Book Review: Famous Brands Great Vegetable Dishes
Publisher: Brand Name Publishing Corp.
ISBN: none, but click here to see it on Amazon
Length: 128 pages including many full-page, full-color photos
Quote: “No child is likely to plead, ‘Mommy, fix carrots for supper, please.’”
Actually, that’s because the way children usually like carrots isn’t “fixed,” and it’s not usually “for supper.” Children like carrots scrubbed, scraped as necessary, and raw, to hold in their hands and crunch, and also use to represent any object they need in a make-believe game. Children can enjoy raw vegetables as snacks, even as treats, if adults encourage them to do so. The idea that vegetables needed to be boiled down into mush probably originated with adults who had dental problems.
Making vegetables appeal to adults usually requires a little more creativity than just serving them raw. Children are attracted to sugar; most vegetables are sweeter when raw. Adults are usually more attracted to fat and protein, and more likely to eat vegetables when they’re served with enough concentrated calories, in the form of dips or sauces, to qualify them as a main dish. Well, why not? Add a wheat pita, baked tortilla chips, or some brown rice to most of the vegetable snacks in his book, and you have a balanced, nourishing meal.
Most of these vegetable dishes contain meat, cheese, fish, or egg somewhere. This is actually a good way to cut down on the surplus fat in your family’s diet without trying to make everyone go vegetarian. Use the animal products as flavoring, and focus on the vegetables. You can still have steak as the main dish once a week, if someone still wants it, and use leftovers to flavor a vegetable stew.
The book was sponsored by corporations that advertise their products with brand names, so although the main ingredients in these recipes come from the produce counter and aren’t “branded,” don’t be surprised to read instructions like “melt ¼ c Our Brand Margarine...” (any margarine will do, in real life) or “add 8 oz. Our Brand Tomato Sauce” (you might find that you like Competing Brand tomato sauce better). Feel free to substitute competing brands, store brands, or in some cases homemade alternatives. The surprising thing I found in this book was the number of recipes that do not specify a corporate trademark.
Great Vegetable Dishes has entered the collector price range. Although it's not a Fair Trade Book, in order to buy it here you'll need to send salolianigodagewi @ yahoo.com $10 for the book + $5 per package shipped. The good news is that if you're buying a Fair Trade Book, this long, thin book will fit into the package and you'll pay only one shipping charge for two or more books.