I’m not a vegetarian. But I love vegetarian cookbooks, especially Cooking for Health from Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY. I ate at this restaurant once while visiting friends at Cornell and the food blew me away. What great flavors and interesting new takes on foods I’ve eaten millions of times before. I like this cookbook because they provide great vegetable recipes that I can use as sides or main dishes. Even if I wanted to add meat, I could, but I would still be eating lots of yummy produce. Additionally they describe the health benefits of different vegetables, beans, etc.
I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes from the book.
1. Banana Berry Muffins, pg 53
Banana berry muffins are a great way to use fruit you have leftover at the end of the week. Keep those brown bananas and slightly overripe berries out of the trash. If you don’t have time or don’t yet have enough old fruit, throw your brown bananas and overripe berries in the freezer so you can make some muffins later.
The recipe calls for honey and yogurt. I used some local honey yogurt from Fort Collins, CO instead of separate ingredients. The sweet and tangy Noosa yogurt is delicious by itself and in these muffins.
These muffins are much more filling than they look. Every morning for work I pack myself 3 muffins and I start feeling full after 1, but then I have a yummy snack for the rest of the day!
2. Tex-Mex Stuffed Portabellas, pg 192
If you like stuffed mushrooms, these are a fun take on a traditional Italian favorite of mine. You can stuff mushrooms with more than Parmesan, breadcrumbs and Italian Sausage?! Yes and they are delicious.
The recipe calls for bell peppers, fresh cilantro, Mexican spices, and chipotles in adobo sauce. The first time we made these there were way too many chipotles in adobo and it was too spicy to finish. I’d definitely use the chipotles to taste. The stuffed mushrooms are then baked with monterey jack cheese melted on top and can be topped with scallions and fresh cilantro. If you don’t like mushrooms you can use this stuffing in a bell pepper as well.
3. Shallot Vinaigrette, pg 111
I eat a lot of salad, especially for lunches at work. It can get pretty boring eating the same old salad for lunch every day, every week. There are lots of great salad and homemade dressing ideas in this cookbook.
I recently made this vinaigrette with shallots and red wine vinegar. The dressing was so delicious my boyfriend and I finished it in 2 days. The recipe says that the vinaigrette will keep for about a week. Since there were still lots of shallots and basil stuck to the sides of the bottle we simply added some more red wine vinegar and olive oil to coax the dressing into lasting a week.
If you are looking for ways to integrate more fruits and vegetables into your diet in fun and interesting ways I’d definitely recommend checking out this cookbook. If you happen to be near Ithaca, NY checkout Moosewood Restaurant, you won’t be disappointed.
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