One of my favorite things to do as a food blogger is check out and review new cookbooks. This is especially true when I have the opportunity to review cookbooks written by other bloggers that inspired me, way back before I started blogging myself.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to check out The Chubby Vegetarian: 100 Inspired Vegetable Recipes for the Modern Table by Justin Fox Burks & Amy Lawrence. The Chubby Vegetarian is a long-time favorite blog of mine, packed with hearty meatless recipes that would appeal to anyone — not just vegetarians. The book did not disappoint! You’ll find recipes inspired by dishes from around the world, all with veggies in the spotlight, and all super creative.
The vegetarian eggplant tajine was the first dish I tried from the book, and it’s a perfect example of one of those veggie-centric, flavor-packed dishes you’ll find in the book. It’s also super healthy — something that didn’t even occur to me until I was in the middle of cooking it! This one features lots of veggies — eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, along with fresh mint, chickpeas, Moroccan spices, and not a drop of oil. Everything gets cooked up briefly in a skillet on the stovetop, then popped into the oven for a half hour. It was really easy to throw together and made the house smell amazing. The dish turned out delicious, and really hearty, but perfect for summer thanks to all the seasonal produce it features.
I couldn’t find a single recipe in the book that didn’t sound amazing to me, but I’ve got a few bookmarked to try right away, including the Cedar Plank Wild Mushrooms with Mustard Vinaigrette, Spaghetti Squash Ribs, and Crispy Baked Avocado Tacos with Purple Cabbage Slaw. There are quite a few grilling recipes, so this would be a great book to have for the summer.
You can buy The Chubby Vegetarian: 100 Inspired Vegetable Recipes for the Modern Table on Amazon.
1 medium white onion (diced)
1 vegetarian bullion cube
1 heaping tablespoon ras el hanout
Zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 cup white wine (like pinot grigio)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (drained)
4 cups large diced eggplant (1 large or 4 medium Japanese, peeled)
2 medium green peppers (diced)
1 15-ounce can stewed tomatoes
Sriracha hot sauce (to taste)
2 cups prepared couscous
Greek yogurt, mint and lemon zest (optional, to garnish)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large oven-proof skillet with high sides over high heat, sauté the onion, bullion cube, ras el hanout, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic in a dry pan. Once the onion starts to caramelize (about 3 minutes), add the wine and deglaze the pan. Reduce the liquid by half, and add the chickpeas, eggplant, green peppers, stewed tomatoes, and Sriracha. Stir to incorporate.
Place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Serve over couscous. Garnish with Greek yogurt, mint, and lemon zest.
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