Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
All you need, even for non-vegetarians.
on 29 September 2012
If I could pick only one cookbook in my (ever growing) collection to keep, I would pick this one. And, I am not a vegetarian. It is packed full of recipes (must be hundreds and hundreds) that contain only ingredients that you've heard of and that you probably also have in your cupboard. There are 14 separate sections covering all the expected areas in cookbooks, and so far I have cooked mostly from the sections on pulses, pasta, grains and rice (each around 30 pages long). The recipes have all been successful and easy to follow (the recipes are short in the main), and for the most part the portion sizes are spot on or produce leftovers (and we all know leftovers are a wonderful thing). There have only been a couple, the rice and spinach tian (works fine with tinned spinach, by the way!) and the lentils and courgettes gratin that say they serve 4 but that we can easily finish between two!
The detailed index means that it's easy to find a recipe you've seen somewhere in there, or for when you find something lurking in the fridge that needs using, you will in all likelihood find a suitable recipe.
So why do I like this cookbook so much when I am not a vegetarian? Firstly, it is cheaper to eat vegetarian and eating from this book has slashed my food bills. I can and do happily plan a week's worth of meals just from this book. Secondly, it's healthy stuff and very tasty, and all the family can eat it. Thirdly, if you want to add, for example, a pork chop or a few bits of ham to any of the vegetarian dishes, it's very easy to do so. And fourth, the information sections in this book are handy all on their own - I have found the table on p. 177 of how long to soak and boil pulses for very useful (and her quick boil/soak method for when you forget is good too). It should be said though that all recipes do tell you many tins of beans to use if you can't be bothered or don't have time to soak any. Last - the baking section contains a good selection of "normal" cakes and biscuits so you don't have to go digging about for other recipes when you decide that the 30 mins waiting for something to cook could be spent whipping up a few biccies...
My favourite recipe so far? Moroccan chickpea and aubergine casserole, p. 187. Delicious, filling and surprisingly cheap to make.