New vegetarian in search of a cookbook
As a fairly new vegetarian, I’m always on the lookout for cookbooks that don’t make me feel like a culinary idiot, but that also reflect my cooking style and talents: simple and basic.
My favorite cookbook so far is Moosewood Restaurant’s Simple Suppers. Subtitled “Fresh Ideas for the Weeknight Table,” this recipe book makes me look like a far better cook than I really am. I have so many pages sticky-noted and still haven’t tested the frittatas yet… even though I bought a cast iron frying pan for the purpose.
Simple Suppers isn’t exactly a vegetarian cookbook, though. There are recipes for seafood dishes and eggs, for example… but it’s primarily vegetarian and the recipes are easy to follow and use ingredients I generally have on hand or can easily find in my grocery store. I recognize the words, at any rate.
My two favorite recipes are the Nachos Grandes and the Broccolini Cheddar Melt, both of which I’ve adapted to suit my family’s tastes.
I’ve also made Fettuccine with Fresh Herbs (simple, but really tasty), Baked Stuffed Tomatoes (best side dish, ever), Roasted Ratatouille (not as tricky as it looks), and a whole bunch more. I ignore the tofu chapter because of allergy and texture issues and haven’t tried to tackle the risottos yet.
Now that I’ve moved into a house with a bigger kitchen, I can start building my “well-stocked pantry” using the suggestions on page 282. There’s quite a useful guide to the ingredients and tools used in the various recipes as well. That’s where I learned about Pecorino Romano cheese… one of my new favorites.
Many of the recipes include color photos which, for me, is very helpful, being new to vegetarian cookery. (Now I know what broccolini looks like, though I substitute easier-to-find broccoli for the cheddar melts.)
If you click on the Simple Suppers photo above, you’ll land on the page at Amazon where you can “look inside the book.” You’ll find almost the entire “Pasta” chapter there, including the Fettuccine with Fresh Herbs recipe I mentioned earlier.
My “sticky-note” menu methodology
The sticky notes on the side of my cookbook are the recipes I want to find easily.
If a recipe is on the menu for the current week, I move the post-it to the top of the page. Funny little system, but it keeps me organized.
I’m building my Moosewood cookbook collection
A new book goes on my Christmas wish list every year.