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WINNER -- MAY COOKBOOK OF MONTH -Flexitarian Table

Well, I've totted up the votes and the winner with by far the most votes, is THE FLEXITARIAN TABLE by Peter Berley (13 votes)

These books were next in line (in order):

Diana Kennedy (several books) - 5
Spice - 4
Bombay Kitchen - 3
World Vegetarian Cooking - 3
Julie Sahni - 2
Cradle of Flavor, Tapas, and Crescent City - 1 each

In a couple of weeks, I'll put up the threads for the various chapters in Flex. It presents a challenge since the recipes are set out in 2 categories: Season of year and Menu. I'm thinking of making the threads courses (dessert, meat main, veg main, salads, etc.) to make it more friendly to those looking for recipes for individual dishes rather than whole meals.

Any suggestions are gladly accepted.

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  1. Here's a link to the run-off voting thread, for everyone's reference. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/508848

    1. Some recipe links, in case anyone finds them helpful:

      And, of course, beetlebug’s outstanding “Flexitarian Table- cookbook report” thread
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/434103

      PeterBerley.com—recipe of the month
      http://peterberley.com/recipe.php
      (This month it’s Giant Seitan/Lamb Turnovers).

      Culinate review with recipe links:
      http://www.culinate.com/columns/kitch...
      Pan-Seared Rosemary Duck Breasts/Tofu
      Teriyaki-Style Burdock, Carrots, and Leeks
      Soba with Garlicky Spinach and Sesame Oil

      Global gourmet with recipe links:
      http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/coo...
      Fall Menu
      Roasted Squash Potage with Spiced Crème Fraîche
      Sautéed Escarole with Red Pepper Garlic
      Baked Fish/Ricotta Dumplings over French Lentils

      The Daily Green—various blog posts by Peter Berley—some with recipe links
      http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-...
      Crudites with Pumpkin Sage Pate – Vegan
      Cauliflower-Leek Soup with Nut Brown Butter and Toasted Hazelnuts – Vegan/Vegetarian
      Cranberry Orange Compote with Port Wine – Vegan
      Maple and Spice-Brined Turkey - Omnivist
      Easy Pan Gravy - Omnivist
      Baked Acorn Squash with Red Quinoa and Pumpkin Seed Stuffing – Vegan
      Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Prunes with Crispy Heirloom Bacon Garnish – Vegan/Omnivist
      Smashed Potatoes with Parnips and Turnips – Lacto-ovo Vegetarian/Vegan
      Apple Cranberry Crumble – Vegan
      Pumpkin Pecan Tart – Vegan
      http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-...
      Spicy Red Pepper Soup with Goat Cheese and Chives
      Leek and Potato Torta

      Boston Globe review with recipe link:
      http://www.boston.com/ae/food/article...
      Crispy pressed chicken/tofu with garlic and mint

      Dan’s Hamptons review with recipes:
      http://www.danshamptons.com/content/d...
      Cucumber Lime Raita
      Lentil and Rhubarb Curry

      Busy Mom’s Recipes Bookstore
      http://astore.amazon.com/busymomsrec0...
      Summer
      Seafood/Tofu Ceviche with Quick-Pickled Red Onion
      Zucchini-Rice Soup with Basil and Parmesan

      The Jew & The Carrot blog with a post by Peter Berley
      http://jcarrot.org/a-bone-warming-win...
      Creamy Root Soup with Honey-Crisped Walnuts
      Sauerkraut with Smoked Whitefish or Fried Tempeh, Green Apples, and Onions

      Lee’s Summit journal interview/review—includes some strategies by Peter Berley
      Grilled shrimp in harissa
      http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:...

      Dallas Morning News http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedconte...
      SUMMER VEGETABLE SIMMER
      CRISPY PRESSED CHICKEN or TOFU WITH GARLIC AND MINT

      St. Petersburg Times
      http://blogs.tampabay.com/food/2007/0...
      Portobello Mushrooms or Steak with Bread Crumb Salsa

      Next NC—includes some of Berley’s strategies:
      http://www.nextnc.com/content/view/16...
      GRILLED SHRIMP IN HARISSA
      FRESH CORN POLENTA WITH SAUTEED CHERRY TOMATOES
      GRILLED ZUCCHINI WITH MINT OIL

      Mail Tribune review with recipe links:
      http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs....
      Crispy Pressed Chicken and Tofu with Garlic and Mint
      Shaved Spring Vegetable and Apple Salad
      Almond Shortbread Cookies
      Roasted Cherries in Red Wine
      Creamy Risotto-style Brown Rice with Spring Greens and Asiago

      Seacoast Online
      http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pb...
      GRILLED ZUCCHINI WITH MINT OIL

      Serious Eats Blog (actually, this recipe’s from Fresh Food Fast).
      http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...
      Carrot Mint Salad with Currants

      Kymmco
      http://www.kymmco.com/recipe.php?id=6...
      Winter Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese Crostin

      Cooking Light
      http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...
      Butternut Squash Spread with Pepitas

      Book Excerpt Houghton Mifflin
      http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/c...
      Summer
      MENU 6
      Seafood/Tofu Ceviche with Quick-Pickled Red Onion
      Zucchini-Rice Soup with Basil and Parmesan

      Summer
      MENU 10
      Pepper Soup with Goat Cheese
      and Chives
      Whole Wheat Pita Bread
      Spiced Lamb Croquettes
      Falafel
      Two Traditional Sauces: Hot Sauce (Zhoug) and Sesame Tahini Sauce
      Cucumber, Red Onion, and Tomato Salad

      ~TDQ

      50 Replies
      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Great link list!
        I've tried
        http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs....
        Crispy Pressed Chicken and Tofu with Garlic and Mint
        Creamy Risotto-style Brown Rice with Spring Greens and Asiago

        The rice is great, due to butter and gruyere that plays nicely against radish tops and other greens. I'd never had brown rice in a creamy style, interesting.
        Basically, you start with cooked rice.

