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The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook

275 Hearty and Healthy Meat-Free Recipes for Burgers, Steaks, Stews, Chilis, Casseroles, Pot Pies, Curries, Pizza, Pasta and Other Stick-to-Your-Ribs Favorites
By Robin Robertson (Harvard Common Press)

The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook



The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook is for copycats. It's not for vegetarians who pride themselves on preparing chunks of sauteed tofu over brown rice or platters of simmered seaweed, but rather folks who want a pretend steak, burger or BLT (in this case, made with tempeh, a fermented soybean cake).

There's nothing wrong with playing pretend, and in terms of this book, it's often delicious and does have the potential to draw many health-conscious diners into the fold who would run the other way if presented with a bowl of kelp.

I knew this kind of strategy worked years ago the moment I replaced crumbled sausage with crumbled meat substitute I had seasoned just like sausage in puff pastry and served it to "oohs" and "ahhs" as an appetizer to unsuspecting guests. I've been doing just those kinds of things ever since and so has author Robin Robertson, a former chef and vegetarian cooking teacher.

That means you'll draw "oohs" and "ahhs" for your Cajun Red Bean Burgers that are able to do their apt imitation due, not only to the beans, but to coarsely chopped pecans, minced onions, bread crumbs and Tabasco, or a veal-like Marsala dish that's actually made with seitan ("wheat meat"), or "Sausage" Submarine Sandwiches made with meat substitute.

A mouthwatering trail through the book shows Robertson fulfills her promise: The hundreds of recipes make the grade as hearty comfort foods.

Seitan Shallots Marsala
Sunshine Burgers

(Updated: 01/16/09 SB)

The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook

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