Veggiestan – Sally Butcher

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This is the first Vegetarian only cookery book I’ve cooked from. I borrowed it from my future mother-in-law quite some time ago and haven’t gotten round to cooking from it.

I like the down to earth writing of the author of this book – it’s a very modern writing style.

In searching for this week’s recipes I only got to page 80 before I’d shortlisted 20 recipes – and then stopped. This book compliments all the Ottolenghi books – and many of the recipes are strikingly similar but with slight twists. The middle eastern style of cooking really suits me. I hope I can go there on a holiday once we’ve sorted our boat out !

I particularly like the ‘suggestions’ of how to modify the dishes and customise them to your own tastes.

Anyway all this week’s recipes are going to come from this book. I’ve plumped for lots of simple to make, smaller dishes as I don’t have a lot of spare time this week. I hope you enjoy them !

This week I’ll be making:

  • Turkish Pizza Bread
  • Spinach Fatayer
  • Afghan Leek Pies
  • Beetroot and Orange Salad
  • Cucumber and Pomegranate Salsa
  • Waldorf Salad
  • Fatoush
  • Herby Omelette Thingies
  • Onion and Herb Salad
  • Fried Eggs With Dates
  • Figs and Halloumi
  • Cheese Baked Egg-Stuffed Tomatoes
  • Tomato, Fennel and Arak Soup

I’ll also make Mung Bean Casserole – but I have to wait for those to arrive from souschef.co.uk, they take a few days to deliver based on past experience.

Plenty – Yotam Ottolenghi

Plenty - Yotam Ottolenghi

Most people I know swear by Jamie Oliver for their quick easy recipes. I swear by Yotam Ottolenghi.

Why? Well Jamie does do a lot a good food but my personal opinion is you aren’t going to keep your weight down. He makes lots of things with pasta and potatoes – especially in his 30 minute meals book. Also – Jamie cooks mainly with meat. Not exclusively – just mainly.

We are by no means vegetarians – at least we weren’t! Freya (my fiance) probably won’t go back to the dark side. We just decided that the only way to get Freya’s vegetarian mum to eat better was to adorn her with lots of yummy vegetarian things that were easy to make – and hope that it rubbed off.

Plenty – one of the Holy Trinity of Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks – is not exclusively vegetarian. That said – there are enough vegetarian recipes in this book that you won’t have to search for the Sides section and hope you can turn the dish into a main meal.

I’ve made almost every vegetarian recipe in this book and on the whole they are all incredibly easy, tasty and versatile. Only on a few occasions did I have to go to specialist shops for ingredients.

I can’t recommend this book enough. There is a lot of ‘foody talk’ in this book – and I generally don’t read the ‘blah blah blah’ – having been put off by Nigella’s half page introductions to almost every recipe. You will read this though. The man knows his stuff, he’s interesting, relevant, passionate and keeps things simple.