Anyone with a smidgen of intelligence, anyone who has ever used the grey matter that Hakodosh Boruch Hu gave him/her, realizes that in this age when animals are raised much faster than nature intended them to (with the help of various chemicals added to their foods), red meat consumption has to be cut down. Even yours truly, carnivore to the core, admits it. Thus, I welcomed Roberta Kalechosky’s books when I first heard of them. While I never intended, nor intend, to abandon my preference for meat I was looking for healthy tasty alternatives.
When I got The Vegetarian Shabbat Cookbook by Roberta Kalechofsky and Roberta Schiff and The Vegetarian Pessach Cookbook by Roberta Kalechofsky, I expected to find some great recipes that would lessen my interest in meat dishes. Instead, while I found some intriguing possibilities I also found myself barraged – specifically in the Passover book – with anti meat sophistry based on often made up statistics (even if Ms. Kalechofsky quotes others), out of context quotes and even horribly misquoted quotes. The Vegetarian Pessach Cookbook (published in 2002) spends the first 20 of its 72 pages preaching against eating meat in terms that misunderstand – or purposely obfuscate the intent of – the religious texts she quotes and bringing politics as a reason for ceasing our consumption of meat. I could go on, but I see little point in continuing to discuss the all too often shrill tone of the author’s polemics.
In The Vegatarian Shabbat Cookbook, (published in 2010) a far more attractive tome, far less shrill and more than three times the number of pages than the earlier one, there are some good recipes. Whether she has matured in her thought in the eight years since she published the Passover book, whether she studied Dale Carnegie‘s How to Win Friends and Influence People, or whether her co-author – Roberta Schiff – served as as a tempering foil, she has curbed down her anger and her politics. What emerges instead is a far more sensible book with some interesting possibilities for those who would vary their diets and veer away from constantly eating meat. While none of the recipes got me very excited, unlike other cookbooks we reviewed on this pages, some are definitely not bad and here’s one I intend to try:
Roasted Root Vegetables With Wine Sauce
Preheat Oven to 375 F
- 3 golden beets scrubbed
- 1 turnip, scrubbed, but not peeled, if organic
- 2 parsnips, scrubbed, but not peeled, if organic
- 2 large potatoes, do not peel if organic
- 3 carrots, scrubbed, do not peel, if organic
- 3 medium or 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 8 shallot cloves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons of a good prepared mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/3 cup red or white wine
- sea salt and pepper to tasteBring a large soup pot to boil.Cut all the vegetables into large chunks and put the chunked vegetables in to the boiling water in three or four batches. Boil 2-4 minutes for each batch. Take each batch out and drain.Put the olive oil in a large skillet. Mix wine, mustard and cumin. When oil is hot (but not smoking), add the mixture of vegetables to the oil.Add the root vegetables and the sliced shallots and garlic. Stir-fry until golden at the edges. Combine wine with the mustard and cumin and add to the pan. Add salt and pepper.Transfer to a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes. Turn over every 10-15 minutes.They should be golden and crispy.Serves 6-8
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!