New Cooking


We're all about pot pies these days; they're the newest addition to my repertoire. They're super easy, but look impressive and make simple things, like creamy mushroom soup or asparagus stew, seem like a special treat. I just divide our filling of choice into ramekins, plop a square of puff pastry on top and bake for 15 minutes. Easy peasy.

I've been feeling really stagnant in the kitchen lately. Without really trying to, we've gone mostly vegetarian. It really is an entirely different way of cooking, I'm finding. It's not just the exclusion of meat, it's the celebration of everything else: greens, grains, and beans. But, we're so very used to building a meal around a meat protein that I find myself searching for dinners that are tasty, quick, and that actually feel like complete meals. There's also that pesky planning that's necessary when one needs to soak beans the night before or leave enough time to cook a grain. Pesky.

So, yesterday Silas and I went through my mountain of cookbooks. I purged a bunch, but more importantly, I picked out a new stack to keep on the kitchen counter for inspiration. I'm rededicating myself to making menus. Yummy things are in the works!

For posterity, my stack currently contains some old standbys as well as some "new" titles from the 70s:

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair
The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskoph-Hadler and Mindy Toomay
Natural Foods Cookbook by Jean Hewitt (1972)
Whole Earth Cook Book by Sharon Cadwallader and Judi Ohr (1972)
Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe (1982)

Any other cookbook suggestions?

15 comments:

  1. That looks so yummy...dipping the puff pastry into the soup...mmmm...Great! It's only two hours until lunch...you think anyone will notice me drooling all over my computer monitor?

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  2. what a fun idea for a pot pie and a lot less work!

    we are not vegetarians but one of my fave cookbooks leans heavily towards the vegetarian end of things: http://www.amazon.com/Super-Natural-Every-Day-Well-loved/dp/1580082777/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336053236&sr=8-1

    might be a good one for you to try out for some inspiration :)

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Amanda! This is actually one that I've wanted to borrow from the library, but it's always checked out. For good reason, I guess. I did try another book by Heidi Swanson, Cook 1.0, and did really like it. That's where the pot pie inspiration came from, actually!

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  3. Well, Amanda beat me to it since that is the exact cookbook I was going to recommend. It is a really good one Courtney and one I think you would really like. I am a vegetarian, but the rest of my family is not and this is a book we all use.

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  4. I just made a pot pie a few nights ago. And I was thinking about trying another version tonight since it was such a huge hit. You've convinced me! That pastry is my stomach growl.

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  5. We are having a friend over who is vegan tomorrow and i've been going through my cookbooks too

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  6. These people have a nice cookbook and website: http://www.nourishingmeals.com/

    I have made many of the recipes and they tend to be delicious :)

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    1. Thanks for the link, Karen! That looks right up my alley!

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  7. Love the pot pie idea, simple and easy!

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  8. i really like your pot pie idea in the ramekins! also the idea of leaving a few cookbooks on the counter~ going to give that a try!
    have a great week~

    katie

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  9. Courtney, along with the books you listed, we love the Vegetarian Mother's cookbook by Cathe Olson, and Simply in Season, put out by the Mennonite Central Committee. The Moosewood books are always a good standby for hearty fare, and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison is nice when you want to be a little more gourmet. If you want Zen reflections along with your recipes, the Tasajara books (Ed Brown) are fun.

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    1. Thanks so much for these suggestions, Annie! The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook is especially intriguing.

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  10. Menu making is something I sorely need to do! It would help in all areas.

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  11. 2 of my current favorites are:
    Love Soup http://www.amazon.com/Love-Soup-All-New-Vegetarian-Recipes/dp/0393332578/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336267597&sr=8-1
    and The Indian Slow Cooker http://www.amazon.com/The-Indian-Slow-Cooker-Authentic/dp/1572841117/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336267621&sr=1-1 (this one is not exclusively vegetarian, but there ARE many vegetarian dahl recipes that are amazing!)

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    1. I will check both of them out! I really need to put my slow cooker to better use...

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