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The Clueless Vegetarian

Iram Khan

after trying out several of the recipes in this book I certainly agree that it is for the 'aspiring vegetarian'. Most of the recipes are basic enough that anyone who can follow simple directions will create some wonderful vegetarian dishes.

Clueless Vegetarian book cover The Clueless Vegetarian opens with some handy 'Vegetarian Survival Skills', such as knowing basic nutritional requirements and how to fulfill them. This section will also give you an idea of what foods you'll need to keep in the pantry if you want to give the vegetarian thing a try.

We are informed in the intro that there are a few different kinds of vegetarians. Vegans only eat vegetables, fruits, and grains. Ovo-vegetarians will eat all that plus eggs, lacto-vegetarians will eat that plus dairy products. Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat the vegetables, fruits, grains, eggs, and dairy. This book would be easiest to follow for lacto-ovo vegetarians (what most people start as), but there are plenty of egg and dairy substitutions suggested for those who want to eat vegan.

Like many cookbooks the range of recipes covers the essential ground. There are recipes for appetizers, snacks, soups, salads, main dishes, side dishes, 'baked stuff', and desserts. There's even a section on eggs and pancakes. The difference with this book lies in the range and quality of the recipes.

Although it covers the traditional categories, the types of recipes here are filled with great vegetarian variations. The Clueless Vegetarian gives you lots of chances to play with Indian and Mexican dishes which allows you to taste some new dishes, or perfect ones you've always loved (but could never cook). Evelyn Raab has tried to avoid filling this book with impenetrable recipes with impossible to find ingredients. She has succeeded. These recipes are fairly simple to execute. One thing I would recommend is to pick your recipes for the week ahead in advance. That way you can make a point of picking up specific ingredients you don't otherwise have around the house.

Do those paperback cookbooks that are impossible to keep open really boil your blood while you're in the middle of a stir-fry? The Clueless Vegetarian is bound in such a way that it's not hard to keep open. I've used it a number of times already and it looks like it isn't going to fall apart any time soon.

If you've been procrastinating about losing some weight and getting healthy this is a book that will get you started. At the very worst it will expose you to some new, tasty dishes you can add to your repertoire. It might not be the last vegetarian cookbook you will buy, but should definitely be one of the first.

Already a vegetarian? The Clueless Vegetarian will open up new culinary areas to explore and give you great ideas for those times when you are uninspired in the kitchen. Or it might be that little push you need to keep you on track. Either way, another cookbook never hurt anyone.

published by key porter books
ISBN 1-55263-138-9

Iram Khan is a teacher. In her nonexistent spare time she co-edits canadian content and manages her CanTeach website of resources for educators.

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