09 February 2013

Weekend Cooking: Teen Cuisine New Vegetarian by Matthew Locricchio

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Nowadays, there's hardly a family or group of friends that doesn't include at least one vegetarian and perhaps even a vegan. Cookbook author, chef, and ex-TV star, Matthew Locricchio is an expert in recipes suited to kids and teens, which means his Teen Cuisine New Vegetarian is sure to be a hit with many young cooks and their parents.

Locricchio starts out with simple tips and information for beginning cooks and for those who are just starting out as vegetarians. His goal is to provide a core repertoire of dishes that have a range of flavors, are fairly easy to put together, and are appealing to both teen and adult vegetarians of all kinds. The book's mouth-watering recipes, from breakfast to dessert, offer modern versions of familiar foods plus some surprises.

Teen Cuisine New Vegetarian is printed on sleek but nonglossy paper and uses an earthy green and gold color scheme. Handy icons quickly point out which recipes are good for vegans and which for vegetarians who prefer raw foods. Scattered throughout the book are helpful chef's tips that ensure success. Besides introductions, beautiful full-page photographs, and clear ingredient lists, recipes are divided into fun and helpful "On your mark," "Get set," and "Cook!" sections that help teens develop the habit of preparing ingredients and gathering supplies before turning on the heat.

From p. 118 of the cookbook
Most teens will appreciate the obvious respect Locricchio has for them. The recipes have not been dumbed down for young cooks and provide a global range of flavors. None of the recipes is difficult to make, but some require more time and perhaps a bit of patience. There is a quick egg scramble with Mexican seasonings as well as several versions of hand-rolled vegetarian sushi.

Another plus is that Teen Cuisine New Vegetarian doesn't rely heavily on soy products and fake meats. One or two recipes call for tempeh and at least one calls for tofu, but in general, Locricchio has developed dishes based on fresh vegetables, beans, and some grains. Vegans will, however, welcome the optional soy dairy products.

Here are a few of the recipes that look particularly good to me and I know would also appeal to my teenage, vegetarian niece (who also likes to cook):
  • Sloppy Janes, which are full-flavored and mushroom based
  • New Waldorf salad, which includes jalapenos and fennel
  • Hodgepodge, which is quinoa based and has bright flavors
  • Curried vegetarian stir-fry, which is perfect for summer and is shown in the scan
  • Cupcakes, chocolate and vanilla with both flavors of frosting
If you have a vegetarian teen in your house, Teen Cuisine New Vegetarian would be a welcome addition. But note that the cookbook is perfect for beginning cooks of all ages and anyone who is new to vegetarianism. I was also happy to see that most of the recipes would work for people on a gluten-free diet, and of course the vegan dishes are perfect for those with a dairy allergy.

Here's quick drink snack that works for both vegetarians and vegans.

Strawberry Lassi
Serves 2
  • 1 cup (10 to 12) fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1½ cups plain whole-milk yogurt or soy yogurt
  • ⅓ cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 5 to 6 ice cubes, plus more for serving
On your mark, get set . . .

If you are using fresh strawberries, wash them and let them drain in a colander, tossing them lightly, to remove any excess water. Cut away any dark spots or soft brown sections from the berries. Remove the stems. The tip of a teaspoon works well for this. Slice the strawberries in half and put in a blender.

If you are using frozen strawberries, let the whole berries partially thaw in a bowl. Transfer them to a blender.


Add the yogurt, water, sugar, cardamom, and ice to the blender in the order given and press firmly in place.

Blend at high speed for 20 seconds, or until smooth.

Divide between two glasses and serve immediately.

Buy Teen Cuisine New Vegetarian at an Indie or a bookstore near you. This link leads to an affiliate program.
Published by Amazon publishing, 2012
ISBN-13: 9780761462583
Rating: B+
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


rhapsodyinbooks 2/9/13, 7:08 AM  

Actually this sounds like it would also make a good Husband Vegetarian Cuisine book!

caite 2/9/13, 7:18 AM  

I think it would be of interest not only to young people but to many of us who would like to add more meatless options.

