Cheap and easy vegetarian

Ooh, should I call myself a ‘cheap and easy vegetarian’? Sounds dodgy!

Cheap and easy vegetarianNow that I have given up meat and gone back to being a veggie, I have been digging out some of my old vegetarian cookbook favourites. They are well thumbed as I never stopped using them. Even when I was eating meat we always had vegetarian food twice a week.

Going back to the greats

Many of my vegetarian cookbooks are practically vintage. The one that provoked the title of this post was Cheap and Easy by Rose Elliot. She was THE veggie food writer when I first gave up meat  in the late seventies. This one appeared in 1988.

I was having a browse through it last night with my vegan lodger. There are many very good recipes in there which, as the title of the book suggests, are cheap and easy vegetarian food and  quite a few vegan recipes as well.

Some old favourites

Some of the corners of the pages are turned over where years ago I marked dishes that looked particularly interesting. I am going to give some of these old recipes a try.

Glamorgan ‘sausages’, made with breadcrumbs, cheese, onions and lots of herbs appear promising and I remember eating lentils and mushrooms au gratin a lot (we called it lentil slop, but it was really delicious!). Vegetable rice with roasted nuts is a kind of veggie paella and easy nut burgers will be worth making in batches for the freezer.

Rose Elliot on the Internet

Finding this old book made me wonder what happened to Rose Elliot. I was delighted to discover that she is still going strong and has her own website.

She still sells lots of books but Cheap and Easy seems to be unavailable there, along with another  favourite, Not Just a Load of Old Lentils (which I have lost). However, she does have a promising looking collection in the Rose Elliot’s New Complete Vegetarian . If I am lucky enough to get vouchers for Christmas I am going to buy it!

In the meantime, I had a look on Amazon and found Not Just a Load of Old Lentils, so bought it for a mere £3 including postage. Bargain! If you fancy it, Cheap and Easy: Essential vegetarian collection is on there too from 1p plus postage.

I am really happy to have rediscovered this great writer. Her books will help me to be a cheap and easy vegetarian on a budget.

Does anyone else have recommendations for interesting vegetarian food writers?

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17 thoughts on “Cheap and easy vegetarian

  1. Oh, that’s a blast from the past, Jane. I have some Rose Elliot books in the cupboard somewhere. I tried some recipes but I found them all rather brown and heavy, but I could try again. I have a lovely M&S Veggie cook book from the 1980s, and from that I’ve used several recipes, but mainly the pestou soup which we love.
    Margaret P

  2. I have a dish I call “lentil slop” too!

    In terms of books I really like “Keep It Vegan” by Aine Carlin, which is usually available for around a fiver in The Works., although there are lots of recipes on her blog too.

  3. I used to make Glamorgan sausages quite often when the children were younger. My son was vegetarian from 9 years old to 18 and my favourite book was Cheap and Cheerful-Alternative eating on a budget published by the vegetarian society and cost £1. I have looked for it since but they don’t publish it any more. I’m not vegetarian but do have a lot of meat free days. I used to borrow Rose Elliot books from the library. I also liked the Cranks recipe book and made their homity pie.

  4. I go to Weight watchers and they have recently changed their plan to include lots more pulses and beans etc which have are zero pointed (free). I made the Moroccan style Shepherds pie made with green lentils and it was delicious. I didn’t tell hubby there was no meat in it and it didn’t bother him at all. I am trying more as it helps the budget go further.

  5. Vintage cook books are great! We use my partner’s old copy of The Cranks Recipe Book from 1982, the nut roast recipe is a classic. Slim and Healthy Vegetarian by Judith Wills is also worth tracking down for good, straightforward veggie recipes 🙂

  6. Not just a load of old lentils was my cooking bible when I was at university 1980-1983, a thoughtful present from my mum. I also bought Rose’s Mother and Baby Cookbook when my children were babies. More recently I like Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook (not exclusively vegetarian) – my copy is falling apart from use – and Sophie Grigson’s Eat Your Greens is in a similar state and excellent too. Even more recently every week I follow at least a couple of new recipes from Anna Jones. She writes for the Saturday Guardian and her third Cookbook has just been published. Her two earlier books are A Modern Way to Cook and A Modern Way to Eat.

  7. I have a beautiful old vegetarian book by Sarah Brown, a British writer. And, I do prefer British vegetarianism, old-style. When I browse through Sarah’s book, I am reminded that Back In The Day, even vegetarians did not eat a lot of food, our portions were smaller. Although I do use pulses, my body would prefer me not to… so I need to add some eggs and cheese, which Sarah did use.

    I would love the recipe for Glamorgan vegetarian sausages…….

  8. I, too, learned to cook vegetarian cuisine from Rose Elliot’s first books. I still make a version of her brown nut roast – it’s good cold in sandwiches, a bit like vegetarian corned beef. I have the older version of her Classic vegetarian cookbook and enjoy that. Like the reader above, I also used her Mother, Baby and Toddler book – I hung onto it long after my girls ceased to be little because my edition has extensive and very useful nutritional information. It came in handy again when we had surprise baby number three 🙂

  9. I had completely forgotten the existence of ‘Not just a load of old lentils’! I remember buying it back in the early days of running my own home. No idea what happened to it. I was clueless when it came to cooking and it was one of the books which I learned from. I’m not vegetarian but I eat very little meat ( a bit of chicken and quite a lot of fish) so a lot of my meals are vegi .
    I tend to adapt recipes to suit rather than use specifically vegetarian books because they tend to use a lot of rice and pasta and I don’t like either.

  10. I also have several Vegetarian cookbooks, mostly from US authors…My two favorites are from England, Barbara Cousins and Judith Finlayson. I was not aware of Rose Elliot, so thanks for the information. I’ll look her up.

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