It’s a big week, and month, here at Chez Volger. Vegetarian Entrees That Won’t Leave You Hungry, my new book, is out and starting to show up for sale in bookstores and online. If you preordered it, it should be shipping soon. Hooray! This is a book that I wrote because I hoped it would solve my own problem of finding varied and satisfying vegetarian mains to fill the center of the plate. I grew up with meat in that hole, so the structure is familiar to me. Certainly, putting something in the middle of the plate isn’t the only way to eat dinner. I continue to have a lot of fun exploring cuisines of India and the Middle East, where the landscape of the plate is a little different and no one item is necessarily intended to hog the center. But that kind of thing can sometimes be a lot to ask for on a weeknight, and I say that as one who really likes being in the kitchen.
What I wanted were main courses that only need a simple salad and some bread or rice to stretch them into a satisfying meals. So as I began working on this book, I polished off my standbys—my weeknight fritattas, my favorite grilled cheese sandwich, my dreamy saag paneer—and then used the opportunity to get creative. There are recipes for galettes, dumplings, and pan-fried pizza, a delicious and simple Pad Thai, some inventive baked pasta dishes, and a lot more. To be honest, I’m pretty excited to put this on my own cookbook shelf!
There are all kinds of fun things going on with Vegetarian Entrees coming out, but first, and foremost: events! Head over to the events page for more detailed info, but to summarize:
Portland, OR: October 18th, St. John’s Booksellers
Seattle, WA: October 19th, The Book Larder (cooking class, $70, 10 seats)
Seattle, WA: October 20th, Third Place Books, Ravenna
Boise, ID: October 22nd, The Rediscovered Bookshop
Brooklyn, NY: October 25th, 61 Local
Charlotte, NC: November 3rd, Park Road Books
If you live in any of those cities and are available those nights, please do come! There will be snacks, waxing poetic about veggie grub, mingling, and general laid-back fun.
Soon I’ll be ready to tell you about a contest/giveaway that I’m very excited about, but in the meantime, how about . . .
Music for your next dinner party! Today, in lieu of a recipe, I have something a little different. I always have grand designs for the music when I first decide to host a dinner party, but then I run out of time and end up using iTunes Genius. No more! In the spirit of problem solving, I offer you “Lukas V’s Ultimate Vegetarian Dinner Party Mixtape.” This has a lot of what I like in dinner party music: most of it is lively, gets your foot tapping, gives everyone a little thrill when they recognize a song or two, and, importantly, it doesn’t intrude too much. And as a good mix should, there’s some contour—the bubbly at the beginning, the brandy burn at the end. You’ll see that my mix goes all over the place. The hope with that is that there’s something for everyone, but I know that in the end it’s mostly something for me—this is all my favorite music, after all. But if we’re lucky you’ll find a new gem or two, and maybe it will enhance one of your upcoming dining experiences. Cheers!