The vegetarian butcher's book

The vegetarian butcher celebrates hearty, succulent vegetable-based meals for every occasion.

Suzy Spoon's

Product details

Product name: Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Kitchen

Reviewer: Alycia Crofton

Price: $39.99

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Curiosity is the lure that brings new customers into Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Butcher restaurant in Newtown, Sydney. Although it sounds like a contradiction, the ‘butcher’ is true to its name with a range of vegan burgers, sausages and spaghetti bolognese to fill the niche market of vegan fast food.

Suzy has now compiled her extensive list of recipes from the past 10 years into the beautifully styled and informative Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Kitchen cookbook.

The book has the classic Tuscan Tofu ‘meatballs’ and Sweet Chilli Barbecue Seitan (which looks incredibly similar to a real steak). It also includes a recipe for DIY seitan dough, which can be used for the mushroom and herb roulade among others. However replacing meat is just one chapter with the rest of the book covering salads, soups, condiments, sweets and vegetable dishes.

Suzy’s chutneys, pickles and sauces are particularly special as they give you a lesson in flavour and preserving bulk seasonal vegetables, such as the Pickled Okra. These are great additions to enhance the taste and appeal of snacks or meals. Along with the Sunflower and Paprika Brittle or Gingerbread People cookies they are also unique ideas for foodie gifts or office snacks to please everyone.

These recipes aren’t stand-alone. You can use the same shopping list for many different meals whilst also combining the salads or baked vegetables with seitan dishes for a wholesome feast, and experiment with different condiments or grains. This holistic range of meals means you can find something to suit every occasion, season and family table. Taste, texture and appearance are given just as much attention as the ingredients so that even the fussiest child or carnivore would be hesitant to say ‘no’.

I had a go at making the Mung Bean, Brown Rice and Zucchini Balls along with the Sesame and Lime Dressing. Vegan and relatively simple, the only thing I didn’t already have on hand was a loaf of bread. The first time didn’t quite make the cut as I used Olive Oil for frying and it all turned to mush (tasty, crunchy mush!). After checking the ingredient notes in the front of the book I found my mistake and was able to turn the rest of the mixture into dinner.
A few notes to try these (or any of the recipes) out:
• The first time you make a recipe try to follow it exactly so that you can understand how it works and experiment the next time.
• Add spices. I found this recipe a tad bland, which is probably good for kids and people that don’t like to experiment, but I added a bunch to suit my tastes.
• Don’t cook more than what you want to eat that day – unless you have will power, as these were delicious!

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