OK, so the title is a bit of a mouthful. Helen Aitken has students in mind but this is a great book for anyone who will be away from mum’s cooking for the first time. It is packed with information about setting up a kitchen and providing yourself with tasty, quick and easy meals that will leave you with time to hit the books and the Students’ Union Bar.
There are handy sections on the kitchen equipment you’ll need (no, it doesn’t include a chocolate fondue set) and store cupboard ingredients. None of the items listed will cost an arm and a leg but they will be indispensible to your future culinary contentment.
I’m sure you will ignore my advice and skip straight to the recipes so let’s have a look at them. The first section is Soup and there are delicious ones here and something for every taste. Tomato and Pasta soup only takes 12 minutes and is said to be REALLY EASY (that’s written in capital letters so it must be the truth!) Chilli, Corn and Red Pepper Soup sounds great for a cold winter night, or there’s Gazpacho in case we ever get a summer.
There is everything here to interest someone who is short of time and cash. There are pastas, noodles, stir-fries, snacks, salads, casseroles, curries. It isn’t a book resplendent with colour photos on every page but that’s why you won’t feel intimidated. You will produce meals that will taste great and they will be healthy. If you are going to remain a vegetarian then you must be aware of the nutritional value of food. Use Helen’s recipes and you are assured of a balanced diet.
Each recipe tells you if it’s suitable for vegans, how many it serves (it always says two but that probably means you two nights running), how long it takes to cook and how difficult it is to cook. The degrees of difficulty range from easy all the way to…well, er, really easy!
I am impressed by The Really Useful Ultimate Student Vegetarian Cookbook. I am not a student but I would be happy to spend the academic year living off the recipes. The food is flavourful, fun, healthy and won’t frighten anyone. It’s only a few months ’till the end of the summer holidays, so prepare yourself!
The Really Useful Ultimate Student Vegetarian Cookbook
Author: Helen Aitken
Published by: Murdoch Books
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018