A Modern Way to Eat: 200+ Satisfying Vegetarian Recipes (That Will Make You Feel Amazing), written by Anna Jones, features a fun and unique collection of vegetarian meals for every occasion. A few highlights include Lemon Chard Aloo, Autumn Roasted Root Panzanella, Tomato and Coconut Cassoulet, Smoked Paprika Oven-Baked Fries, and Strawberry Poppy Seed Crisp. I’ll also be sharing her recipe for Homemade Tortilla Chips with Charred-Chile Salsa following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Anna Jones is a London-based food stylist and writer. Her beginnings can be traced back to Jamie Oliver’s training program at Fifteen (she later became his food stylist, writer, and food creative for seven years) and she has also worked with Yotam Ottolenghi, Henry and Tom Herbert, Sophie Dahl, and Stevie Parle.
Anna believes vegetables should be the center of the table and has developed ways of bringing out their best flavors. Her way of eating centers on satisfying and healthy foods with a bit of indulgence mixed in.
A Modern Way to Eat
A Modern Way to Eat is 100 percent vegetarian with many vegan and gluten-free friendly options. At the end of the recipe index, there is even a listing for vegan and gluten-free recipes. Anna also gives alternatives to ingredients where she can.
The majority of Anna’s dishes are simple enough for weeknight dinners or an easy weekend breakfast or lunch, with most of the ingredients available in major supermarkets. She takes the time to explain the few ingredients that are not readily available or not as well known (and even some that are not used in recipes, like bee pollen, but can be incorporated as a part of recipe development). Many of the recipes feature full page photos of the finished product and all ingredients are given in customary and metric measurements for weight.
Anna divides the book into the following sections:
- What Gets Me Up in the Morning
- Food for Filling a Gap
- A Bowl of Broth, Soup, or Stew
- Satisfying Salads
- Easy Lunches and Laid-Back Suppers
- Hearty Dinners and Food to Feed a Crowd
- Vegetables to Go with Things
- Sweet Endings
- Cakes, Bread, and a Few Other Things
- Things to Drink
- Jam, Chutney, Stock, and Other Useful Stuff.
I particularly enjoyed the various templates throughout the book that help you build your own recipes, including sandwich ideas, soup variations, and ways to create a great salad.
Homemade Tortilla Chips with Charred-Chile Salsa
I am surprised I have gone this long without making my own salsa and Anna’s recipe is so simple for a light and refreshing appetizer. She pairs baked tortilla chips (seasoned tortillas or flatbreads) with a salsa made of charred tomatoes, a red chile, and scallions.
Anna recommends corn tortillas for the homemade tortilla chips. She also offers a few ideas at the end of the recipe (some vegan/gluten-free) for other ways to use the salsa. I paired our leftovers with cheese and spinach quesadillas for lunch the next day.
If you don’t have a large griddle pan, you can also arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet and place it under the broiler on high heat, checking often and turning on all sides.
In addition to the Homemade Tortilla Chips with Charred-Chile Salsa, I also made the Cucumber Satay Crunch Salad, Lemon-Roasted Feta with Traffic-Light Tomatoes, Turkish Fried Eggs, and The Really Hungry Burger.
The Cucumber Satay Crunch Salad is one of my new favorite salads. Cucumbers are sliced and tossed with chopped spinach, cilantro, toasted coconut flakes, and peanuts, then lightly dressed. I have made this salad a few times since.
The Lemon-Roasted Feta with Traffic-Light Tomatoes was a perfect appetizer paired with toasted baguette slices. Anna also offers other ways to use the roasted feta, such as tossing with a Greek salad.
Evan loves yogurt, bread, and eggs, so the Turkish Fried Eggs immediately caught my eye. It was perfect for an easy breakfast. I spread Greek yogurt on flatbreads and topped with spices, herbs, and fried eggs. I left the yolks of the egg runny so they mixed with the yogurt to create a delicious sauce. It was so simple, but so perfect.
I made The Really Hungry Burger while staying with my parents. Everyone enjoyed it, but the texture was a bit to get used to for me. The veggie burger is made by combining sautéed mushrooms with pureed white beans and other seasonings. The recipe calls for large portobello mushrooms and I think mine just weren’t big enough. It would definitely have been better with more mushroom flavor.
While I haven’t tried any yet, Anna has quite the collection of desserts. Her Mint Stracciatella Frozen Yogurt is next on my list.
Homemade Tortilla Chips with Charred-Chile Salsa Recipe
Excerpt from A Modern Way to Eat
Homemade Tortilla Chips with Charred-Chile Salsa
For the Salsa:
- 4 scallions
- 1 red chile pricked with a knife
- 20 cherry tomatoes or 8 big tomatoes
- Small bunch fresh cilantro
- Olive oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Tortillas:
- 8 tortillas, wraps, flatbreads, or chapatis
- Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Sea salt
To make the Salsa:
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F/200˚C.
- Place a griddle pan over very hot heat. Once it's smoking hot, put the scallions, chile, and tomatoes on the griddle and let char on each side. Remove the scallions once they are black, then the chile, and finally the tomatoes. This will take 5 minutes or so. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Once cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board. Use a big knife to chop everything together until you have a chunky salsa consistency, discarding the green top of the chile as you go. When the salsa is nearly there, add the cilantro and chop it into the mixture.
- Put the mixture into a bowl with a good glug of olive oil, the lime juice, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Taste, balancing the flavors with more lime, salt, or oil if needed.
To make the Tortilla Chips:
- Cut each tortilla, wrap, flatbread, or chapati into 8 triangles and spread out on a couple of baking trays. You don't want them to be too crowded or they won't crisp up.
- Drizzle them with oil and sprinkle over the smoked paprika and a good pinch of sea salt.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until crisped and delicious. Serve piled high in bowls with the salsa.