Vegetarians living in a meat-eater’s world are constantly challenged to find meals that suit their needs.
But now there’s a new cookbook out which attempts to offer enticing meals which can easily be converted into vegetarian or non-vegetarian at the same table.
Often that involves adding a grilled piece of chicken or lamb or a sausage to a nice vegetable mixture, so both enjoy the vegetable part of the meal, but one dish contains meat as well.
Called Everyday Flexitarian: recipes for vegetarians and meat lovers alike, by Nettie Cronish and Pat Crocker, this book offers lots of options for those who have decided to either reduce the meat in their diet, or who have moved to a plant-based diet.
Published by Whitecap Books, this is a guide to feeding a family using less meat, but retaining healthy alternative proteins as needed for complete, nutritious meals.
This book is full of interesting-looking recipes, but whoever did the layout must have had a hate on for the photographer. The photos are excellent; just scrumptious-looking, but every last one has been placed in the centre of the book, so most of the photo is hidden in the spine, with teasing bits on each page, but with the main part of the pic hidden deep in the centre.
It doesn’t harm the content, but what a crying shame to waste such good photos.
Following are a few samples of the recipes you’ll find. I included one for shrimp to mark the coming weekend’s celebration of local B.C. spot prawns, with the first Okanagan B.C. Spot Prawn Festival at Manteo Resort Saturday, June 4, 1 to 4 p.m.
Entrance to the festival is free, but there will be a small fee for tickets to purchase samples prepared by local junior chefs who will be competing for the best prawn recipe. There’ll be live, wild B.C. spot prawns available for sale on-site by Jon Crofts of Codfather’s and recipes from some top chefs.
The festival is being put on by the Pacific Prawn Fisherman’s Association, in conjunction with the Chefs’ Table Society.
Don’t miss it.
Spiced Baked Shrimp
Serve with hot pita wedges as a starter course; or with chunks of bread; or over rice.
3 tbsp. (45 ml) olive oil
1 chopped onion
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 dried cayenne pepper, crushed
2 tsp. (10 ml) garam masala
28 oz. (796 ml) can whole tomatoes
1 1/2 lb. (750 g) prawns
3/4 c. (185 ml) crumbled feta cheese
Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and red pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cayenne pepper (or a large pinch of red chili flakes) and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until tender. Stir in garam masala and cook for 30 seconds.
Add tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally for about 20 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Remove and stir in shrimp. Transfer to a shallow baking dish and top with cheese. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, until shrimp are pink and opaque.
Potato Parsnip Gratin
This is very a very tasty vegetable dish. With cheese as a protein to substitute for the meat in a main meal, it could be served as a vegetarian meal or to accompany a slice of ham or piece of chicken for the non-vegetarian. This can be assembled ahead of time, then baked while you enjoy your company or finish preparing dinner.
1 c. (250 ml) 35 % cream
1 c. (250 ml) milk or buttermilk
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp. (15 ml) fresh thyme
1 tsp. (5 ml) fresh rosemary
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
1/2 tsp. (2 ml) fresh ground pepper
2 lb. (1 kg) potatoes
2 c. (500 ml) shredded parsnips
1 c. (250 ml) shredded cheddar
1 c. (250 ml) shredded Gruyere
Butter a 9×13-inch shallow baking dish.
Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
Mince shallot (you could substitute a third cup minced onion), garlic and herbs.
Combine cream, milk, shallots, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour a cup of this mixture over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
Slice potatoes, either Yukon Gold or russets, shred parsnips, sharp cheddar (or parmesan), and Gruyere (or Emmental).
Layer a third of the potato slices over milk mixture, pressing the potatoes into it. Spread hald the parsnips over the potatoes. Pour a half cup of the cream mixture over top. Spread the cheddar cheese over the parsnips and cream.
Layer another third of the potato slices over the cheddar and add the remaining parsnips. Spread the remaining potatoes over top. Pour the remaining cream mixture over it all.
Spread Gruyere cheese evenly over the top. Cover with foil and place the dish on a baking sheet.
Bake for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife and the top is crisp and golden brown.
Let stand for a few minutes or until the potatoes have absorbed the extra liquid.