The PDQ Vegetarian

The PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick) Vegetarian by Donna Klein offers over 240 no- or low-prep healthy veggie recipes perfect for busy moms (or dads!) or frazzled college students on those too-tired-to-cook weeknights.

Divided into a fairly standard arrangement of starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, noodles, vegetable, grain and legume combos, sides, brunch and egg dishes, and desserts, most of the recipes feature no prep since you use prepackaged convenience food from the supermarket such as presliced and chopped veggies, bagged salad greens, canned beans, and prepared hummus.

The recipes are also clearly labeled as lacto-ovo, dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan (many recipes contain a vegan option). Roughly half the recipes are vegan or can be prepared as such with minimal alteration. The recipes are easy to follow, and many feature variations. Detailed nutritional info is included for each recipe.

One of the things I especially liked was the inclusion of delicious international recipes from Asian (Toasted Potstickers with Wasabi Cream, Miso Soup with Pot Stickers, Asian Noodle and Broccoli Slaw Wrap, Japanese Vermicelli in Peanut Sauce, Coconut Sticky Rice Pudding), Mexican (Easy Appetizer Burritos, Mexican Bean and Tortilla Soup, Bean Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Spanish Tortilla, Mexican Rice Pudding), Italian (Fresh Mozzarella, Cherry Tomato, and Basil Spears, Hearty Minestrone Soup, Pesto Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella and Cherry Tomatoes, Penne with Red Pepper Cream and Pine Nuts, Baked Pears with Caramel and Amaretti), and Middle Eastern (Artichoke Bottoms with Hummus, Chickpeas with Curried Mayonnaise, Moroccan Vegetable Stew over Couscous).

Each recipe is introduced by a brief, helpful paragraph including the author’s advice on preparation, presentation, and possible substitutions.

The recipes are quick and easy as promised, many with minimal prep and/or clean up, so this is a lifesaver for hectic weeknights, and vastly superior to bland, unhealthy frozen dinners or trans-fat-laden takeout. This is the perfect gift for your college-bound son or daughter!

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