Rikki 2/9/13, 8:11 AM  

Sounds like a great book for young vegetarians indeed. I like that it does not focus on meals that "fake" the meat.

Kristen 2/9/13, 8:58 AM  

My 14 year old daughter who loves to cook has gone vegetarian for the month of February and it looks like this would be a good one for her. Would get me off the hook trying to always come up with a viable option for her and for her (almost exclusively) carnivorous brothers. ;-)

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 2/9/13, 9:03 AM  

What a great idea for a cook book. So often this is a time when many start experimenting with being a vegetarian. I might have had a phase that lasted a minute. Great resource.

bermudaonion 2/9/13, 9:37 AM  

I agree with Nicole - this sounds perfect since so many teens experiment with being vegetarians.

(Diane) bookchickdi 2/9/13, 10:03 AM  

Oh this would be perfect for my nephew, he eats vegan and is just starting to cook.

Esme 2/9/13, 10:17 AM  

I now have my nephew living with me and we have started cooking together. He would probably enjoy this.

Beth S. 2/9/13, 10:41 AM  

I think I had an opportunity to review this one and I passed on it. Now I kind of wish I had taken that opportunity.

Patty 2/9/13, 10:45 AM  

I have started cooking vegetarian more and more often, because as you say there's bound to be someone in the house/among friends. Good to have "real" produce in the recipes and not fake, because that's really not the point!

Vasilly 2/9/13, 11:53 AM  

I think I'm going to try the strawberry lassi recipe.

Peaceful Reader 2/9/13, 12:00 PM  

This sounds like an amazing book with a beautiful cover. I could really use a few sips of a strawberry lassi this morning.

Margot 2/9/13, 1:06 PM  

A couple of the recipes you mentioned in this book appeal to me. I'd be interested in a new waldorf salad. Also the Strawberry Lassi sounds good. We're just startong to get new fresh strawberries here in California.

Heather Webb 2/9/13, 1:43 PM  

I agree with rhapsody--this would make a good husband cookbook. What a great idea to write a cookbook for a teen!

Melissa 2/9/13, 1:47 PM  

Great post ... I'm going to check this cookbook out for myself (I did a very similar post today) and my daughter.

Carole 2/9/13, 1:55 PM  

Hi there. thanks for the lovely party - the best one I go to. such great people. Have a great week.

Ps I've now put your button onto my new Link Ups page.

Joy Weese Moll 2/9/13, 2:27 PM  

The strawberry lassi looks really good -- a good excuse for buying some frozen strawberries in mid-winter while we wait for spring.

This sounds like an excellent cookbook. I love the way it encourages a preparation phase -- it took me years to learn the importance of that and not confusing the process by trying to cook before I was ready.

Beth Hoffman 2/9/13, 4:50 PM  

I'm VERY interested in this cookbook and intrigued by Sloppy Janes!

lawstudentscookbook 2/9/13, 11:58 PM  

Even not being a vegetarian, the Sloppy Janes sound great!

Ali 2/10/13, 12:14 AM  

I love lassi, but I've never had strawberry lassi. Sounds terrific!

Cecelia 2/10/13, 11:00 AM  

No one in my immediate circle is vegetarian, but I do have a cousin who I could gift this one to. That strawberry lassi recipe looks delicious!

Thanks for sharing!

Sue Jackson 2/10/13, 1:38 PM  

The teen vegetarian cookbook looks great! A young vegetarian friend of ours graduates from college this spring - this might be a perfect gift for her.


Book By Book

Fay 2/10/13, 2:12 PM  

This looks like a wonderful family resource. We also liked Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs by Rozanne Gold.

Jen Greyson 2/11/13, 12:13 AM  

Sounds like a pretty book, as well as a useful one!

Julie P. 2/11/13, 7:21 PM  

I like that this cookbook doesn't use a lot of tofu. It's more my idea of vegetarian! And that lassi recipe looks terrific.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 2/11/13, 9:34 PM  

That Teen Cuisine might be a great one for me. I am looking to try some easy vegaterian recipes.

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