Vegetarian recipes that are anything but grey and boring

First of all, let’s get one thing clear, one does not say’vegan’ or’vegetarian’ recipes anymore apparently. The new fashionable phrase is’plant-based cookery’.

Perhaps it’s because vegan and vegetarian is still liable to elicit negative comments about nut roasts, sandals and poor personal hygiene. Plant-based gets you clear of all that baggage and into a brave new world of exciting eating that isn’t about knitting your own quiches and banning the bomb.

Chantelle is head chef at Tredwells in London winner of AA’s London Restaurant of the Year and she defines plant-based as any food that has not derived from an animal, so for most people that would be vegan cooking, as it obviously excludes cheese and milk too.

The hair shirt is definitely off in this book though, because just about everything in it is colourful, vibrant and tempting.

It’s categorised into sections by meal types and by seasons because, as she says, food tastes better by season and it has ripeness and freshness and more nutrients too.

She says the recipes are’approachable’ which is I think a way of dodging the question of,’are they hard?’  Certainly, they tend to have a lot of steps and lot of ingredients, but she doesn’t use anything that isn’t easy to find and while she does employ a lot of herbs, it’s easy as she says to keep some fresh ones growing around you.

The recipes do sound delicious and photograph well, Celeriac Gratin, Button Onions and Sofrito, Caramelised Aubergine Tartlet with zhoug, coconut and coriander (zhoug is a Yemeni paste you make up of herbs, spices and agave syrup), Salt Baked Sweet Potato with a mint and coconut emulsion and crispy quinoa are just some of the savouries.

Dessert lovers will love Sloe Gin & Lemon Trifle, Panna Cottas with Poached Rhubarb and Warm Almond Cakes and Flapjack -baked figs with thyme and sesame.

It’s an inspiring book for people who want to cut down on meat but not lose taste and plate-appeal. It’s also a great book for people who simply want something fresh and new to cook, which is all of us really.

Publisher: Kyle Books