Aug 19, 2013

The Southern Vegetarian

It occurred to me today that, although I posted a review of this cookbook on Amazon, I should post one here too.

First, a disclaimer. Although I haven't met either of them yet, Justin and Amy are relatives (my oldest son is married to Amy's sister). Because of that connection, I would normally steer away from the appearance of nepotic favoritism but, in this case, I can't contain my enthusiasm.

Let's be clear. "The Southern Vegetarian" is NOT a vegan cookbook. Many of the recipes call for dairy products and eggs. This is not a big problem, in some of the recipes you can just drop those ingredients and in others there are easy substitutes. Recipes that call for cheese, for example, can be tricky. There are vegan cheese substitutes, but they can be expensive to buy and tricky to make.

The good thing about this book is that about 80 of the hundred recipes can be easily modified to fit my regimen. That's a much better percentage than I expected. In the near future, I'll post some lists and recipes for the substitutes I use. Another plus is that although the pictures are gorgeous, the food tastes as good as the pictures look.

The ingredients used are relatively easy to find, many large supermarkets should have most, if not all, of them. The instructions are clear and straightforward. Best of all, the ingenuity and creativity of the combinations of flavors and colors, make these recipes a pleasure to eat.

Of the recipes I have tried so far, my particular favorites are: Collard greens (I used chard) with honey, shallots, and mushrooms; The Chubby Vegetarian gumbo; and the Ratatouille Napoleon.

The real joy of this book is through their exploration, Justin and Amy might well inspire you to try your hand at finding unexpectedly happy combinations too.

I recommend The Southern Vegetarian highly. (The link will take you to Amazon.)

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