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Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy: Down Home Classics for Vegetarians (and the Meat Eaters Who Love Them)

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Damaris Phillips is a southern chef in love with an ethical vegetarian. In Phillips's household, greens were made with pork, and it wasn’t Sunday without fried chicken. So she had to transform the way she cooks. In Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy, Phillips shares 100 recipes that embody the modern Southern kitchen: food that retains all its historic comfort and flavor, Damaris Phillips is a southern chef in love with an ethical vegetarian. In Phillips's household, greens were made with pork, and it wasn’t Sunday without fried chicken. So she had to transform the way she cooks. In Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy, Phillips shares 100 recipes that embody the modern Southern kitchen: food that retains all its historic comfort and flavor, but can now be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.   The book features Phillips’s most cherished entrees from her childhood made both with and without meat: Chicken Fried Steak becomes Chicken Fried Seitan Steak. Loaded Potato and Bacon Soup is now Loaded Potato and Facon Soup. She gives down-home side dishes a makeover by removing meat, adding interna­tional spices, and updating cooking techniques, and offers soul-satisfying, irresistible desserts that triumph over the meat-eater-versus-vegetarian divide, every time. Phillips found a way to make Southern food that everyone can enjoy, wherever they are on their culinary journey.


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Damaris Phillips is a southern chef in love with an ethical vegetarian. In Phillips's household, greens were made with pork, and it wasn’t Sunday without fried chicken. So she had to transform the way she cooks. In Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy, Phillips shares 100 recipes that embody the modern Southern kitchen: food that retains all its historic comfort and flavor, Damaris Phillips is a southern chef in love with an ethical vegetarian. In Phillips's household, greens were made with pork, and it wasn’t Sunday without fried chicken. So she had to transform the way she cooks. In Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy, Phillips shares 100 recipes that embody the modern Southern kitchen: food that retains all its historic comfort and flavor, but can now be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.   The book features Phillips’s most cherished entrees from her childhood made both with and without meat: Chicken Fried Steak becomes Chicken Fried Seitan Steak. Loaded Potato and Bacon Soup is now Loaded Potato and Facon Soup. She gives down-home side dishes a makeover by removing meat, adding interna­tional spices, and updating cooking techniques, and offers soul-satisfying, irresistible desserts that triumph over the meat-eater-versus-vegetarian divide, every time. Phillips found a way to make Southern food that everyone can enjoy, wherever they are on their culinary journey.

30 review for Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy: Down Home Classics for Vegetarians (and the Meat Eaters Who Love Them)

