You don’t have to be a vegetarian to love this cookbook! Whether you want to eat more healthily by reducing the amount of meat you eat or just are looking for tasty ways to get your recommended five-a-day of fruit and vegetables, this cookbook really satisfies. The inspiration for The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes Carnivores Will Devour began when Kim O’Donnel, a self-confessed carnivore, decided to try following the recommendation to eat meatless meals once a week. She discovered that vegetable-based meals do not have to be a sacrifice, but can be exciting and tasty, so much so that you won’t miss the meat.
The recipes are written for the beginner to advanced-beginner cook “with an adventurous spirit.” The book is arranged seasonally, with 52 menus plus a Wild Card section with basic recipes that can be mixed and matched or paired with one of the menus for a more substantial meal. Directions are clear, and the tone throughout is encouraging. O’Donnel makes liberal use of spices and seasonings to liven up flavors, but the recipes are easily adjusted to suit individual tastes. If you don’t like hot food, reduce the amount of curry powder you use.
As the mother of a vegetarian, I am always looking for tasty recipes to cook when he visits. Plus, my husband and I do like to substitute a meatless meal on occasion to cut back on our fat and cholesterol intake. My problem with this cookbook was not finding a recipe I wanted to try--it was choosing just one. I found the recipes can easily be adjusted to suit our tastes. For example, we love mushrooms and find them a satisfying meat substitute. But O’Donnel is allergic to mushrooms and few recipes in this book include them. When I cooked the Spinach and Feta Crostata, I simply added some mushrooms when I fried the onion. I also “cheated” and used a frozen puff pastry sheet instead of making the butter pastry base from scratch. The result was delicious and is something that I will be making again and again.
If you’ve ever wanted to try eating an occasional vegetarian meal, but weren’t sure where to start, or if you want some inspiration beyond pasta and beans, this cookbook is a must read! Now, which recipe should I try next?