What is it that home cooks really want? Easy to cook meals that taste delicious! Seems simple enough, right? Are you like me, after flipping through a cookbook (close to or at suppertime) you realize that the recipes will a) take too long, b) you don’t have the ingredients, and c) your child is riding the Hangry Express right into Monster Station (meaning supper needs to happen now). Since I’m not really a weekly meal planner type of person I find myself in these predicaments from time to time, so I really appreciate cookbooks that provide easy and delicious recipes, so I’m never stuck. Ylva Bergqvist‘s 30-Minute Vegetarian is a cookbook that has saved me at dinnertime quite a few times already.
When a cookbook boasts “# of minutes or less” you can usually take that claim with some degree of skepticism. However, after cooking 10% of the recipes in 30-Minute Vegetarian I can agree that Bergqvist’s front cover claim “100 green recipes to prep in 30 minutes or less” is quite accurate. It’s also important to note that while the book is written for vegetarians (lacto-ovo to be precise) half of the recipes are vegan. Those vegan recipes have also been helpfully marked with a symbol for easy identification. Bergqvist’s book is geared specifically for lunch or dinner, there are no breakfast, snack, or dessert recipes. At the end of the book she’s dedicated a section to “basic recipes” — ones that will take a bit more time (i.e. homemade kimchi or paneer) but they’re recipes that she feels will taste better and save you a bit of money.
The recipes are divided into 5 main sections: Mediterranean Magic, Potluck Club, Crowd Pleasers, Hello Asia, and Green is Good. Bergqvist has taken inspiration from around the world and while vegetables are the key ingredients in her recipes, I found that she uses other ingredients such as halloumi and miso to really add flavour and/or texture to a dish. For the most part the ingredients she uses in her recipes are most likely in your fridge or pantry right now and, if they’re not, they can be easily be sourced at your local grocery store. Bergqvist very helpfully gives tips on how to repurpose some leftovers into new dishes (for example if you have any Celeriac Mash w/ Brown Sage Butter and Butter Beans leftover then she gives instructions on how to turn them into Bean Burgers).
All the recipes totally delivered on flavour! One of the recipes I made a few times is the Sweet Potato Patties w/ Halloumi. Halloumi is a favourite ingredient with my husband and daughter and I really appreciate how she incorporated it into the patties. A little-known fact: you can grate halloumi! So, you can imagine how well the grated sweet potato and halloumi pair together — sweet, salty, and crispy. I served the patties with quinoa and wilted, lemon-drenched kale but I think you could even serve these rosti-style patties on a bun and make a burger out of them. She served them topped with runny, fried eggs in the book. The possibilities are endless!
I really liked how the recipes creatively reinvented common place recipes — regular gnocchi is made with mashed beans instead of potato or her Artichokes w/ Cannellini Beans was a nice change from that other popular bean spread: hummus. Speaking of these recipes reminds me of the surprise I felt at how much my daughter enjoyed both. I used the spread in a grilled cheese sandwich, and she love it! I think the jarred artichokes add a nice umami element, where hummus can be a bit bland at times (depending on how you make it). In all honesty when I was making the Bean Gnocchi, I hid the tin of lima beans because I knew if anyone spotted it on the kitchen counter they would have complained. After I served the gnocchi my daughter immediately liked it (she thought it tasted “like hummus”) and my husband was lukewarm on them. He much prefers the “regular” gnocchi, which has a different texture and mouthfeel. I liked them because of the added nutrients from the beans (and, for anyone looking for a good vegan gnocchi recipe I would recommend them).
Other recipes that delighted us were the Tomato w/ Miso Soup (which is such a wonderful combination!) and Nachos w/ Sweetcorn, Cheese, Beans, and Tomato Salsa. Often when the corn is at its peak summertime freshness it seems like it’s all anyone wants for dinner here, but I like the idea of serving them with these loaded nachos. A bit more filling and it makes a perfect, easy weekend meal! Going back to the Tomato w/ Miso Soup, I found that Bergqvist really uses miso quite a lot throughout the book. So, while this may be a new or specialty ingredient to some, the book offers many ways to give it a try. If you want your kids to enjoy broccoli and asparagus, then do as Bergqvist does and add miso butter. My daughter couldn’t get enough of it!
Weeknights get busy and I’ve really appreciated being able to turn to Ylva Bergqvist’s 30-Minute Vegetarian for delicious, easy to prepare recipes. Whether your family is vegetarian (like mine), you’re looking for simple Meatless Monday inspiration, or you’re trying to incorporate more veggies into your diet then I think 30-Minute Vegetarian is what you’re looking for. Check out my custom Instagram hashtag #eatworthyvegetarianrecipesin30minutes or my dedicated Facebook post to see what we’ve been enjoying.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hardie Grant Books and Raincoast Books for providing me with a free, review copy of this book. I did not receive monetary compensation for my post, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.