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The Meat Lovers Meatless Celebrations

Year-Round Vegetarian Feasts You Can Really Sink Your Teeth Into.

Take a tip from the Grinch; steal the "Roast Beast" and replace it with a meatless feast. With her philosophy of "Delicious first, meatless second," Kim O'Donnel creates more than just alternative main courses for vegetarians in her book The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations.

O’Donnel’s quest for a feast without the ‘roast beast’ started off as an experiment but quickly became her way of life after experiencing a horrible meatless and tasteless Thanksgiving with her friends. “The meatless fixings were harmless enough: a drab monochromatic scheme of gray that reminded me of a hospital bed fare, a striking example of “meatless at any cost,” especially taste. I had one bite of that faux turkey, which was more than enough.”

After experiencing a meatless and unfortunately tasteless celebration of her own, O’Donnel had enough of soy-based meatless substitutions, so she created her own recipes with lots of flavour, textures and variety.

This cookbook is more than a how-to for holiday meals. Menus are divided by seasons, so whether you’re cooking for Thanksgiving or a Meatless Monday, there are recipes for every day of the year. You can easily flip through each chapter to find a tasty recipe for any meal or occasion you can think of. But O’Donnel took it one step further and also created menu suggestions within each chapter for every occasion from Cinco de Mayo to Easter and even a Super Bowl party.

Many vegetarian cookbooks tend to use soy-based meatless substitutions, but O’Donnel doesn’t take the easy way out. She has created recipes with flavour and texture provided by real ingredients like whole grains, legumes, seasonal produce and seasonings, creating dishes that are as wholesome as they are delicious.

O’Donnel also introduces you to the staples of her well-stocked pantry, including grains, spices, vegetables and condiments that can be easily found at any local supermarket. She does include some dairy and tofu but with very few nuts. The book also includes information on canning, with recipes for jam, pickled jalapeño peppers and tips on how to preserve your food.

Recipes throughout this cookbook include kitchen notes with advice for making-ahead, storage, substitutions, and other tips for success. The instructions are written more conversationally than some other cookbooks, with visual clues and other steps that make it feel like O'Donnel is in the kitchen with you, coaching you throughout the process of creating your own Meatless Celebration.



Courtney Born is Tonic Magazine's health and wellness book reviewer.