Cookbook challange

Someone in the OU Food and Drink forum came up with the idea of picking a cook book and trying to cook as many of the recipes from that book during 2009. I have decided to join in and the book I have chosen is ‘Seasonal Vegetarian’ by Sarah Bounds. This is now out of print I believe, but I am using the ‘revised and extended’ edition, with a publication date of 1986. Its a Mark’s and Spencer book, if this helps anyone track down a copy.

I have chosen a vegetarian book as I am vegetarian but my husband (M) and little boy (A) aren’t and I want to cook more especially for me. Sometimes I cook something different for the boys with meat in it, or add meat at the end for them but M doesn’t like a lot of vegetables so this restricts what I can cook. If its just me and A I can be more adventurous, even tho he is only 16 months old, he eats pretty much anything and loves his veg. Sunday roast is probably his favorite meal though.

The book is divided into seasons although I am looking at the chapters either side and not sticking ridgidly to their definition of seasons. According to the book it is winter until the end of Feburary, and then it will be spring. I am hoping this is going to hold true.

I also get a weekly veg box delivery on a wednesday so I adapt recipes to what I have received or need to use up. At the moment I am cooking a lot of soup to use things up – parsnips again, anyone have any more recipes for parsnip soup? – and because I like A to have something hot at lunchtime. He likes dunking his bread into soup, very cute.

Hopefully this gives you some idea what sort of cook I am. Please don’t expect lots of pretty pictures of what I cook, I’m afraid I don’t usually have time to grab the camera before it gets eaten, and photography is more M’s thing. If you want to see the blogs of other people doing this challange please look at the list at the side.

Now I have most of a large celeriac to use up from this weeks box and ‘the book’ doesn’t mention them which is a good start. Yesterday I adapted a favorite recipe from here, using onions instead of shallots, celeriac instead of celery and I added a carrot for good measure. I forgot to add a parsnip, doh! I cooked it a little longer because of the harder root veg and I had no basil (still need to get the herb garden up and growing) but it was jolly tasty anyway and used up some of the enormous (and pretty ugly!) celeriac. Not sure what to do with the rest.

Tonight was mushroom and white wine risotto, a favorite I don’t use a recipe for, and used up the mushrooms from the box. I haven’t decided what to cook for the rest of the week but celeriac, cabbage and parsnips are likely to feature a lot. Suggestions welcome 🙂


  1. Maggie said

    Hi Rachel! Don’t worry about pictures, it is just nice to hear what you’ve been cooking. You sound very lucky to have a little one that eats so well and eats everything – although I do believe that most of the problems that other people seem to have with their children’s eating fads is down to having given them too much choice and also giving them different or ‘children’s’ food instead of what everyone else was eating.

    Celeriac is yummy in soups, of course, but also makes a great gratin with potatoes – blanch slices of celeria for a few minutes in boiling water, then layer up in a buttered dish with potatoes and thinly sliced onion, adding salt, pepper and nutmeg as you go. Pour over a mixture of veg stock (Marigold is fine) anf whole milk to almost cover the veg. Dot a bit of butter on the top, cover with foil and bake in a medium-hot oven (about 180) for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes until the top is nicely browned and most of the liquid has been absorbed. You can replace the milk with cream if you are all nice and slim! Delicious served with sausages or a piece of salmon, or just as a veggie main course with lots of green veg, perhaps some roasted tomatoes or a rocket salad.

  2. Veronica said

    Hi Rachel!

    Maggie’s gratin sounds fab; celeriac also makes nice mash (if you don’t have much left you can stretch it with potato, then mash with plenty of milk and butter, and season with nutmeg.

  3. Sunny said

    Hi Rachel
    How lovely to have another person join the challenge, and thank you for posting links to all our blogs. I’ll have to work out how to do that on mine so I can return the favour.
    The weekly veg box delivery is a nice idea but challenging at times it seems. In the Recipe folder of our OU Food & Drink conference I posted a Greek recipe for celeriac with pork, you could omit the meat and make a thick avgolemono sauce. Unfortunately we don’t get parsnips in Greece. I remember liking them roasted.
    Good luck with your challenge.

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