        Less thrilled with the mint marinated pressed tofu/chicken - just not my cup of tea. The weight in the pan technique is good, but not the seasoning. It had what is referred to in my household as That Vegan Taste (from prepared vegan foods sold in health food stores. They all share one specific taste -- maybe the brown rice vinegar?)

        1. re: pitu

          Ew, sorry to hear that, I had that one on my list to try. Did you do the tofu or the chicken?

          1. re: LulusMom

            both - flexitarianly!
            : )
            If you do try it - because really, I think it's a matter of personal likes and dislikes - let me know what you think. I'm wondering if that's just his thing, and it's not my thing. I usually love marinades...
            I also wasn't too keen on a salad dressing I had from that book, but I don't recall which one it was. But that lead me to believe it was the Wrong Flavor Profile for me, so I've stayed away from the book.

            1. re: pitu

              OK, I gotcha, although I completely know what you mean by that vegan taste, and am not at all interested in replicating it. I've loved almost everything I've made from the book (if you make nothing else, do try the tofu with white wine, butter, etc.) so maybe it is just a flavor thing. I'll let you know ...

        2. re: The Dairy Queen

          Thanks so much for this list. I'm not having much luck getting this from the library as it's an American book, and I don't really want to buy it, so it looks like I'll mainly be trying recipes from the internet!

          1. re: greedygirl

            Oh dear--I'm so sorry you're having a hard time finding the book. Now that I realize that, maybe I'll see if I can find more. Here's my favorite recipe from the book Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine, and Butter Sauce: http://nowthatsgoodeatin.blogspot.com... which I did not find my search, but someone posted in beetlebug's thread. Obviously, there are recipes out there I didn't find.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              I could buy it on Amazon, but to be honest it doesn't look like the kind of book I want to own so I'll make do with the internet versions. I am not a huge fan of tofu, but maybe this COTM will make me change my mind!

              1. re: greedygirl

                I didn't think I was a huge fan of tofu either, but Dunlop totally turned me around. If anyone had ever told me that Ma Po Do Fu would be high on my list of comfort foods, I'd have told them their ouija board was broken. Only one of the many, many reasons I just *love* CTOM.

                1. re: JoanN

                  I am definitely not a tofu fan. I do occasionally enjoy Ma Po, it is tolerable in Hot and Sour soup where the seasonings cover it up and it is just texture but that is it. No thanks, thank you.

                2. re: greedygirl

                  Like JoanN, I too love the ma po tofu from Dunlop. (Reminder: I should make that again!)

                  Greedygirl--I don't blame you for not being sure about this book. I've owned for several months and have had a hard time getting into it. I think that's because my style of menu planning usually goes like this. My husband goes down to the deep-freeze and picks out something to defrost that sounds good to him. A day or so later, I look in the fridge and go, Oh!, I'd better do something with those pork chops, and then I flip through the COTM until I find something that fits. With Flexitarian Table, that hardly every works. I think you need to be much more deliberate about your protein choices...

                  But, I've been pleased with the couple of recipes I've tried : the tofu I just mentioned and the Steak with Bread Crumb Salsa. (I also tried a quinoa salad, but made an egregious substitution because I forgot to buy something at the market...so, I don't feel I can fairly assess that one.)

                  You never know, you might try a couple of online recipes and decide you want to buy it through Amazon. Or, you might decide --meh--not for you. But the beauty of it is, as JoanN says, you're getting a little nudge to try someone you may otherwise not have (like me and Hopkinson) and may make a discovery. Or, you just reconfirm what you already knew.

                  We're going to try the Flexitarian Lentil Curry recipe one evening this week. (Yes, we have to use up all of last season's rhubarb before this season's comes up!) I'll let you know how it comes out!

                  In the meantime, I'll put a little more work into those links. I think I'll sit down with the book and organize the links in the same order as they appear in the book (or, at least by season) and see if I can't find some of the ones that are missing. In her thread, beetlebug paraphrases some of the recipes, too--they are easy to overlook, but it's worth a look for sure.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    TDQ - you're so kind and helpful, thank you. I'll definitely participate in next month's COTM, but maybe not with the same enthusiasm as this mlonth!

                    You know what, I think I might get ahead of myself and try the Mixed Root Soup that's on one of the links. I have a ton of root veg to use up in my fridge at the moment and this looks like a good fit.

                    1. re: greedygirl

                      Everyone's been so fantastically helpful in these COTM threads and I'm having so much fun and learning so much that when I see an opportunity to help back, I want to take it!

                      Let us know how that mixed root soup works out. I used the last of my CSA root veg this morning (I threw the ingredients for a beef barley stew into the crockpot before I left the house), so I won't get a chance to try it until fall at least!

                      ~TDQ

                  2. re: greedygirl

                    My husband isn't a fan of tofu either, but he raved about that particular recipe. If you try just one recipe from the book, I'd say try that one (and it is inexpensive to make too!). I'm talking about that tofu with lemon, soy, white wine ...

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      Now you guys are making me think I need to try tofu too!

                      1. re: karykat

                        Oh, you definitely do! I think the key is to not think of it as a meat substitute, but as a entirely different food stuff altogether. The texture can vary, but in both the ma po tofu dish (from Dunlop) and this dish in Flex Table, the texture is pretty soft. Like the texture of an egg white of a hard boiled egg.

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Oh ... but yuck! It's much much nicer than that (sorry - I speak as an avowed hard boiled egg apposer).

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            Oh, I love hard boiled eggs! I was trying to relate a soft but firm texture...hmmm...more like a really soft really fresh mozz cheese?

