COOKBOOK REVIEW Vegetarian Entrees That Won’t Leave You HUNGRY

Review written & photographed by Jordan A.R.

Vegetarian Entrees That Won’t Leave You HUNGRY is available for purchase through our online store or at local bookstores. For more information on this book please visit Thomas Allen & Son.

Vegetarian Entrees That Won't Leave You HUNGRYLukas Volger’s book Vegetarian Entrees That Won’t Leave You Hungry (published by The Experiment, $17.95 USD) confronts a prevailing misconception that, without meat, a meal lacks the power to fill you up. Not only does Volger provide recipes that prove the heartiness of vegetarian cuisine, he does it without any pomp. An approach I found refreshing. His writing is both honest and friendly, offering easy to follow recipes that also encourage you to try a few twists of your own.

Throughout the book are scattered little tutorials on subjects that vary from soups and dressings to hosting dinner parties and cooking just for one. The eclectic list of recipes guarantees that you’re bound to find something you’ll want make, whether it’s homemade paneer, kimchi, pizza, or just a simple salad.

Bulgur Salad with Kale & FetaCassoulet with Tomato-Roasted Carrots & ChardRiesling Poached Pears

Bulgur Salad with Kale & Feta

RATING: 5 out of 5 (versatile & fantastic)

The Test: One of the things that initially drew me to this recipe was that I already had the ingredients, save for one item, stocked in my pantry and ready to go. So, after heading to the Granary to pick up the bulgur I had this salad made in no time.

The Results: I’ve actually made this salad countless times since my first crack at it, and in the photos this time around you might notice that I used couscous and chard in place of the bulgur and kale. But that’s the brilliant part: you can mix-up your greens and your grains, maybe bash some tamari almonds, chop a few olives, or even opt for habaneros over the jalapeños. You can make this salad over and over, with loads of variations. Serve it hot, at room temperature or cold…it’s gonna taste great.

 Bulgur Salad with Kale & Feta


Cassoulet with Tomato-Roasted Carrots & Chard

RATING: 4.5 out of 5 (hearty & healthy)

The Test: The method of cooking the beans in this recipe is to poach them, a technique from Paola di Mauro, an Italian woman who, “imparted her knowledge to such powerhouse chefs as Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich.” It is a fussy but, no doubt, perfect way of preparing dried beans. But I am not that fussy. Nor am I perfect. And so I used canned beans.

The Results: These are the best beans I’ve ever made. In fact, the only reason I took off any points is because I’ve made this recipe twice and the first time I made a few tweaks by adding a splash of wine with the beans, throwing some herbs in with the roasting carrots and shaving some parmesan over the lot, while the second time I stuck closer to the recipe. I liked them more with my tweaks. (Basically, I took off half a point so I could pat myself on the back). The carrots are amazing and compliment the beans beautifully which, if you care to be fussy, could be poached to perfection.

Cassoulet with Tomato-Roasted Carrots & Chard

Riesling Poached Pears

Rating: 3 out of 5 (simple, but a bit too clean)

The Test: Once again I went for a recipe that called for ingredients already stocked and at the ready (and with my father being a wine maker it also means a bottle is never far away from my disposal). And because you can have the fruit poaching while you’re eating dinner, this recipe is a quick and easy dessert that is perfect for entertaining.

The Result: The overall flavour of this dish is quite nice. The poaching liquid is enhanced with cloves, cinnamon, orange and honey, and the pears are finished with a dusting of cinnamon. Actually, it tastes something like a pear pie without the crust. However, I found the dessert didn’t quite do it for me and ended up being rather one-dimensional. As a side note, the dish was greatly improved by the addition of vanilla gelato. If you are looking for a clean, not-completely-unhealthy (because, you know, it’s made with pears) dessert, then you can skip the decadence of adding some gelato or tiramisu or meringue – but then again you could just eat a pear and save yourself having to clean the dishes.

Riesling Poached Pears