Vegetarian Cooking – A Commonsense Guide – review

Vegetarian Cooking – A Commonsense Guide Before I go into a detailed review of Vegetarian Cooking – A Commonsense Guide I should tell you that this has got to be the most user-friendly volume that has crossed this writer’s desk (OK, so it’s a kitchen worktop on legs!) in ages. It’s a chunky ring-bound book that really opens and stays open. One recipe and a great photo on each page. What more can a working hands-on cook ask for?

What this cook can ask for is a selection of vegetarian recipes that live up to the expectations raised by the book’s general presentation. They do, and there is also an abundance of information, not only about vegetarian cooking but about achieving a balanced diet.

You don’t have to be a card-carrying vegetarian to make good use of this book. This is just good food that doesn’t include meat. It isn’t a vegan cookbook although there are plenty of recipes that would be suitable for a vegan diet. There is so much here that is rich and decadent that you won’t feel you are making any sacrifices by following the vegetarian path.

This book has recipes to suit all skill levels but I couldn’t find anything that would make even a beginner over-anxious. The choice of ingredient combinations is what makes these dishes work, rather than complicated cooking techniques. The recipes have been tested to destruction by those nice people at Murdoch so you know they will work.

And so to the recipes! There are lots here that are lip-smacking delicious. Chinese Broccoli with Ginger, Lime and Peanuts is from the Noodles and Stir-Fries chapter and it couldn’t be easier. Phad Thai will be familiar to many of you and there is a good recipe here, but the star for me is Rice Noodles with Ginger and Sweet Chilli Vegetables. It’s spicy and exotic but quick to prepare.

About now you’ll be thinking of warming winter casseroles (you have probably been doing that since August). There is a whole section devoted to Casseroles, Curries and Bakes. These are robust and comforting dishes that will satisfy the heartiest of eaters. Lentil Bhuja Casserole is a flavourful dish of lentil “meatballs” and a rich Indian-inspired creamy sauce. It’s a one-pot meal so all you’ll need is some Naan bread on the side.

This isn’t an over-worthy tome to encourage self-denial. This is a recipe book for real people who like luscious puds with sugar and CREAM! Yes, you heard right! Vegetarian Cooking – A Commonsense Guide isn’t a diet book, it’s all about good food and sensible eating, so tuck into some of these desserts… from time to time.  How about Banana Fritters with Coconut Batter?  Baked Almond and Marzipan Peaches would be a pretty and tasty end to a smart dinner for friends.

Vegetarian Cooking – A Commonsense Guide is a gem of a book that will be appreciated by anyone who loves cooking and good food… it just happens to be vegetarian.

Vegetarian Cooking – A Commonsense Guide
Author: Murdoch Books
Published by: Murdoch Books
Price: £10.99
ISBN 978-1741961232


Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018