When she set out to write her cookbook filled with vegetarian recipes, Kim O’Donnel had a specific reader in mind. “We are not positioning this as another vegetarian book,” she told me earlier this year. “I am specifically looking at meat eaters. Certainly a vegetarian might be interested, but I wanted to speak to the Mr. and Mrs. Sausages of the world.” O’Donnel, whose “Mighty Appetite” blog at the Washington Post used to feature “Meatless Monday” every week, said that she kept hearing from readers that they liked the idea behind going vegetarian but it was hard for them to find satisfying meatless dishes, dishes with texture, dishes that would fill them up. So she set out to prove it could be done. The result is The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes Carnivores Will Devour (Da Capo Lifelong, Sept.) and it is fantastic for anyone who knows deep down that they should be eating less meat (either for personal or planetary health reasons) but can’t seem to make themselves do it. “The Key here is incremental change,” she said. “You could name five peole who cannot live without meat. We all can. This is a meat-eating country. If you’re going to help one of those people or all five of them change their habits, you can’t just tell them, ‘You can’t eat meat anymore.’ It’s not going to happen that way. Change is hard. It’s hard for Americans. We’re very privileged. If we’re going to institute change that’s part of our daily lives, we have to learn how to do it with baby steps.”
For even more vegetarian love, read “My Kids Are Made of Spinach,” one mom’s tale of raising vegetarian kids.