I’ve seen more food blogs with Meatless Meal posts, and recipe swaps recently than I can shake a stick at. While most carnivores aren’t willing to give up meat completely, they are for budget or health reasons willing to give up a little meat, at least for one main meal, once a week. If you’re already on that bandwagon or are flirting with the idea, then you may suddenly become out of ideas for meatless meals and need some inspiration. I’ve got something for ya!
In a meat eating family, you’ll get lots of groans at the dinner table if you just sub tofu to your normal meaty meal. It helps when you offer new things they’ve never had, and use a recipe with lot of great flavor to help win your carnivores over to meatless meals. Jill’s recipes let vegetables shine, they are put front and center in the dish. While many of her recipes do involve a significant list of ingredients, even a busy cook (well, lazy really) like me doesn’t mind prepping a longer list of ingredients to end up with a remarkable veggie dish. Think of all that time you didn’t spend marinating, trimming, cooking meat, and throw it all into a veggie or three.
There are plenty of veggie/grain recipes and veggie/meat substitute recipes and many other veggie side dish recipes that adapt easily to the addition of meat substitute to turn it into a main meal. This is not just a book for vegetarians! Most carnivores would do their health a favor by increasing the amount of vegetables consumed on a regular basis.
Jill’s book will inspire you to bring flavors together with vegetables you may have never thought of. Any gardener, CSA member, or produce sale shopper will know that in summer squash is a plenty, and using up the bounty in a palatable way can be a challenge. Jill’s Grilled Asian Squash is a perfect way to use up plenty of abundant squash in a tasty way.
The squash I scored from the one farmer who still brings produce to Sandy’s Market in West Houston on Wednesdays.
They grilled up nice with ginger, tamari (soy sauce), sesame seed oil and herb marinade and are kicked up a notch with some of the best tasting onions I’ve ever had.
I think my favorite part of the book, (outside of the recipes) is Jill’s reminder to support local farmers and go to the trouble of finding fresh produce by visiting a farmer’s market or stopping at a roadside stand to pick up some fresh produce. Some of the most amazing fruit and vege I’ve tasted has come from back country road produce stands. I always make sure I have cash in my wallet on the way down to the farm or out to Austin for family visits so I can stop and buy something grown at a Texas farm. Even if your busy life can only get to a Farmer’s market once a quarter, or shop at a produce stand on the annual trek to grandmas; make time for it. Not only is it a great family activity, and one of the best ways to introduce various types of produce to your family, but it’s also an opportunity to get some really tasty food.
Anyone trying to use up home garden or CSA share produce will surely find something new to delight the family with just as one more greens, or squash or eggplant dish is the last thing they want to see on the table. The recipes are organized by season combining produce that harvests around the same time.
This book would make a great gift to anyone you know who is trying to make vegetables a bigger part of their diet. When steamed veggies on the side (or worse, a can of peas and carrots dumped into tuna mac) is all the veggie you know, it’s no wonder veggies don’t hold a place of esteem in the weekly menu.
Jill reminds us to revere the fruits and veggies grown nearby and offers a plethora of recipes that make can make vegetables queen of the table.
Last week I blogged about two of Jill’s recipes, and I’ve made a handful of others. All delicious. My favorite was the Mediterranean Bean and Herb salad. Tomatillo and Veggie rice salad was hubby’s favorite. I don’t know why but he’s morally opposed to white beans. Give him a black one, red one, brown one, no problem. Ask him to eat a white bean and it’s like I committed a heinous dinner crime. Mystery it is.
How to win a copy of Jill’s book:
1) enter a comment on this post telling me what your favorite vegetable is and your favorite way(s) to eat said vegetable.
2)Leave your email address in the following format jenna AT foodwithkidappeal DOT com.
3) The contest will end at midnight CST August 16th. Winner will be selected using random.org and contacted via email.