  1. 5 out of 5

    PorshaJo

    I'm going to say right off the bat.....I did not like this one. However, I'm going to give it 2 stars. First, I saw this book and thought 'eh, maybe I'll check it out'. My library just got it and no one had a hold on it, so I grabbed it and jumped in. Now, I have no idea what this book is trying to be. (She says 'mixavore') The author states how she 'loooooves her meat' and how she woos potential dates with her meat dishes. But now, OMG, she's married a vegetarian. OK, cute story. Perhaps that's I'm going to say right off the bat.....I did not like this one. However, I'm going to give it 2 stars. First, I saw this book and thought 'eh, maybe I'll check it out'. My library just got it and no one had a hold on it, so I grabbed it and jumped in. Now, I have no idea what this book is trying to be. (She says 'mixavore') The author states how she 'loooooves her meat' and how she woos potential dates with her meat dishes. But now, OMG, she's married a vegetarian. OK, cute story. Perhaps that's how my husband initially felt. (FWIW, he eats everything I make (vegan) and he still gets his meat, though he eats less of it now, by his choice.) So I start going through the recipes and this is where my problem began....she has a vegetarian recipe and after it has the carnivore version. OK, so guess it's a book for both vegetarians and meat eaters. Fine. Then after awhile a 'plant-based' version of recipes pop up here and there. Does she mean vegan? I went back to the beginning, thinking I missed her explanation for including this, but no. So based on her subs in 'plant-based' she means vegan. But why can't she say vegan. Then, my big issue is...does she really understand vegan? Cause some of her plant-based conversions are NOT vegan. Yes, eggs are not eaten by those who are vegan. Sometimes there is a plant-based version recipe, sometimes not. I read all kinds of cookbooks. Not just vegan ones. I get meat eating books too. I love to convert recipes all the time. So I was not looking at this as a vegan book. But if you are going to push it in the book GET IT RIGHT! (Or maybe she has a different view of plant-based vs vegan, I dunno, wasn't explained) Also, she also states she now spends more time in the grocery story in the 'hippie section'....OK then! Next, did this book have an editor? Really so many mistakes. So many times the 'plant-based' versions and 'carnivore' versions were switched. Plant-based show all the meat subs for the recipe and vice versa. Some recipes were naturally plant-based but called vegetarian. And don't even get me started on 'fake food' products. (Vegan cheese was called a cheese substitute - like the word vegan in the book would have made it so horrible to include). Anyway, maybe I'm a bit more noticing of these types of things, being vegan. I can see a market in this type of book, for people transitioning to a vegetarian diet, for those with a veg/meat combo household. But if you are going to do this kind of book, get it right. Why even include plant-based here and there. Either all in or not. And even if in a bit, you need to explain the stuff. But I didn't go into this looking for any type of book other than a cookbook. So yeah,, this didn't work for me at all.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Ks Book Reviews

    I was a huge fan of Damaris Phillips, and was rooting for her on The Next Food Network Star. I'm happy to see her come so far. I I loved SOUTHERN GIRL MEET VEGETARIAN BOY. I am in no way a vegetarian, but was very impressed with how she was able to transform dishes in a way that even I would give them a chance.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Rodrigues

    Many of these recipes are just simple Southern staples with meat substitutes -- this is both a strength and weakness. For people who aren't too keen on changing up their comfort food options, this is a good substitute. However, some of the recipes are a bit self-explanatory to cooks familiar with Southern cuisine. There are, however, a few recipes in particular that stood out to me in terms of using creative ways to replicate familiar flavors without using meat, especially the Kentucky beans and Many of these recipes are just simple Southern staples with meat substitutes -- this is both a strength and weakness. For people who aren't too keen on changing up their comfort food options, this is a good substitute. However, some of the recipes are a bit self-explanatory to cooks familiar with Southern cuisine. There are, however, a few recipes in particular that stood out to me in terms of using creative ways to replicate familiar flavors without using meat, especially the Kentucky beans and rice. I appreciated that the author didn't waste a lot of time with commentary and introductions. (I'm not a big fan of reading through a chef's feelings on a recipe -- just give me a recipe with a tasty picture!) Recommended for hesitant vegetarians, and most library collections. received via Netgalley

  4. 4 out of 5

    Beth Robinson-Kinney

    As a member of a carnivore/pescetarian split household from Louisville, I found this cookbook to be a fresh take on some familiar dishes. I enjoyed how the author includes tweaks for the dishes to accommodate meat eaters or vegans. My only complaint is that she is overreliant on meat substitutes/fake meat. The real joy of a plant-based diet is the wealth of flavor and texture that comes from a variety of vegetables and fruit. Simply replacing meat in a traditional dish misses the point. That bei As a member of a carnivore/pescetarian split household from Louisville, I found this cookbook to be a fresh take on some familiar dishes. I enjoyed how the author includes tweaks for the dishes to accommodate meat eaters or vegans. My only complaint is that she is overreliant on meat substitutes/fake meat. The real joy of a plant-based diet is the wealth of flavor and texture that comes from a variety of vegetables and fruit. Simply replacing meat in a traditional dish misses the point. That being said, the deviled eggs, greens, and spaghetti & meatballs were each scrumptious. I'm excited to try out some of the other recipes too.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mandi

