“My cooking changed when I became a vegetarian – all of a sudden I had to look at cooking in a completely different way. The building blocks that I had grown up with and the rules I had learned as a chef didn’t quite fit anymore. So the challenge to find new ways to add texture, interest, and flavor to my food have meant using a new palate of ingredients and some new techniques in the kitchen.” – Anna Jones
With a title like A Modern Way to Eat, Anna Jones’ vegetarian cookbook makes a bold claim: the healthiest, most exciting, way to eat in the modern world is a plant-based diet filled with delicious, exciting recipes. Jones, best known as Jamie Oliver’s UK food stylist, has created a lovely collection of complex vegetarian recipes that are sure to please all crowds. The pictures are a beautiful combination of scenery and recipe options, and Jones’ voice and advice throughout the book make for a book that is as enjoyable to read as it is to rely on for recipes in the kitchen.
Jones’ signature style is a slightly elevated take on classics. Some of these are celebrated with specific recipes, but others offer readers the opportunity to get creative with flow charts that make for perfect meals (i.e. the ideal dinner salad). There are some delicious options for all times of day: Blueberry Pie Oatmeal, Butternut Squash and Kale Tart, Favorite Roasted Roots, Sweet Tomato and Black Bean Tortilla Bowls, Asparagus and Toasted Cashew Stir Fry, and Roasted Banana and Coconut Ice Cream. The recipes range from classics (like Banana, Blueberry, and Pecan Pancakes) to exotic new options (Raw Thai Citrus Crunch Salad). While some of the recipes are labor intensive, and some require hard-to-find ingredients, they are worth the effort. Jones celebrates the vegetarian lifestyle, but does not fully address other dietary preferences. This book is ideal for experienced chefs eager to expand their repertoire of delicious vegetarian options, but probably not well-suited for beginning chefs.