Comments: From the title, we thought this would be a book of vegetarian recipes with a meat dish here and a meat dish there. In fact, it is a collection of recipes where meat plays a modest, supporting role. In general, the recipes provide 1 to 2 ounces of meat per serving, rather than the 4 ounces generally considered a "serving," or the many, many ounces that actually constitute a serving far too often in daily life.
The chapters include recipes for chicken, turkey, fish and seafood, pork, beef, lamb, eggs, and stocks and broths. Many of the recipes can be produced for vegetarians by omitting the meat and swapping a vegetable stock for a meat stock.
An issue that the book does not explicitly address is that it is much more complex and time-consuming to prepare these stews, soups, pies, salads, and mixed dishes than to grill or pan-fry a hunk of meat. Many of these recipes include as many ingredients and are as complex as putting together a lasagna from scratch. We also think the dishes are seasoned quite heavily, presumably to add flavor to grains, vegetables, etc., that are standing in for meat.
There are some inconsistencies. The authors "strongly recommend against buying chicken in restaurants" (because it is inevitably a factory-farmed bird), but a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store is fine. We do not understand the inclusion of the egg chapter. Are we supposed to be cutting down on eggs, or are the recipes included because they're just simpler than most of the meat recipes? And lardons are not slices of bacon cut in 1/4-inch sections (they are quarter-inch cubes).
There is a little too much cheerleading for our taste – when you're trying to reform someone, a more straightforward approach is better. Similarly, there is too much mocking of perfectly good foods – Shepherd's Pie "with flavorless cubes of beef with gluey, instant mashed potatoes," for example, and meat loaf that "evokes images of bland dinners." Many of us turn out a pretty amazing meat loaf and a lot of us have had a decent shepherd's pie. These authors, even though they're trying to break some new ground, didn't invent cooking, for heaven's sake.
And why do cookbook authors say things like "turkey bacon is just as satisfying" as bacon from a pig? You may have dozens of good reasons for choosing turkey bacon over regular in your recipe, but it does not provide a particularly similar taste or the same level of satisfaction. We think you lose too much credibility – no matter how good your book is – when you pretend that something that is clearly a compromise is certainly not a compromise, but a delight!
Now, having ranted for this long, we really like this book. We like the concept, we like the recipes, we like the support of flavorful, sustainable, humanely raised meat and eggs. We would have done a few things differently, that's all.