I’ve been a fan of The Chubby Vegetarian for a long time. The recipes range from the simple to the extravagant, and many of those on the more simple end of the spectrum have entered my regular rotation. My veggie burger recipe is actually an adaptation of the Black Eye Burger. I’ve been following along for a while as Justin and Amy worked on the book, which includes a number of recipes from the blog that were culled, curated and nicely assembled with Justin’s photography.
The book is really helpful for anyone who’s interested in vegetarian-ized Southern cuisine, particularly if you’ve had any challenges approximating some old favorites like redeye gravy or authentic, hammy greens. The recipes aren’t fussy, but some do call for ingredients that may not currently be in your pantry. And other recipes may require a skill level that not everyone has if they didn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen with a mother or grandmother. The recipes generally have photographs of the finished product, not for the individual steps. So, for example, if you’ve never made a pie — crust and all — from scratch, you may want to do a little studying elsewhere before attempting Nannie’s Blueberry Pie.
However, I do recommend trying your hand at making some "bacon" from coconut and some of the other playful twists, such as beluga lentils and bean curd pork rinds. And in addition to recipes, the book contains some helpful information on stocking the Southern vegetarian pantry, including recommendations on what types and brands of products to use as well as storage tips. The authors are both from Mississippi and currently reside in Memphis, but recipes are included from areas all around the South.
You can pick up a copy of the book and meet the authors this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Barnes and Noble on West End. You can also enter here to win a copy of the book as well. Just leave a comment with your favorite Southern vegetarian dish or which one you'd most like to have vegetarian-ized. I'll choose a winner on Monday, so please be sure that your contact information is included in your Scene profile or leave your email address (substitute "at" for "@") or a Twitter handle in your comment.
Book Signing with Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence, authors of The Southern Vegetarian
Saturday, June 8, at 1 p.m.
Barnes and Noble
2501 West End Ave.
Update: we have a winner. Thanks to all who entered!