Cookbook Review: 30-Minute Vegetarian


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Now, here’s a cookbook title that really spoke to me. Yes, I work from home. And only part time. So, ostensibly, I have hours and hours to spend leisurely preparing elaborate and beautiful meals for my family. After all, that is one of my jobs. But the truth is, I don’t. And I don’t exactly have the energy after answering the average 437 questions from my daughter each day. So, 30-Minute Vegetarian? Yes, please. Though I'd also appreciate "Five-Minute Clean-Up," but I'm not sure that exists. I digress.

The author, Rose Elliot, is a popular British food writer and bestselling author who’s written more than 60 books since her first in 1967. But no fear, Americans, the recipes include both weight and volume measurements, so there’s no need to invest in a scale to prepare these dishes. Also quite helpful is that many of the recipes that are vegetarian offer tips and instructions on how to make them vegan.

The book is separated into chapters based on the type of meal. And entrees are divided further into light meals, everyday cooking and special-occasion cooking. What’s particularly interesting is the influence of the diverse population of the author’s home city, London, on the recipe selection. A fair number of dishes include Indian, Mediterranean and Asian flavors (Quick Dosa Masala with Fresh Tomato Chutney, Black Sesame-coated Tofu Triangles with Noodles and Bok Choy) along with some that are preciously English (Chocolate Chestnut Cake, Chunky Chestnut “Sausages”).

The book has 140 recipes that are definitely time-savers, though it’s worth noting that some are just side dishes or entrees, and others require a decent amount of time to assemble ingredients, so the 30 minutes is a general idea rather than the rule. As in, a little more effort is required other than just placing a dish in the oven for half an hour. Also, while the Oven-Baked Asparagus and Pea Risotto may save a bit on cooking time and effort, you’ll have several saucepans and a casserole dish to clean afterward. I think I’d rather just pull up a stool to my stovetop and stir for a while.

That said, the book is full of inventive and delectable recipes made with ingredients that will make you stretch your culinary legs and expand your palate a bit, so it’s definitely worth checking out. Get a preview on the Amazon listing page.


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