Monday, 18 November 2013

The Best New Vegetarian Cookbooks: Review & Gift Guide

As Christmas is just around the corner, I thought I'd post a round-up of some of my favourite new(ish) vegetarian cookbooks. I've included books which I think would make great presents for foodie friends or family. So, if you're stuck for gift ideas, take a look...

World Food Cafe: Quick and easy recipes from a vegetarian journey by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott 

This beautifully illustrated book tells a story of a journey through many different countries, bringing the best vegetarian recipes from each region together. Recipes include delicious breakfasts, soups and main courses, with the odd cocktail thrown in! Although the recipes mainly use easy-to-find ingredients, this book may be suited to slightly more adventurous cooks, as a wide range of herbs, spices and condiments are used, which would be expensive to buy if you didn't have any to start with.

"After twenty years of squeezing in trips abroad at the same time as running the World Food Café, Chris and Carolyn Caldicott decided to take a sabbatical so that they could go on longer journeys in search of new recipes. This book brings together the recipes they collected from home kitchens, street stalls, restaurants and roadside cafes, alongside atmospheric photographs and travellers’ tales."

I loved the recipes from the more exotic countries such as Cuba, Bhutan and Laos, as I had very little idea on the cuisines from these regions. This would make an ideal gift as the anecdotes about each country make it a great read and not just a recipe book.

DISCOUNT CODE: To order World Food Cafe: Quick and Easy: Recipes from a Vegetarian Journey pub by Frances Lincoln at the discounted price of £16.00 including p&p* (RRP: £20.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG43. *UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

The Adventurous Vegetarian: Around the World in 30 Meals by Jane Hughes

Coincidentally, I was sent a copy of this book to review soon after the previous book. Like the World Food Cafe, this book takes the reader on a culinary journey around the world and also includes a narrative about each country's traditional foods. The Adventurous Vegetarian differs by presenting the recipes from each region as a menu, so there is at least one starter, main course and dessert for each country.

It also includes a wide range of recipes which have been adapted from traditional meat-based recipes, such as a vegan recipe for Australian Lamingtons, a Vegetable Rendeng from Malaysia and a Vegetable Oil Down from Grenada. This book contains a large number of vegan recipes, so would be ideal for aspiring vegans, or for those who only eat egg/dairy products occasionally.

"Working with vegetarian groups and societies from around the globe in order to discover their most popular and delicious dishes, this beautifully illustrated book provides the reader not only with tried-and-tested, step-by-step instructions on how to cook up thirty complete meals from thirty different countries across the world but also with a brief history of vegetarianism in that country..."

DISCOUNT CODE: Save £10 off the RRP of The Adventurous Vegetarian by visiting and entering the code VEGGIE at the checkout.

The Vegetarian Pantry: Fresh and modern meat-free recipes by Chloe Cocker and Jane Montgomery

I reviewed this book earlier in the year and have enjoyed cooking a variety of recipes from it. As I mentioned before, this book contains a lovely mix of Mediterranean and Asian inspired vegetarian recipes, which are fairly quick easy to prepare and would go down well with all the family. I particularly like the breakfast section, as not many vegetarian cookbooks seem to include breakfast recipes.

Veggiestan: A Vegetable Lover's Tour of the Middle East by Sally Butcher

I received this book last Christmas and have cooked many different recipes from it throughout the year, as I love Middle Eastern food. The book includes a wide range of breads, meze dishes and main courses, flavoured with fragrant herbs and spices. Each chapter starts with an introduction about the main ingredients, the history of the dishes included and an explanation of the cooking methods used, which is very useful for those who are not familiar with cooking Middle Eastern dishes.

The Great British Bake Off: Learn to Bake by Linda Collister

OK, this book is a bit of a wild card, as it's not specifically a vegetarian cookbook. However, as it mainly features cakes and bake recipes, it is, by it's nature, mainly vegetarian. I've added this book as Miss Kahonie was bought it for her 12th birthday this year, and has successfully baked several recipes favourite being the most delicious chocolate brownies I have ever tasted!

While this is not a children's cookbook, its step-by-step recipes with cooking tips and clear illustrations are great for young, inexperienced or novice bakers, who will be able to produce some great results with little time and effort. Those recipes which do include meat (eg: toad in the hole) can be easily adapted for vegetarians, however due to the use of dairy products and/or eggs in most recipes, this isn't a book I would recommend to vegan bakers.

Integrity Statement
I received a copy of the first three books to review, the other two books were gifts which I was not asked to review. I did not receive payment, and the views expressed are genuinely those of myself and my family.

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  1. Great books. Need to put them on my wishlist.

    1. Thanks Dan, I love receiving new cookbooks...downloading them on Kindle just isn't the same!

  2. Ooooh, these might be a present to my mom! She's a veggie too.


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