Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
May 30, 2010 01:11 AM

Need cookbook recommendations for simple, mostly vegetarian recipes

I live in a developing country and am moving to a very rural area. I have a limited variety of foodstuffs available to me there - things like flour, rice, sugar, lentils, eggs, and dried beans are available, but no Western ingredients, cheese, or butter. I think I will be able to get chicken occasionally, possibly fish too, but no pork, beef, or shellfish. Fruits and vegetables are available in season. I'll have internet and can look up recipes when I need to, but it would be nice to have a cookbook to get ideas from. I currently live in the capital city and here there are lots of Western ingredients available, and I'll be bringing some foodstuffs with me from here (fish sauce, oregano, balsamic vinegar, cocoa powder, etc, etc.).

I guess what I am looking for is a cookbook that focuses on recipes that use simple, basic ingredients, but are still delicious. I have the More with Less cookbook but find their recipes/flavors to be a little too plain. I have the Joy of Cooking (All New All Purpose edition, though I'd rather have the old version) and can find some recipes in there that are doable. Some of the cookbooks that I've looked into online just have ingredients that I cannot get here. Thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Claudia Rosen. The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. Bring along spices and oils.

    1. Take a look at How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bitman.

      1. Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. It's like an encyclopedia and includes dozens of variations on many recipes, so you can make substitutions depending on what's available to you.

        1. Since you're familiar with More With Less (which was my first recommendation), you might seek out some of the other cookbooks in that series. One is "Extending the Table" and the other is "Simply in Season". ETT is a fabulous resource for flavorful global/ethnic cuisine made with simple ingredients, and whereas MWL seems to be ethnic-by-way-of-the-Midwest (which makes sense; most of the recipes came from the kitchens of Mennonite missionaries around the world), ETT contains more of the recipes and techniques indigenous people might make for their families.

          MWL is my go-to for basic breads and other starches, though, whatever its other deficiencies -- their pancake and waffle recipes are dynamite, and have you made the Navajo tacos? Whew!

          1. Sounds like "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" is made for you. There are stacks and stacks of vegetarian cookbooks, but they often use ingredients you may not have, like tofu.