So I’ve been very busy with deadlines recently, and having something to reach for when I’m lacking the creativity to come up with my own dishes has been great. I know there are tons of vegetarian cook books out there, but these two have been particularly great for my lifestyle. I’m a student, and so Joy May’s ‘Vegetarian Nosh for Students – A fun student cookbook‘ has been a treasure during my three years of study.
It’s full of really quick, simple and delicious recipes from ‘Cannellini Bean Casserole’ to a truly delightful ‘Sweet Potato Tagine.’ I got mine from Amazon for about £7 when I noticed my flatmate’s ‘Nosh for Students’ (the non-veg version) laying on our kitchen table two years ago. So this cookbook is basically one for the nights where you want a quick tasty meal, but it’s also great for new vegetarians, or those new to cooking for vegetarians…the first few pages are full of definitions and has tons of information on how to make sure you have a healthy balanced vegetarian diet.
There’s also lots on how to roast, boil and fry anything to perfection, along with easy to follow idiot-proof guides to how to boil and rice or pasta. For me, personally, the most useful of these introductory pages was titled ‘Things to look out for…’ which bears a list of ‘potential pitfalls’ i.e a list of products that could potentially have meat in them (e.g Flour can include ‘flour improvers’ which could come from animal sources.)
Overall, although I bought this book when I was first learning to cook for myself, I know it’s one that I’ll be turning to for many decades to come – if you’re looking for a source of great, easy to do recipes for new cooks/ new vegetarians, this is the one!
The second book featured is one that I was given just a month ago – the owner of a great Vegetarian Indian restaurant in Norwich (Namaste India) gave it to me at the end of an absolutely delicious meal. It’s titled, ‘The Higher Taste – A guide to gourmet vegetarian cooking and a Karma-Free diet.’ The book is based on the teachings of the Founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Again, it is filled with absolutely divine recipes, from ‘Stir-fried Hokkien Noodles with Asian Greens and Tofu,’ to ‘Rich and Tasty Lasagna with Grilled Vegetables and Sun-Dried Tomatoes.’
The recipes in this book range from Indian to Greek, and are neatly organised into continental-themed sections. This is the kind of book that I reach for when I am looking for a slightly fancier recipe when I have guests over – and it’s never disappointed! Another thing that I personally love about this book is that the first half is focused on the ethics behind vegetarianism. There is a particularly interesting chapter titled ‘The Hidden Cost of Meat: The Myth of Scarcity,’ which considers the environmental and ethical issues surrounding meat.
The reason I chose to feature this great addition to my vegetarian cookbook collection, is because I know for sure it’s another cook book that I’ll be reaching for for years to come. It would make a great gift to anyone who is interested in the ethics of vegetarianism, and is less than £3 on amazon. I’ve really loved reading the first half of this book and it’s opened my eyes to some aspects of vegetarianism that hadn’t yet crossed my mind! If you’re looking for a great cookbook which will not only open up your taste buds but also your hearts and minds, then this is the one!