Linda McCartney died of breast cancer in 1998, but her presence in the world of food, supermarkets and animal welfare, is still ongoing and colossal.
New cookbook, Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen, brought together by her daughters Stella and Mary, and their father (and Beatle) Paul McCartney, looks to build on Linda’s work and ethos, share her recipes and promote the importance – to animals and the environment – of eating a plant-based diet.
The book: Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen: Over 90 plant-based recipes to save the planet and nourish the soul by Linda, Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney
Who will love it?
Anyone whose freezer is packed with Linda McCartney sausages and mince, anyone who does Meat Free Monday, and anyone tempted to take their first steps into vegetarianism, or looking to leap into veganism. You get a strong sense of McCartney family life throughout. Between the recipes, Stella, Mary and Linda’s sister Louise, share memories of Linda’s cooking and approach to feeding people, which sits alongside a thoughtful introduction written by Paul, and many family photos of Linda in the kitchen with her kids, or frolicking outdoors.
What is it trying to get us cooking?
While McCartney championed vegetarianism, this cookbook offers up entirely plant-based meals (even the mac and cheese) so will suit vegans too. There are reliable set-pieces (lasagne, pies, a sandwich loaf, risotto and curries), as well as takes on Chinese fried rice, pad Thai and kimchi pancakes. There are brownies and many a cake recipe (the carrot cake and gingerbread cake look particularly good) and a very strong breakfast section (cinnamon rolls! Bircher muesli!).
How easy is it to use?
Very. The introductions to each recipe are written as though for total cooking beginners, the recipe lists are not remotely daunting, and the time spent in the kitchen seemingly minimal.
The best recipe is… the Mexican style sweet potatoes, the garlic bread (that could become a staple), or the chargrilled cabbage with Thai dressing and cashew nuts.
Overall rating: 7/10 – tasty looking food, if not ground-breakingly inventive.
How to make Linda McCartney’s black bean tacos
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
2 x 400g tins of black beans, drained
200g ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 taco shells or tortillas
150g salsa, from a jar
Large handful of fresh coriander, leaves only
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently for eight minutes until softened, taking care not to let them burn.
2. Add the spices and cook for another three minutes until aromatic, then add the black beans, tomatoes and 250ml of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until almost all of the water has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Heat the tacos or tortillas. Serve the black beans on top with the guacamole and salsa, then sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves, chilli flakes and lime wedges.
Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen: Over 90 plant-based recipes to save the planet and nourish the soul by Linda, Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney is published by Seven Dials, priced £26. Available now at smarturl.it/LindaMcCartneyBook.