Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Vegetarian Pantry - a review

If I ever published a vegetarian cookbook, it would probably look something like The Vegetarian Pantry. The book contains a lovely mix of Mediterranean and Asian inspired vegetarian recipes, which are generally fairly easy to prepare and would go down well with all the family. 

The recipes don't contain any weird or wacky 'health-food' ingredients, so this would make a good book for new vegetarians or people cutting down on the amount of meat they eat. Many of the recipes offer a gluten free alternative, but most also contain dairy and/or eggs, so this book probably wouldn't suit the average vegan. 

I especially liked the 'small plates' section as we often cook a selection of meze style dishes for a weekend meal. The book also contains a range of recipes for breakfasts, soups, salads, main courses and desserts and is visually appealing with a full page image for each recipe.

I've tried out a few recipes from the book and I love the variations offered for each recipe. With the able assistance of Miss K. We made the courgette fritters and the halloumi goujons. Although, not the most healthy options from the book, they were delicious and quite straightforward to prepare.
Courgette Fritters with Minted Yogurt

These fritters are perfect for enjoying with drinks. We like them made with courgettes but you can use carrots, beetroot or onions, if preferred. You can add feta, herbs, spices and chilli for extra flavour – just experiment with whatever you find in your fridge.
  • 250 g/3 cups grated courgette/zucchini
  • 4 spring onions/scallions, finely sliced
  • grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus extra for deep-frying
  • 3 tablespoons gram/chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • sea salt 
For the minted yogurt
  • ½ English cucumber, deseeded and grated
  • 200 g/1 cup thick plain yogurt
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed
  • a handful of fresh mint, chopped
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Makes 4 servings 
How they should look!
To make the minted yogurt dip, put the grated cucumber in a strainer set over a bowl and leave for 10 minutes to drain any excess liquid. Alternatively you can squeeze out any liquid in
a clean kitchen towel. 
Put the drained grated cucumber in a bowl with the yogurt. Add and stir in the crushed garlic and the chopped mint. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, sugar and season well with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more lemon juice, sugar or salt if necessary.
To make the fritters, sprinkle the courgette/zucchini with salt and put it in a strainer set over a bowl for 10 minutes to draw out any moisture. Alternatively you can squeeze out any liquid in a clean kitchen towel. 
Put the drained grated courgette/zucchini in a bowl, add the spring onions/scallions, lemon zest and juice and teaspoon of vegetable oil, and stir till thoroughly mixed. Combine the gram flour and baking powder, sprinkle them over the vegetables, then stir until well combined.
...and our version, slightly larger and browner!
These fritters are best made in a deep-fat fryer. If you don’t have a deep-fat fryer, put about 2 cm/3⁄4 inch of oil in the bottom of a wok. Heat the oil until it is hot but not smoking. Drop teaspoons of mixture into the oil and cook for about 2 minutes until they are crisp and golden.
Remove the fritters with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. 
Sprinkle the fritters with sea salt while they are still hot. The fritters are best served immediately but will keep for a short time in a warm oven.
The Vegetarian Pantry by Chloe Cocker and Jane Montgomery (Photography by William Reavell) is published by Ryland Peters & Small at £16.99 and is available from

Integrity Statement
I received a copy of The Vegetarian Pantry to review. I did not receive payment, and was not required to write a positive review in return. The views expressed are genuinely those of myself and my family. 
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  1. Great, I'm looking for fritters without eggs.

  2. Clinical studies have found that casein, a protein in all dairy products, blocks the absorption of antioxidants and renders them useless to our body.

    Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis - One egg a day equals smoking 25,000 cigarettes

    Get healthier (and kinder) by going vegan!

  3. Thanks for sharing, this sounds like a great reference book!

    1. It's a lovely book. I'm looking forward to trying out more of the recipes soon.

  4. I have this one. It is a good book. Have to start getting my reviews done soon! Need more hours in the week!

  5. These look lovely, definitely one for the list. Thank you for the follow :) x


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