Written by Jennifer S. Larson
Illustrated by Brie Cohen
Ready to cook? Here is another book in the “You’re the Chef” series. Recipes include Eggxtra Tasty Bake, Simple Black Bean Salad, Tortilla Tower, Crispy Tofu Sticks, Curried Potatoes and Rice, Who Needs Meat Sloppy Joes and others. The recipes are vegetarian but not vegan. The photographs are so mouth-watering that anyone will want to get in the kitchen and start cooking. The recipes use mostly fresh ingredients and, even though there is an allergy alert in the opening, the recipes are mostly free of those allergy foods. The author developed these recipes with her boys, so they are plenty kid-friendly.
Every step in each recipe has a diagram of the mentioned cooking technique. The safety tips and advice about cooking are smart, without talking down. There are definitions about everything a young cook needs to know: an informational graphic of cooking tools, a diagram with each recipe for the appliance needed to prepare it and a glossary of special ingredients in case a young reader doesn’t know something like cilantro or couscous. There is an index and a section of other readings and websites. The reading level is 4.7 making this a very accessible how-to book. A solid recommendation for those “how-to” units especially if the literacy activity is to make or do the thing described in the book. The publisher has an additional recipe and other downloads on their website with a log-in: (https://www.lernerbooks.com/products/t/11665/9780761366355/delicious-vegetarian-main-dishes). The series has several other titles.