    I am not a vegetarian but I'm buying this book! I got the privilege thanks to Netgalley to look through an advanced digital copy of this book. I expected it to be a interesting read at points but not something I would need in my life. I already knew I love Demaris from seeing her on food network. I did not expect to find so many things that I needed to try and make at once. The Chick pea and dumplings soup is delicious and the Grits and Greens will become a staple for my house. We are meat eaters. I am not a vegetarian but I'm buying this book! I got the privilege thanks to Netgalley to look through an advanced digital copy of this book. I expected it to be a interesting read at points but not something I would need in my life. I already knew I love Demaris from seeing her on food network. I did not expect to find so many things that I needed to try and make at once. The Chick pea and dumplings soup is delicious and the Grits and Greens will become a staple for my house. We are meat eaters. Thing is I am a Momma to 4 kids. So I figure the odds of me ending up with a vegetarian to feed eventually are pretty high. Plus, who doesn't need more vegetables in their life anyway. If I needed to cook a vegetarian option for my kids or their significant others one day I would be lost trying to figure out tasty meat substitutes. It's just not something I know anything about and certainly not something I'd know how to make on my own. Even though I am a skilled southern cook. What makes this book a must purchase right now for me is All the recipes I think would be pretty simple to add meat to. They even include instructions for that option. I'd say that this is a pretty perfect cookbook. You can easily find something to feed anyone you might be cooking for. The pictures are beautiful! The food all sounds delicious. We've tried and loved 2 recipes out of the book and I've got a list of about 10 more that will be made in my house within the next few weeks. A must purchase for me!!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Peipert

