Laurel's Kitchen: Vegetarian Meal Recipes

The book "Laurel's Kitchen" has vegetarian meal recipes for good health, includes suggestions on vegetarian food basics and meatless meal plans.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
November/December 1977
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Chart: cooking proportions for breakfast cereals.

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The book "Laurel's Kitchen" has vegetarian meal recipes perfect for those who want to enjoy meatless meals.

Vegetarian Recipes

Multi-Grain Porridge Recipe
Basic Whole-Grain Bread Recipe
Garbanzo Spread Recipe
Winter Squash Soup Recipe
Fresh Vegetable Salad Recipe
Green Goddess Dressing Recipe
Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

"It's one thing — though nothing small — to turn out a flawless souffle," says Carol Flinders. "It's quite another to come up with an endless variety of appealing, highly nutritious vegetarian meals using only basic, inexpensive, easily available foods. This is the art our book is meant to convey."

And the team of Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Bronwen Godfrey has managed to put into words some very complete instructions on just that art: the transformation of everyday staples into tasty, total-nourishment dishes for this country's growing number of "vegetarians" (or non-meat-eaters).

But their book, Laurel's Kitchen, with its gentle, painstaking teachings and woodcut illustrations, does even more than that. It conveys, too, its authors' conviction that good health is not "the gift of a fortunate few, blessed by heredity and lots of protein", but "the birthright of all creatures".

Four Food Groups for a Meatless Diet: A Daily Guide

Grains, Legumes, Nuts and Seeds

Six servings or more. Include several slices of yeast-raised, whole-grain bread, a serving of beans, and a few nuts or seeds.


Three servings or more. Include one or more servings of dark leafy greens, like romaine, spinach, or chard.


One to four pieces. Include a raw source of vitamin C, like citrus fruits, strawberries, or cantaloupe.

Milk and Eggs

Two or more glasses of fresh milk for adults, three or more for children. (Children under nine use smaller glasses.) Other dairy products or an egg may be used to meet part of the milk requirement. Eggs are optional — up to four per week.

Obviously, there are any number of ways you can fulfill the Four Food Group requirements. A daily menu that looks something like the one that follows, for example, would be quite adequate.

Breakfast: Hot cereal with milk, fruit, and sunflower seeds, whole-grain bread, toasted, with margarine or peanut butter.

Lunch: Bean spread sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce, raw vegetables or vegetable soup, fresh fruit, glass of milk or buttermilk.

Dinner: Green salad with dressing, cooked vegetables, grain, bean, or noodle dish, yogurt or cottage cheese.

Readers of Frances Moore Lappe's fine book, Diet for a Small Planet, will undoubtedly wonder why we've paid no attention to the finer points of protein complementarity, particularly the idea that it's necessary to balance amino acids within a half-hour period. We've discovered that there's good reason to relax on that score and consider the whole day's menus rather than just the foods in each meal, for there's considerable evidence that the body is able to make the fine adjustments of amino acid balance if we just supply it with enough protein from a diet of balanced foods.

(Now, to give you an idea of the culinary range of Laurel's Kitchen, we've gone ahead and chosen sample recipes from the book to meet some of the meal-planning suggestions on the above daily menu. See the recipes at the top of this article.) — MOTHER.)

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