By Johnathan L. Wright, RGJ | April 28, 2015
Vegetarian cooking, as it began to move into the mainstream in the 1970s, “was an exercise in compromise and substitution,” writes Christopher Kimball, the America’s Test Kitchen eminence, in “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook,” a new collection of 700 recipes tested and presented with ATK’s usual rigor and cheerful obsessiveness.
Many early approaches relied heavily on cheese and cream for flavor, considered vegetables mainly suitable for side dishes, and tried to replicate the experience of meat (through long recipes or odd ingredient swap-outs) instead of treating meatless dishes as compelling in their own right.
We know today, as the new cookbook both reminds and and enlightens us, that you don’t need dairy to add flavor and that vegetarian dishes, beyond their health benefits, are worth preparing for themselves.
The introductory pages and 11 chapters of “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook,” including a very helpful section on vegetarian flavor-building ingredients, range from salads and vegetable sides to grains and pasta to eggs, flatbreads and main courses. We’ve decided to concentrate on the mains, sharing five dishes inspired by cuisines from around the world where vegetables and grains have long been respected.
Easy bean and vegetarian tostadas are marked with a red FAST — they’re among the 300 recipes that take 45 minutes or less. The tostadas use handy packaged refried beans and offer a union of crunch and cool spiked with jalapeños.
To finish reading this article and to access the recipes, please click on this link: