Are you a vegetarian or vegan? Do you have a family member who is? Or are you looking to reduce your meat consumption to lose weight, improve your health and decrease your impact on the environment? Whatever your reason, a vegetarian diet or decreasing your meat intake and increasing consumption of vegetables has many health benefits. However, if you are making the change to your diet or if you have been a Vegetarian and are looking for new ideas these three books have lots of ideas for you.
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If you thought that you could never be a vegetarian because you could never give up bacon then this book will open your mind and your palette to a wide selection of vegan bacon alternatives. That’s right! I said vegan bacon alternatives. Who knew there was such a thing!
In “Bacon-ish” Two Moons introduces the secrets of how to transform humble staples such as carrot, mushroom and eggplant into savory, tasty treats that will satisfy your cravings for the smoky, savory flavor of bacon. If you like your bacon crispy and crunchy then coconut bacon will satisfy your craving. Two Moons shares the surprisingly simple secret of how to turn large-flake coconut chips into a delightfully satisfying, crispy, healthy alternative to bacon.
Some of the other “Bacon-ish” recipes show you how to create smoky bacon-ish recipes with seitan, tofu, Jack Fruit, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) and Tempeh. “Bacon-ish” also includes lots of other recipes to use your plant based bacons, such as Baconish Bean Chili and Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake with Cherries and Bacon. So whether your bacon craving is purely savory or if you want to experiment with savory and sweet combinations, this book will certainly satisfy you!
“Everyday Vegetarian” by the Editors of Cooking Light includes more than 150 meatless dishes. If you are just starting to make the transition to a vegetarian diet this book includes a helpful and introduction to the everyday vegetarian kitchen and a detailed look at the staple ingredients and protein sources that you should add to your pantry and diet if you are a vegetarian or looking to add more meatless meals. However, most of the recipes call for things that you probably already have in your pantry and fridge.
As can be expected from the Editors of Cooking Light, the recipes in “Everyday Vegetarian” are on the light and healthy side. Each recipe also includes a complete nutritional and calorific breakdown, so this book is great if you are watching your calorie, sugar or sodium intake. The book has a great selection of light salads, sandwiches, soups and stews. However, if you want something more substantial and filling then their recipes for White Cheddar and Chive Potato Soup, Grilled Vegetable Lasagna or Vegetarian Moussaka will certainly satisfy.
If you are craving take-out food such as pizza or Chinese, don’t worry, “Everyday Vegetarian” has a whole chapter on pizza and several excellent vegetarian Asian recipes such as Stir Fried Chinese Egg Noodles and Sweet and Sour Tofu. My favorite recipe from this book is the Black Bean-Quinoa Burgers, which is one of the best bean burger recipes I have tried so far. These Bean Burgers with their smoky flavor firm texture are very tasty and filling.
In “Whole Protein Vegetarian” Rebecca Miller Ffrench focuses on increasing protein and amino acids in your diet through using more whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Miller Ffrench begins by dispelling some myths about protein and introducing the reader to the importance of eating natural, whole grains and how to replace less nutritious refined foods with protein and fiber rich whole foods. Miller Ffrench also has a chapter devoted to “Making Homemade Staples” including Nut Milks, Nut Butters, Ricotta Cheese and Paneer.
One of my favorite recipes from “Whole Protein Vegetarian” is Favorite Tofu Bánh Mì where the tofu is marinated for at least two hours before being seared until crispy and then combined with pickled vegetables to make a deliciously satisfying sandwich. My other favorite recipe is Crispy Tofu Cauliflower Coconut Curry where deep fried tofu chunks are combined with hearty cauliflower, potato and green beans in a curry infused coconut milk base. Whole Protein Vegetarian” also includes a chapter on Savory Snacks that can be enjoyed between meals or as hors d’oevres when entertaining such as Nut + Seed Protein Bars, Spinach and Chickpea Spoon Fritters and Red Lentil Hummus.
So if you are just looking to introduce more meatless meals into your diet or whether you are a committed vegetarian looking to explore some new recipes and new satisfying protein sources into your diet, I hope that this book review gave you some inspiration for cookbooks and recipes to try.