I received an invitation to buy this book - it was an invitation for a 'new book' and having had both Simon rimmer's previous veggie offerings i jumped at it. What a disappointment when it arrived - it is simply the 'Seasoned vegetarian' under a different title. I have been conned. It is identical on every page other than it is in paperback.
I was looking forward to a new book from Simon so I was extremely disappointed when it turned out to be the same as The Seasoned Vegetarian which I already own. As a book, it's full of Simon's nice recipes. As an addition to my library - no! Very bad idea, whoever thought this title change up.
I'll start by saying I don't have The Seasoned Vegetarian, so this was a new book for me. Half a lifetime ago I stopped eating meat. It wasn't an accident, it was salmonella that did it for me. I picked up a couple of vegetarian cookbooks from my then local health food store and started life as an earnest vegetarian. It wasn't long before I really felt I was missing something from my diet, but it wasn't meat, it was vegetables. Many cookbooks for new veggies focus so much on replacing meat that they forget to add in the vegetables.
The Accidental Vegetarian doesn't fall into that trap. It puts vegetables, pulses and fruits front and centre, making attractive meals. It's perfect for Meatless Monday type projects where people want to expand their vegetarian repertoire, and for the less committed, there's dishes like the signature Spiced Chickpeas that could easily be served alongside a couple of sausages or a chop in an omnivore household.
I was very excited to receive More from the accidental vegetarian. Having no other Simon Rimmer books this was a new book for me. The book is well laid out and split into 7 chapters:
Brunch Soups & starters Small platefuls Large platefuls Spicy platefuls Add ons Puddings
The salad section has some really good recipes and i am looking forward to trying the Pumpkin salad with cheese and the smoked pistachio, artichoke and potato salad. My next dish to try is from the small plateful chapter and is the flatbread and pea pate. The recipes all look easy to follow and don't use too many ingredients.
At the weekend i made the spiced chickpeas with cumin spuds. The potatos were lovely and needed a little more cooking time than stated and the chickpeas were really good although i would probably replace the smoked paprika with paprika or maybe a mild curry powder.
There really are lots of dishes I will be cooking from the book which make a change as so often there are only a few I want to try from a book. The add on chapter is good and i really want to try the carrot jam. With the pudding sectiion you can cook a whole meal from the book. The recipes are easy to follow and there are some great notes which accompany each recipe. I would love a few more pics but that is my only criticism.
I noticed that this was "The Seasoned Vegetarian" a few weeks ago and not a new book at all, thankfully I had used the "look inside" feature so I didnt actually buy it. I sent an email to Amazon suggesting that they should put a comment on the website/change the website, especially as they are selling two identical books together, under two different names as a special offer. Disappointed to see that nothing has been done and people are ordering this book thinking it is a new one as I did.
Yes, I was glad I didn't already own 'Seasoned Vegetarian' as this is apparently the very same book with a different title. Assuming you're not livid at having bought the same thing twice, it's not a bad investment for under a tenner. Suitable for ambitious home cooks, nice-looking and lavishly photographed. Might make a nice gift for somebody (if they haven't already got it under another name...). Find my full detailed review at the veggie food writer blog, veggiefoodwriter.blogspot.com