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Linda's Kitchen is a 192 page, hardback vegetarian cookbook by Linda
Mc Cartney. It was first published in 1995 by Bramley Books.
I love cooking and for me a perfect evening is to snuggle up with a glass of wine and a good cookbook. I tend to read from cover to cover taking in new recipes or ideas for future reference and will bookmark things that I want to try out. I was given Linda's Kitchen a few years ago but for some unknown reason it is one of my most neglected and unused books. The kids were all out last weekend so having a bit of peace and quite for once I decided to read it again. I really enjoyed reacquainting myself with this lovely book and have been inspired to try out some new ideas on my family.
Last Sunday I tried Linda's meatless loaf which was a success with my fussy kids. During the week we had Toad in the hole, Tuscan bean and cabbage soup with cheesy dumplings, Shepherd's pie and tonight we are having mushroom risotto.
Linda's Kitchen is a no nonsense simple cookbook. I would recommend this for, obviously, vegetarians and vegans, any new or underconfident cooks and for those looking to eat healthier, wholesome food. The recipes are short and sweet, my sort of cooking. Most of the food is beautifully illustrated and is substantial family fare. Many people consider vegetarian food to be fiddly, unfulfilling and expensive; Linda's Kitchen will dispel these myths immediately. I don't like to follow a recipe to the letter and never really weigh anything so Linda's Kitchen is great for me as the recipes are quite often flexible and she makes suggestions to vary to suit your taste.
There is a brief introduction about Linda and her views on being vegetarian. The book goes straight into menu planners for the four seasons in the year. Each season has 8 suggested menus for various meals. The menus cover a variety of occasions such as formal dinner parties, family meals, international foods, Barbecues and informal dining. They vary from a romantic meal for 2 up to a buffet for 24 people. The menus give the page number for each recipe. The vegan friendly recipes have a V next to the title.
The chapters in the book are standard and cover soups, starters, main courses, pasta, rice and potatoes, pastry, barbeque's, salads, sauces and dips, deserts, cakes and biscuits and basic pastry recipes. There are 4 pages dedicated to Vegetarian questions and answers, which is interesting. 3 pages cover suggested pantry food for the vegetarian and the conclusion before the index is about nutrition for vegetarians.
I know some people buy quorn products and are frightened to experiment. There are many recipes in this book that incorporate the use of mince or chunks of quorn.
I find that a lot of recipe books give tiny portion sizes and you will have to double the quantities for a decent family meal. Linda is generous in her servings. A cake will be a real cake not a muffin sized offering.
A recipe that I took from this book when I first got it and have prepared quite often is spaghettini with sun-dried tomatoes, aubergines and chilli. I have even served this at a last minute dinner party and it well down surprisingly well with some garlic bread and a good bottle of red wine.
There is a lovely recipe for a good old fashioned plum cobbler which is very quick and easy to make, delicious and very naughty with a dollop of cream. There are plenty of mouth watering puds that you would make rather than just look at. There are also some, all too often forgotten, delights such as apple pie, bakewell tart and floating islands.
This book will be enjoyed by both carnivores and veggies. The veggie substitutes could easily be replaced with meat. This is a book for novice and competent cooks alike. It has recipes for some good old traditional food that you would never would have considered possible to be vegetarian.
Linda's Kitchen can be bought for £9.99 from