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Cookbook Review: Cooking Light way to cook vegetarian

Beautiful.  Fascinating.  Informative.  Mouthwatering.  These are the four main words I want to use to describe way to cook vegetarian from Cooking Light!  Let's start with...

Beautiful.  I'm pretty sure that there is a gorgeous, color photo on every single page of this book.  Fruits, veggies, fibers, grains, how-to's, teasers...all tucked in...a tempting rainbow of colors.  There are action shots in tutorial sections as well as labels on some of the finished dishes, pointing out and explaining the "why" of certain elements of that dish.  It's true, we eat with our eyes first- and my eyes were stuffed by the time I made my way through this book jam-packed with tasty photos!

Fascinating.  There was a time when I didn't give much thought to vegetarian meals unless I had to give them thought...say a special order in the restaurant or a meal for a rare veg-head friend.  As I've grown older more mature, I've adapted our family meals to include more vegetables and fiber and less meat.  Or at least I've tried to.  I did grow up in a very meat and potatoes household, but I think this had more to do with dad than mom...especially looking at my mom's wonderful diet now that all of us kids are grown and out in the world raising our own families and being responsibleish.  One of the introductory thoughts in way to cook vegetarian pertains to that fact that so many more of us "Westerners" are beginnning to embrace Meatless Mondays and cooking without meat a few times a week.  This book is meant to help those cooks who may not be as familiar with a meat-free diet.  It reminds us to "think about protein", remember calcium and whole think about zinc and iron and B12...and not to forget fiber. It also reminds us to eat seasonally and locally when possible...and to make sure we have a variety of colors on our plate to make the most of our vegetables!  There are tons of tips and pointers and inspiring suggestions.

Informative.  So, SO many amazing recipes and techniques line these pages.  Honestly?  I basically forgot that there wasn't any meat in this book.  It is packed with kitchen how-to:'s, like... how-to: make mayonnaise...grill tempeh...peel cipollini onions...make ravioli...make homemade yogurt...make yeast bread...peel turnips...make healthy cream soups...I could go on and on and on and on!  The chapters include appetizers, breads, grains & pastas, eggs & dairy, legumes & vegetables, tofu & tempeh, salads, sandwiches, sides and soups & stews.  There's also a nutritional analysis, a seasonal produce guide, an ingredient substitution guide and a guide for metric equivalents (more for us "Westerners", I suppose).  I don't what else to say other than this book is so JAM-PACKED with information and ideas.  I love it!

Mouthwatering.  I'm not even going to tell you how many pieces of paper are sticking out of the top of my copy of the book.  Because I can't.  There's so many that I can't even see the pages.  I have an endless supply of Meatless Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday... ideas and visions!  I bookmarked the very first recipe in the book.  And then I made it.  A wonderful Spinach and Artichoke Dip from the appetizers section that was a breeze to throw together...and a breeze to eat. Delicious!
...and for lunch the following afternoon,  some warm, rustic, enticing Butternut Squash and Parmesan Bread Pudding from the eggs & dairy chapter. Two for two...can't wait to try more!
Little did I realize when I opened my crisp, brown paper parcel that the unassuming book staring back at me would become a Must Have! on my shelf.  I will continue to cook from it and look to it for information in my meal healthier, less-meat-including...meal planning.  I definitely recommend that you check it out.

*I received this book at no cost from the publisher to review, if I chose to.  But as always, the views expressed are mine.  ALL MINE.  Mine.  Just mine. My opinions.  I think Moses (my cat, the beggar) agrees, though. --------->

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