I am a huge fan of Martha Stewart, that’s just make this clear from the beginning! Martha is truly a cultural icon of style and good living. Through her television shows, magazines and books she’s made living stylishly and deliciously look easy and attainable. And not only does she create some amazing products for our homes, she’s also pretty committed to sustainability in her daily life. Martha even has a farm and works her own compost, and in her magazines she profiles wild foragers and awesome vegan chefs. Sadly, my favorite of her works, Whole Living Magazine, has just closed the doors, but thankfully we have many of these recipes saved in her new-ish cookbook entitled Meatless.
Martha has put out dozens of cookbooks, but Meatless book is the only one on my bookshelf– and if you are interested in incorporating more meatless meals into your diet, it should be on your bookshelf too. I was super happy to receive a review copy of the book from the publisher, and though my review is a bit late, the recipes and book are pretty timeless.
Martha Stewart’s Meatless: More than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian recipes, is a simple vegetarian cookbook that is a great for those looking to add a few more meatless meals into their lives. In my opinion, this book is best suited for those that are just beginning to decrease meat in their diet. Long-time vegetarians and vegans might be underwhelmed by the recipes, which rely heavily on classic American standbys like pasta, sandwiches, casseroles and such. Though there is nothing wrong with these foods, and the recipes themselves are delicious and simple, they are not as inspired as some seasoned chefs might expect from this culinary goddess (and her editors and chefs). And vegans be warned: most of the recipes rely on eggs and cheese. In some recipes the dairy is easily omitted, but many of the recipes really rely on the dairy for the main components.
Some of the standout recipes are twists on favorites, like this Crisp Tofu Sandwich with Peanut-Ginger Sauce; or perhaps this pretty Eggplant, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad. The California Veggie Sandwiches, a fresh twist on light meals, offer a beautiful array of vegetables for a quick lunch. The meatyPortobello and Zucchini Tacos include hearty mushrooms to stand in for meat in this classic American/Mexican dinner. Other standouts include Grilled Polenta Squares with Balsamic Mushrooms, Broccoli Rabe with Chickpeas and Ricotta, and Lentil and Cashew Hummus.
My favorite thing about Meatless is the Versatile Vegetarian sections. The base of one meal or recipe is chosen (pesto, pizza, risotto, grain salads, vegetable slaws, and chili), and at least four variations are included, showing newbie chefs that working with vegetables can be easy and simple, once simple basic steps are mastered. Other helpful sections include Pantry Basics, Flavor Boosters, and the basics chapter including tips and recipes for preparing the basics that will round out the kitchens of vegetarians and omnivores alike. Those looking to inspire a long-time meat eater to enjoy vegetables more often would do well to share some of the recipes from Meatless. As Martha says in her dedication, a balanced diet relies more on vegetable than animal can result in a longer and healthier life.
Vibrant Wellness Journal would like to thank Martha Stewart Omnimedia for sending a review copy of this book. Images from MarthaStewart.com