Monday, November 11, 2013


Recently, I have begun to think that eating a little less meat is probably a good idea.  I really have major issues with industrially raised meat products, from the inhuman treatment of animals to the carbon footprint this practice leaves.

Regardless, I recently invested and a three new cookbooks (I'm an avid collector.)  that feature vegetarian fare.  I bought each of these used, from Amazon or from one of their suppliers, at very affordable prices.

As some of you may know, I am an Orthodox Christian. Therefore, I'm about to begin the Advent Fast.  This means that, as of November 16, I will fast from all meat and dairy products  for six weeks. an exception is made for Thanksgiving day since it is a national holiday, so these cookbooks came right on time !

PLENTY:  Vibrant vegetable recipes from London's  Ottolenghi. Yotam Ottolenghi is a chef that I've been reading about for years.  I was first exposed to one of his meat recipes when I attended the Ballymaloe cookery school in Ireland this past summer.   That recipe was for a roasted chicken dish , which had been marinated overnight in saffron, olive oil and onions. The dish was finished with a mixture of ground hazelnuts, honey, and rosewater. It was so good that it made a believer out of me.  I knew he had come out with a vegetable cookbook , but I wanted to wait until it was a year or two old before by one, so it would be more affordable.  This book features   such things as poached baby vegetables with caper mayonnaise, artichoke gratin, spiced red lentils with cucumber yogurt and mushroom with herb polenta.  I cannot wait to get started on some of these.

RIVER COTTAGE VEG by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is another English offering.  Hugh has been a BBC  chef since 1998 and has established the River Cottage in Dorset as a working organic farm.  Like Ballymaloe in Ireland, the River Cottage is home to cooking classes, lessons on sustainable farming and foraging, as well as a studio where the TV series is sometimes filmed. Just Google River Cottage to see what a great place this is.

Recipes in this book feature both vegetarian and vegan dishes like zucchini and rice filo pie, creamy mushroom soup, spiced spinach and potatoes, and Summer stir-fry with fried rice.  Hugh's recipes feature fresh garden produce , but almost everything can be found at local grocery stores here in Ohio . 

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