Saturday, 30 September 2017

The Flexible Vegetarian Review and Giveaway.

The Flexible Vegetarian is the fifth cookery book by TV Cook and food editor, Jo Pratt. This is the first cookery book that I have of Jo's, focusing on delicious and practical recipes which can easily be catered for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Jo focuses on recipes that are flavoursome and suitable for vegetarians, for those who absolutely have to eat meat to fish, there a few simple meat and fish options. I think the vegetarian recipes are stunning enough that the meat and fish recipes can be omitted. A big thumbs up for me is that any cookery book  which has a dedicated breakfast chapter is an automatic winner for me and the recipes featured in this section are incredibly tempting. 

I often flick through cookery books and do the "flick test", checking out the finished pictures of recipes. This enables me to see whether there is enough tempting recipes for me to purchase the book. I can say that The Flexible Vegetarian passes the flick test. The finished recipes look tantalising and there are a number of options from quick mid-week meals to lazy weekend suppers. The Flexible Vegetarian is currently on Amazon for £13.60 and is available from all good book stores. 


There were a number of recipes that I've bookmarked to try, but so far I've made the Black Bean Chilli and Maple Cornbread. I omitted the maple from the maple cornbread and the cornbread tasted amazing. 




The cookery book is split into the following chapters:
  • The Flexible Store Cupboard - all the key ingredients that make making easy vegetarian dishes including lentils, grains and eggs. 
  • Breakfast/Brunch - A chapter focusing on recipes to kick start the day: The Green Omlette, Budha Breakfast Bowl, Courgette Fritters and Miso Mushrooms on Toast. 
  • Soups and Broths: recipes to try include Cauliflower Cream Cheese Soup, Roast Beetroot Soup and Cream of Cashew and Mushroom Soup.
  • Small Plates: stand out recipes include: Smashed Bean, Kale and Tomato Toast, Roast Garlic and Lemon Hummus, Pea and Carrot Pakoras, Sweet Potato and Chiptole Bean Tacos and Fried Chickpeas, Tomato and Labneh Flatbread.
  • Big Plates: recipes to try include: Southern Mac N Cheese, Black Bean Chilli and Maple Butter Cornbread, Ultimate Vegetable Burgers, Braised Lentils and Cauliflower Steaks and Roast Fennel and Aubergine Paella.
  • Dips and Bits: stand out recipes include: Sweet Carrot and Harissa Humus, Pea and Sorrel Humus, Roast Tomato and Basil Pesto and Coriander, Peanut and Chilli Pesto.
For the Black Bean Chilli

3 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed
2 star anise
1 cinnamon sick, broken in half
250ml cup of red wine
4 x 400g tins black beans, drained
2 x 400g chopped tomatoes
2tbsp tomato puree
3 red peppers from a jar, finely chopped
2 1/2 tbsp chipotle paste
2 tbsp coco powder
pinch of dried chilli flakes
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Maple Butter cornbread
Time taken 25 minutes, Serves 8
200g cornmeal or fine polenta
150g plain flour
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
300ml buttermilk
175ml cup milk
75g butter, plus an extra knob
75ml maple syrup

Method for the Black Bean Chilli
Time Taken 1 hour Serves 6-8
Heat the oil in a large casserole or saucepan . Add the onion, garlic, cumin seeds, star anise and cinnamon stick and gently sauté for 10 minutes until the onion is softened and becoming nicely golden.

Increase the heat and add the red wine. Boil for 1 minute to reduce, then add the black beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, red peppers, chipolote paste and cocoa powder, and sea on with salt and pepper. If you know you want a really chilli, add a pinch of chili flakes. You can add this nearer to the end of the time after you've had a taste.

Bring to the simmer, cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 35-45 minutes, stirring every so often, until rich and thickened.

While the chili is cooking, mix together the sour cream and paprika. Place in a serving bowl and mop up the chili juices with a wedge of cornbread.

Method for the cornbread
Heat the oven to 200F/400F/gas mark 6

Place the cornmeal or polenta in a large bowl with the flour, bicarbonate of soda, onion and salt.

Break the egg into a jug and mix with the buttermilk and milk. Pour into the dry ingredients then mix until just combined, making sure you don't over mix otherwise you will make the cornbread tough.

Place a 23cm-25cm 9/10 inch non-stick ovenproof frying pan over a high heat and add the knob of butter. Swirl around to coat the inside of the pan. Pour in the bread batter and level the surface. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes, until golden and just firm.

Whilst the cornbread is cooking,  melt together the measured butter and the maple syrup to give you a golden sweet liquid.

As soon as the cornbread is cooked, immediately pour over the maple butter, covering the whole surface. Return to the oven for 1 minute allowing the maple butter to bubble around the edges of the pan.

Remove from the heat and serve hot, cut into wedges or simply spooned straight of the pan.


***Giveaway***
The lovely publishers are giving one lucky ready a copy of The Flexible Vegetarian. To be in with a chance of winning this cookery book, follow these instructions.


  • Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget
  • Join my blog and leave a comment (click on the left corner of the right side of the website using Google Friend Connector) this is an ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT.
  • For additional entries like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus. 
  • All entered will be checked and verified.
  • Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random.
  • The competition will run from 30.9.17 - 5.11.17
  • Winner will need to respond within 5 working days of being contacted. 
  • The competition is open to UK residents, aged 18 or over. 
  • Frances Lincoln will send a copy of the cookery book.
  • Please feel free to share the giveaway.


Many thanks to Frances Lincoln for a copy of this book. 
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25 comments

  1. Stew it tastes different every time I make it because I use what's left over in veg in the fridge

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  2. I love making home baked bean casseroles - cheap, easy and very yummy!

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  3. Calallo Baked Eggs and Bammy Soldiers

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  4. might be a bit boring but I often like baked potato with peppers and coleslaw

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  5. Has to be tandoori paneer tikka masala

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  6. I love Goats cheese, black olive, chilli , and rocket pizza, Ps I think I have joined your blog but I am not sure?

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  7. Spinach and ricotta lasangne! What a lovely-looking book. Thanks for running the giveaway!

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  8. Stir Fried Tofu with Soya and Ginger

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  9. Chickpea curry! - Jessica Barber

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  10. I love Creamy thai carrot sweet potato soup

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  11. My favourite veggie meal is vegetable tagine with couscous

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  12. Not an easy choice but I will have to go with Cauliflower Cheese

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  13. Homemade vegetable soup with crusty bread!

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  14. i always enjoy vegetarian lasagne

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  15. I love ratatouille! Especially with some feta and crusty bread to scoop up the sauce.

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