Vegetarian/Pescatarian Cookbooks?

Discussion in 'Whats Cooking? Food, Drink, & Gear' started by jferreir, Nov 15, 2019.

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums by donating:

  1. Nov 15, 2019 #1

    jferreir

    jferreir

    jferreir

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    Messages:
    56
    I'd like to reduce my red meat consumption, but I'm terrible at vegetarian cooking. I always plan my meals around the protein, with vegetables being an afterthought -- I confess that I almost never make salads. I do enjoy eating vegetarian food, but only when someone else makes it...

    I would need a cookbook that's sufficiently approachable so I don't lose interest/motivation. I have very poor knowledge of vegetarian cuisine more generally, so I'd prefer something that focuses on more traditional or foundational recipes, with easy to find/common ingredients. Any recommendations for this home cook? Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. Nov 15, 2019 #2

    LostHighway

    LostHighway

    LostHighway

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2016
    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    You're in my wheehouse here. I'll offer a few suggestions in descending order:

    America's Test Kitchen The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook (IMO the best beginner book)
    Hugh Fearnley-Whittngstall River Cottage Veg
    Jack Bishop Pasta e Verdura and The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook (he works for America's Test Kitchen)

    The Deborah Madison cookbooks are wildly admired. I'm less enthusiastic but that is definitely a minority opinion. Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is encyclopedic and above average but I haven't loved the recipes I've tried quite as much as many of those from other authors, still well worth having. If you cook semi-regularly with the above books you should start to get a fairly good handle on vegetarian cooking. At that point you might want to dig deeper into specific regional cuisines you favor or just start putting things together on your own.
     
  3. Nov 15, 2019 #3

    parbaked

    parbaked

    parbaked

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2017
    Messages:
    1,069
    Location:
    Oaktown
    You can start with the vegetable section of Joy of Cooking. Good, solid recipes arranged by vegetable.
     
  4. Nov 15, 2019 #4

    LostHighway

    LostHighway

    LostHighway

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2016
    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    parbaked's suggestion is a good one. You could also take a look at the vegetable recipes in the other two classic American cookbooks: Fannie Farmer and Betty Crocker.
    America's Test Kitchen also offers Vegetables Illustrated. I haven't used or even looked at this but the Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen publication are usually technically solid whether they are to your taste or not.
     
  5. Nov 15, 2019 #5

    Ochazuke

    Ochazuke

    Ochazuke

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Messages:
    245
    I’ve given Kansha as a gift before and it was well-received!
     
  6. Nov 15, 2019 #6

    Paraffin

    Paraffin

    Paraffin

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Messages:
    632
    One way to eat less meat, especially red meat, would be a deep dive into Chinese cooking. Not the Chinese-American/Cantonese restaurant version with gloppy sauces, but the real thing.

    Red meat (beef) is not common in traditional Chinese cuisine except in the Northwest/Muslim areas of the country. The various regional styles use mainly pork, chicken, and fish/shellfish where available, and the amounts are relatively small. You might have a few slivers of chicken or fish tucked in with a large amount of vegetables, noodles, or rice. If you cook some of the regional Chinese styles the way they're actually eaten there -- at least until recent years -- you'll be eating far less meat than in typical American or Europen dishes

    Chinese cooking is a huge subject because it's not one thing but a huge range of regional styles, but I think the best entry point is Fuschia Dunlop's "Every Grain of Rice" cookbook. There are some vegetarian recipes, but the overall approach is based on the relatively small amounts of meat in many of the regional styles. Dunlop just released the update to her first book on Sichuan regional cooking and it's terrific if you want to explore that style: "The Food of Sichuan." Her other books are great too. Another good one is "All Under Heaven" by Carolyn Phillips, a very wide-ranging survey in one book.

    There are other world cuisines with similar de-emphasis on huge red meat portions, the obvious one being the cooking of India. I have limited knowledge there... I don't do many Indian recipes because I tend to gravitate towards the rich curry recipes that defeat the purpose of a "light" meal. :) But I'll still cook a curry now and then, heavy on vegetables and light on chicken or shellfish. Thai cooking is another style you might want to explore.
     
    LostHighway likes this.
  7. Nov 15, 2019 #7

    jferreir

    jferreir

    jferreir

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    Messages:
    56
    Thank you all for the various suggestions! I'll check out the America's Test Kitchen series and go from there. FWIW, the main protein has been pork for many, many years (my family is Azorean). I managed to cut out pork completely ~3 months ago, but found I was compensating by eating more beef (lol). Alas, I have a meat tooth...

    And now I'm off to experiment! Thanks again, everyone.
     
  8. Nov 15, 2019 #8

    The Edge

    The Edge

    The Edge

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    725
    Not strictly vegetarian, but "Jerusalem" by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi is my go to for healthy dishes. There's also "Plenty" and "Plenty More" that I believe are strictly vegetarian. They combine veg with grains and such for great flavors, and have increased my repertoire immensely for being able to throw things together.
     
  9. Nov 23, 2019 #9

    Keith Sinclair

    Keith Sinclair

    Keith Sinclair

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,710
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Giving up beef was easy, pork was harder for me. Still make kalua pork & cabbage on occasion.

    You can make basic dishes like pasta sauce and curries put more veg. & Leave out the meat. Also meat substitutes like soy dogs and burgers even plant based ground meat substitute. I eat soy dogs with toasted bun, half Moon cut Vine ripe tomato, German mustard, Dill pickle, & pro biotic raw organic sauerkraut. With all the healthy fixings just like eating a loaded dog. We are older but take no medications at all . Try to eat more healthy we do like salads with flaked wild caught grilled salmon on top.
     
    kvstas likes this.

Share This Page