As a meat eater and lover, I enjoy using this cookbook to prepare meals without meat about once or twice a week. Its clever use of the word "meat" in its title grabbed my attention in the bookstore, and its 275 recipes promises a wide variety of experimentation in the kitchen. Roberston uses a lot of tofu and eggplant as substitutes to meat. Prior to reading this book, I ate eggplant about twice a year, always breaded, fried, and fattening. You had to cover my fried eggplant in Louisiana hot sauce to make it edible. As for tofu, I ate it occasionally, sliced, fried and boring, and usually found it rather tasteless and rubbery. Robertson has rescued me from both of these self-inflicted culinary disasters.
The derivation of Robertson's recipes are Asian, Chinese, French, Latin, and what is now becoming known as "New American." She uses ginger, garlic, and sot sauce as the base for many recipes, and teaches you how to cleverly turn mushrooms, green beans, and eggplant into some pretty good meat type dishes. I eat meat because it makes my feel satiated-that is, I enjoy the flavor and texture of meat, and the fat tells my stomach I have eaten. Vegetables can be disappointing in all three of these important aspects of eating. But, I have to honestly say, with Robertson's help, my argument for eating meat is weakened. I'm working against generations of cultural conditioning relevant to my insistence on eating meat, and with Robertson's help, I hope to one day free myself from its shackles. Time and experimenting with Robertson's recipes will tell.
One of the best aspects of this book is the simple ingredients contained in the recipes. I live in bit of a provincial type town, where exotic vegetables and spices are hard to come by. I'm not a chef either, but found the instructions fairly easy to follow. I recommend you add this book to your collection.