word of the day: flexitarian

Posted by on Apr 22, 2008 in food | 0 comments

Starre has an interesting post (and video) over at her site Eco-Chick on Hannah Kaminsky’s vegan dessert cook book My Sweet Vegan. As usual, Starre has me thinking about all good things inside and out, and her post reminded me of an interesting article in Saveur a few issues back on vegan cookbooks and flexitarians.

A flexitarian is someone who eats healthy, perhaps primarily fruits, veggies and grains, but also eats meat when they want to. Like me. From that article:

A neologism, flexitarian, has even been coined to describe the sort of eater who adheres to a largely vegetarian diet while still savoring the occasional serving of meat, fish, or poultry. In The Flexitarian Table (Houghton Mifflin, $30), Peter Berley, a former chef at the New York City vegetarian mecca Angelica Kitchen, who earned praise for an earlier book, The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen (HarperCollins, 2000), makes this way of eating look like a balanced and sensible way to live. Berley is especially convincing because he’s actually lived this way for years, creating meals to accommodate himself, his wife, and his young daughter, all of whom occasionally eat meat, as well as his older daughter, a strict vegetarian.

What’s remarkable about Berley’s book, apart from its deft juxtapositions of fresh ingredients and complementary flavors from different world cuisines, is its utter accessibility. It has nowhere near the number of entries found in either Madison’s or Bittman’s book, and that comes as something of a relief. With color photographs throughout, a seasonally based structure, and helpful menu suggestions, this is a book I’ve found myself hungrily returning to again and again. Preparations like the shaved vegetable and apple salad, a bracing, earthy mix of fennel, apples, radishes, and sunchokes, all sliced paper thin, are unfussy and versatile enough to pair with meat—a boon for those who don’t inhabit the extremes of the carnivore–herbivore continuum.

The entire article is worth reading. As a devoted meat lover, I’ve found that good recipes for mainly vegetable and fruit dishes can make the transition to healthier eating much more enjoyable. And, of course, not eating meats all the time means they are much more enjoyable when you do.

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