A few months ago I wrote about roses, a post that garnered some interesting responses, not least of which was an email from Wakefield Press, the Australian distributor of The Scented Kitchen. Long story short, they like what I do here enough to put me on their reviewing list. We all know it's important to be honest, right? To say this post is sponsored by, even if it's not quite like that. Well, this post isn't quite like that, but it's enough like that for me to tell you yes, I was given this book, but I'm under no obligation to love everything. That's what reviewing is all about. That I happen to like it a lot is testament to its content.
Flip Shelton is a poster girl for vegetarianism. The woman glows, people, a shining example of what a balanced vegetarian diet can do for a person. The recipes in her new book Veg In: Simple Vegetarian Dishes From Around The World are solid, basic vegetarian fare, global in their pull, based on the premise that it's cheaper and healthier in the long run to eat in rather than eat out. Using takeway (take out) food as a leaping off point, Shelton takes classic fast food recipes - from Greek to Chinese to Burgers and beyond- and gives vegetarian recipes within that genre that come together easily in your own kitchen.
The layout is easy to read, with plenty of space for your own notes, and the spine of the thing is well constructed, sturdy even, enough so that the book opens out flat on a kitchen bench and - with a little pressure, yess! - it stays open. (Cannot tell you how much this simple necessity, oft overlooked by publishers, irritates me. One of my pet hates.) Highly recommend for anyone looking to eat less flesh, new vegetarians or for students moving out of home.
The Seaweed Salad above might not be your first choice, but I often think that good cookbooks are made (or indeed, broken) by the simplest recipes, and I'm very pleased to say this was a hit, far better, as is the premise of the book, than any I've had out.
flip shelton's seaweed salad
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp water
2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well-combined. Using scissors, roughly cut wakame into strips, cover in warm water and soak for about 5 minutes or until softened. Drain. Place wakame in a small bowl and cover with dressing, toss gently. Allow to chill for about 30 minutes for flavours to infuse. Drain excess liquid before serving.
(Oh, and by the way, the brick oven book? I bought that book waaay before this began. Just so you know...)