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Isn't it funny what some of us love and others just can't deal with?? But yes, thank you - I much prefer that description.

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                OK, so I just had a seafood stew, and the scallops in it were probably the closest texture-wise to the tofu in this particular dish. It is maybe a little less silky, but there is a definite similarity. Not at all chewy, just this very smooth and lovely texture.

                        2. re: LulusMom

                          I'm also not a big tofu cook, but enjoyed the dishes from Dunlop, and I think the smoked tofu is particularly accessible.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            Our individuals tastes are what makes us (and chowhound) interesting! But, thinking of it like a soft but firm cheese is probably more accurate anyway as I understand that tofu is made more or less the same way as mozzarella...

                            karykat and MMRuth--I'm not sure what makes tofu unappealing for you (taste or texture?) but if it's taste, what I like about the tofu with lemon & ginger recipe in Flex Table is that he actually succeeds in searing some taste into the tofu. Most other recipes I find it's just some inoffensively tasteless tofu sitting in some sauce that (hopefully) tastes good (which is how I describe the ma po tofu--in that dish, each morsel of tofu is a little gift of non-spicyness to give a respite from the rest of the dish). But, in this case, the tofu actually takes on flavor. If it's texture you don't like--I've tried this tofu dish twice--once with supersoft silken tofu (because I had some leftover) and once with regular tofu, which is what the recipe called for. I loved it both ways, but I found it really decadent with the silken tofu--it was almost like a savory custard. Now, it didn't look so great because it was so delicate it was hard to serve it without it falling apart, but I really liked it.

                            If your objection to tofu is texture, I understand there are a few ways to change the texture (such as by freezing it), but I don't know if Berley tries any of those in this particular book. Maybe if you told us what you didn't like about tofu some of the folks who have cooked with the book more could direct you to some of the recipes that steer towards the ones they think you might like?

                            Also, he does use other kinds of protein substitutes in the book--seitan, lentils, tempeh etc. I've never cooked with seitan or tempeh, but I picked some up at the co-op yesterday. We'll see how it goes!

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              For me, it's generally been the texture, but I did like the dishes I made from Dunlop, in which one fries the tofu first.

                              1. re: MMRuth

                                Okay--I'll have a peek at my book in the next day or two to see which tofu ones he has you fry the tofu first and try to flag those for you. In the one above (that I keep calling tofu with lemon and ginger but is actually called Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine and Butter Sauce), he doesn't really have you fry it--there's minimal oil involved...so, if it's a texture thing, you may not love it. The best way to affect the texture in this particular recipe, I guess, is to choose either a more firm tofu or a softer tofu. I preferred it with the softer tofu. Also, sliced more thinly than the recipe called for.

                                ~TDQ

                              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                For me it's been both taste and texture. But mostly taste or lack thereof. I sort of feel like if it doesn't have any taste, why eat it, unless you aren't getting other proteins and need to for nutritional reasons?

                                But I think it's been so long since I've tried it (years) and my tastes may have changed. And undoubtedly there are better things to do with it.

                                So I think I do need to give it another try. And this Flexitarian book may be a good springboard for doing that.

                                1. re: karykat

                                  I can't say I've ever hated tofu, but I've learned to really love it in the past 10 years or so. Ma Po Do Fu is one of the reasons. Also chocolate mousse and a great salad that a local gourmet take-out place makes - spicy Asian type.

                                  1. re: karykat

                                    Okay, for MMRuth and karykat and others who might be curious about the tofu dishes in the book, below is a summary of the preparations of the various tofu dishes in the book. What I will say is that there is a pretty wide-variety of types of tofu used (soft, firm, extra firm, smoked) and preparations here. Also, remember, that whenever a tofu recipe is included in a menu, it's are offered alongside an alternative "meat" recipe, so if the tofu didn't appeal to you, you could opt for the meat dish instead (which, of course, is the whole premise of the book!).

                                    karykat, I do believe that this book will give you a pretty good re-introduction to tofu in that there's a pretty wide variety, but, since you're not sure you'll be a fan, you might first scan beetlebug's thread to see which ones people tried and liked (I know there was one people didn't like much) and start with those.

                                    MMRuth, hopefully, some of these textures will appeal to you and, if not, there's always the meat dish!

                                    SPRING
                                    Menu 3: Tofu with garlic and mint (37)--marinated, weighted (for crispiness) & cooked in a cast iron skillet

                                    Menu 8: Smoked tofu salad (pg 77)—cut into matchsticks & tossed with salad ingredients and vinaigrette

                                    Menu 9: Asian noodles in broth with Vegetables & Tofu (p 83)—soft tofu cubed and simmered in a saucepan of broth

                                    SUMMER
                                    Menu 5: Tofu with lemon, soy, white wine & butter sauce (pg 123)—firm tofu sliced into slabs, brought to a boil in an ovenproof skillet with lemon, soy, white wine, butter, ginger etc. then baked, then simmered

                                    Menu 6: Tofu ceviche with quick pickled red onion (pg 130)—firm tofu, rinsed, pressed dry, cubed, marinated with lime juice, soy sauce etc. , then added to the ceviche and served on a bed of lettuce

                                    FALL
                                    Menu 2: Smoked tofu and mole verde (pg 178)—smoked tofu chopped, and added to a warm skilled filled with onions, carrots, beans, spices, cooking liquid etc, then used as a filling to fold into tortillas, and baked

                                    Menu 4: Lemon thyme tofu (p 195)—extra firm tofu cut weighted & drained (for crispiness), then cut into triangles, coated with seasonings, then roasted

                                    Menu 7: autumn stew with miso and tofu (pg 217)---extra firm tofu cut into slabs, dredged in cornstarch, deep fried, and served atop the stew

                                    WINTER
                                    Menu 1: Pan-seared rosemary tofu (pg 253)—extra firm tofu pressed, cut into slabs, rubbed with seasonings, refrigerated for 4 hours, fried until it forms a golden brown crust, garnished and served with pan juices

                                    Menu 4: Batter-fried tofu with kimchi (pg 276)— extra firm tofu cut into slabs, pressed, dipped into batter, deep-fried until golden, served over hot kimchi

                                    Menu 5: phyllo pie with lemon tofu, winter greens, and mushrooms (pg 283)—extra firm tofu mashed with lemon zest & juice, olive oil, dill, garlic then layered over phyllo, and a vegetable mixture, topped with more phyllo, and baked.

