What the readers say
"This little book has just what I like, simple soups, easy salads and light meals that are just a little bit different."
"Excellent book for vegetarian 5:2 dieters, tasty recipes which make it easy to stick to the restricted calorie allowance on those 2 days."
"[The book has] all the information you need to help you lose those extra pounds."
How would you describe yourself?
I’m only 5’ tall, so any increase in weight makes me round! I love to try new things, and like to have a challenge to work towards.
How did you become interested in food writing and developing recipes?
Vegetarians are generally quite creative about cooking, I think, because there are less standard or traditional foods. Whenever I’ve gone on a diet (which is probably about every three years), I’ve been disappointed that so many veggie recipes are too basic, or not very well thought out. That’s given me the idea not just to make my own dishes, but to write the recipe down and develop it.
Where do you get your recipe ideas?
I’ve been a vegetarian for over 40 years, and I go back to the days when cheese salad or omelette were the main options! So I’ve always been on the lookout for new ideas and new ingredients becoming available in this country. I travel a bit and love to try other countries’ foods if I can find them in veggie form. If not, I try and recreate them at home.
What’s your favourite cookbook?
At one time there were virtually no veggie cookbooks and now there’s hundreds. Gail Duff’s Vegetarian Cookbook has been a good friend over the years and taught me especially how delicious lentils and pulses are. Celia Brooks Brown’s World Vegetarian Classics helped me see the wonderful variety of styles and ingredients in the world, and is probably my all-time favourite. At the moment I’m a big fan of Ottolenghi’s Lebanese-influenced vegetarian cooking.
What do you like to do when you’re not testing recipes and writing?
I write fiction and local history books too, so I love to settle down in the library and do a morning’s research. Otherwise, I like to read all kinds of books and enjoy belonging to a reading group.
I also sing. I belong to a large classical music choir and I also take singing lessons to improve my skills and technique.
I’m not a great one for exercise, unfortunately, but I do love to walk in the countryside or by the sea. It’s a great way to spend time with friends, but I also enjoy walking alone – great for thinking through knotty writing problems!
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