For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Meatless All Day: Recipes for Inspired Vegetarian Meals by Dina Cheney


18143257Veg Out All Day with Satisfying, Delicious Meals

Move over bland, wimpy tofu and lackluster salads—Meatless All Day redefines meat-free meals as colorful and super-satisfying. Whether you’re a committed vegetarian or are trying to cut down on meat, the hearty, creative recipes in Meatless All Day will inspire you to cook in new ways. Here, you’ll discover Beet Wellington, Spaghetti with White Bean Balls, Quinoa-Polenta Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and White Bean Puree, Roasted Root Vegetable and Goat Cheese Salad with Lemon-Tahini Vinaigrette, and Baklava Sticky Buns—fare that will make avowed carnivores jealous. One secret behind these dishes: high-impact ingredients (like miso, tomato paste, and mushrooms).

To ensure that readers' dishes come out perfectly, the book opens with key cooking techniques, such as Tips for Perfect Vegetables, The Art of Cooking Eggs, and Tips for a Golden Brown, Crispy Exterior. It then lists 45 "power ingredients" that lend vegetarian food a meaty flavor, meaty texture, or both. The heart of the book is 85 ultra-flavorful recipes, with meal suggestions and ideas for making non-vegan fare vegan.

Hungry yet? Get ready to stock your pantry and start cooking!


Goodreads | Author | Amazon

Source: E-copy provided by Taunton Press via Netgalley for my honest review

Review:I’m not vegetarian but I rarely eat meat these days and I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate more vegetables and grains into my diet.

Meatless All Day would be an excellent entry level book if you want to test out vegetarian waters. The meals are original and . Many use eggs so you’re not going cold turkey but might be an issue for vegans (although there are plenty of vegan recipes as well). Most guests wouldn’t even notice they’re eating vegetarian for most of these meals any more than if you served pasta.

I own many vegetarian cookbooks that were published years ago and this book is so far ahead of them when it comes to flavors and ingredients. This isn’t a – substitute soy crumbles for your burger – kind of cookbook. Cheney makes use of hearty ingredients like mushrooms, quinoa, beans, roasted vegetables and then kicks it up a notch with the addition of spices and flavorful cheeses with International flavor.

Each recipe is easy to read and it’s a visually beautiful cookbook. The author also offers substitutions for several ingredients if you’re unable to find them, serving ideas and a few cooking tips.

So that was the good. Now for a few nitpicks.

The ingredient lists for some of these recipes were SO long. It felt intimidating.

There are also frequent odd measurements. For example – the Creamy Mexican Carrot Soup I prepared had 1/4 plus 1/8 teas. of both cumin and chili powder, 1/4 Cup plus 3 Tbs of lime juice, 1/4 Cup plus 1 Tbs of cilantro leaves. Some ingredients need to be divided as well. With my soup recipe, there was also a Black Bean Toasts that shared a few of the soup ingredients.  You have to really pay attention.

Also, these aren’t the quickest of meals in terms of preparation. Some have several steps. When I made a roasted beet salad. I had to roast the beets, prep the rest of the ingredients for the salad, and then make the dressing (Chickpea-Avocado Vinaigrette) – which required a food processor/blender. I had food and equipment spread out all over my counter. Same with the Carrot Soup. If you cook a lot this isn’t a big deal but what can I say – I’m lazy and easily overwhelmed in the kitchen. If you’re more relaxed or easily improvise while cooking this probably won’t be a big deal for you.

The recipes I tried were all bold, flavorful and delicious. I especially loved the spreads and dressings. I feel like I could use those with almost anything – not just with the recipes from this book. That is probably how I will end up using this cookbook. I will pick an easy dressing and pair it with something easier or quicker cooking so I don’t get so flustered.

24 comments:

  1. A non-meat eater who as you may know is a disaster in the kitchen this sounds like the kind of book I could well do with.

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    1. I get flustered easily in the kitchen. I have to admit that I had to break some of these recipes down because the ingredient list could get overwhelming but I can't argue the results. The food was delicious.

