No Meat Week

When I started mentally dividing the cookbooks into themes, I guess I envisioned Vegetarian Week as more of a thing than it turned out to be, probably because it was really just How I Mostly Cooked For Several Years Before Paleo Confused Me Week. So the drama it generated was pretty low-key. More chopping of things! Lower grocery bill! As long I get to eat cheese the world feels like a reasonable place to live!

I will probably never be an actual vegetarian for the following reasons: 1) At some point it was decided that mushrooms are "close enough to meat, I guess" and they make up the bulk of vegetarian offerings when eating out and they are gross; 2) Existence of brisket; 3) Too lazy to take a hard line on optional dietary restrictions. But I can go pretty long stretches without even noticing that meat is missing, so this week's collection will probably all stay in rotation for that reason alone.

Cookbook #7: How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (Mark Bittman, 2007). Provenance: I bought it. Previous recipes on this blog: I am absolutely certain there are some hiding somewhere, but my time-tested strategy of "cursory pass at the blog search function" says none, so none.

Recipe: Peanut Soup, Senegalese Style. I lost myself in the soup section of this book for quite some time. In fact, I was so taken with the soups that I haven't even studied the egg chapter yet. I was looking for something comforting and veggie-filled and time-in-the-fridge-improving. I figure peanut soup either sounds disgusting or amazing to you, so I won't bother proselytizing here, but some of you are really wrong.

Hot peanuts for dinner, come on, it's like something from a dream.
Verdict: obviously a keeper, as I have about 82 more soups to make. Downside: no pictures. This is another encyclopedic-type tome, best evidenced by the section in the intro titled "How To Use This Book." Recommended for: people who like vegetables, charts.

Cookbook #8: Vegetarian: The Best-Ever Recipe Collection (Linda Fraser, 1998). Provenance: the bargain section, from the looks of things.

Hard to go wrong at 2.6 cents per recipe, honestly.
I'm pretty sure Dan brought this one into our union, which means it was likely obtained in college. I cannot attest to the use it got before my arrival. Previous recipes on this blog: none.

Recipe: Vegetable Moussaka. Yes, that is a mushroom. Listen, I'm not devoted to my quarrel with fungus. I'm staying open-minded. Anyway, I found it to be "not bad," but both of my children (who would not eat peanut soup, WEIRDOS) ate it without complaint, which bumps the grade up to A++++++.

Plus there's a nice little egg-yogurt-cheese roof over it! Keeping everything warm and dairyful.
Verdict: there's actually quite a bit of appealing stuff in here, which I know because of all the beautiful color pictures, Mark Bittman. Recommended for: anyone with $6 to spare.

Cookbook #9: Easy Vegetarian Dinners (2003). Provenance: another bargain-bin find, I remember picking this one up at Barnes and Noble for $3-4 a few years ago. Previous recipes on this blog: none that CursorySearch could turn up.

Recipe: Ranch Eggs. Not to be confused with Huevos Rancheros, which appear nine pages later and are clearly different due to...using chopped onions instead of sliced, I guess? That's okay, I'm no stranger to juggling multiple eggs-with-tomato-sauce desires.

Especially since "Sprinkle with cheese" appears in both.
Verdict: I have a soft spot for this one, since I used to cook out of it all the time when Dan and I started playing house (there are several notes from dishes made in 2005). Looks like the most marked-up sections are..."Eggs and Cheese" and "Soups," so, you know. Ever evolving.

Cookbook #10: Super Natural Every Day (Heidi Swanson, 2011.) Provenance: I bought this for myself for Christmas last year. Previous recipes on this blog: Cabbage and White Beans, Miso-Curry Squash with Tofu and Greens, Split Peas and Pesto with Salad Greens, Spinach Chop, Broccoli Gribache, the beeeeeest Cauliflower Soup.

Not only are there pictures in this one, there are insanely beautiful pictures that make everything up to and including kale salad look like a good idea. Recipe: I repeated the miso-curry squash that I made around this time last year. Instead of serving it on rice again, however, I served it on...extra kale.

This is due to my being rather fatter than I was last January. Always a safe bet when the k-word pops up in 50% of a given week's dinners.
Verdict: this book is lovely and it contains my favorite cauliflower soup. Downside: I am spoiled by the vastness of Bittman and Kimball and it seems like there's not that much to this one. It's sort of...slight. Recommended for: anyone who doesn't believe me that "Broccoli Gribache" can be made to look very appealing.

Anna's cup of crayons was on the bitter side this morning.

Oof, definitely.

Ah, well. Must press on!

Cash and Scarlett visited us for a bit yesterday and I was proud to see that my young ladies are responding to the grueling Gracious Hostess training I have been putting them through. They hit all the basic markers of a good host, such as staying attentive and engaged:

...and upright.