Thursday, April 10, 2014
Review: Meatless All Day: Recipes for Inspired Vegetarian Meals by Dina Cheney
Veg 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.