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New Vegetarian: Teen Cuisine    by Matthew Locricchio Amazon.com order for
New Vegetarian
by Matthew Locricchio
Order:  USA  Can
Amazon, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Teen Cuisine - by Matthew Locricchio, with gorgeous photos of scrumptious food by James Peterson - is the latest of Chef Locricchio's cookbooks for kids; this one targets the teen years. The subtitle is New Vegetarian. Maybe your teen is contemplating going vegetarian. This cookbook will help him/her to glide gracefully into a new eating regime.

But ah, the ever present 'But', those uninterested in giving up their carnivore diets can still find wonderful dishes to try. First, though, the Foreword should be read. Lots of good help there. I do like Locricchio's idea of writing cookbooks for children and young adults. There is no reason our younger generation can't become proficient in the kitchen. Especially with today's parents often both having to work.

On to the good stuff. As is usual for cookbooks, the first pages are an index of the recipes being offered. I have a 16 year-old granddaughter who will fall in love with this book even though she's only a part-time vegetarian - this great book might tip her over the edge to go all the way. The very first recipe is for French Toast. A different one than I've been using, but one that I definitely want to try, even though I haven't qualified as a teen for many, many years. I do wish that back in my bread-making days I had this recipe for Quinoa and Whole-Wheat Bread. I really love working with bread dough. Very satisfying. And that first bite of warm fresh-baked bread is not to be forgotten.

Adding beets to a BLT is a new twist. How about The New Tempeh Burger? We always love a burger. The Smart Bars have to beat anything on the market, with chopped raisins and cranberries and dates and dried blueberries. My kind of snack. Three Cheese Polenta Pie is dubbed 'just a little bit excessive' and looks it. Yum! Sweet-and-Sour Tofu Stir-Fry - don't let your teen turn up his/her nose at the thought of tofu. It takes on the flavors of the ingredients being cooked with it and it is delightful, even in scrambled eggs. At the age of twelve, my oldest grandson decided he didn't want to eat anything that had a face. He just celebrated his thirty-eighth birthday and has kept true to his pledge. And he's in good health and is a father.

By now you get the idea that vegetarian food can be just as good as any other food, if not better. I went to a fine restaurant one time with a group and I asked not to be served any meat. You should have seen my plate. Gorgeous and absolutely delicious. And each and every one of my tablemates envied me my meal.

This book offers over fifty (50) mouthwatering recipes to give a try. Or improvise, if that's your natural bent. What can you lose? At any rate you'll have some great eating along the way. With just about every recipe, there's a tip or two to enhance cooking skills. An array of kitchen essentials and equipment is added for convenience. Just as a suggestion, Teen Cuisine: New Vegetarian would make a lovely Easter present for that teen in your family.

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