I’m starting a new section on the blog which will feature one of my favourite cookbooks. I’m hoping to do this monthly as I do have 4 full shelves of cookbooks – there will be just a few to cover. In the future, I’m hoping that this feature will begin to include reader submitted favourites. Alas, at the moment, I don’t have too many readers and until I do there won’t be any user submitted books.
This week’s book is from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. rebar is a restaurant offering inventive vegetarian and vegan food, fresh juices and desserts. Their cookbook reflects a lot of their menu, both past and present. I haven’t quite worked my way through this entire cookbook yet – but every single recipe that I’ve tried from it has been a hit! This is rare for any cookbook. To have every single recipe be worth eating more than once is relatively unseen.
I was first introduced to this cookbook working at The Zephyr, a small coffee shop in Squamish, BC. The recipes I was learning from this book were flavourful, bold and unique. While exploring different cuisines I’ve found that restaurants seem to have a serious amount of trouble handling vegetarian dishes. In many, if not most, restaurants believe that vegetarian means grilled zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, a portabello mushroom cap and cheese in some combination. It’s either that or a stir-fry. Both are usually very bland and very boring. rebar was my first exposure to decent vegetarian cooking. The flavours they combine are unique and bold. However, I haven’t, as of yet, tried the restaurant. It is in my plans to visit there this summer though!
My favorite, go to recipe in this book is definitely the Anaheim Black Bean Burger. I have altered the recipe only slightly as I don’t deal well with extremely spicy foods – which this burger promises to be. The mango salsa with the burger is delightful! My second favourite recipe is the sweet potato roti. I didn’t know about roti until this recipe and there’s no going back now.
An interesting point to the book is that some of the recipes call for fish sauce or shrimp. This really made me laugh when I first read it. It’s supposed to be a vegetarian cookbook – I guess they haven’t fully converted yet. 🙂 There are options to make the majority of the recipes vegan as well. Which is nice for those who are lactose intolerant that are experimenting with vegetarian cooking, or the traditional vegans.
The recipes are easy to follow and very straight forward. The best part about them is that you don’t have to be a chef to decode them. They’re varied and offer a huge amount of inspiration. The recipes range from breakfast, to soups, to mains and desserts. It’s nice to have a full book of recipes that I know are going to be good no matter what I cook.
I whole heartedly suggest this book if you’re wanting a good, hearty, healthy vegetarian meal.