Cookery challenge #1

Hamlyn All Colour Vegetarian Cookbook

Hamlyn All Colour Vegetarian Cookbook

I mentioned vaguely a while back that I had an idea for a challenge involving all the cookery books that I almost never refer to any more. My plan is to feature the books one at a time on this blog and each time I do that, to actually use a recipe from them! Simple, but hopefully it will widen my cooking repertoire and reinvigorate the fun that the kitchen used to hold for me but hasn’t so much lately.

Let’s begin at the beginning. When I was 13 I told my parents I wanted to be a vegetarian. Their response was to buy me the Hamlyn All Colour Vegetarian Cookbook. When I look at it now, it seems a bit cheesy and dated, but this was how I learned to make ratatouille, pasta bake, stir fry, curry and peanut butter cookies. (Don’t get the wrong idea, I wasn’t suddenly left to fend for myself; my Mum and I explored this book together to begin with, but also my desire to be vegetarian came with a surge of interest in what I ate and how to vary it more.) This book went with me to university and every house I have lived in since then, and it falls open at favourite recipes such as carrot and mushroom loaf.


This week I was looking for a quick meal that would use some of the huge pile of vegetables from the veg box that was delivered Monday morning and I lit on a simple stir fry recipe in this book, blending British and Asian ingredients: chinese cabbage, brussels sprouts, leek, cauliflower, soy sauce. I amended it a bit to what we had available and voila: a variant on my favourite quick supper. Very tasty too. And I have a hankering to make carrot and mushroom loaf again soon.

Stir fry