Who is actually slim and fit and happy with her/his streamlined silhouette? I guess only few. It was Christmas, you, your family and/or friends have often met for festive dinners and there will be more parties on New Year´s Eve. Soon, I guess it will be in January you are tired of eating (too much) and you want your slim figure back. As it is deep winter you want to do something for your health too. Perfect, you can have it all! You can eat as much as you want when it is vegetables, fruits, legumes, salads, nuts and seeds and you will soon look like the goddess/god you were before Christmas broke out.
This is my kind of vegetable thing (s. photo above) – pure, roasted in the oven with a lot of extra flavors (spices, herbs) and tasting as if a Michelin starred chef would have cooked it. My favorite is Alain Ducasse who is the chef with the most Michelin stars in the world! He started as a “normal chef” (for omnivores) and has been concentrating for several years on vegan and vegetarian cuisine as his wife and children are vegetarians. Another vegetarian newcomer is Albert Adrià whose book Vegetales a todo color (Vegetables in every color) is pure delight and inspiration. And yes, he is Ferran Adrià´s brother who invented the molecular cuisine.
A typical stew with autumnal vegetables (s. photo above). Simple and delicious at the same time. Chefs like Ducasse swear by fresh farmers´ produce. It must not be the exceptional nature of a special vegetable or of a complicated recipe that makes a meal so good, but the quality of the ingredients. One can see and even smell or taste it when taking a look on the photo above. The content of the pan promises pure delight. It is from one of many cookbooks by Ducasse for omnivores but contains many recipes with vegetables. It is so inspiring to learn cooking from the best chefs in the world.
I started cooking with a book by Paul Bocuse. As the Mediterranean chefs love using vegetables – usually tasting much better than plants from Middle Europe – you will find hundreds recipes for veloutés, veggie stews and sides (two sides make a perfect main course!) in their cook books. The very best thing I have learned from Bocuse was how to refine a velouté: if you taste it and you think it would need a kick add 2 – 3 tablespoons Noilly Prat (a French vermouth). This is so good! Try it, you will become addicted.
What starred chefs and vegetarians concern there is a pleasant anticipation for me. Only some days ago I found a “new” cookbook on internet by Alain Ducasse and two other chefs. It is called Fêtes végétales which means Vegetarian Feasts. It was edited in 2018 (don´t know how I could miss it) and promises what it is saying: festive meals for vegetarians. If you are like me vegan you can replace cheese by vegan cheese and an egg e.g. by 1 tbsp flaxseed and 3 tbsp water. As it is a cookbook written by three Mediterraneans everything is focussed on fresh vegetables.
The promising recipes are meals such as vegetarian caviar (photo above on the left) and stuffed mini-pumpkins or round courgettes. By the way you needn´t produce the vegetarian caviar yourself, one can even buy vegan caviar made of algae (seaweed) that tastes better than the orginal. – When watching the photo above on the right I am still craving for the meal. The mini-pumpkins are stuffed with artichokes, mushrooms, walnuts and sweet chestnut. The French cuisine isn´t incidental considered the best in the world.