One need only flip through Donna Klein’s “Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen” to revel in the astounding variety of appetizers, soups, salads, sides, breads and desserts, all of which are vegan (meat-free, dairy-free, and animal byproduct-free). As a pleasant side effect, many recipes are also gluten-free as well, making them ideal for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance (Donna Klein has written a new cookbook, The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen: Delicious and Nutritious Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Dishes, that focuses specifically on gluten-free vegetarian cuisine). And perhaps my favorite selling point: no soy analogs. No tofu, TVP crumbles, soy sausage, soy hamburgers, etc. That’s great news for me, since I’m allergic to soy. These are purely Mediterranean recipes, allowing the glory of garden-fresh produce, hearty whole grains, olive oil, and herbs to shine through unadultered.
There are offerings from France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, and Israel that are sure to make your mouth water, whether you’re in the mood for a light snack (hummus, caponata, crostini with Tuscan bean spread), homemade Italian minestrone, exotic Moroccan feast, or a decadent dessert (numerous recipes for fruits poached in wine and other spirits).
If you’re interested in exploring Mediterranean vegetarian/ vegan dishes in-depth after trying the recipes in The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, be sure to check out vegan Italian cuisine in Klein’s Vegan Italiano: Meat-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free Dishes from Sun-Drenched Italy and Nonna’s Italian Kitchen: Delicious Homestyle Vegan Cuisine (Healthy World Cuisine). A fabulous look at Greek vegetarian cuisine can be found in Diane Kochilas’ The Greek Vegetarian: More Than 100 Recipes Inspired by the Traditional Dishes and Flavors of Greece.
For those watching their calories / fat / sodium, there are detailed nutritional analyses for each recipe. This may be the cookbook to make your carnivore friends realize what they’ve been missing!