August 15, 2006

Cookbook Review: Not Just for Vegetarians

cover_photo.jpgLet's say you're not normally a vegetarian, but you either want to cut down on your meat consumption, or you're interested in preparing a nice meal or two for someone who is a vegetarian. Where are you to look for recipes that can satisfy both sides of the table, so to speak? Well a good place to start is Geraldine Hartman's Not Just for Vegetarians cookbook.

In it you will find lots of recipes that should have great appeal to not just people who have given up eating meat, but meat-eaters and vegans as well (there are vegan variations). Many recipes are nicely photographed, in photos that combine multiple dishes from a section. It's a nice presentation.

Another nice touch is the inclusion of both U.S standard and metric units in the ingredients list. Still being U.S. centric, I found it nice to get a feel for what the measurements were in the other system.

Finally, the cookbook, while not overly large, does have larger sized text making it easier to read from while cooking, but like most books it seems, doesn't lie flat well on the counter.

In addition to the recipes listed below, which were suggested by the author, I found a bunch that I am definitely interested in preparing. Old Fashioned Veggie Stew with Parsley Dumplings, Roasted Parmesan Potatoes, Oatmeal Chocolate Chews, the Veggie Pot Pie (described as a Meal in a Plate, and I believe it), Savory Cheddar Cheese Muffins and finally her Simply the Best "Meat" Loaf which intrigues me. At any rate, there are lots of great recipes to try and you'll find something for everyone, so I can recommend the book. It's a good addition for vegetarians, but the recipes also have a hearty appeal that should make carnivores happy too.

cover_photo.jpgLet's say you're not normally a vegetarian, but you either want to cut down on your meat consumption, or you're interested in preparing a nice meal or two for someone who is a vegetarian. Where are you to look for recipes that can satisfy both sides of the table, so to speak? Well a good place to start is Geraldine Hartman's Not Just for Vegetarians cookbook.

In it you will find lots of recipes that should have great appeal to not just people who have given up eating meat, but meat-eaters and vegans as well (there are vegan variations). Many recipes are nicely photographed, in photos that combine multiple dishes from a section. It's a nice presentation.

Another nice touch is the inclusion of both U.S standard and metric units in the ingredients list. Still being U.S. centric, I found it nice to get a feel for what the measurements were in the other system.

Finally, the cookbook, while not overly large, does have larger sized text making it easier to read from while cooking, but like most books it seems, doesn't lie flat well on the counter.

In addition to the recipes listed below, which were suggested by the author, I found a bunch that I am definitely interested in preparing. Old Fashioned Veggie Stew with Parsley Dumplings, Roasted Parmesan Potatoes, Oatmeal Chocolate Chews, the Veggie Pot Pie (described as a Meal in a Plate, and I believe it), Savory Cheddar Cheese Muffins and finally her Simply the Best "Meat" Loaf which intrigues me. At any rate, there are lots of great recipes to try and you'll find something for everyone, so I can recommend the book. It's a good addition for vegetarians, but the recipes also have a hearty appeal that should make carnivores happy too.


BREAD-MACHINE ROSEMARY FLAX BUNS

Use your bread machine for so much more than just loaves of bread! Try these VERY easy to make delicious and fragrant buns. Makes 10 large "hamburger" buns or 20 small dinner rolls. (Vegan and non-vegan options given)

1 C. warm (not hot) water
1/2 C. milk or soy milk
2 T. butter or good-quality (non-whipped) margarine
2 T. brown sugar
1 teas. sea salt
1/4 C. flax or sunflower seeds
1 C. whole wheat flour
2 T. finely chopped fresh or dried rosemary
2 C. unbleached white flour
2 teas. REGULAR dry yeast (see note below)

Topping: 1 beaten egg, and poppy or sesame seeds (opt.)

Place all ingredients (except toppings) in bread machine IN THE ORDER GIVEN, do not stir, adding yeast last (do not get it wet). Select the DOUGH cycle and start machine.

At end of dough-cycle, remove dough and knead lightly on a floured board for about 2 minutes.

Cover dough with a damp tea towel and allow to "rest" for 10 minutes. Divide into equal portions, depending on how many buns you want to make (see notes at top of recipe).

Grease a cookie sheet or baking pan (use metal tins for even baking). Roll each dough portion into a ball. Flatten for burger buns, only slightly for dinner rolls. Place on baking sheets, allowing about 1" between each bun. Cover with a slightly damp tea towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until buns are doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes. Preheat oven to 350℉ (180℃) for last 10 minutes of rising time.

Optional: (non-vegan) Brush egg lightly on risen buns, sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds if desired.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.

Note: I use REGULAR dry baking yeast NOT the type specified for bread machines and have achieved better results and less problems with over-rising, when using bread machine. Also, when dough is mixing in machine it should form a smooth ball, not sticking to sides of bread container in the bread machine. Add a bit more flour or water during mixing cycle only, if required, to achieve the right dough consistency. Do NOT lift lid on bread machine during rising cycle.



SPINACH AND MUSHROOM SALAD WITH CREAMY POPPYSEED-MUSTARD DRESSING

This is an elegant and colorful addition to any meal or serve as a main course for a delicious light supper. Serves 4 as a main course and 6 as side salad.

4-5 C. fresh spinach torn in bite-sized pieces, washed and thoroughly dried
1 medium sweet red pepper, cut in thin strips
8 Jumbo white mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced

Prepare vegetables and layer in order given, on individual serving plates or bowls. Just before serving, drizzle each serving with Creamy Poppyseed-Mustard Dressing (see below).


Creamy Poppyseed-Mustard Dressing

1/2 C. light mayonnaise
1/4 C. light or regular olive oil
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1-2 teas. poppyseeds
1/4 - 1/2 teas. freshly-ground pepper
1/2 teas. salt

Whisk together all ingredients. Allow to chill to blend flavors. Drizzle over salad, just before serving.


PASTA PRIMAVERA WITH FRESH PESTO SAUCE

This colorful pasta dish is great to make when the garden is brimming with fresh veggies and herbs. Vary your choice of vegetables if you like, to include your own particular favorites. Serves 4 generously.

Pesto Sauce:
1/2 C. fresh basil leaves
3 T. fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves (or more to taste)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
4 T. pine nuts
1/3 C. light olive oil
1/2 teas. Sea salt
1/8 - 1/4 teas. freshly- ground pepper, to taste

In a food processor, puree the basil leaves, parsley, garlic, lemon juice and pine nuts. Gradually pour in the olive oil, continuing to blend, forming a thick sauce. Add a bit more oil if necessary. Season to taste and set aside.

Pasta and Vegetables:

7 Oz. uncooked fettuccini or linguine pasta (try flavored varieties for a change such as spinach or tomato)
2 T. light olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 C. broccoli florets
1 small, sweet red pepper, cut in strips
1 C. (bite-sized cut) green or yellow beans
1 C. sliced mushrooms
Garnish: freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta to desired tenderness, rinse, drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, heat the 2 T. of olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add all the vegetables except the mushrooms and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook for 2 more minutes. (Veggies should be cooked but still crisp). Remove from heat. Add pesto and pasta to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Cover and heat through on low heat for about 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning if desired. Garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese and serve.

All recipes courtesy of: Not Just for Vegetarians, Delicious Homestyle Cooking, the Meatless Way, by Geraldine Hartman. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted by Michael Dupuis at August 15, 2006 8:38 AM
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