While I have not been reading quite as much this month that times has been going to other lucrative activities. The other afternoon I scanned the vegetarian cooking section and stumbled onto the fourth edition of 1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes by Sue Spitler and Linda R. Yoakam and decided to see what trouble I could get into in the kitchen.
Vegetarian Recipes is divided similar to traditional cookbooks with Appetizers, Stews, Casseroles, and (of course) Desserts. All of the meals are vegetarian and some are vegan friendly as well. The recipes are simple, well-explained, and mostly use easy to obtain and affordable ingredients. Unlike many modern cookbooks, Vegetarian Recipes does not have any food illustrations so it is a bit of a dare as you do not get an opportunity to see the food (not that cooking ever turns out like the photos anyway), but that probably does save you around $10 – $20.
The first meal I cooked was from the Smart Carb Entrees chapter and was for Tempeh Pasta Soup (recipe below). The recipe was labor intensive as far as all of the chopping goes, but I am also lousy when it comes to chopping vegetables. I altered the recipe somewhat to ensure that there would be enough to share with some friends and also because I hate celery. My recipe is tweaked here and there and contained half as much celery, a cup of mushrooms, twice as much brother, 12 ounces of tofu, and double on the shells and spices. The result: divine.
Vegetarian Recipes has a home on my kitchen shelf now and I am quite excited for my next cooking experiment. Also, do not be afraid simply because a recipe or cookbook is vegetarian or vegan and you are not. The majority of recipes and cookbooks I have used that are vegetarian or vegan are mouth watering and delicious. If nothing else, it provides some additional methods to making vegetables exciting. Bon appetit!
4 servings (about 1 1/2 cup each)
2 cups sliced celery
1 cup each: sliced carrots, onion
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 package (8 ounces) tempeh, or firm tofu, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1 bay leaf
1 cup uncooked low-carb past shells
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Saute’ celery, carrots, and onion in lightly greased large saucepan until crisp-tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add broth, tempeh, and herbs; heat to boiling. Add pasta; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Heat to boiling; add pasta, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are tender and pasta is al dente, 7 to 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf/ Season to taste with salt and pepper.