The Meat-Free Kitchen
Written by: Jenn Sebestyen, Kelli Foster, and Joni Marie Newman
Reviewed by: Jo Lucre
I had at first thought the Meat-Free Kitchen looked and felt like one of the many cookbooks I have at home, and in some ways it certainly is. What stood out though was that each of the recipes within are relatively easy, most ingredients are already staples in my pantry, and for the odd anomaly, i.e. farro, a quick Google search was the only thing between me and a new untried and unheard of grain. Apparently farro is an ancient and complicated wholegrain wheat.
My hands-down favourite fare was the Spinach and Mushroom Pesto Breakfast Bowls. The delectable veggies and move away from my bog standard cereals that shall remain unnamed reminded me of our long-gone Japanese student and how he used to regale us with tales of his fish and vegetable breakfasts. From a healthy perspective and a ‘try something’ new perspective, I certainly can’t argue. Getting up and eating veggies was something new, but I liked it!
As I worked my way through the book, by no means cooking everything I must add, the goalpost for ‘favourite’ deftly moved. The Nut Burger was to me the holy grail. Simple, delicious, and full of nuts, it was in no way lacking from an absence of meat. Many of the Meat-Free Kitchen recipes feature nutritional yeast, another thing I found appealing. The Pepperoni Pizza Burgers were a winner with the youngest family member who thought it a hoot that a pizza was masquerading as a burger – not only that, they tasted great too. It forced me to rethink my definition of a pizza and a burger all at once.
The Meat-Free Kitchen has a whole section on sauces and there’s even The Better Mac, which I’m yet to try. What I love about cooking is that it challenges you to try different things, there’s always a bit of artistic licence, and if something doesn’t work, substituting ingredients and experimenting only adds to the creative process.