Elevate Difference

Another Dinner is Possible: Recipes and Food For Thought

My interest in vegetables is quite young; around a year and half. Since this new found vegetarian interest, I’ve been looking out for recipes which are quick and involve simple ingredients so that I don’t have to run around super-market looking for all those hard to pronounce spices.

At first glance, I must confess that I was disappointed with Mike and Isy’s Another Dinner Is Possible. This spiral bound, black and white printed pages, with articles on food fights and how peak oil affects our food culture, was offbeat to the conventional cookbook where one would find glossy pages with colorful pictures of dishes which tempt you to eat off from the pages. But as I browsed through it, I was enticed by “encyclopedia” of recipes—simple and quick. Exactly what I was looking for.

Another Dinner is Possible is not just a cook book. It’s the style of living for Mike and Isy who volunteer with the Anarchist Teapot Mobile Kitchen, which has cooked for various events including the Earth First Summit gatherings. They cook organic GM-free food and also run a vegan Crowley café. Any surplus money from sales of this book will be donated to Brighton Anarchist Black Cross Prisoner Support.

With more than 250 recipes, this book is divided into chapters on soups, main courses, side dishes, salads, sauces, snacks, sweets, bread, and preserving. This includes a variety of vegetable burgers and recipes for international cuisines. For instance, a chapter is dedicated for Korean dishes with notes on Korean cooking and ingredients. It was interesting to know that Korean food has such versatile vegetarian options. There is also a chapter explaining procedures of brewing beers, wines, and ciders at home.

This is a no-frill book, recipes are easy to cook with minimum ingredients, the directions are straight forward, measurements are exact, and yet flexible enough to tweak in your favorite ingredients. Since most of the recipes do not ask for elaborate cooking, the taste of vegetables and its texture is retained, which I consider to be justice to the dish and to our stomach. Recipes in this book are intended to serve six unlike four in most of the cook book so as to emphasize on the more economical way of cooking.

In short, Another Dinner Is Possible is cooking simplified. Towards the end of the book, there are articles on seasonal foods, how to reduce food wastage, tips on cooking for 100 plus people. Yes, it is a practical cookbook by practical people who are not dazzled by global capitalism and connect with the food they cook and eat. I have tried a few recipes from the book like fridge cake, potato stir fry, Borscht, and found it excellent. If you love to cook good food, this book is a keeper. It will be the cookbook I will be using over and over.

Review by Sunitha Jayan

Written by: Sunitha Jayan, January 25th 2010