Saturday, May 11, 2013

Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking


This is, by far, the most beautiful cookbook I own! Mary McCartney's Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking, came to my attention when Nancy reviewed it over at Bookfoolery.  She had wonderful things to say about it, and I decided to gift it to myself for Mother's Day. As soon as it arrived, I couldn't wait to dive in and explore.

As you may remember, I've been on a weight loss journey for the last year or so with the very simple approach to eat more REAL food -- less processed, less crap in general. Admittedly, since I took my job as a PR Director of my alma mater in December, it's been much harder to maintain! I really put my nose to the grindstone to improve our food quality in September when I got laid off from my previous job. I had three months to cook good stuff any time of day and really plan our meals. When the work madness kicked back in, obviously it was much more of a struggle.

We haven't fallen completely off the wagon, by any means, but there's been more eating out than I'd like and more packaged foods for a quick grab-n-go breakfast or snack. I decided to pick up Food to give me some new real food ideas, but also because of a recent bonehead move by the USDA. I'm just more beaten down by US food culture than ever.

But that's enough griping for one post -- on to Food! McCartney has really put together a nice collection of simple, everyday vegetarian recipes (they do contain dairy and eggs, recommended free-range, etc.). This is great for me because I don't want to cultivate a home culture that tries to imitate meat-centric dishes. I want to eat delicious vegetarian meals! Ones where I don't focus on what's taking the place of meat. There are a couple of dishes in Food that do use meat substitutes but I'm far less interested in those than the others that wallow in being veggie.

*Note: I don't intend to become a full-time vegetarian, but to include 3-4 days of vegetarian cooking per week and switch the meat we do consume to local and organic.

Credit to Bookfoolery for the photo!
Successful dishes, for me, are largely about flavor and texture. If there's great flavor and good texture, I really don't care if there's meat involved. The black bean, sweet corn, and feta tacos above are an example of this. I can't wait to try them! I may end up adding some additional spices (I am from Texas!) but the basic idea is an excellent one.

Same thing with this Yummy Spicy Rice Noodles recipe.

Another noteworthy party of Food is the stinkin' gorgeous photography. McCartney is a photographer by trade, and it shows in this book. There are as many gorgeous photos as there are tasty-looking recipes. When I initially looked through, I was afraid I was going to long for more recipes and fewer photos, but upon closer inspection (three nights in a row), I'm pretty happy with the balance. This book is functional and a suitable showpiece.

Unfortunately, I haven't had an opportunity to try any of the recipes this week as it's been ridiculously full of end-of-semester grading, PR madness, and I'm typing this from work on a Saturday as I ready myself for a doctoral luncheon this afternoon. And then I'm going to see The Great Gatsby! But that's another post.

I have big plans for some breakfast recipes this week. Namely, banana muffins and individual Yorkshire puddings! Pretty sure I won't be able to hold off making the spicy rice noodles for very long either.  I'll be back with another Weekend Cooking post after I test drive some of the recipes.

Have you fallen in love with any cookbooks lately? What is your favorite cookbook? 



Pub. Date: April 2013 
Publisher: Sterling Epicure
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781454907268
Source: Purchased by moi!




Weekend Cooking is hosted by BethFishReads.com and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.



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