Bods’s Cookbook Collection

Published on 8 March 2010 in , ,

Later this year it will be ten years since Catherine and myself moved in together, and the start of some changes in our lives. For starters we had to combine our books onto the same shelves. Oh and VHS tapes too. And lets not go there for the CDs, many of which we had in duplicate.

Curry cooking in progress!

And then there was eating together. That was a bigger change mainly as Catherine is one of those vegetarian things whilst I am a committed carnivore.

One way people handle such scenarios is to cook two separate meals however I instantly dismissed such a notion because it is harder work, involves washing up and is less cost effective. I’d happily cook and eat vegetarian food under a couple of conditions:

  1. no Quorn. I don’t do Quorn, or anything similar. My attitude, if you don’t eat meat, why eat something that tastes like meat, but isn’t quite right (it’s the texture that gets me every time – it’s never right) when there are lots of lovely vegetables, pulses and more to eat on. (I should note that soya mince and good vegetarian sausages are excluded from this ban – although we rarely have the latter as they’re so hard to find!)
  2. food must be tasty and interesting. If you know where to look, you can find some absolutely horrible, bland vegetarian food. Food that people eat because it’s healthy; because it’s worthy. Or food that’s just because the chef is just really bad and has no imagination. Catherine once had a meal in a pub that was tagliatelle, with sauce on top and a giant piece of unflavoured soya plonked on top. It looked awful. And I didn’t want any part of it. (In the same pub I had what looked like an burnt Fray Bentos pie. We never ate there again.)

For some reason Catherine agreed. Something to do with her not liking Quorn, but liking interesting, tasty food I think. And so it began.

As I do most of the cooking, there was a challenge in store – I had few vegetarian recipes in my collection, having got very few cookbooks anyway. My recipe collection had consisted of a few meals that I’d cooked for myself during my student years, and a couple of student cookbooks. It was blatantly obvious that the recipe repertoire needed updating – we needed some new cookbooks, stat!

Over the years we’ve now amounted a sizeable cookbook collection, so I’ve decided to review them. Rather than do the whole lot at once, I’m going to break it into a few different series of posts on this blog over the coming weeks, nay, more like months. I’m going to share what I have and review them for you, sharing what’s good and what’s bad in the veggie cook book arena.

I’m going to start the first batch of reviews tomorrow kicking off with an old veggie standby, and you can meet me here to read it. See you then!


  • RJG says:

    May I recommend for the sausages? Some good things there. But you have to stay in for the delivery. And the items are often short-dated.
    But other than that, I recommend them wholeheartedly.
    Also: for publishing your recipes as a book if you’re so inclined and have photos.

  • Andrew Bowden says:

    I really like the Waitrose ones, however it’s been six years since I lived near a Waitrose store! Last ones I bought were Cauldron Foods – alright but not brilliant.
    All sausages also have to pass the “Catherine test” – she’s probably more fussy on veggie sos than I am. Not surprising. There are some very bad vegetarian sausages out there (I’m looking at you Linda McCartney!) although to be fair, there’s lots of very bad meat ones too!
    I’m not sure I have enough recipes of my own to do a book – mind you, I have adapted a few of other peoples in interesting ways. And isn’t that what most chefs do anyway?!