In order for vegetarian cookbooks to be great I believe they need to have seven very important ingredients…
1. Large colorful photos of the finished recipes – I don’t know about you but one of my favorite past times is laying around on the sofa or a deck chair and flicking through vegetarian cookbooks and magazines looking at photos and getting inspired to cook one that looks great.
2. Measurements in cups and spoons as opposed to weights – nothing frustrates me more than going to cook a recipe and having to weigh 10g of this and 100g of that. I find it so much easier when recipes say 1 cup of flour or 1/2 cup of Tahini or a handful of broccoli.
3. Small ingredients lists – I love cooking and I do enjoy cooking elaborate recipes but most of the time I want recipes that can be cooked with the least amount of time and fuss. I love vegetarian cookbooks that have recipes with ingredient lists of no more than 10 ingredients, preferably with just 6, and quick and easy steps in the cookery method.
4. Breakfast, lunch/dinner and sweets – I’m not into entree, starters, mains and desert type vegetarian cookbooks. I’m about being practical, we eat breakfast lunch and dinner every day and most of us have a sweet tooth so I like vegetarian cookbooks that have a table of contents categorized into breakfast, lunch/dinner (most vegetarian meals can be either lunch or dinner) and sweets.
5. I also like reading short notes about where the author found the inspiration for the dish. I think it personalizes the cookbook and makes a very interesting read.
6. A good index – Recipes need to be listed by more than just the name of the dish. French Fries need to be listed under “F” for French Fries as well as “P” for potatoes. By listing recipes under their name and the main vegetable makes it easy to search for something to make with the fresh seasonal produce you just picked from the garden or purchased from the local farmers market. It also helps at the end of the week when you are wondering how to use up the left over vegetables in the fridge.
7. I also like vegetarian cookbooks that are categorized into seasons. After all, that is the way nature intended us to eat. Fresh seasonal produce is the healthiest and most environmental way to eat.