There’s so much more to cooking and grilling than meat. If you have been thinking about dipping your fork just a little into the vegetarian and even vegan lifestyle, you can’t do much better than starting with The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen. (William Morrow, An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers) The cookbook promises to bring you “Delicious meatless recipes that will change the way you eat,” and it does. Chef Tal Ronnen admits to being a former meat-lover–steak, pastrami, veal scaloppini, spicy sausage. He became a vegetarian and then a vegan and was determined to create delicious and satisfying meat-free dishes that were as mouth-watering as those he had as a meat eater. His success is your reward. Here are a few ideas from the cookbook–perfect for Thanksgiving and any other time you want to cook consciously: Aritichoke Ricotta Tortellini with Saffron Cream Sauce,
Beet and Orange Autumn Salad, Green Beans with Fresh Cranberries, Split Pea Soup with Tempeh Bacon and Chipotle Cream, Sweet Potato Biscuits, Oven-Roasted Banana Rum Cheesecake
Chef Ronnen also makes use of some pre-packaged vegetarian entree options, such as Gardein‘s chicken-style strips and beef-style strips. (Gardein offers a limited edition Savory Stuffed Turk’y that would make a delicious entree for Thanksgiving or other feast. http://www.gardein.com/ Please see our Gardein review earlier). This allows for the cook to be creative but save some time, without sacrificing nutrition, or taste.
We aren’t preaching vegetarianism or vegan choices. These are personal decisions. But when you can choose an alternative, even just once in a while, that tastes as delicious or better than meat, why not give it try? It might feel better to eat food you would be comfortable preparing from its very beginning to the table.