The authors, David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, are a Swedish couple and with three young children one imagines a lot of their time must be spent in the kitchen.
Not surprisingly, there are lots of child-friendly vegetarian dishes and some of these appear in the Handy Meals section.
They include broccoli, spinach and apple muffins but these take an hour to get ready and parents might prefer sweet potato wraps, which take only half an hour. These wraps come with a Middle Eastern flavour by way of tahini, sliced dates and a quarter of a pomegranate.
Breakfasting families need a routine and for David and Luise this comes down to a hearty porridge. Recipes for three variations of oatmeal are in their book and you also find a set of open-faced rye bread sandwiches with colourful toppings which can be prepared in five minutes.
Too much routine turns the ceremony around food into mere repetition and David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl clearly understand this.
They seek to bring fun into the kitchen and, while remaining committed vegetarians (though Luise was a carnivore when they married), they find time for indulging in butter- and sugar-heavy cardamom buns. Being healthy, they state, is about wellbeing and this doesn’t preclude the occasional treat.
A lot of the recipes are quick ones and each comes with an estimate of the preparation time involved. I followed the instructions for vegan mushroom and lentil burgers with sweet potato fries– one hour and fifteen minutes according to the book – and although it took longer this was mainly because I forgot to put the lentils on the boil before getting to work on the other ingredients.
The fries also took longer than expected but this could be due to the ancient microwave I was relying on.
What does save a lot of time is to be found in the first chapter of “Green kitchen at home”, called Fridge Favourites, because here are the building blocks for lots of recipes in the book: a batch of tomato sauce, pesto, hummus, pumpkin purée, rice, multi-coloured flatbreads. When time is short, they can be combined with one another for quick, unfussy meals.
This is a versatile cookbook and you’ll also find recipes for more elaborate meals, suitable for weekends with friends and family. These include a splendid starter – a farinata with roasted grapes and ricotta – healthy salads and a vegetarian take on bouillabaisse.
The desserts all look as deliciously wicked as one hopes for with the last course of a meal. Sugar and eggs abound but also featured are pumpkins, beetroot, and avocado. You won’t go hungry with these recipes and non-vegetarians should have little to complain about.
“Green kitchen at home” by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl is published by Hardie Grant.