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The PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick) Vegetarian Cookbook: 240 Healthy and Easy No-Prep Recipes for Busy Cooks Paperback – December 7, 2004
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About the Author
Donna Klein, a food writer who has contributed to The Washington Post, Vegetarian Gourmet, Veggie Life, The Herb Companion, and Yoga Journal, studied French regional cooking at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris.
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One of the best things about this book is that if you have a meat-loving family, you can use the recipes as toppings/side dishes. That pineapple mirin sauce i mentioned, why not use it to flavor a homemade fried rice? Or maybe top your next fish (or steak) with their Cajun butter recipe on Pg 141? And if you love Mexican, maybe make the Chili lime corn recipe (add tomatoes, sweet onions, and green peppers for color) and serve it as a topping to some grilled chicken. Or use some of the recipes to make your own salad dressing at home. This book has both mild and spicy foods to suite a variety of palettes and tastes from Asian, to Indian, Italian and even brunch dishes. You won't regret spending the money on this book.
Divided into a fairly standard arrangement of starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, noodles, vegetable, grain and legume combos, sides, brunch and egg dishes, and desserts, most of the recipes feature no prep since you use prepackaged convenience food from the supermarket such as presliced and chopped veggies, bagged salad greens, canned beans, and prepared hummus.
The recipes are also clearly labeled as lacto-ovo, dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan (many recipes contain a vegan option). Roughly half the recipes are vegan or can be prepared as such with minimal alteration. The recipes are easy to follow, and many feature variations. Detailed nutritional info is included for each recipe.
One of the things I especially liked was the inclusion of delicious international recipes from Asian (Toasted Potstickers with Wasabi Cream, Miso Soup with Pot Stickers, Asian Noodle and Broccoli Slaw Wrap, Japanese Vermicelli in Peanut Sauce, Coconut Sticky Rice Pudding), Mexican (Easy Appetizer Burritos, Mexican Bean and Tortilla Soup, Bean Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Spanish Tortilla, Mexican Rice Pudding), Italian (Fresh Mozzarella, Cherry Tomato, and Basil Spears, Hearty Minestrone Soup, Pesto Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella and Cherry Tomatoes, Penne with Red Pepper Cream and Pine Nuts, Baked Pears with Caramel and Amaretti), and Middle Eastern (Artichoke Bottoms with Hummus, Chickpeas with Curried Mayonnaise, Moroccan Vegetable Stew over Couscous).
Each recipe is introduced by a brief, helpful paragraph including the author's advice on preparation, presentation, and possible substitutions.
The recipes are quick and easy as promised, many with minimal prep and/or clean up, so this is a lifesaver for hectic weeknights, and vastly superior to bland, unhealthy frozen dinners or trans-fat-laden takeout. This is the perfect gift for your college-bound son or daughter!
As with any cookbooks, some of the recipes I've tried were disappointing. Others are excellent. Some of the recipes I've enjoyed the most are Chunky Tomato-Rice Soup, Bulgar-Chili Bean Stew, Black Bean Burritos,Rigatoni Al Forno, and Cheese-Stuffed Shells.
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