    I really liked Demeris from the Food Network Rising Stars reality show. This book fell flat for me. While I liked the idea and even liked some of the recipes, I didn't feel like it really stood out as a complete body of work. I did not like the emphasis on fake meats. It was a little overdone. While there is room to create recipes with these the entree section felt so heavy-handed in these ingredients and that can be a little isolating, inaccessible for some readers, and doesn't really showcase t I really liked Demeris from the Food Network Rising Stars reality show. This book fell flat for me. While I liked the idea and even liked some of the recipes, I didn't feel like it really stood out as a complete body of work. I did not like the emphasis on fake meats. It was a little overdone. While there is room to create recipes with these the entree section felt so heavy-handed in these ingredients and that can be a little isolating, inaccessible for some readers, and doesn't really showcase the abundant flavors that one can find in vegetarian dishes - even if they are mainly southern dishes! I did like that there was a personal touch to this book and that almost everything had an image- that really helps with cooking food that one might not be familiar with. Overall, I just don't see this being a staple cookbook for me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I've liked Damaris Phillips since she won the Next Food Network Star a few years ago. So, I was excited to check out her new cookbook. When she met her husband he was vegetarian and she wasn't sure how to date him because she always cooked the Southern food she grew up on - which is usually dishes like fried chicken and greens seasoned with ham. But, as they fell in love she started working on changing her cooking to accommodate his feelings about meat. So, the cookbook is obviously more vegetab I've liked Damaris Phillips since she won the Next Food Network Star a few years ago. So, I was excited to check out her new cookbook. When she met her husband he was vegetarian and she wasn't sure how to date him because she always cooked the Southern food she grew up on - which is usually dishes like fried chicken and greens seasoned with ham. But, as they fell in love she started working on changing her cooking to accommodate his feelings about meat. So, the cookbook is obviously more vegetable focused, but she does include a few dishes with two recipes - one traditional (with meat) and one vegetarian version. While I'm not going be become a vegetarian there were a few recipes I want to try. Overall, a good cookbook for a vegetarian or someone who wants to eat less meat overall for whatever reason.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This was a smart book, well thought out and put together. I Loved watching Damaris on the Next Food Network Star, and she has been on many things on the Food Network since (even though she did not win). This book was a nice surprise that I found really interesting. On the first look through the recipes seemed a little strange, but then I started to notice that there were variations with each recipe. They included ones for plant based and for meat. I thought that this was so cool!!! On the negati This was a smart book, well thought out and put together. I Loved watching Damaris on the Next Food Network Star, and she has been on many things on the Food Network since (even though she did not win). This book was a nice surprise that I found really interesting. On the first look through the recipes seemed a little strange, but then I started to notice that there were variations with each recipe. They included ones for plant based and for meat. I thought that this was so cool!!! On the negative side there just did not seem to be enough pictures and it seemed like every recipe had Soooooo many ingredients, like a page full, then the directions were very involved. This is a cookbook where you really have to have time to make anything. Maybe a weekend recipe book?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Ok, so the pictures in this book are absolutely drool-worthy and almost everything sounded amazing. I definitely copied down a few recipes to try. My only real gripe is that despite billing it as a southern vegetarian cookbook, she still includes a bunch of meat recipes in the book and talks about how much she loooves meat and can't be without it. I'm probably just a hypocritical judgy veggie, but I'm past the point where I want to read recipes featuring dead animals, especially in a vegetarian Ok, so the pictures in this book are absolutely drool-worthy and almost everything sounded amazing. I definitely copied down a few recipes to try. My only real gripe is that despite billing it as a southern vegetarian cookbook, she still includes a bunch of meat recipes in the book and talks about how much she loooves meat and can't be without it. I'm probably just a hypocritical judgy veggie, but I'm past the point where I want to read recipes featuring dead animals, especially in a vegetarian cookbook - maybe if they were all included at the end it would have been better? I don't know. With that being said, if the biscuits and gravy recipe is as good as it looks, maybe I won't have to shell out $$$ at the only place in town offering vegan gravy! Definitely still worth a read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This is a nice addition to my cookbooks that contain both vegetarian & "carnivore" (or omnivore) recipes. Since I am the lone vegetarian in a large family, it is nice to have options that can satisfy all of us. Unlike a previous reviewer, there are no glaring errors in my copy, no confusing of substitute ingredients for carnivore & plant-based versions. Also, for me, it's no big deal that the author refers to the vegan variations as "plant-based" rather than "vegan." There's a lot more in life t This is a nice addition to my cookbooks that contain both vegetarian & "carnivore" (or omnivore) recipes. Since I am the lone vegetarian in a large family, it is nice to have options that can satisfy all of us. Unlike a previous reviewer, there are no glaring errors in my copy, no confusing of substitute ingredients for carnivore & plant-based versions. Also, for me, it's no big deal that the author refers to the vegan variations as "plant-based" rather than "vegan." There's a lot more in life to make a fuss about than that. There's a nice mix of recipes with a down-home Southern flair, most of which seem very approachable & tasty. Lots of photos if that is an important consideration for you.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Hite

    Food Network star Damaris Phillip's new cookbook tackles combining traditional southern recipes with vegetarian dietary requirements. It is a sweet nod to her home life with her vegetarian husband and how she has learned to tweak her recipes. The first section she takes traditional southern entrees and shows how to make the same dish with various meat substitutes. The second portion is how to make the same dish two ways: with or without meat. Next she offers a variety of side dishes and finishes Food Network star Damaris Phillip's new cookbook tackles combining traditional southern recipes with vegetarian dietary requirements. It is a sweet nod to her home life with her vegetarian husband and how she has learned to tweak her recipes. The first section she takes traditional southern entrees and shows how to make the same dish with various meat substitutes. The second portion is how to make the same dish two ways: with or without meat. Next she offers a variety of side dishes and finishes with a collection of desserts. In each recipe she provides tips and information on making fun vegetarian eats with meat and protein substitutes. This is a good book for someone looking for traditional southern fare...with or without the meat.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    The concept of this book is great! I picked it up at the library just for sheer curiosity. I live in Louisville, and that’s where Damaris lives. I follow her on social media, and love her personality. I’m not interested in vegetarian cooking, but do plan on trying a few of her recipes. I appreciated that she gave you the vegetarian recipe, but also how to make it with meat. I’m just not sure how easy some of those meat substitutes are to make. The desserts and sides were my favorite part.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joyful

