Thursday, 4 February 2016

The Vegetarians Library: Sarah Beattie 'Meat Free Any Day'

I became acquainted with the rather beautiful and stunning Sarah Beattie in Glasgow.  I accidentally bumped into her in an Oxfam Bookshop on Byres Road, Glasgow - well not literally of course but I like to think so.  I found her first cookbook Neither Fish Nor Fowl: Meat Free Eating for Pleasure (1993) on the shelf and was charmed by the innovative recipes, the elegant presentation.  This was a stylish, sophisticated  and sumptuous vegetarian cookbook with recipes ahead of its time like Beetroot and Cranberry Consomme, Raspberry Soup, Avocado Soup, Stuffed Nasturtium Salad and that's just for starters.  It was a pioneering cookbook in my eyes, as it was the first vegetarian dinner party cookbook I came across that moved away from  the wholemeal way of cooking.  It also has Asparagus Eclairs and Chestnut Souffles and Raspberry Brulee and so so much more .   I have over the years adapted some of her recipes, such as Curried Peach Tartlets and Garlic and Shallot Risotto,

Her second cookbook The Table of Content: A Vegetarian Dinner Party Book for All Seasons (1995) is just as amazing... 'from the simplest vegetables to the more esoteric delights of borscht poached uszki with smetana...' but it is her most recent cookbook Meat Free Any Day (2014) which I received for Christmas from my husband that I have cooked from the most recently, as its foods that is calling to me.   

Meat Free Any Day is not like those glossy hardback coffee table cookbooks, that you will flick through but rarely cook from.  This is one cookbook you will use if its real proper food that you really want to eat.
Sarah Beattie was shortlisted for 2015 and 2013 Guild Food Writers' Awards Cookery Journalist of the Year.  Some of you may also know Sarah Beattie, she was a regular contributor to The Vegetarian Magazine until  a few months ago, Why Vegetarian  Living Magazine why?  

What some of you may not know is that Sarah Beattie was also Food and Drink/Radio Times Mastercook 1990 and Masterchef of the North in 1991. I mean how many vegetarian cooks and chefs win high profile cookery competitions these days, hardly any.  She has loads to be proud about and lots she can boast about,but she never has and never will. Sarah Beattie is a RARE and REAL talent and I am saddened that she is somewhat overlooked in todays Vegetarian and Vegan world (not by me though, never by me).   I feel somewhat an affinity to Sarah Beattie and want to praise her more, but instead will direct you to this honest and heartfelt article by Michael Gray, he may be biased as he is her husband, but I am not related in any way and echo every word he writes as I have come to love Sarah's passion and creativity for good food through her books and more recently social media - check out Sarah Beatties Facebook Page

Here are some recipes that I have made from  Meat Free Any Day, many more to come.  
 Tandoori Butterflied Aubergine
Parsnip Tamarind Curry
Winter Vegetable Tagine
Leek and Brie Rostiflette

Once again, please do check out Sarah Beatties Facebook Page too.   I am linking this with Cooking Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking Foray.  


  1. You take such lovely photos of your food--and thanks, another new-to-me veg cookbook to look into.

  2. I must admit I had not heard of her before but if you're a fan that's good enough for me! The food sounds fantastic and I am off to check out the Facebook page.

  3. I've never heard of Sarah Beattie, which on reading your post seems a poor effort. Her books look like they'd be well used and full of good ideas.

  4. That parsnip tamarind curry and Winter Vegetable Tagine look amazing! Thanks for sharing at Cookbook Countdown!

  5. Hi Shaheen,
    I have never heard of Sarah Beattie (gonna google for more info after this). Those dishes you've made looks delicious, especially the first one,Tandoori Butterflied Aubergine, looks really good, makes a satisfying meal served over the rice. Thank you for sharing with CC!

  6. That Tandoori Butterflied Aubergine looks great. I really have to try that one. We usually have tons of augergine in the garden.


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