Author(s): Nicola Graimes
The common link between vegetarians and part-time vegetarians (flexitarians) is that they like to base their meals on vegetables. Whether this is for health, economic or moral reasons (or a combination of all three), the fact is a flexitarian diet - one that is largely vegetarian but occasionally includes poultry, meat and seafood - is growing in popularity and is a long-term trend that cannot go ignored. Let's face it the flexitarian or semi-vegetarian diet is the way to go: meat and fish are becoming prohibitively expensive; our current consumption cannot be sustained in years to come; and the health benefits of a vegetarian diet are well documented. But while the number of vegetarians is significant, a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that nearly two out of three vegetarians occasionally like to meat, chicken or fish. The Part-Time Vegetarian Cookbook shows just how delicious, adaptable and varied this way of eating can be. Rather than taking centre stage, meat or fish are not the main focus of the recipes, which value the often under-used and under-valued vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, eggs and dairy foods.The recipes are not about taking something away, however, but adding a new dimension and consequently widening and extending the homecook's repertoire of dishes. Organised by meal type, The Part-Time Vegetarian Cookbook features chapters on Breakfasts & Brunches, Small Bites (snacks, lunches and light meals), Weekday Suppers, Weekend Cooking, Food for Sharing (entertaining, special occasion, celebrations and al fresco) and Something Sweet. The recipes are all vegetarian, but can easily be adjusted to suit non-vegetarians. For example, each recipe features a "How to - " variation, so the Walnut, Blue Cheese & Savoy Dauphinoise can be adapted with the addition of flecks of bacon, shredded ham hock or slices of chicken. Additionally, each chapter in the book includes a recipe feature comprising quick and simple suggestions to serve with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. For instance, the Sauce Feature includes recipes for Bechamel, Hollandaise, Gravy, Aioli and Tomato that can be served as an accompaniment or as part of a main dish. There are also ideas on how to adapt the sauces to suit a variety of meals.Most importantly, The Part-Time Vegetarian Cookbook makes vegetarian food both approachable and accessible. It's also the perfect book for those who have a vegetarian in the family and are looking adaptable, nutritious recipes that don't rely on meat substitutes, as well as dishes for special occasions that would appease vegetarian guests. The Part-Time Vegetarian Cookbook appeals to a wide audience of those looking for a casual vegetarian, nutritious and environmentally intelligent way to eat.
Nicola Graimes is an award-winning cookery writer and former editor of Vegetarian Living magazine. She has written more than 20 books, including The Top 100 Recipes for a Healthy Lunchbox, The Big Book of Wok, The Big Book of Low-Carb Recipes, The New Vegetarian Kitchen (that was chosen as one of OFM's Top 50 Cookbooks of the Year) and Veggienomics for Nourish.