Tuesday, 8 October 2013

World Food Café: Quick & Easy: Recipes from a Vegetarian Journey

Cookbooks are always a joy to look through and I have many adorning my bookshelf.  Even though some aren’t fully vegetarian, I always like to read through them as it can trigger off ideas for veggie meals.  However, when a totally vegetarian book arrives on the market, I'm always fascinated to see what's featured.
One of the things I always like to do is research and explore different vegetarian dishes from around the world.  Not just European dishes on my doorstep such as cuisine from Italy or Greece, but I like finding out about countries further afield or ones that aren’t in the spotlight as much as their more well-known neighbours.
Upon receipt of the World Food Café: Quick & Easy: Recipes from a Vegetarian Journey book, I was delighted to see just that.  Countries featured include Bhutan, Lapland and Namibia to name a few.

Taking in the front cover, the attractive pink and green patterned hard back, hints at the vividness associated with the countries featured.  Written by Chris & Carolyn Caldicott, who once owned the World Food Cafe in Covent Garden London, this is their third book which documents their travel adventures by way of the vegetarian dishes they've experienced during their journeys. The book also has a 'travel diary' feel to it with a wonderful insight into some of the world’s most hidden corners bringing different cultures and cuisines to the forefront.  

The book is split into sections according to country/region with beautiful images accompanying the text about each place and its cultural approach to food especially towards vegetarianism.  Collected from home kitchens, street stalls, restaurants and roadside cafes, it gathers together dishes from some of the world’s most fascinating places, using a wonderful diversity of flavours.
The recipes are authentic yet are not available widely so having this book in your collection certainly means you are having something different.  Its appeal will be wide, but may lean towards more adventurous cooks that are looking to increase their repertoire, for those that have traveled extensively and wish to create their memories at home and yet still covering those vegetarians that demand more from their meal times.
The 100+ recipes are all easy to follow and there are so many to choose from that I have markers set up within the book to highlight which ones I want to make first!  I have already made the Yellow Split Pea Fritters with the Spicy Dipping Sauce.  I made these recently with some yellow split peas that I’ve had in my cupboard for a while and they were absolutely delicious and heightened by the accompanying sauce (which, by the way, I made without the chillis for preference).

As autumn continues and winter beckons, vegetables such as beetroot and Jerusalem artichokes come into their own and with apples in abundant glory for autumn, this recipe for Beetroot, Jerusalem Artichoke & Apple Salad with a Horseradish Sour Cream Dressing will make wonderful use of all  these ingredients.  A delicious autumnal/winter lunch option or side dish – a great accompaniment for those Boxing Day buffets perhaps?  The recipe is featured in the book and comes from the Helsinki/Lapland section – a region of the world that isn’t ordinarily synonymous for vegetarian food and also doesn’t have the mass culinary appeal that other places do, so reading about that region has come as a welcomed change. Here's the recipe to eat as the Finnish do:

Beetroot, Jerusalem Artichoke & Apple Salad with a 
Horseradish Sour Cream Dressing

Serves 4-6  

For the salad

  • 5 medium Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 medium cooked beetroot, cubed
  • 1 large tart apple, diced
  • 2 carrots, cut into julienne strips
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons beetroot juice
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
  • 180ml/6fl oz sour cream
  • heaped teaspoon hot horseradish
  • small handful of chopped dill

To serve

  • Mixed leaves such as sorrel, rocket, watercress, endive and frisée handful of chopped walnuts


  • Cook the Jerusalem artichokes in salted water until soft. 
  • Drain and rinse in cold water. 
  • Combine with the remaining ingredients.
  • Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together and season with salt and ground white pepper to taste.
  • Line a serving platter with the mixed leaves and pile the salad on top. 
  • Just before serving, drizzle with the sour cream dressing and garnish with chopped walnuts.

Recipe and images reproduced by kind permission from World Food Café: Quick & Easy: Recipes from a Vegetarian Journey by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott, published by Frances Lincoln www.franceslincoln.com

Pop-up food stall in Helsinki


Published by Frances Lincoln, the book is available widely for purchase and as a special offer for all Word In Veg Ways readers, you can buy the book for the discounted price of £16.00.  See below for further details.
The book as a whole is a fabulous read as a cookery book and, to a point, a travel journal too (giving me the travel bug again I have to say).  The recipes are easy to follow with nice research/reference notes to accompany them.  A beautifully visual book that will be a joy to re-read and re-visit time and time and time again making it a wonderful present for any vegetarian who is keen to explore something different and for those with a passion for lands far away.

Special Offer:  to order World Food Cafe: Quick & Easy (9780711232969) at the special offer price of £16.00 (inc UK p&p) please call Bookpoint on 01235 400 400 and quote the code 46WORLDFOODCAFE.

Disclosure:  This post was written following kind receipt of a complementary copy of:  World Food Café: Quick & Easy: Recipes from a Vegetarian Journey by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott.  This review was conducted honestly without bias and I was not required to produce a positive review.  For further details of my PR policy, please see the Press, PR & Food Writing page of this website. 

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