                                    ~TDQ

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                          Thank you Dear Girl!! I'm one of those who happens to like tofu and thankfully, DH does too. I've used it many times in the past, especially from Deborah Madison's books.
                                          It will be fun to try SH's recipes, now.

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            You have convinced me, I am definitely not going to buy the book or even see if my public library has it. In the 80's I had a dip recipe using silken tofu. In th4e 80's in a college town it was very acceptable along with the carob everyone was trying to convince themselves was better for them than chocolate. Except in the afore mentioned dishes, Ma Po and Hot and Sour soup, it is just not happening here.

                                            1. re: Candy

                                              LOL! That's kind of how I feel as well.

                                              1. re: Candy

                                                I'm glad the info helped you make your decision, Candy.

                                                The premise of the book is (theoretically) that every menu is designed to have 2 main dishes: one that would appeal to vegetarians and second one that that appeals to omnivores. You could work your way through every menu in the book and choose the "meat" entree from every menu not eat a morsel of tofu if you wanted. (Also, many of the "vegetarian" main dishes are made with eggs, portobello mushrooms, white beans, etc. No "faux" proteins all at. There are also a couple, however, that call for seitan or tempeh.) I tried the Steak with Bread Crumb Salsa recipe and very much enjoyed it.

                                                FYI--I'm not trying to convince anybody of anything--just trying to give people the info they need so they, like you, can make whatever decision is best for them regarding participating in the book. Greedygirl mentioned, for instance, the book is not widely available where she is and was unsure if she wanted to buy it.

                                                Personally, I don't eat tofu because I think it's better for me as much as I eat it because I do actually enjoy some (not all) of the preparations of it, including traditional recipes like Ma Po Tofu and some newer recipes, like the one tofu recipe I've tried from Flex Table thus far: Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine, and Butter Sauce.

                                                Regarding the latter recipe: I've made it twice--the first time, while my husband (who is not the world's biggest tofu fan) was at a dinner meeting. I had some tofu leftover from something else I had cooked and figured it was a good time to try the Berley recipe since I figured I didn't have enough tofu left for two full servings; maybe for a serving and a half. I figured I'd cook my dinner and leave a little bit for my husband to taste when he got home. I loved it so much I ate all of it, including what I'd reserved for him.

                                                I, like you, do not like carob. Thankfully, there are no carob recipes in this book!

                                                Anyway, I'm glad you've made the decision that's right for you! Hopefully, the dessert cookbook of the month chosen will suit you better and we'll still all cook together from that one!

                                                ~TDQ

                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                  The thing is that the Flexitarian nay-sayers can still make a few of the recipes because of all the hard work you've done finding recipes on the internet. I would get it out of the library, but it's just not available here. And thanks to you, I've definitely decided not to buy it. I'm nominating TDQ for COTM (Chowhound of the Month)!

                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                    Aw, thank you. You gals are too kind. I think the honor of COTM has to go to oakjoan for for all of her efforts soliciting our recommendations, counting our votes, and setting up the threads! :).

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                2. re: Candy

                                                  I gave Flexitarian a thorough perusal at the bookstore last weekend and decided not to buy it. I'm not a big tofu fan either. Also had a chance to page through the book I voted for(My Bombay Kitchen) and while I thought it was a good cookbook, I decided to pass on that one as well(mainly because I already have several Indian cookbooks that have some Parsi recipes.) I did manage to fill a gap in my cookbook collection with Jean Anderson's Love Affair with Southern Cooking which I hadn't been able to examine until last weekend. Looks like the real deal.

                                                  1. re: Chimayo Joe

                                                    Oh, you are going to love the Jean Anderson book. It is a great cookbook and an interesting read too. I have been taking my time with it and savoring it page by page.

                                                  2. re: Candy

                                                    One thing that I have found is that, even w/ a COTM book that I end up not liking generally - like Vegetable Harvest - I end up with a couple of recipes that I love and use regularly. Also, the links that people post to online recipes are helpful in either letting me gauge my interest, or allowing me to do a "test drive" without buying the book. That said, there are lots of COTMs in which I have not participated.

                                                    Re: tofu - I think there is a difference between using tofu as a substitute for something else, and cooking it in its own right. I was pleasantly surprised by the tofu dishes I enjoyed from Dunlop's book. I just ordered Flexitarian on somewhat of a whim, so, we'll see how that goes.

                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      Hey, good for you for taking the plunge. I hope you will be happy with your purchase. I've only cooked 3 recipes out of F.T., so, as we cook from it throughout May, I hope I continue to be happy with my purchase!

                                                      ~TDQ

                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        I'm a little self-indulgent when it comes to cookbooks. <grin>

                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                          OMG! Where do you keep them all? I fear I've turned into the Imelda Marcos of cookbooks. I'm having a terrible time controlling myself about cookbooks lately. I will stop short of calling it a cookbook obsession, but, I've purchased three cookbooks this week--all used or remaindered, thankfully-- and I bought 8 cookbooks the week before--again, all used or remaindered. (I think I spent $60 total...) I pass this half-price bookstore on my commute that I just can't help stopping at... It's kind of scary and embarrassing.

