Sunday, May 5, 2013

Book Review - Vegetarian Everyday

Rizzoli Publishing has just released "Vegetarian Everyday: Healthy Recipes From Our Green Kitchen."  Rizzoli New York, 2013.  

( photo property of Rizzoli Publications.  Do not reproduce)

Vegetarian Everyday: Healthy Recipes From Our Green Kitchen is hardcover, 256 pages, 8" x 10" and loaded with 100 recipes and beautiful color photographs.  It's written by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, who are the couple behind the renowned blog "Green Kitchen Stories."   In addition to the recipes, David and Luise share stories of their lives, as well as a few photos of their adorable daughter, Elsa.  Most of the recipes are accompanied by a short story or personal history behind the dish.  Not only did they develop the healthy and simple recipes that are in the book, they also eat these foods each and every day.  The recipes generally avoid dairy, refined flour, and sugar, providing inspired dishes for vegetarians as well as those with gluten and other allergies. 

So what exactly is left to make a meal with?  I'll be honest, that's exactly what I thought at first.  No dairy?  No flour?  No sugar??  Come on!  Impossible!  I cracked open the book and glanced at the index, which showed ten chapters covering breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with snacks and drinks.  If you're interested in improving your eating habits, "Inside Our Pantry" is a great starting point.  There are many detailed categories, including...

  • Butter, Vinegar and Oil
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Dried Beans, Lentils and Peas
  • Plant Based Milk and Cream
  • Natural Sweeteners
  • Pasta and Noodles
  • Flours and Grains (my favorite category.  Who knew there was such a wide variety?)
  • Kitchen Appliances
Each category is broken down into items with excellent explanations on where they are used and what they are good for.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that I recognized a great deal of the foods, with the exception of the flours.  I need to broaden my flour horizons!

If you ever wondered how difficult it would be to introduce your children to healthy eating, then you'll be interested in reading their "8 tips on how to give your children a healthy start in life."  With childhood obesity on the rise, these are helpful tips that are easy to apply.

Personally I never imagined that such a wide variety of yummy sounding vegetarian dishes even existed.  The more I read, the more willing I was to try different recipes.  As I read through the book, I made a running list of recipes that I wanted to try and I made three of them for this review.  I like to try my hand at a few of the recipes to see if they actually taste as good a they look and to see how difficult they are to prepare.  The recipe that first caught my eye was Broccoli Salad with Pomegranate & Raisins.  It consists of 8 ingredients, pomegranate seeds being one of them.  None of the stores here currently had fresh pomegranate's in stock, so I just improvised and substituted dried pomegranate.....

...... and quickly mixed up the salad.  Start to finish took all of 5 minutes....

This salad was a huge hit.  We ate it the first day for lunch with cheese and crackers, with our dinner as a side dish, and the next day I piled a scoop of it on top of a fresh salad and had it for lunch again.  Delicious!

Next up was Flour-free Banana & Coconut Pancakes.  After seeing this photo in the book, I knew I'd be making these....

( photo property of Rizzoli Publications.  Do not reproduce)

This was another super easy and quick recipe to make as there are only a few items needed and no flour.  I had a little trouble cooking the first two pancakes because I think I poured too much batter in the pan and they burned on me.  I made the next two pancakes a little smaller and they cooked up much better...

Now I admit that my finished product doesn't look as photo perfect as the one from the book, but I will tell you this - they were fantastic.  I added a little maple syrup on top.  I think they tasted like a cross between a pancake and an omelet.  They were incredibly light, fruity and flavorful.   My daughter dug into them and declared them "a winner!"

The third recipe I tried was Herb & Asparagus Frittata.... 
( photo property of Rizzoli Publications.  Do not reproduce)

Since Chablis and I were the only ones home for breakfast, I cut the recipe in half.  First I cooked up my veggies....

Then added the egg mixture and asparagus.  Now the recipe called for fresh asparagus, but I again improvised with canned since the store was out....

I then baked the end result for one minute and I was finished.  Now I know you're thinking that my Frittata does not look anything like the one in the book, but then, I never said I was a good cook either.  LOL!  But I will tell you this - it was good!  And even if mine didn't look like it was supposed to, I learned how to cook a dish that I'd never have thought of on my own.  It was healthy and wholesome and filling.  And more than enough for the two of us.

Vegetarian Everyday is by far the best vegetarian cookbook I've seen and I'll tell you why. Last year my daughter was having some health issues and she cut meat, sugar and dairy out of her diet for 4 months.  Her biggest complaint was finding interesting recipes for meals that she would eat and enjoy.  I spent hours on-line and at the library searching for a vegetarian cookbook that she'd like.  We checked a few out of the library but I didn't find a single one that I really liked enough to go out and purchase.  Vegetarian Everyday would have easily filled our needs. 

If you want to eat healthy and don't know where to start, then I suggest Vegetarian Everyday.  Vegetarians will find a nice selection of recipes that vary ingredients so you're not eating the same foods all the time.  A blend of influences from Sweden, Italy, Japan, Morocco, France and India gives you a wide variety of tastes and textures.  Let me stress that you don't have to become a vegetarian to take advantage of this book either.  Feel free to add some of the recipes as side dishes, start off your day with an all-natural juice, or end your dinner with a guilt free dessert.  The possibilities are endless, and I just didn't know how to pull it all together.  This book will show you how!

I was provided an advance copy of the book for review purposes and asked to give an honest review. All opinions are my own.


  1. My family tried to eat several vegetarian meals each week, and we have found some wonderful recipes but always need more. I'll have to check this book out, it sounds like it will be a great addition to our collection!

  2. The recipes you made looked delish!

    1. They were. I also added a smoothie to my diet each day and cut out coke - guess what? I lost 2 pounds.

  3. You definitely have my attention with this book. I eat a lot of veggies and I'm always thinking I need to try new ones and experiment with new dishes. Sounds good! Great review! I'll put this book on my wish list!

    1. Diane: LOTS of great recipes in here. And so simple. The food combinations are great.

  4. I will have to share this post with my mom! They are on a healthy kick and have "Meatless Mondays" ;-)

    1. I think they would like this. I can't wait to try more of the recipes.


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