Author Kim O’Donnel Brings the Pacific Northwest to Your Table

July 10th, 2017

Kim O’Donnel, the very first Meatless Monday blogger, discovered the wealth of vegetables and other produce in the Pacific Northwest region and compiled a new cookbook chock full of vegetarian recipes.

PNW Veg_cover

As the author of two previously published vegetarian cookbooks, Kim O’Donnel became curious about the bounty in her own backyard, the Pacific Northwest. After some digging and searching, O’Donnel found more vegetables available than she had bargained for and knew she had to take advantage of her local harvest for her new book. While not a strict vegetarian herself, she was excited to find that “it wasn’t just easy to eat vegetarian in the land of the geoduck and the Dungeness crab, it was extraordinary.” In PNW Veg: 100 Vegetable Recipes Inspired by the Local Bounty of the Pacific Northwest, O’Donnel offers up small plates, entrees, and desserts with produce from the Pacific Northwest in starring roles.

Kim O'Donnel by Charity Burggraaf_2016

Photo by Charity Burggraaf

O’Donnel, a longtime supporter of Meatless Monday, knew that the PNW was mostly well-known for its wild seafood offerings. But when she moved to Seattle and started visiting the local farmers’ markets, a cornucopia awaited her – several varieties of legumes, fiddlehead ferns, and rhubarb, plus classic late-summer and fall produce that would last through November. Fortunately for the rest of the country, many of these vegetables are available in other regions, so PNW Veg doesn’t have to be PNW-exclusive. In a recent interview with The Washington Post, O’Donnel says:

“I learned that what I think is the most esoteric or hard-to-get ingredient in the book actually does appear in other parts of the country. Is everybody going to be able to get their hands on nettles or fiddlehead ferns? No, I’m aware of that. But eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, radishes — sure. I feel like the large majority of the recipes are going to appeal to folks in different parts of the country.”

Using a few kitchen pantry staples and herbs, the flavor of the Pacific Northwest can easily make its way into your Meatless Monday menu! With over 100 recipes to choose from, your only challenge is settling on one! Start with O’Donnel’s Cherry Tomato Cobbler.