                                                          I've just been seized by this idea that my cookbook collection is missing certain "essential" cookbooks that I need to have.

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            Um, that is a marital issue that may need to be discussed in counseling in our home! Lots of bookshelves overflowing, many stacked on the night table and underneath.

                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                              Oh yes, me too: on and under the nightstand, and under the bed. Also, I find them under the sofa all the time, too, because I like to do my meal planning while watching TV. Oh, next to the exercise bike. Sometimes I find them in the kitchen! ;-). And often, next to the computer, because I'm posting something about them on Chowhound. I really have two groups of cookbooks, though: ones I cook from (or want to cook from) and ones I'm emotionally attached to (gifts or inherited from someone or I picked up traveling) that I'll likely never cook from.

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              I have about 350-400 myself. Almost every room in my house has cookbooks or food related books in them. My collecting obsession is almost as bad as my table top obsession. I've begun on a third set of sterling. I can't begin to tell you how many wine glasses I own, I haven't counted and the shop next to the one I manage has some stunning red Murano glass goblets. I force my self not to look at them when I need to go in there. I may break down though.

                                                              I did get an early copy of the Duguid and Alford new book, Beyond the Great Wall. I am making an Inner Mongolian dish tonight. They think it might be a Russian fusion dish. It is a crisp romaine salad topped with a warm beef dressing. The photo in the book makes it look amazing. It is quite simple as most of the recipes in the book are. I think I am also addicted to their books.

                                                              1. re: Candy

                                                                Looking forward to your reports on that book - I also am a big fan of theirs.

                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                  I peeked at a couple of the Duguid and Alford books in the library because they've been spoken of so highly on this board, and their new book sounds intriguing, too. I really want them, but they are so expensive/large/unwieldy that I'm too nervous to have them in the kitchen because they seem like they will be hard to work with. They seem more like travel/photo journal books than cookbooks (the authors will be speaking about the new book in Minneapolis next month, too.)

                                                                  My kitchen isn't as small as MMRuth's, but I still have a limited amount of counter space.

                                                                  How do you get around the size of those books?

                                                                  P.S. Candy, please don't suggest another kind of collecting obsession--I'm so highly suggestible, now I might have to start collect sterling and wine glasses! ;-) Seriously, that's pretty amazing.

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    I often photocopy the recipes from the books (that I own) and tape them up on the cupboard. Or, the book rests on top of the wingback chair that has it's back to the kitchen. The recipes really are terrific.

                                                                2. re: Candy

                                                                  Thanks for posting that Candy. I now feel almost normal and justified in adding more cookbooks to my already huge collection! God knows where I'm going to put them all though. Two big shelves in the downstairs sitting room are already dedicated to cookbooks....

                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                    GG, do do a purge occasionally to make room for new books but have some that I will never part with.

                                                                    As I stated earlier yesterday, if anyone wants my copy of Desert Circus, it is your's for the shipping cost. It is defnitely one I am not going to use. If no one wants it it goes to the Good Will.

                                                                    MM the salad was amazing, It will go into my regular repetoire. Right now I m going back to bed! I am misspelling things and should be asleep!

                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        Thank you! You are a princess, DQ! I will go over this. I know some of these recipes have drawn comments in the past.

                                          2. re: greedygirl

                                            I live in Westchester County, NY (just north of NYC) and it's not even in our library system's database! Maybe I'll rely on links and the kindness of other hounds for this round, as the book seems fascinating!

                                        2. Thank you oakjoan! Although I have been reading this book I have yet to cook any of Mr. Berley's recipes. They look appetizing and healthy. I can't wait to start!

                                          TDQ: That's quite a list you've compiled! Good job.

                                          13 Replies
                                          1. re: Gio

                                            Thanks, Gio!

                                            Also, in the cookbook report thread, I asked beetlebug for pantry stocking tips and favorite recipes from the book. Beetlebug's reply can be found here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/43410...

                                            I also picked up a copy of Berley's Modern Vegetarian Kitchen at the used bookstore the other day, so, I'll have it for CSA season. May COTM with Flex Table will be a good way for me to get into his recipes in general.

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                              That's a good list from Bettlebug, also. I have many of those items in my pantry as polenta, barley and a few others are my staples. Isn't harissa available canned?

                                              1. re: Gio

                                                I've never seen it canned (but that doesn't mean it doesn't come that way sometimes), but I have seen it in tubes, sort of like anchovy paste tubes.

                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                  OK, that's good to know, Lulusmom. I'll have to look for it next time I go to the market. Or be prepared to make it a la Flex.T...

                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    I've always made it myself for other recipes. It really isn't hard at all, and you can make it as spicy as you like (I'm always afraid that the tube stuff will be too mild for my taste, but I can't say for sure, not having tried it). If you do find it and try it, I'd love to know what you think of it.

                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                      Will absolutely let you know.... we prefer spicy rather than mild as well. That's why I'm having such a hard time with CTOM Roast Chicken and Other Stories. Going to try again tonight with two of his side dishes but my own roast chicken.

                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                        I made the grilled onion relish - about to post about it - Friday - I added less chilis - if you had the amount called for, it will be spicy!

                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          I *thought* I remembered from the Dunlop cookbooks that you were a spicy food fan, so I'll be especially interested in your take on the harissa.

                                                          And MMRuth, your onion relish picture looks really pretty.

                                                        2. re: LulusMom

                                                          I can't taste it right now as I'm out of it. It's pretty hot, but not THAT hot. Good when you don't have time to make it yourself, and you can always add some more heat by putting in extra chile powder or oil or cayenne.

                                                        3. re: Gio

                                                          The same brand of Harissa comes in both a can or a tube - the tube makes much more sense if you can find it. It keeps for a long time in the fridge.
                                                          It's good and has a nice heat -- although I've only had harissa in restaurants and preprepared, not homemade.

