One of the reasons I was interested in reviewing FOOD: Vegetarian Home Cooking is because I’ve gradually been eating less meat and more veggies, but it can be challenging to make interesting veggie meals. I’ve never actually been a big meat-eater, but I do crave a juicy burger now and then! I may crave one less frequently now though, because there are so many great veggie recipes to try in this book! If you are wanting to eat less meat and find delicious ways to make fresh and simple vegetarian meals, you may want to check this book out, too.
Author Mary McCartney, an acclaimed photographer, grew up on vegetarian cooking and remembers many happy times in the kitchen with her mother, Linda McCartney. “During those times,” she writes, “I soaked up her knowledge, and gained an understanding of how certain extra-simple ingredients or cooking techniques could transform an ordinary dish into something special.” There are many gorgeous color photos throughout the book, taken by Mary, and even a few old family photos at the beginning that include her mother and her father Paul.
There are a wide range of great-sounding recipes, with chapters on…
- Breakfast and Brunch
- Snacks and Sandwiches
- Soups, Salads, and Starters
- Basics and Sides
- Desserts and Baking
I thought the Deep-Filled Omelette, Lip-Smacking Minestrone, Asparagus Summer Tart, Mac and Cheese with Crispy Topping, Linda’s Lemon Drizzle Cake, and Peaches and Cream Pavlova sounded especially good. But I couldn’t resist trying the Black Bean, Sweet Corn and Feta Tacos first, because it was such a unique recipe! I’m so glad I did, because I thought they were great–I love all these flavors together. They are a little messy to eat, like most tacos are, but you can always wrap the ingredients up in a soft taco or tortilla shell if you prefer. Here’s the recipe…
BLACK BEAN, SWEET CORN AND FETA TACOS from Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking
I’ve always loved tacos but this is a little deviation from how I usually make them, to include the corn. My mum loved Mexican food and she also loved corn, eating it from the cob when it was in season. I think it adds a lovely, crunchy texture to this particular taco combination. The added bonus is that these are quick and easy to make. –Mary McCartney
Serves 2 (2 tacos per person)
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable or light olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 15-ounce can black beans
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 slices pickled jalapeno (from a jar), chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, or 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh red chili
- pinch sea salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 ounces sweet corn, cut (1 large cob fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 4 taco shells
- 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- juice of 1 lime
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat and saute the chopped onion for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the black beans in a sieve, and then stir them into the onion in the pan. Add the garlic, jalapeno or chili, the sea salt, and the cumin, and heat for 5 minutes until cooked through.
To cook the corn (if fresh), place it in a small saucepan with boiling water and simmer for a couple of minutes until hot; drain.
In the meantime, wrap the taco shells in aluminum foil and put them in the oven for 5 –10 minutes to heat up.
When the taco shells are warm, remove them from the oven, then divide the bean mix evenly between the 4 tacos, top with the cooked corn and, finally, sprinkle the crumbled feta over the top. Finish off with a little squeeze of lime juice, and serve hot.
Are you more of a veggie-eater than a meat-eater? What types of veggie meals do you like to make?
These sound wonderful! I have her mother’s cookbook that I still use since I am a vegetarian. Great Review!
Thanks, Susan! I didn’t realize Linda had written cookbooks, so I will have to check them out!
I’ve been a vegetarian for over 10yrs and get better at making good veggie food all the time! I used to eat frozen soy nuggets a lot but now I know how to make meat subs for all sorts of meals. Good luck!
Thank you! 🙂 Yes I think the more I do it, the better I will get at substitutions! I don’t think I’ll be going totally vegetarian, but it’s certainly a healthier way for me to eat since my cholesterol is on the high side!
I’m a meat eater myself so I see some ground beef in this recipe for myself. But it’s great to have these vegetarian recipes in case I have to feed some non meat eaters. Thanks for the recipe Nancy! 🙂 Lovely post.
You’re welcome, Anne! I think beef would be great in these, too!
I really like the way I eat- I seldom eat meat,and if I do it will be something like chicken breast or some nice fish. I cannot resist a nice barbque burger once or twice in summer, but those are the exceptions. I love using beans and lentils in my meals and it is hard to cook like this for just myself since my husband cannot imagine not having some sort of meat on his plate at mealtime.As you can imagine it is hard to come up with fuss-free meals I can come up with for myself. I did have a look at an older cookbook of Linda McCartney but it was not my own so I did not get to really see what sort of recipes she had. I sure believe I am a stronger and much healthier person with my eating habits and it sure does not leave me with a feeling that I am missing out in any way-quite the opposite. I sure hope you feel the same once you have comfortably settled into this routine.I look forward to seeing some great recipe ideas for meat- free meals anytime! Thanks so much for your lovely blog, love it!
Thanks, Carol! I’m the same way, I rarely eat beef, and when I do eat meat it’s mostly chicken for me. I have pork once in awhile in breakfast dishes like breakfast casseroles that call for sausage and bacon. But I definitely feel better when I don’t eat a lot of meat!
Hello Nancy, you are quite the little photographer your self, as you make this very simple meal look very special. I think I could easily be a vegetarian but I am the only girl in a houseful of men and hungry teenagers. I don’t think veggie meals would go over too well. However, I would like to use your adaptation of this recipe to add a little ground taco meat first then the rest of your toppings to help make more as my boys always eat me out of house and home. There never seems to be enough food for mom as I just get the scraps, so Always looking for ways to stretch the meals.
I think the ground beef would work well in this-hope you and your boys like it! 🙂
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