Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Living Kitchen: a cookbook review, a recipe and giveaway

Front cover of The Living Kitchen vegetarian cookbook
I'm an avid collector of vegetarian cookbooks, so I was delighted to be offered a copy of a new cookbook by Jutka Harstein, called The Living Kitchen: Organic Vegetarian Cooking for Family and Friends (published by Floris Books). As always, I had a good look through the book and tried out a few recipes, before I wrote up my review.

When I first received the book, it reminded me of a book I already had, but I couldn't remember which one. After reading the introduction, it became clear that it was The Moosewood Cookbook, and that this book had partly inspired Jutka to write her own cookbook.

The Living Kitchen is quite different from most other cookbooks as it not only details some delicious, organic, vegetarian recipes, but it also tells a story...
"Jutka has run the restaurant at the Harduf Kibbutz, Israel, for twenty years. This wonderful cookbook was born from her philosophy of sharing her recipes whenever asked, and the enthusiastic demand of her customers. The dishes are interspersed with captivating personal anecdotes telling of the inspirations behind her nourishing cuisine and her Rudolf Steiner-inspired philosophy of food.
The Living Kitchen offers colourful meals for children, feasts for family and friends, warming winter soups, fresh summer salads, meals for the week using seven different whole grains, plus advice on nutrition and on planning balanced meals that will nourish body, mind and spirit.
All the recipes are kosher and vegan recipes are indicated."
I found the book a little 'hippyish' in places, but not in a bad way! It contains a varied and eclectic mix of recipes, from Hungarian to Indian, which are listed by cuisine or menu rather than course or the main ingredients used. I initially found this a little strange and confusing, when I was looking for particular recipes to try out, but it does fit in with the narrative aspect of the book.

The recipes use easy-to-find ingredients and are all simple to follow with straight forward instructions in metric and imperial/cup measurements. Due to the organic nature of the book, all of the ingredients used are fresh, so some of the recipes might take a little longer than normal to prepare, if you're used to using convenience products. I would recommend the book to existing Moosewood and whole-food fans, plus anyone who receives an organic fruit and vegetable box or grows their own fruit and veg. 

Visit The Living Kitchen Blog for more recipes from the book. You can buy the book from Floris or n Amazon. I also have a copy of the book to give away, so if you like the sound of it, be sure to enter the competition below.

Here's one of the recipes I tried (and the whole family enjoyed):  Peppers stuffed with feta and ricotta*...
© Peppers stuffed with feta and ricotta

Preheat the oven to 150C (300F)

  • 2 medium onions, chopped or 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 100g/3oz mushrooms sliced
  • 2 small carrots, grated
  • 1 large courgette, grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Fry the onions or leeks for 5 minutes. Add the other ingredients and keep frying for 5 more minutes.
  • 200g/7oz feta cheese, grated
  • 300g/10½ oz ricotta or labane
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • half a bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 6 red or yellow peppers
Mix [above ingredients] in a bowl. Add the fried vegetables to the mixed cheese and eggs.
Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and take the seeds out. Fill the two halves with the cheese vegetable mix and place on an oiled baking pan or tray.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling turns golden brown.

*This recipe is from The Living Kitchen by Jutka Harstein, published by Floris Books.

ONE lucky reader will win a copy of The Living Kitchen by Jutka Harstein. To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter entry form below and remember to leave a blog comment to make your entry count.(UK ONLY)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Integrity Statement
I received a copy of The Living Kitchen to review and 1 copy to give away on my blog. I did not receive payment, and the views expressed are genuinely those of myself and my family.
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  1. Eastern Vegetarian Cooking Madhur Jaffrey

  2. Oh my favourite vegetarian cookbook is Market Vegetarian by Ross Dobson. x

  3. Done. Favourite cook book at the moment is Abel & Cole's Veg Box Companion.

  4. I love recipes by Yotam Ottolenghi. Plenty is my current favourite

  5. Tart it up by eric lanlard

  6. I love to browse through vegetarian cookbooks and then experiment myself. My two favourites atm are The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook (Konneman) and The Complete Book of Vegetarian Cooking (Sperling).

  7. I think I'm a fairly good and adventurous cook but do like to base things on 'proper' recipes. One of my favourites is actually Delia's Veggie Book but only ONE!

  8. Hi there, there is a new collection of book links going down at Carole's Chatter. This time we are collecting links to posts about your very most favourite cookbooks. Here is the link Your Favourite Cook Books Please do pop by and link in – maybe this nice one? Have a lovely day.

  9. our 400 best ever soups book

  10. My Mum's Hamlyn All Colour cookbook

  11. tart it up ,by eric lanlard

  12. Nigel Slater - Kithen Diaries

  13. I haven't found any good purely vegetarian ones yet.

  14. A passion for puddings by phil vickery :) I have a sweet tooth!

  15. Favourite at the moment is The Hairy Bikers Cookbook nice tasty dishes and hopefully weight loss as well.

  16. Delia's Chocolate cook book

  17. I've got one that I was bought when I was 12, I can't remember the name but its had lots of use!

  18. it is my Nans, "Mrs Beaton", dates back to Victorian times, a great read just to see the food of the day, Doctors would scream at what they ate

  19. Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi is my favourite cookbook, the recipes are delicious and the photos fantastic

  20. When I was little a family friend taught me how to cook (my brother's godfather's wife!) and she wrote down all the recipes I learnt in a little folder... I still use that "cookbook"!

  21. The River Cottage Meat Book is my favourite

  22. A well worn Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course. Still used on a regular bases

  23. Clean & Lean Diet cookbook at the moment

  24. i dont have any cookbook, which is probably why im such a rubbish cook. would be nice to have one and make a start on cooking something tasty for a change

  25. Rebecca Woodroof4/12/12 8:51 pm

    Jamie's 15 Minutes meals

  26. I love my old Mrs Beetons book, old but adaptable!

  27. Farmhouse kitchen , had it for years

  28. Thank you - I'm absolutely thrilled! I'll blog about it of course when I've had a really good read and a few treis in the kitchen. *Big grin on face*


Thanks very much for your comment. I love hearing your opinions, so please rest assured that genuine comments and competition entries will be visible after approval. This may take 24-48 hours, depending on how hectic my work/home life is at the time!


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