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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Quick Vegetarian Pleasures: Fast, Easy, Good, FRUGAL

Pseu of the wonderful blog wants a more plant-based diet. What to cook? Her readers are suggesting wonderful things, but, of course, I think my suggestion is the best: a book by Jeanne Lemlin, Quick Vegetarian Pleasures. I have more than 200 cookbooks (ummmmm...what's my excuse? I like to read them....) and this is one of my most used. In fact, I have backups for my children.

Lemlin should be better known than she is. Her recipes are indeed QUICK. They generally can be made with stuff you have around, so cheap. They always come out (not true of many cookbooks--nothing is more enraging to the frugal heart than wasting food).

The book just happened to be open on my desk. That is because I made a sauce a few days ago. It's for tortellini, but I used ravioli (beef-filled, actually. Sorry Jeanne). Here's the sauce: saute 4-6 scallions in a little butter. Add 2 chopped tomatoes (Jeanne says fresh, but I used diced, canned). Stir for a bit. Turn off. Add 2/3 cup sour cream, 2 TBS parmesan. Serve on pasta.

See what I mean? This recipe was first made by my daughter, Miss Em, in the dreary days post-Hurricane Katrina. We had no power. Our place of employ did, so we went back to work. Miss Em's friends had fled to nicer places. Her school was closed. She came to work with us each day. To mark time--and to get her mind off the Red Cross food we ate--she went through cookbooks and marked her favorite recipes. The next summer, she visited her beloved grandfather and cooked for him!

Here another with a sticky Miss Em note: polenta with spicy eggplant sauce. Here are some I've made: fettuccine margherita, rice, broccoli and feta cheese saute, Mexican red beans and rice.

The author lives in Great Barrington, MA, a wonderful town that I visit every summer. It has good, but not great grocery shopping. So you really can make most of these from supermarket ingredients. And the book can be had for a mere penny plus shipping. How crazy is that?

All her books are good, nay, great.


une femme said...

Oh, thanks so much for the recommendation! Am ordering this now.

tess said...

Sour cream sounds like a lovely ingredient in tomato sauce--yum. Great recommendation for a cookbook.

I like my oldies thrifted long ago: An Unusual Collection of Recipes with a Jug of Wine by Morrison Wood; The something-Different Dish by Marion Harris Neil (Odd in Name, But Good to Try When You Want to Have a Change, from 1915!) has recipes for Bubble and Squeak, Dog in a Blanket, Petticoat Tails, Flimsy; Camouflage Cookery: A Book of Mock Dishes written and compiled by Helen Watkeys Moore,1918, "Supplies a War-Time demand for Substitute or Mock dishes, which can be prepared at very low cost....which should be of great service to the housewives of the country in hte present emergency."

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

200 cookbooks? Where do you keep them?
This book sounds like a winner.
I must confess that every time I make stuffed eggs I think of you...and I make them often. Your post several years ago still resonates with me...I pop by your blog often and I rarely comment but I do enjoy your writing and tips.

Duchesse said...

Still use "Vegetarian Epicure"; the recipes are always enjoyed by my strictly veg friends.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Pseu--You are welcome. I am going to post some things for you.
@tess--I have lots of oldies too, but I mostly read tehm. Yours sound great.

@hostess--I have a book problem. All sorts of books.

@Duchesse--A blast from the past. I still crave the Russian Vegetable pie.