                                                        4. re: LulusMom

                                                          Yeah, I always keep a tube of harissa in my fridge. Very handy when a bit of spice is needed.

                                                      2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        I have Modern Vegetarian Kitchen too -- and use it so infrequently that I've lent it out to a friend. Still, I welcome discussion on this one too!

                                                        1. re: pitu

                                                          Curious--why do you use it so infrequently. Have you not had good luck with the recipes or do they not call out to you? (I hope I haven't made a poor purchase!)

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                    2. Hi oakjoan,

                                                      When we did Sunday Suppers for COTM, it was organized by season. I thought it worked well although the threads did get quite long. If it is split by courses, I would recommend keeping the mains together v. differentiating between veggie v. meat. This way, the comparison can be done in the same thread v. jumping from link to link.

                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/397079

                                                      Also, I don't think there are desserts in the book (or I've completely blanked on them). But, it would be perfect to start the Dessert books.

                                                      Thanks for organizing this.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                        Ooooo clever! There are no desserts in the book.

                                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                                          Beetlebug: I like the idea of having both veggie and meat versions in the same thread....don't know if that's what you meant. We could ask folks to put MEAT or VEG at the top of their posts. I was also considering categories such as "pasta and rice", "salads", etc.

                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                            That's exactly what I meant. Since the premise of the book is to feed both meat and non-meat eaters at the same meal, I think it would be helpful to have the comparison of proteins. For example, Summer menu 5, the protein is either my beloved tofu with lemon, soy, white wine and butter OR striped bass with lemon, soy, white wine and butter and the side(s) are the same. This way there can be some comparisons between the two proteins.

                                                            I think whatever category you come up will be fine. I just like having entrees together. Maybe, entrees, starches, soups & salads, and sides could be some of the category names. Berley uses a lot of weird but tasty (to me) grains, such as farro and quinoa. Are they technically pastas or rices?

                                                            1. re: beetlebug

                                                              Yeah, I agree. Luckily, I don't have to think about it for another 9 days...or, I mean, actually post it until May 1st.

                                                        2. Oh good! I just picked this up an I can honestly say I am really looking forward to this thread. I have been out of the loop for a while :)
                                                          We enjoy tofu but usually only as part of an oriental style meal, it will be neat to get into some of the different takes.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: ErikaK

                                                            I shouldn't be writing about this until May actually starts, but I can't help myself. I saw that somebody here wrote about being disappointed with Flex's radish dish. I made it tonight and both of us thought it was heavenly. I don't think I've EVER cooked radishes before. These were from my CSA box and so both radishes and greens were fresh and very pungent and spicy. They also were not fluffy - don't know what else to call it - like many store-bought radishes are. Sort of dry and honecombed inside. These were firm and hot...gee, sounds like porn.

                                                            Anyway, I rec. the rads!

                                                            1. re: oakjoan

                                                              We had a nice dinner out on Saturday and my side dish included some cooked radishes and I thought they were a revelation. Thanks for mentioning they're in the book - I'd overlooked that recipe.

                                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                                That was me. But, I'm going to revisit it this summer when radishes come back in season. I skipped the last step of the recipe and I suspect that's why it was only ok.

                                                            2. Okay, I've taken all the links and organized them by season and menu. There are a lot of menus missing. If you know of any links I'm missing you can post them here or email them to me (my address is in my profile) and I will organize them and either repost this post fully fleshed out (and ask the mods to delete this one) or just ask the mods to edit this one for me. Thank you.

                                                              I promised I'd flag the tofu ones that are fried first for MMRuth. Anything else I should be looking for when I go through the book?

                                                              Also, if you're interested in the Giant Seitan/Lamb Turnovers recipe (and note--in the nomenclature of the book, that's either Seitan OR Lamb turnovers, one veg options, one meat option. Not a turnover with seitan and lamb in it...) from Fall Menu #1, I suggest you go grab that right now. It looks like he changes the "featured" recipe each month and doesn't archive them.

                                                              SPRING:

                                                              Menu 1
                                                              http://www.danshamptons.com/content/d...
                                                              Cucumber Lime Raita
                                                              Lentil and Rhubarb Curry
                                                              Naan Bread
                                                              Roasted Spring Carrots with Cumin and Lime

                                                              Menu 2

                                                              Menu 3
                                                              http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs....
                                                              Crispy Pressed Chicken and Tofu with Garlic and Mint
                                                              Shaved Spring Vegetable and Apple Salad
                                                              Creamy Risotto-style Brown Rice with Spring Greens and Asiago

                                                              Menu 4

                                                              Menu 5

                                                              Menu 6

                                                              Menu 7

                                                              Menu 8

                                                              Menu 9

                                                              Menu 10

                                                              SUMMER:

                                                              Menu 1
                                                              http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedconte...
                                                              SUMMER VEGETABLE SIMMER
                                                              Charmoula Lamb/Tempeh Kebabs [MiSSING RECIPE].
                                                              Couscous with Dried Fruit and Pine Nuts [MiSSING RECIPE].

                                                              Menu 2
                                                              http://blogs.tampabay.com/food/2007/0...
                                                              Portobello Mushrooms or Steak with Bread Crumb Salsa
                                                              Summer Bean Ratatouille [MiSSING RECIPE].
                                                              Argula Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette [MiSSING RECIPE].

                                                              Menu 3
                                                              http://www.nextnc.com/content/view/16...
                                                              GRILLED SHRIMP IN HARISSA
                                                              FRESH CORN POLENTA WITH SAUTEED CHERRY TOMATOES
                                                              GRILLED ZUCCHINI WITH MINT OIL

                                                              Menu 4

                                                              Menu 5
                                                              Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine and Butter Sauce
                                                              http://nowthatsgoodeatin.blogspot.com...