    This one is so-so. It's not a great book for vegetarians, nor for those omnivores. Most vegetarians choose a vegetarian cookbook so they don't have to sort through the omnivore recipes, and this premise isn't exactly appealing to meat eaters either. I’m being picky here, I know. If you’re new to meatless cooking and want start slowly with meat substitutes on your usual recipes, try it out. Not great for established vegetarians.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. While I was unable to try all of the recipes included in the book the few that I attempted were amazing. Our household has vegetarian dinners 3-4 times a week at minimum and the recipes were clearly written and tasty. I particularly appreciated having the option to make certain dishes vegetarian or not as that adds more diversity

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Good seitan recipes.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Oh my goodness! Yum! Rarely do I find a cookbook where i could happily make every single recipe. Read this cover to cover in one sitting, and looking forward to cooking!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Beka

    Though I didn't really gravitate toward any of the recipes (with a carnivore husband), I did find it really sweet to read about what Damaris did to remake her cuisine for her honey.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Smyth

    Who doesn't love Damaris? She's like a breath of fresh air and this book was the same. I loved all the stories that accompanied each recipe.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Svendsen

    Excellent vegetarian cookbook with an added bonus of the non veggie versions included for each recipe. Great for households where there are vegetarians and omnivores to please.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I never did have time to try these recipes, some seem fairly complicated, but it might be because cooking vegan uses things I am not familiar with.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    From the publisher - Damaris Phillips is a southern chef in love with an ethical vegetarian. In Phillips's household, greens were made with pork, and it wasn’t Sunday without fried chicken. So she had to transform the way she cooks. In Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy, Phillips shares 100 recipes that embody the modern Southern kitchen: food that retains all its historic comfort and flavor, but can now be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. I was so excited to be reading this book .. From the publisher - Damaris Phillips is a southern chef in love with an ethical vegetarian. In Phillips's household, greens were made with pork, and it wasn’t Sunday without fried chicken. So she had to transform the way she cooks. In Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy, Phillips shares 100 recipes that embody the modern Southern kitchen: food that retains all its historic comfort and flavor, but can now be enjoyed by vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. I was so excited to be reading this book ... until .... right at the beginning ... FAKE MEAT was brought up. I.e. "chicken made of vegetarian stuff". I know that vegetarianism for some people is ethical but I also thought that it was about eating naturally. The work involved in taking plants and making them into "fake-on" and "chick'n" is about as far from eating REAL FOOD that you can get. As a result, I only read a few pages ... very disappointed! Why would a Food Network Star give recipes for fake food?????? Thanks to netgalley, the author and the publisher for letting me read and review this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    GONZA

    Nice recipes from the southern part of the U,S. in the double version meet/vegetarian, with a clear explanation and not so difficult to find ingredients, so if you are interested in learning some southern food, this is the book for you! Ricette interessanti che vengono dal sud degli Stati Uniti nella doppia versione con/senza proteine animali, con spiegazioni chiare ed ingredienti facili da trovare, quindi un buon libro se siete interessati a scoprire il cibo di quelle parti! THANKS TO NETGALLEY F Nice recipes from the southern part of the U,S. in the double version meet/vegetarian, with a clear explanation and not so difficult to find ingredients, so if you are interested in learning some southern food, this is the book for you! Ricette interessanti che vengono dal sud degli Stati Uniti nella doppia versione con/senza proteine animali, con spiegazioni chiare ed ingredienti facili da trovare, quindi un buon libro se siete interessati a scoprire il cibo di quelle parti! THANKS TO NETGALLEY FOR THE PREVIEW!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ali

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emilia

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy G

  29. 5 out of 5

    julie whitworth

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ericka

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