I’m not a vegetarian and the chances of me ever becoming one are pretty much zilch. I did try a vegetarian diet some years back for about 6 weeks, but I just did not feel great on it, even though I followed the advice of some of the so-called “top” vegetarian diet nutritionists.
Having said that, I have no problems eating meals that are completely vegetarian-based from time to time. And I do enjoy spending time in the kitchen whipping up meals that I will enjoy (or that my dinner company will as well). I’ve also had the honour of dining on exquisitely prepared vegetarian meals when visiting the home of Lisa Turner.
When I discovered that Lisa was writing a cookbook, I eagerly looked forward to it and she was kind enough to send me a review copy. I personally don’t own a lot of cookbooks – I prefer to go with the ones I have and often will modify the ingredients of a meal to my own tastes. The 30-Minute Vegetarian Cookbook is one that I will be referring to often.
With many of my friends turning to a strictly vegetarian diet, it will become very helpful to me in preparing meals for them when I have occasion to do so. The book contains 100 recipes that also include suggestions for breakfast, salads, soups, and full dinner meals. So no matter what time of the day you need to create a tasty vegetarian meal, this book has you covered. Lisa has also included a handy protein chart near the beginning of the book so you can be sure to gauge what ingredients you will need to ensure your own adequate protein intake via vegetarian foods.
Let’s get to some of the recipes:
I love black beans, and I also love being able to use saffron whenever I can. So when I read in the first chapter that there was a recipe for a Spanish-Style Black Beans With Saffron Rice on page 96, that’s where I first began exploring the cookbook. Of course, I’d be remiss if I did not mention that we used Krokos Kozanis – saffron grown in Greece – which I believe really made the rice superb! And the full meal that we ended up with was delicious, filling, and satisfying!
On the very next page, (after the Rice & Beans), was a recipe for a “Simple Lemon Dal.” Well, here in Athens, Greece where I am at the moment, lemons are free as they are ready to harvest from trees that grow all over. And we love lemon! And lentils? We have those grown right in the village (Exarchos, Central Greece) where we spent the month of August. So, that was an obvious next choice to try, and again, Lisa’s recipe provided us with a wonderful dal with just the right amount of spiciness.
Turning back the pages to the chapter on Breakfast suggestions, we found the “Greek Omelet” which was quick and easy, yet provided me with lots of taste and nutrition to start off the day. Of course, being in Greece, there is plenty of feta for that meal.
We skipped the “Peanut Butter Oatmeal” recipe because, while it looks quick and easy to make, and probably quite delicious, the peanut butter here in Greece is just not that great – at least what I’ve been able to source so far.
There are so many great recipes in this book with photos that its hard to say what we enjoyed the most – and we’re still planning on going through and trying many more that we have not yet had time to try out.
For those who are vegans or have sensitivities to nuts and/or gluten, Lisa has a handy guide at the top of each recipe to say whether its free of nuts, gluten and is suitable for vegans. Personally, I don’t have any dietary sensitivities so I did not need to refer to the guide, but handy for those who do.
Each recipe also comes with how many people the ingredients will serve along with preparation and cook time estimates – very handy if you are in a hurry.
This is a terrific cookbook and it’s obvious that the author put a lot of love and care into a quality product.