Friday, May 2, 2008

Review: Not Just For Vegetarians

I first learned of Not Just For Vegetarians by Geraldine Hartman when I visited her blog, Veggies, Crafts, and Tails . I’m a mediocre cook (and not a vegetarian), but I found Geraldine’s recipes quite delicious and easy to follow. There’s something for everyone in this book: muffins, scones, and breads; snacks and appetizers; soups; salads, dressings, and spreads; main dishes; family favorites; and desserts.

In the book's opening pages, Geraldine explains in clear prose why she became a vegetarian, noting ethical reasons among others. She also accurately explains how a vegetarian diet is more digestible by the human body and that a majority of world populations is vegetarian by choice. By choice, you ask! Yes, for when a vegetarian diet is practiced correctly, it does indeed provide the complete proteins that the body needs to be healthy and energetic.

The recipes are also written in an easy to understand manner, so there’s no need to be frightened if you’ve had past experiences with cookbooks that looked more like algebra than food preparation. It’s user friendly in the extreme. There’s also a glossary of terms that helps one instantly learn about the food substitutions that are a part of a vegetarian diet. Additional information is also provided so that vegans can adopt the recipes to their eating habits.

My favorite recipe since I first learned of the book has been “The Best Scalloped Potatoes.” Other favorites are “Easier-Than-Pie Veggie Pie,” “Red, White, and Black Chili,” “Veggie Pot Pie,” “Zucchini and Cheddar Fettuccini,” “Rice and Red Lentil Salad,” “Winter Harvest Soup,” and “Easy Corn Chowder.”

The above are only a few of the great choices available in Geraldine’s book. There is quite literally a recipe for any season, mood, or frame of mind, plus the recipes are good if you eat alone or are throwing a dinner party for ten.

Most importantly, these recipes are, as the title suggests, not just for vegetarians. They offer a variety of options for people who simply want to try something different or move away slightly from the “red meat mentality” that most everyone grew up with. Whatever your reason for trying out the recipes from Not Just For Vegetarians, you can be sure of two things: 1) you’ll be eating healthier, and 2) you’ll be enjoying good food that won’t leave you hungry when you get up from the table.

You may puchase the book at Amazon: Not Just For Vegetarians.


Sarah Hina said...

What a great post, Billy! Back in my early twenties, I was a vegetarian for a couple of years, but survived on pasta and junk food. I felt lousy and gained weight. I sure could have used these recipes.

And now, I'm always looking for new ways to get my kids to eat healthy. So thanks. :)

Geraldine said...

Thanks for the wonderful review of my cookbook Billy!

I hope you and your readers enjoy many of my recipes in the future. Great to hear about the ones you've already tried.

I've had a wonderful response to NJFV judging by all the positive reviews and feedback I've received. It's been so encouraging. Happy Cooking!

Janice Thomson said...

I am a strict vegan for philosophic reasons and I don't feel I have missed out on anything health wise in the past 25 years.
The largest most powerful animal in the world is vegetarian. I refer of course to the elephant.
Sounds like a good book to investigate. Thanks William for the heads up.

writtenwyrdd said...

I like eating vegetarian (so long as I can have my cheese and eggs!) but I find that so many recipies have soy in them that it put me off a lot of them. (Mildly intolerant of soy.) But there is so much you can do with legumes and fresh veggies. Middle Eastern, Mexican, Oriental dishes... Damn. Now I'm hankering for that curry with lentils back home in the fridge...

Billy said...

Sarah, Janice, Written, this is indeed a great book to check out. I was very impressed ... as you can tell -:)

Beloved Dreamer said...

Great review. I must buy the book. I do not eat meat or eggs.


Jo said...

Great review, I cook a lot and love veggies (though I eat meat 3 or 4 times a week), I may look it up. Hope you're well.

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Great review, Billy. Although not vegetarian, I eat loads of fruit and vegetables but have found a pure vegetarian diet makes me way too hyper - perhaps one day when I'm old and doddering and need the energy, I'll try being a vegetarian again! :-)

Crafty Green Poet said...

sounds good, I like the approach ofmaking it clear that you don't have to be a veggie to enjoy vegetarian food. I've been a veggie for years and have been happy to see my meat-eating parents start enjoying more and more vegetarian meals.

Shauna Roberts said...

We eat strictly vegetarian at home. Even though I have dozens of vegetarian cookbooks, I always have my eye out for more good ones, so thanks for this review. I had not seen this book before.

I recently bought another cookbook that had vegetarian and nonvegetarian options for each recipe. It seems like a great idea—the author sells more books, and the user, hopefully, is seduced into trying the vegetarian options.

Cynthia said...

Sounds like a great book, I enjoy
eating a vege meal about three
times a week, will give this one
a look-see.

Charles Gramlich said...

Growing up on the farm, we always had lots of good veggies, but we also always had meat and I developed a taste for it young. I just don't see myself as leaving a table satisfied if I didn't have "any" meat. I should certainly eat more veggies these days, though.

Lisa said...

This may motivate me to think about giving up mean again. I've never had much luck vegetarianism for long periods of time but I have a lot of reasons why I'd like to give up eating things with faces.

David Foster Wallace has a great essay, CONSIDER THE LOBSTER with a lot of insights about our psychological approach to eating animals. His observation that we tend to rename the meat of an animal that's cute and furry, like beef and veal, but we don't worry too much about the less attractive animals like fish and chicken. Hmmmmmm.

ChrisEldin said...

My kids are vegetarian. Long story, but it's really hard to cook for them.
DH and I haven't had beef for a long time. Now the thought of it (with Mad Cow disease) is totally unappealing.

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the rec and review!

SandyCarlson said...

Now I know Geraldine writes cookbooks. Your line "easy to understand" is a clincher for this lousy cook. I am a vegetarian, and I will have a look. Thanks, Billy!

Lane said...

Any recipe with 'easy' in the title is good for me. The titles alone sound delicious!

I shall check it out.

Billy said...

Melanie, you won't regret it!

Jo, me too. I can't make the complete transition.

absolute--yeah! There's a lot of energy in such diets!

Juliet, veggies are great. I wish I had access to a co-op to bypass the pesticides.

Cynthia, it's worth the effort.

Shauna, yes, this book is very versatile.

Charles, I frequently have a hankering for a steak or a burger ... and probably always will.

Lisa, fascinating point--and true!

Chris, it's amazing how many "writing" bloggers are vegetarians.

Sandy, this one is really good for people like you and me, who can manage in the kicthen, but not gracefully lol.

Lane, "easy" is a prerequisite for most anything I do in the kitchen.