I’ll begin by revealing a little secret; I find myself helplessly torn between two worlds offering (as they often do) their own very convincing list of pro’s and con’s. I wouldn’t necessarily deem myself a meat lover, but I’d be equally as ignorant in stating that I swing the other way regarding the desire to protect every last animal of PETA by adhering to a vegan lifestyle. I don’t even necessarily gravitate towards the simple act of cooking at all, whether it be as a means to an end, an uplifting gathering, or an intimate group lesson. But, I’m mesmerized by the tantalizing aromas rising from steaming pots, the satisfying sounds of vegetables sizzling in the skillet, and the creation of delectable dishes from a few basic ingredients - this makes cooking, what seems to me, one of life’s greatest pleasures.
With vegan and vegetarian choices now so abundantly popular, I wanted to find a happy medium for myself. I’m not ready to take the complete leap into the veggie world, but am willing to give it a chance. I found an amazing vegetarian book entitled “One World Vegetarian Cookbook” by Troth Wells. Given all the selection, you’d think it would have been a difficult choice, but it really stood out given the variety of recipes, and the underwhelming amount of them (I don’t want or need over 1000 recipes!). I selected a recipe to test at random, and was faced with “Mushroom stroganoff”. I’d thought I had heard of beef stroganoff before, and the photo looked appetizing enough, so I decided to give it a whirl. I was surprised and delighted at the simplicity of the ingredients, the ease with which I was able to locate them, and the gratification.
“I was keen to try this stroganoff recipe, a version of Mr. Oliver’s. Classically made with beef, the substitution of chestbut mushrooms makes for a tasty dish (and ordinary mushrooms are also ok). And if you’re feeling naughty, use cream or creme fraiche...” Gabriel Tiranti, Brighton, England
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
1 onion, sliced finely
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 pound/450 g mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp paprika pinch of nutmeg
½ cup/120 ml white wine
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander, chopped
3 tbsp yogurt, cream or creme fraiche
salt and pepper
1 Heat the oil in a large pan and then saute the onion for a few minutes before adding the garlic.
2 Now turn up the heat and put in the mushrooms. Sprinkle the paprika and nutmeg over them and stir so that they are coated. Cook for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and brown.
3 Next, pour the wine and balsamic vinegar; stir. Reduce the heat and then simmer gently.
4 Put in the cilantro/coriander and yogurt, cream, or creme fraiche. Season, mix well and serve with mashed potato or rice and salad.
“One World Vegetarian Cookbook” provides a wide array of appealing and tantalizing vegetarian options from all over the globe. Both vegetarians and those simply looking for a new way to incorporate more vegetables into their diet will delight in this treasure of a book.