You might think that there’s a direct correlation between how much time you spend in the kitchen, and how good the fruits of your labors will be. In fact, it’s entirely possible to prepare a delicious and healthy meal without cooking for hours. Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay provide recipes and tips in their cookbook 15-Minute Vegetarian.
There are now so many vegans and, more importantly, vegan cookbooks that authors are branching out into other specialties. Appetite for Reduction delves into food that is not only free of meat and animal products, but also low in saturated fat and sugar. But not to worry, there is no corresponding loss in variety or flavor.
I’ll never understand people who don’t like garlic. It’s an essential ingredient in so many cuisines, from Cajun to Italian to Thai. Sure, it makes your breath smell, but that’s what toothpaste and mouthwash are for, so why deny yourself the wonderful flavors of garlic? Though not a vegetarian cookbook, Sarina Jacobson’s Garlic includes plenty of excellent meat-free recipes, and many of the others can serve as inspiration for vegetarian adaptations.
Comfort food varies from person to person, as it usually involves individual memories of being cared for by a parent or a grandparent and the special foods that they lovingly shared. But there are some dishes which are more universal, and that’s what Alicia C. Simpson’s Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food is all about. From breakfast to dessert, this cookbook offers delicious vegan versions of classic comfort foods.
Vegan cooking can be time-consuming, especially if you’re trying to convert a traditional recipe into something meat-, dairy-, and egg-free. But it is possible to make delicious and healthy vegan food without spending all day in the kitchen, and The 30-Minute Vegan is a good place to start.
While it isn’t a meatless cookbook, The Art of Simple Food is based on something that is entirely compatible with vegetarianism: eating fresh, local, seasonal, sustainable food. As Alice Waters has been demonstrating for decades at her restaurant Chez Panisse, if you start with excellent ingredients, you don’t need to spend hours making complicated recipes; you can quickly prepare a simple but delectable meal.
Not only is Italian cuisine my favorite, but I’ve always felt that it is one of the best for vegetarians. Pizza and pasta provide foundations for all kinds of meatless toppings and sauces, and the sky is pretty much the limit. But even I was surprised by the variety of recipes in The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook, by Jack Bishop.
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Laura K. Lawless
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