                                                              Menu 6
                                                              http://astore.amazon.com/busymomsrec0...
                                                              Seafood/Tofu Ceviche with Quick-Pickled Red Onion
                                                              Zucchini-Rice Soup with Basil and Parmesan

                                                              Menu 7

                                                              Menu 8

                                                              Menu 9

                                                              Menu 10
                                                              http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/c...
                                                              Pepper Soup with Goat Cheese
                                                              and Chives
                                                              Whole Wheat Pita Bread
                                                              Spiced Lamb Croquettes
                                                              Falafel
                                                              Two Traditional Sauces: Hot Sauce (Zhoug) and Sesame Tahini Sauce
                                                              Cucumber, Red Onion, and Tomato Salad

                                                              FALL:

                                                              Menu 1
                                                              http://peterberley.com/recipe.php
                                                              (This month it’s Giant Seitan/Lamb Turnovers).
                                                              Golden Split Pea Dal
                                                              Carrot-yogurt chutney

                                                              Menu 2

                                                              Menu 3
                                                              http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/coo...

                                                              Roasted Squash Potage with Spiced Crème Fraîche
                                                              Sautéed Escarole with Red Pepper Garlic
                                                              Baked Fish/Ricotta Dumplings over French Lentils

                                                              Menu 4

                                                              Menu 5
                                                              Penne with Beets, Beety Greens, Goat Cheese, and Walnuts
                                                              http://duffabcs.blogspot.com/2007/11/...
                                                              Chestnut apple soup [MISSING RECIPE].

                                                              Menu 6

                                                              Menu 7

                                                              Menu 8

                                                              Menu 9

                                                              Menu 10

                                                              WINTER:

                                                              Menu 1
                                                              http://www.culinate.com/columns/kitch...
                                                              Pan-Seared Rosemary Duck Breasts/Tofu
                                                              Teriyaki-Style Burdock, Carrots, and Leeks
                                                              Soba with Garlicky Spinach and Sesame Oil

                                                              Menu 2

                                                              Menu 3

                                                              Menu 4

                                                              Menu 5

                                                              Menu 6
                                                              http://jcarrot.org/a-bone-warming-win...
                                                              Creamy Root Soup with Honey-Crisped Walnuts
                                                              Sauerkraut with Smoked Whitefish or Fried Tempeh, Green Apples, and Onions
                                                              Braised duck legs [MiSSING RECIPE].

                                                              Menu 7
                                                              http://www.kymmco.com/recipe.php?id=6...
                                                              Winter Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese Crostini
                                                              Spanish-style eggs with Kimchi/Chorizo over faro [MiSSING RECIPE].
                                                              Fennel with Lemon and Fennel Salt [MiSSING RECIPE].

                                                              Menu 8

                                                              Menu 9

                                                              Menu 10

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                TDQ - I love you! I just did a search on the whole of the London library catalogue and not a sniff of The Flexitarian Table. So this is invaluable. Thanks again.

                                                                Also, can I just say - RHUBARB and lentil curry??!!

                                                                ETA: I just found another recipe, I think, which I'm definitely going to try as I often get beetroot in my veg box:

                                                                http://duffabcs.blogspot.com/2007/11/...

                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                  Awesome! That's a recipe I hadn't found, so, I edited it into my post above (fall menu #5). It looks very colorful in the photo.

                                                                  Yeah, that rhubarb lentil one sounds bizarre, doesn't it?

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    I bought some rhubarb yesterday and plan to try the recipe out in the next couple of days.

                                                                    I have also tried a few other recipes, but will wait until the thread formally begins next week.

                                                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                                                      I can't wait to hear about this one. My mind is having a hard time figuring out what on earth it will taste like, but I'm intrigued.

                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                        I guess there is a sweet, hot and sour tradition in Indian cusine (think dhansak), but like you I'm keen to hear if it works.

                                                              2. I just received my copy today. Looks great! I'm going to try some of the recipes this weekend. We have family coming over (four adults, three kids). We're going to grill some steaks, and I would love recs for appetizers, side dishes, and salads. Anyone care to recommend some favorites of theirs from this book? I don't have any barley, but do have farro and quinoa. I think the quinoa salad with green beans, corn and tomato will be one of the side dishes I want to try first.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: Rubee

                                                                  Well, since you mentioned steak, this steak recipe from summer menu #2 was really good! http://blogs.tampabay.com/food/2007/0... I haven't tried enough of the "non-main" dishes to recommend them.

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                                    We really loved the Bulgar with Roasted Chickpeas, red onion and Lemon (p.36) although I used couscous instead of Bulgar. Dead simple, very colorful and pretty and delicious.

                                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                                      I think this (Fregola Risotto Style with Chard and Feta Cheese) looks delicious but I haven't made it yet:

                                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/43410...

                                                                      I also love the corn polenta with cherry tomatoes.

                                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/43410...

                                                                      I've also made that corn polenta for breakfast. I top it off with scrambled eggs with avocado and cheese.

                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                        Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I didn't even to think to look for a steak recipe in the book. Just picked up some strip steaks, so it looks like the first recipes will be

                                                                        Steak with Bread Crumb Salsa
                                                                        Bulgur with Roasted Chickpeas, Red Onion, and Lemon (though I think I'll use couscous too)

                                                                        Maybe something with the harissa shrimp and corn polenta for an appetizer. BB, do you think the shrimp would be good on their own?

                                                                        1. re: Rubee

                                                                          I think the shrimp can stand alone.

                                                                    2. Hmmm. Made my first "flexitarian" recipe tonight (does anyone else HATE that word), and I am reserving judgement for now. It took me two hours! I will post my review when the thread appears next week.

                                                                      Now, back to Hopkinson!

