Vegetarian Cookbook Preview

See PDF below for higher quality copy

I want to make a little cookbook to use at home, so that all our everyday recipes are in one spot. I started by typing up all the recipes I make often. Then I incorporated my own notes and fixes so they are entered the way I actually make them.

Ingredients lists are usually organized by the order in which you use the items. The way I decide what to cook is based on what I have on hand and I’m trying to use up, or what’s in season and available locally. So I completely re-wrote the ingredients lists so all the fresh ingredients are in one section, and all the packaged goods are in another section. That makes them easier to scan for what’s in the kitchen right now.

Being a librarian, I tagged them in multiple ways: by cooking method (stovetop, oven, microwave), by meal type (soups, curries, chilis), by key ingredient (rice, lentils, sweet potatoes) and by diet (vegan, gluten free). I could go on and on 🙂

Some recipe elements I haven’t included are the cost (the ingredients list informs me whether it’s an indulgence) or the amount of time needed. Most of the recipes require a lot of vegetable chopping, which I find enjoyable and therapeutic, so I’m not concerned about the time factor. But I made notes for myself such as recipes that require cooked rice.

I did a little research and discovered that recipes have a strange copyright status. Ingredients lists and basic cooking instructions cannot be copyrighted, but stories of recipe development, personal tips, photos and drawings are all creative works covered by copyright. It is, of course, a courtesy to acknowledge your sources for everything.

Ratatouille Recipe

If you do try this recipe, of course you can use fresh tomatoes, basil and parsley. I just have poor access to them in the winter. Tomato Dirt says a 796 ml/28 oz. can of tomatoes is equal to 2.5 lb fresh (about 1 kg).

I created one sample recipe card as a template. I have about 40 recipes. I can only photograph meals when the light is nice – that is, daytime, on days off and weekends. So, I figure it will take me 40 weeks to finish the cookbook! Maybe it will accelerate in the summer.

I’m saving each recipe as a PDF so I can display it on my iPad in the kitchen.

Hope I can share this with you by the end of the year 🙂




  1. I like when people do projects, and not only talk about them. This will turn out very nice, keep going. (I often have carrots in my ‘touille too for the colour)

  2. Thanks. I have one son who is a pescatarian, so this will serve him well.

  3. Fiona

    Thank-you, Dar! I am so excited by this. I want to eat more vegetarian meals but the recipes I look up often seem very time-consuming or just have too many unfamiliar ingredients all at once, so I get disheartened.

    It will be so good to see ‘real-life’ versions of vegetarian recipes that I can cook week nights on a busy week. Just downloaded this recipe, saved to iBooks and created a new category…so easy to use on iPad on the kitchen bench. There’s only one difficulty for ‘metric’ people…I can’t visualise “oz” at all. Once I’ve tried the recipe once it will make sense though!

    I’d be very happy to pay for a bought copy or ebook of a whole collection!

    • Thanks, Fiona. It will be a freebie! In my own copies, I am including units in 3 different ways (for example, cups, ounces and grams or ml) but I am struggling to fit them all into each ingredients list without taking over the whole page. Still working on it. Probably won’t do a conversion table, because (for example) 2 cups of either eggplant or zucchini actually were 8 ounces each (225 g each) but 2 cups of spinach or grated carrots would be completely different. As I test each recipe for the official copy, I will be weighing everything! Personally I dislike recipes that call for 1 carrot, 1 potato, 1 cauliflower, etc. Depending on the size, the proportions in the recipe could go all over the place. And what is a “medium” potato? etc.

      The ratatouille recipe has about 40 minutes cooking time after the vegetable chopping, so I’m not sure if it’s weeknight-friendly.

      • We have lots of UK cookbooks at home and I know the recipes always use weights for dry ingredients such as flour and sugar, and almost all the modern recipes use metric. I checked some Australian recipe sites and it looks like you have a combination of metric and cups. Whereas in the US and Canada, the average household doesn’t have a food scale. so everything is in cups or other units that aren’t weighed (such as 1/2 cup water, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups sliced apples or 2 apples, etc.)

      • Bren

        This looks great; I’m looking forward to more recipes! Do you not add any salt at all, though? I personally also add cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika. Especially the cinnamon and turmeric give it a really nice warm flavour; I can only recommend it.

        Australian cups are metric, by the way. 1 Australian cup is 250ml. This page has a nice little conversion chart:

      • Hi Bren, I don’t usually add salt except where it is essential, like in bread, but I find a lot of chili and curry powders taste salty. I have a lot of curry recipes that use curry powder or paste, turmeric or garam masala, so I don’t put it in everything, otherwise my meals taste too much the same. I do love it, though! I am good with metric measurements even though most North American recipes don’t use them. That’s a good chart!

  4. I found iPads a pain for receipes, cause the screen goes to sleep 😦 SO use a laptop for ones that are digital.

    • Hi Sarah! I don’t have a laptop any more – I replaced it with an all-in-one. On the iPad, I go into general settings under auto lock and change it to 15 minutes or never. Only negative is having to charge it again after.

  5. What a great project! I love your use of tagging.

    Do you tag your library on Goodreads with lots of tags? I have a librarian friend who spent a weekend setting up her Goodreads library, importing other lists, and using lots of tags so she could search and set up different shelves.

  6. Thanks for sharing this – I never would have thought of adding potatoes. I like the layout and photos too. It all looks very professional.

    • Thanks Juhli. The sample worked for me. Maybe some recipes with long instructions would take 2 pages or small print, though. I make this recipe to use up the last of potatoes!

  7. great idea, I did one for the kids when they went off too university of crockpot recipes and that was handy for them.

  8. Margie in Toronto

    What a great idea! I have a bit similar project on the go at the moment – trying to organize all my saved printed /email recipes so that they make sense to me. Also going through all those scraps of paper with my mom’s and stepmom’s recipes so that I can actually find what I want. Just the thing to work on during a very, very snowy day in Toronto.

    I will also look forward to your vegetarian recipes as I am trying to incorporate more into my diet. Meat is so expensive now – and don’ even get me started on fish! Grain and vegetable based dishes are becoming more of a necessity around here!

    • A few months ago I went through all my recipes on pieces of paper, clippings, received from other people, etc. and I organized them into categories, and placed them in plastic sleeves which I filed in a binder. This project is all recipes from cookbooks, so I don’t have to go through the shelf of cookbooks to find the one recipe. Our grocery bill is not super cheap because I still buy dairy, nuts and lots of fresh vegetables, but still cheaper than buying all that plus meat as well.

  9. Sounds awesome. I like the organisation skills. I’m trying to find stovetop recipes as the oven is too hot for summer

  10. what a fab idea, i have so many cook books, putting faves in 1 place would help with menu planning.

  11. todadwithlove

    This is a marvellous idea, Dar! I shall be looking forward to it.

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