Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin


Maybe I should start calling myself an “herbivore” instead of a vegetarian. Perhaps by switching labels I will stop encountering people who get defensive and offended when they learn I don’t eat meat, and ask with more hostility than curiosity, “Well, what *do* you eat for protein?”


Anyway, whether you consider yourself an herbivore, carnivore or omnivore, you should check out this cookbook. Based on a popular and acclaimed blog of the same name, “Herbivore” is chock-full of vibrant photographs and scrumptious recipes. Instructions are very clear and accompanied by additional information that might be helpful, such as how to make a balsamic reduction or properly store herbs and spices.


Some of the recipes might seem kind of fussy – roasted maitake mushrooms in a smoky tea broth, anyone? — but many are hearty and easily made. Dinner last night was Tempeh-Filled Potstickers. I’m an experienced spring-roll maker, but potstickers were new to me. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy they are to make, particularly the “Herbivoracious” version.


Whether you prefer stir-frying vegetables or throwing meat on the grill, it’s time to try something new. Grow some vegetables and herbs this summer. Visit local farmers markets and specialty grocery stores. And don’t forget to peruse the rich cookbook collection at the Joplin Public Library for inspiration. I think you’ll like what you find – and taste.


Lisa E. Brown is the Administrative Assistant at the Joplin Public Library.