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  2. I'm not a vegetarian either, BUT . . . my husband is. Bizarre right? The only time I really eat meat in the house is when he grills me a steak (b/c he's awesome!). Anyway, I have to admit that all the mentions of "beets" that I'm seeing is making me nervous, but I'm always on the look-out for a good cookbook . . .

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    1. Afraid of beets? lol Have you tried them roasted? Because it's like a whole new vegetable that way. There is one weird recipe - Beet Wellington. I'm an adventurous eater but no. Just no. lol

      Everything else if fairly normal though. A lot of Frittatas which most people are used to.

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  3. I used to be a vegetarian back-in-the-back, but I am a horrible cook, and super lazy, so it just wasn't healthy for me. I admire anyone who can pull it off though, and I do still eat the occasional vegetarian meal because I love veggies WAY more than meat.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

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    1. I still eat meat but I buy local. I guess that's better than the supermarket stuff. I only eat meat 1-2 days a week though because I just love veggies - especially roasted.

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  4. While I'm not a vegetarian, I don't eat much red meat (mostly fish, some chicken) either and am always on the lookout for yummy recipes. I'm a bit of a slacker in the kitchen though and anything that takes more than 15-30 min., well, I skip it. The flavorful spreads and dressings sound yummy!

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    1. Same here for everything you said. I'm so lazy int he kitchen.

      I think these recipes were a bit time consuming but if you break them down and just use parts of them with something you're familiar with it's a good cookbook. She has some unique flavor combos.

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    1. That's ok. What I liked about this book is that it didn't feel vegetarian. They were just good, flavorful recipes that happen to be vegetarian.

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  6. I'm what you call a Flexitarian. I eat meat but often go days were I'm strictly eating veggies and fruits. These recipes sound good although I admit I'm not a big beet fan. I might have to thumb through this next time I get to a bookstore.

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    1. That's how I eat most of the time. There really aren't that many beet recipes lol That's there recipe I made because it's what I had on hand from the farmer's market that week. She uses lots of different ingredients.

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  7. I'm not a vegetarian either but I'm obsessed with veggies.

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  8. I couldn't live without meat, but I def couldn't follow the weird measurements, would drive me bananas

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    1. I don't know if I could give up a juicy burger or bacon forever but I can go a long time without eating meet. I definitely couldn't be Vegan.

      I'm clumsy enough in the kitchen without weird measurements.

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  9. I'm a former vegetarian who is trying to go back to being a vegetarian again. It hasn't been hard so far to give up meat. Eggs I'm finding are the hard part. I love my baked goods and omelets. When it comes to recipes for anything, I've found the best thing to do is try to stick to the measurements given, but to always personalize them. If I don't like the flavors, I'll change them.

    Of course a recipe is just a guide. It's not the end all be all.

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    1. I am not a winger in the kitchen. lol

      I have a few recipes that I make so often and know but for the most part I need to follow something concrete.

      This book has a lot of egg recipes which surprised me.

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  10. I'm not a vegetarian, but I do like me some veggies. This looks good. Now only if I could or really... want ... to cook. LOL I'll just come over for a meal? *gives sad eyes*

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    1. Yeah - the actual cooking part is a sticking point for me too! lol

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  11. My husband always complains when I make meals without meat - maybe these would peak his fancy!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. I think the key is to not make blatantly vegetarian meals so they don't know. So many cookbooks have bland tofu recipes that "taste just like chicken" No. No they don't.

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  12. I'm not an actual vegetarian, but I don't really care for meat at all. I've probably had 3-4 hamburgers my entire life and 2-3 steaks. I've just never wanted it. But also, a lot of it is disgusting, how it's processed. I do like roast and brisket, I think bc it's not processed.
    Long story short, I like vegetarian cookbooks. This would overwhelm me though.
    Thanks for the review!

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    1. I buy local beef and chicken from organic farmers when I eat meat these days.

      I know you're cooking challenged so this wouldn't be a good one for you lol My kitchen was a disaster!

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