I have always enjoyed Kim O'Donnel's columns and really love her recipes. So when I saw her new cookbook, The Meat Lover's Meatless Cookbook, I knew I had to have it! 

The book had been with me two days and I had already referred to it three times to try some new dish. Why? Her recipes speak to me. They are simple and user-friendly but promise and deliver flavor. The book is loaded with great choices of vegetable dishes, tofu and tempeh dishes but nothing is boring. All the dishes have been created with insight and experience. And she makes it easy to cook by the seasons by dividing up the book's 52 menus into Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. I have tried a few and my family has declared them winners!

And you could win a copy here! Kim has graciously agreed to give away one signed copy of the book to a lucky Life of Spice reader. So do post here: What is your favorite meatless dish that is loved by meatlovers around you.  Winner will be chose in a random drawing and will be announced on October 15th, 2010.

RECIPE: West-Indian Style Chana Wraps 

From the book The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook by Kim O’Donnel.  Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group.  Copyright © 2010.

Photos by Sala Kannan for Life of Spice. 




Makes at least 8 servings



3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups diced onions

5 cloves garlic, minced

½ chile pepper of choice, seeded and diced

1 (2 x 1-inch) hunk fresh ginger, peeled and minced

3 tablespoons curry powder (preferably Madras-style)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1 (17.5-ounce) package 8-inch

whole wheat tortillas (10-inch tortillas work well, too)

Optional add-ons: Your favorite hot sauce; ½ red onion, sliced

thinly; ½ cucumber, diced



In a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions an
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cook until slightly softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, chile

pepper, and ginger, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the spices

and salt, and stir well. You’ll end up with a paste.


Add chickpeas, plus enough water to barely cover (at least 3 cups).

Bring to a lively simmer, then lower the heat and cook at a gentle

simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates, 50

to 60 minutes. You’re looking for very soft chickpeas with a thick

gravy, not soup.


Taste for salt and season accordingly.


Place a few tablespoons of channa inside a warmed tortilla (one per

person to start), with any or all of the optional add-ons, and you’ve

got a sandwich of champions. The channa is also great over rice. To

heat the tortillas, there are a few options: Wrap in plastic and heat

for 20 seconds in the microwave; wrap in aluminum foil and heat for

10 minutes in the oven at 325°F; place on a dry skillet or griddle,

one by one, for 30 seconds each side, over medium heat.


Keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for at least five days.



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  1. This book looks fantastic! I would say my mother’s Channa Masala. The flavor bursts in your mouth and pleases your palate so much that I think people do not have a chance to think about the fact that it is vegetarian.

  2. This is a cuisine that I really want to learn. My partner loves it and I have no idea how to prepare it. Now–thanks to this book and thanks to Monica–there’s a great starting place. Mil gracias from Mexico!


  3. The book looks great (perfect for the vegetarian half of our family — my stepson, who studied in India, and his wife).

    As for consistently loved vegetarian dish here (not very Indian, obviously):
    Cappelacci (Ravioli filled with nutmeg- and parmigiano- flavored sweet potato, topped with pecans and sage leaves fried in brown butter, garnished with crumbled gorgonzola).

  4. Stratas — somehow the comfort of a savory bread pudding makes the eater not even notice there is no meat!

  5. This book looks amazing and I look forward to trying the featured recipe! In my own extended family, my vegetarian fare is well received by the carnivores when it includes any type frittata…spinach and mushroom or potato and chile. What’s not to love!?

  6. 🙂 I recognise these as a take on Trinidadian doubles. How clever to substitute wraps for the bara

  7. Definitely my chili – a meat-loving friend ate a whole bowl before she even thought to ask if there was meat in it! This book looks fabulous!

  8. My hubby never could understand how ppl could eat a meal without meat, untill we got married and I started making vegetarian pasta dishes, Indian vegetarian food etc…. one of our favourite is Paneer tikka wraps which both hubby and daughter loves it.

  9. My stepdaughter is a new vegetarian and I would love this book to find new things to make for her!

  10. My co-worker makes fabulous chole – it’s so flavorful that nobody misses the meat! I would definitely love to learn more about vegetarian cooking, and this book looks like a great tool for me to start.

