Whether you've made the full vegetarian plunge or just want to mix it up, sans the meat, once a week, these healthy, meatless main dishes will have you swooning.

As a vegetarian I'm always looking out for ideas for simple, tasty vegetarian meals. A lot of vegetarian cookbooks seem to rely too heavily on beans and curry for my family's tastes so I was pleasantly surprised with this book with it's olive stromboli, carrot and coriander fritters and grilled vegetable pizza. The recipes are appealing, with a mix of everyday and some more fancy or involved recipes, without using too many ingredients that you haven't heard of! And, if you're feeling adventurous, at the end of the book there are 'special'. Recipes including some submitted by guest chefs such as Skye Gungell's nectarine and tomato salad with buffalo mozzarella.

Apart from the recipes and usual conversion charts, there are a couple of pages on vegetables that are in season at different times of the year and the chapters are interspersed with 'how to'. Guides on things like how to grow sprouts (from beans or seeds, not the Brussels type!) or make yoghurt. It's a useful chapter at the end called 'basics'. With lots of things like dressings, sauces, flavoured butters etc which makes them more accessible than when they're buried in another recipe.

It's printed on a matt paper rather than the usual glossy stuff, the photography is well done and the cover is contemporary and not unattractive making it a good choice for a gift or maybe even a coffee table book.

This is a generously-sized book. One thing this does is to give the illustrations the space they deserve to communicate the deliciousness and texture of the finished dishes. Good photography `sells'. Recipes more than anything else. This book abounds with beautiful full-page images of every recipe.

Now, I don't know about you but for me a recipe book is useful if it gives me half a dozen new things that I enjoy and would want to eat again and this book certainly does that. I'm not a vegetarian. The rest of my family are and I've no problem if a meal contains no meat. In fact it's nice to get away from the meat-with-everything once in a while. I've no doubt that carnivores will also enjoy many of the dishes contained within these pages.

 

 

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