary’s cozy photographs of lovely people and fresh food and how the photographs reminded me just enough of her mother, Linda, but were still very much the artist’s own. Wonderful and crisp.
Then I started looking at the recipes and I was like “HEY I CAN MAKE THESE!” I made a cold Quinoa salad, a Quinoa and white bean soup, granola bars, zucchini pasta, a coconut-pineapple smoothie and all were easy and successful. My favorite recipe was the hummus and hot pepper jam sandwich – So simple, right?! The recipes are delicious and appealing to even a non-Veggie lover like me. Mary McCartney managed to not only make a beautiful and delicious cookbook, but also to make me feel like a confident, capable cook. And that is why FOOD gets a frequent hug from me. You should probably hug it, too.
Moosewood Restaurant Favorites is a delicious collection of classic recipes in brand new versions, from the beloved restaurant. Founded in 1973, the Moosewood Restaurant revolutionized vegetarian cooking by introducing delicious soups, satisfying sandwiches, warming casseroles, zesty entrees, spiffy salads, and divine desserts.
Moosewood Restaurant Favorites contains 250 of their most requested recipes completely updated and revised to reflect the way they’re cooked now – increasingly vegan and gluten-free, benefitting from fresh herbs, new varieties of vegetables, and the wholesome goodness of newly-rediscovered grains. This mouthwatering cookbook includes favorites like: Red Lentil Soup with Ginger and Cilantro, Sweet-Potato and Black Bean Burrito, The Classic Moosewood Tofu Burger, Caramelized Onion Pie, Peruvian Quinoa Salad, Confetti Kale Slaw, Vegan Chocolate Cake, Moosewood Restaurant Brownies, and Apple Spice Cake with Sesame Seeds.
Including a guide to natural-cooking techniques, Moosewood Restaurant Favorites is the next classic book on their much-loved cookbook shelf. (description from publisher)
Pioneering champion of sustainable foods Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall embraces all manner of vegetables in his latest cookbook, River Cottage Veg, an inventive offering of more than two hundred vegetable-based recipes, including more than sixty vegan recipes. Having undergone a revolution in his personal eating habits, Fearnley-Whittingstall changed his culinary focus from meat to vegetables, and now passionately shares the joys of vegetable-centric food.
In this lavishly illustrated cookbook, you’ll find handy weeknight one-pot meals, pure and simple raw dishes, and hearty salads as well as a chapter of meze and tapas dishes to mix and match. A genuine love of vegetables—from delicate springtime asparagus to wintry root vegetables—permeates River Cottage Veg, making this book an inspiring new source for committed vegetarians and any conscientious cook looking to expand their vegetable repertoire. (description from publisher)
Small Planet, Small Plates is a global selection of delicious low-impact dishes to further vegetarian cooking, whether it’s one day a week or forever.
Moving toward a more vegetable-based diet may be the only sustainable and healthy way to feed the world. The extraordinary abundance of nutritious plant foods gives great opportunities to conjure them into delicious, planet-friendly meals. Some of the best non-meat dishes come from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and presented here is a variety of highlights. Small Planet, Small Plates presents over 100 vegetarian recipes from all parts of the globe, presented mezze-style with suggestions for a number of small dishes that combine to make a full meal.
This cookbook has intriguing tastes for every palate!
In Herbivoracious: A Vegetarian Cookbook for People Who Love to Eat, Michael Natkin offers up 150 exciting recipes notable both for their big, bold, bright flavors and for their beautiful looks on the plate, the latter apparent in more than 80 photos that grace the book. This is sophisticated, grown-up meatless cooking, the kind you can serve to company–even when your guests are dedicated meat-eaters.
An indefatigable explorer of global cuisines, with particular interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East and in East and Southeast Asia, Natkin has crafted, through years of experimenting in his kitchen, dishes that truly are revelations in taste, texture, aroma, and presentation. A third of the book is taken up with hearty main courses, ranging from a robust Caribbean Lentil-Stuffed Flatbread across the Atlantic to a comforting Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower and around the Cape of Good Hope to a delectable Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans and Tofu. An abundance of soups, salads, sauces and condiments, sides, appetizers and small plates, desserts, and breakfasts round out the recipes.
Natkin, a vegetarian himself, provides lots of advice on how to craft vegetarian meals that amply deliver protein and other nutrients, and the imaginative menus he presents deliver balanced and complementary flavors, in surprising and utterly pleasing ways. The many dozens of vegan and gluten-free recipes are clearly noted, too, and an introductory chapter lays out the simple steps readers can take to outfit a globally inspired pantry of seasonings and sauces that make meatless food come alive. (description from publisher)
You know you should be eating better, you’ve read the articles about eating more vegetables and maybe you need to lose a couple pounds. But making a major change in your eating habits can be difficult – and maybe you’re not quite ready to give up that Thanksgiving turkey or steaks on the grill.
The Flexitarian Diet by Dawn Jackson Blatner will show you how to make simple changes without brow-beating or guilt. Her rules: eat more plants, and do the best that you can. That’s it! Anyone can do that. Jackson offers alternatives and simple ways to slip more healthful eating into your daily routine, but doesn’t criticize choices. Focus is on five main areas – meat alternatives (although meat is still “allowed”), fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy and sugar and spice. A series of simple recipes and exercise tips round out the book.
No more excuses – start getting healthier the fun and painless way!