Meatless All Day: Recipes for Inspired Vegetarian Meals by Dina Cheney is full of delicious sounding vegetarian (and some vegan) recipes. It starts with the basics- tips for making the perfect vegetables, cooking eggs, and enhancing “meatiness” in vegetarian ingredients. Cheney lists which recipes are vegan and also lists vegan substitutions on some recipes. This cookbook is broken up into sections: Breakfast and Brunch (Pumpkin Pear Pancakes, Cheddar Pecan Scones with Spiced Apple Butter), Lunch and Light Entrees (Black Bean Burgers with Grilled Mango-Lime Mayonnaise, Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Strawberries and Toasted Almonds), and Dinner (Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Stew topped with Puff Pastry, Pumpkin Lasagna with Brown Butter and Sage). I was a little disappointed there wasn’t a dessert section, but I guess most desserts are vegetarian to begin with. This isn’t a cookbook for beginners, but the recipes do seem fairly easy to make, although they include a lot of ingredients. The portions each recipe makes are fairly large, and Cheney includes serving suggestions for each recipe (ie what to serve before the entrée, and what dessert would pair well with the meal- again, if you’re going to list dessert suggestions, why not include recipes?). I’m not even a vegetarian but the recipes look delicious.
I decided to start with the Ricotta Pancakes with Berry Sauce. I’ve tried blueberry ricotta pancakes with Stacie before (see her review here), and I’ve been wanting to make them ever since. The recipe from Meatless All Day was easy to follow, although I would recommend making them on a day you’re not in a hurry- these take a little time to make.
Ricotta Pancakes with Berry Sauce
For the sauce:
4 cups frozen mixed berries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed, strained lemon juice (from about 2)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
For the pancakes:
3 large eggs, divided
2 cups 2% milk (I used whole milk because that’s all I ever buy)
1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon)
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
About 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for cooking the pancakes (I didn’t find this to be necessary)
Make the sauce:
Place all of the sauce ingredients, except the vanilla, in a heavy medium-sized saucepot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until a relatively thick liquid forms, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and keep warm.
Make the pancakes:
With a hand mixer (or in a standing mixer), whip the egg whites on medium speed (I used a higher speed) until they form soft peaks, 6 to 7 minutes. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, ricotta, and lemon zest until well blended. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
With a wooden spoon, stir the yolk-milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (don’t overmix). With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the egg whites, being careful not to overmix (you don’t want to deflate the eggs).
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy, 12-inch nonstick saute pan over medium heat. When hot, use a 1/4 cup measure to pour five pancakes into the pan. When they puff up and form lots of tiny holes (after about 2 minutes), carefully flip them over and cook the other side until the center is cooked through, about another 2 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil and repeat with another five pancakes. Continue cooking the pancakes, adding about 1 tablespoon of oil before each batch, until all of the pancakes are cooked. Serve immediately, drizzled with the berry sauce or with the sauce on the side.
These pancakes were amazing! I thought the recipe was written in an overdone way (for example, I didn’t find it necessary to use a whisk for one bowl, then a wooden spoon, then a rubber spatula- I just used a spoon for all of those steps and it was fine), but these tasted soooo good. Definitely serve them right away, the flavors really work when these are warm. The berry sauce was a nice touch- it was a little lemony and sweet, and complemented the creamy, fluffy pancakes very well. I will be making these again… and again… and again. Now I’m really excited to try some of the other recipes in Meatless All Day.
I received a digital copy of Meatless All Day: Recipes for Inspired Vegetarian Meals by Dina Cheney from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.