  11. My favorite non meat dish is my mother in law’s masoor dahl (which I now have the recipe for and have been making for a while). It is so comforting and warming. It makes for a great winter dish and everyone loves it.
    *kisses* HH

  12. I love Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich made with vegan meatballs. It definitely makes up for not having it at all! Such a great sandwich with the meat, so the ,meatless meatball is delicious!

  13. Eggplant Parmesan has to be the best meatless dish I make. It’s so good that the heartiest carnivore wouldn’t miss the meat. 🙂

  14. This looks so delicious! This is my favorite dish at my Indian restaurant back home, but since I live four hours away I don’t get to have it very often! YUM! Maybe I will try making it now..!

  15. While not a vegetarian, I belong to a dinner club at my church that includes vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters and the church also sponsors “meatless Monday” potlucks once a month. My goal is always to choose a dish everyone will love because it tastes great rather than just doesn’t contain meat. I also want to make sure that meat eaters will be as excited about it as non-meat eaters. O’Donnel’s book would make a lovely addition to my vegetarian recipe collection.

    The dish I’ve found that meets these criteria is a Black Bean and Rice dish. The key is the layers of flavor. The beans cook with olive oil, a tomato, onion, green pepper, garlic and a bay leaf. While they’re cooking onion, and green pepper are sauteed and when tender, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and wine vinegar are added to the mixture. Off the heat, a bit of hot pepper sauce is added and this mixture is then added to the beans. The beans are served over rice. Lastly finely chopped sweet onion is sprinkled over the top of the beans and rice along with a drizzle of oil and vinegar. Vegetarians love the dish and meat eaters never miss the meat.

  16. There are a few meatless dishes I do that everyone loves:
    1 – vegetarian moussaka
    2 – fennel and apricot stir-fry
    3 – lasagna, using diced, grilled halloumi instead of meat

    My favorite local vegetarian restaurant is Tiffin Wallah. Samosa chaat – even my carnivorous male friends love it!

  17. My favorite vegetarian dish that meat lovers would love is sweet potato or yam au gratin made with fresh garlic, Grade A Maple Syrup, and cream that is warmed not boiled and topped with a pecan and brown sugar streusel. This is a yummy and filling dish.

  18. Everyone loves my bulghur chili. And my vegan cupcakes. 🙂

  19. Sounds like a great book. And this recipe looks tasty.

  20. Duh, apparently I can’t follow directions. I have a vegetarian bean and pumpkin chili that’s VERY well received. 🙂

  21. This looks fantastic! We’ve been trying to enforce a “Meatless Monday” around our home for quite some time, and we may have to spread the meatless-ness around because the recipes have been so good! I’d have to say one of my all time favorite meatless dishes are migas! They’re so simple, easy, and packed full of flavor!

  22. I’m trying to explore more meatless options. Most meatless items common here in the South (US)are just considered side dishes, and are not perceived as filling. I’m definitely interested in learning more about meatless dishes that are designed as main courses, so this book sounds ideal! My family’s favorites have to be my gourmet macaroni & cheese and my mom’s butternut squash & sage butter lasagna.

  23. A couple are my fake-chicken parmesan and meatless beef tacos. Can’t wait to check out the cookbook and try out some of her recipes!

  24. Butternut squash soup is a favorite here.

  25. This sounds like such a great book. I love hearty, satisfying, vegetarian meals. One vegetarian meal I make that has always pleased meat eaters is stuffed shells baked with tomato sauce and parmesan.

  26. My favorite meatless meaty,juicy and chewy dish has to be hands down my wild rice and chickpea veggie burger.

  27. I make an eggplant curry that is usually a hit!

  28. Love cookbooks and meat. Ha

  29. I love meatless meals, although once in great while I crave a steak. I really enjoy pestos as well as sconces 🙂

  30. We make and enjoy many meatless dishes. Some of our favorites are black bean lasagna, pumpkin mushroom risotto, vegetable biryani and greens and beans with pasta.

  31. We took some friends who eat meat every single day to an Indian restaurant and had them try Gobi Manchurian. They said they can have this everyday in lieu of meat.

  32. Panir is such a wonderful substitute for meat in Indian curries and gravies. I love to use Panir where meat would be used and friends and family love panir too.

  33. The winner is — ALTA. Please email me your addy!!

  34. I follow (for the most part) a black bean chili recipe from Canadian Living’s book. It’s fantastic and substituting a vegetable broth for that of chicken does not mean a trade-off, it’s great either way.

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