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                        I loathe the title of the book. Whenever I tell people about the book, I tell them to get past the title and to look at the recipes.

                                                                        Out of curiousity, what recipe took two hours?

                                                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                                                          Agree--the title is weird. It's a neat concept, though, and the recipes are good. And I guess that's all that matters!

                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                                                            I made the creamy mixed root soup. I used a mixture of the root veg that has been languishing in my fridge (swede, parsnip, jerusalem artichoke, carrot) and had to simmer it for nearly an hour before they were all tender. Factor in the peeling and chopping time, and the time it took to cook the onion/garlic/ginger and I didn't have dinner until nearly 9pm!

                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                              Because they are so hard, I find root vegetables take a long time to chop no matter what you're doing with them. My knife skills are pathetic, I'm afraid.

                                                                              Still, just about anything you do with root veggies is always so worth it. But, that creamy mixed root soup might be a "prepare one day ahead" recipe, so you don't starve!

                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                Especially when your vegetables are covered in mud like mine!

                                                                                I was going to make Gordon Ramsay's Caramelised Swede Soup with Cardamom and I wish I had now. It's simply fabulous.

                                                                                http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life...

                                                                                Never mind, at least I have tomorrow's lunch as well...

                                                                        2. My copy just came today too. So I am psyched.

                                                                          Maybe flexitarian sounds too much like utilitarian. But I agree too -- the concept is great.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: karykat

                                                                            I like the concept but one thing that annoys me is that, while the recipes are side-by-side for the vegetarian vs meat based, he doesn't really tell you how to do both; I mean, they use much of the same ingredients, but you have to piece it together yourself. He doesn't say something like "you can make the marinade up to this point, divide it into two, add the tofu to one pan, then add some sherry vinegar to the other and add the meat (I'm making this example up, but I hope you get what I mean). If the whole point is to be able to do *both* easily, then don't make us figure out the overlap.

                                                                            1. re: DGresh

                                                                              Hmmm...do you have the book DGresh? I haven't cooked from it extensively, but my experience has been the opposite. I was looking this morning at some of the recipes that called for tofu and noticed, for instance in the case of the phyllo tart, he has you do all the steps together for both mains and then at some point, the recipes diverge and you have to separate everything into two bowls and you go from there down the separate paths.

                                                                              One thing that's easier to tell in the book than online is that the recipes are color coded in the book so that the steps for the veggie main have a header in one color and the steps for the other main are in another color...

                                                                              So, there is an advantage to having the book, I think. Based on only three recipes that I've tried, though.

                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                I agree, DQ. I am reading the book, a little bit every night, and I get the sense that all the right directions are where they should be. As I have said, I intend to try some of the meat recipes and some of the tofu. So far, I'm very impressed and can't wait to start!

                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                  Yes I do have the book. I admit I've only made one recipe (the tofu with lemon, soy, white wine, and butter sauce) but I don't see how the "overlap" with the bass recipe works. The tofu has ginger and soysauce; the bass doesn't, the proportions of ingredients seem somewhat different and I don't see where the "separation" is noted.

                                                                                  I see that some *are* marked as you described-- but not all-- and of course not the one I tried first!

                                                                                  The way he does the marked recipes looks good--

                                                                                  1. re: DGresh

                                                                                    I think that tofu/bass recipe is one of the few exceptions. Most recipes, I think, are laid out the way TDQ and Gio describe. But with the tofu/bass combo, they use different base ingredients. This way, the soy helps to flavor the tofu, while the bass has simpler sauce to highlight the fish.

                                                                                    Many of the protein recipes do start together and then branch off between veggie and non.

                                                                                    1. re: DGresh

                                                                                      Well, I guess we're going to all learn all of this together! :).

                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                              2. OK I'm excited, giddy even hehe I just ordered Flexitarian Table and (on spec, and because I want it anyway) Pure Desserts from chapters.indigo.ca woohoo! I may not be able to cook my way through from one end to the other but I love that the focus is on seasonal ingredients and I need to get better acquainted with tofu. I can't wait for May! (and the mail lol) :)

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                  Hi I have just purchased FT and am very excited to join COTM (for the first time). I have been living vicariously through all of you the past few months and actually made some of the Dunlop recipes (yum!) last month without posting. I am looking forward to being more involved this coming month and am also eagerly awaiting the results of the dessert book.
                                                                                  I have really enjoyed everyones' posts - so much experience and experimenting. thanks.

                                                                                  1. re: tartetatin

                                                                                    Welcome from another COTM newbie. (Hopkinson is only my second month.) You're welcome to post in the Dunlop threads, by the way, even though it's technically "over."

                                                                                    P.S. You may have noticed there are no dessert recipes in F.T. Coincidentally, but conveniently (I think she's psychic), oakjoan is kicking off a DCOTM--a dessert cookbook of the month project. We are still voting on the choice for DCOTM, which will reign for two months, if you're interested. oakjoan said she'd keep the voting open until Weds night, http://www.chowhound.com/topics/513912

                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                      Thanks TDQ - I don't know if my bank acct can take another cookbook purchase this month! Perhaps I will try to get by with online recipes once the voting has finished. Thanks for the link - I will check out the choices.
                                                                                      By the way, I really admire how hard you have worked to modify recipes to fit the way that you are eating. Very creative!

                                                                                      1. re: tartetatin

                                                                                        Thank you tartetatin--sometimes it's hard to gauge how good the recipes are when I'm changing them around, but, I want to both participate and stick with my diet! I'm glad someone is finding my approach interesting/helpful--I would never want it to be a distraction from the COTM project in general.

                                                                                        The online recipes are a good option if you don't want to buy another cookbook (I don't blame you!) or you can see if your local library has the book. I've been lucky so far that my library has had all the COTM's!

                                                                                        ~TDQ