By Linda Gassenheimer
Photography by Jennifer Levy
Flavor without fuss is the purpose of this book by veteran food writer Linda Gassenheimer. In Vegetarian Dinner in Minutes, Gassenheimer provides recipes for busy people who want delicious vegetarian meals that are healthy, easy to shop for, and quick to prepare.
Most vegetarian recipes develop their flavor by the use of a lot of fat and require lots of preparation work. Linda Gassenheimer calls her healthy dinners "no brainers": for each recipe she provides a one-stop shopping list, helpful hints, a cook's countdown of when to do what, and a list of staples.
Vegetarian dining is a lifestyle and in today's world, that lifestyle takes on an international flare. Gassenheimer has organized Vegetarian Dinner in Minutes into flavors from around the world. Each menu-plan contains two or three recipes, such as Orzo and Three-Cheese "Risotto" with Tomato and Onion Salad or Greek Pasta and Lemon Vinaigrette Salad. A wonderful use for a big meaty mushroom is Grilled Portobello Steak Sandwich and Garlic French Fries, and those with a love of all things south-of-the-border will like the Goat Cheese Enchiladas with Sweet Corn and tasty Salsa and Pan-Grilled Quesadilla with Chayote Slaw. There is a delicious and easy-to-prepare Skillet Pasta Pie and Black Bean Salad, or for those with a taste for Chinese cooking, Vegetable Lo Mein and Chinese Salad or Five Spice Stir-fry with quick Fried Rice. The author also hands down a dandy Southern family recipe, Aunt Helen Rose's Gumbo served with a light and tangy Avocado and Grapefruit Salad.
With this wonderful array of easy-to-prepare recipes—some using only one pan—Gassenheimer provides interesting, healthful, and quick menus that cooks will turn to time and again. Taking vegetarian cooking out of the baked-potato and steamed-vegetable rut, Gassenheimer gives each menu plan verve, loading it with useful tips for shopping and cooking.
With 75 recipes and 24 full-color photographs, Vegetarian Dinner in Minutes is a boon for cooks on the run with an eye for healthy eating. Each recipe meets the government guidelines of fat intake of 30 percent of total calories consumed. "You can eat your way through this book," says Gassenheimer, "without worrying about the fat content of individual dishes."
Linda Gassenheimer's weekly column for the Miami Herald, "Dinner in Minutes," is syndicated to over 400 newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Diego Union. In addition, she has written for Eating Well, Cooking Light, Fast and Healthy, and Prevention magazines and is the "What's For Dinner?" columnist for the electronic Gourmet Guide (electronic Gourmet Guide) on AOL. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe and has lived and worked in England and France for many years. She is currently the Director for Food and Public Relations of Gardner's markets, a family-owned chain of 4 gourmet supermarkets in Miami, and started a Farmers' Market in Miami to help support sustainable farming close to the city. She is now settled in Miami, Florida where she lives with her husband.
Vegetarian Dinner in Minutes
by Linda Gassenheimer
Chronicle Books, $16.95 paperback
144 pages; March 8, 1998
Reprinted by permission.
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