There are two books, The Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet (2005) and The Vegetarian Low Carb Diet Cookbook (2006)

Rose Elliot acknowledges the help of Cyndi Norman and her The Low Carb Forum for The Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet. It should be noted that some of the recipes and all of the success stories come from this forum. The forum appears to be extinct but Cyndi Norman has a website here

Rose Elliot isn’t afraid to take someone’s recipe and tweak it. Spinach and goat’s cheese ‘pizza’ omelette, is based on a recipe by Gordon Ramsay. Quick curried tofu is adapted from a recipe by Bo Sebastian, in The Protein Powered Vegetarian. Crunchy coconut biscuits are based on a recipe from Leslie Kenton. Tofu cacciatore, is adapted from Hunter’s Tofu, in The South Beach Diet Cookbook by Dr Arthur Agatston MD

When the books were written, stevia was illegal in the UK, yet Rose Elliot advocated importing it via the internet. Stevia wasn’t approved for food use by the European Commission until 2011, for mustard until 2016 and for energy-reduced confectionery, in 2017.

The Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet could be renamed 101 Uses for Tofu but there are many recipes which don’t use it. However, other products which low carbers may want to avoid, are soya protein isolate, soya isolate powder, whey powder, soya milk drink, soya cream, soya yogurt, soya beans, edamame beans (green soya beans), black soya beans, soy sauce, soya flour, Quorn, tempeh, wheat bran, wheat germ, TVP (textured vegetable protein), gluten powder, seitan, sweetcorn, xylitol, splenda, and stevia. Whether you avoid all, some or none of them, is personal choice.

Despite the long list of (mostly soya) ingredients above, there are many recipes which can be used, which don’t include them eg roasted red peppers with Feta, Savoy cabbage ‘lasagne’, crunchy granola, peanut sauce, three cheese cauliflower gratin, nut roast with lemon sauce, stuffed peppers with soured cream and walnut sauce, runner bean ‘spaghetti’ with pesto, yogurt dressing, spaghetti squash with garlic cream cheese, cheese crisps, avocado dip, Mexican salad, coconut sauce, devilled eggs and Greek salad.

The diet does a 14 day ‘Carb Cleanse’ which is ketogenic, followed by a Continuing Weight Loss phase and a Maintenance phase. There are menu plans and everything seems well explained.

Vegetarians and vegans wanting to lose weight may be able to do so on this diet. A carb cleanse is a good idea. Readers of The Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet would have to make up their own minds on soya, to get enough protein, for long-term use.

On to The Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet Cookbook which isn’t a diet plan. It starts with an explanation from Rose Elliot, who was intrigued by the Atkins Diet and wondered whether it could be adapted for vegetarians and vegans. With the help of a registered dietician, she tried it herself and The Vegetarian Low Carb Diet was born.

Although the cookbook does explain the diet phases briefly, the book concentrates on what you will need to cook the recipes, in terms of equipment and ingredients. Recipes which don’t include the soya products five paragraphs above, include nettle soup, courgette chips, walnut dressing, fried pumpkin with deep-fried sage, grilled fennel with radicchio and garlic cream, coriander raita, fennel tomato and black olive salad, grilled courgette with Halloumi, tarragon almond and Pecorino tart, broccoli and Brie bake, gem squash with sage cream and Gruyere, and roasted red peppers stuffed with fennel.


If you are a vegetarian, Rose Elliot may be one of your culinary heroes. Or you might just have heard of Not Just a Load of Old Lentils (1988) her most famous vegetarian cook book. Buy The Vegetarian Low-Carb Diet if you’re a vegetarian wanting a low carb diet. Available at Amazon UK and other bookstores.

You don’t need to be a vegetarian to add some of these recipes into your low carb way of eating. They would be useful if you want to vary your diet beyond steak, eggs and bacon.

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