Author: Jessica Murnane, Lena Dunham
Source: TLC Book Tours
Summary: Fantastic! Everything I made from this book was easy, delicious, and relatively healthy.
Author and podcaster Jessica Murnane advocates particular eating one plant-based meal a day and begins this cookbook with some suggestions for pantry staples to help you achieve that goal. She also recommends particular recipes as ‘gateway meals’ to bring reluctant family members on board with plant-based cooking. Personally, that’s not why I picked up her book. My husband and I already cook a lot of vegetarian meals and very rarely eat red meat, so I was primarily looking for more healthy, vegetarian meal ideas. It turns out, that’s a great reason to pick up this cookbook!
The first thing I always notice in a cookbook are the pictures. In this book, there are full-page pictures for about 1 in 3 recipes. Ideally, I’d like a picture for every recipe, but many of these recipes were straightforward enough that I felt like I knew what I was getting even without a picture. The organization by category makes a lot of sense. Most recipes called for only a handful of ingredients and all three of the recipes I tried were incredibly straightforward. A few called for ‘odd’ ingredients (by which I mean ingredients I couldn’t get at Walmart), but I was easily able to find substitutes (quinoa for amaranth, for example). I have yet to make a dinner from this book, but the list I’m excited about is long – Mexican fried rice nachos, corn cakes with black bean spread, white bean pepper chili. I could go on! And I will try to come back and update once I make these. In the meantime, here are the recipes I did make:
Creamy peach porridge – This was amazing. It was precisely as sweet as I like my breakfast foods to be. The only ingredients were vanilla extract, coconut milk, cinnamon, peaches, maple syrup, and amaranth (that I replaced with quinoa). It could probably be healthier, but not bad given how decadently delicious it was! We’ll be making this again this weekend.
Herb fries – Before trying this recipe, I had never found homemade or frozen fries I enjoyed. My husband and I agree that these were by far the best homemade fries we’ve had. I forgot to add the rosemary and parsley to make them herb fries, but they were perfect. I can’t wait to make them again and add these herbs or cover them in Parmesan or garlic or maybe truffle oil for a treat. They’d be the perfect base for any seasonings you might want to try.
Honey peppermint cups – Another recipe that blew me away! Really just honey, dark chocolate, and peppermint extract. My husband loved these just as much as I did and he’s not a huge fan of mint. I, however, am obsessed with all things mint and chocolate, so if anyone else wants me to review a book that requires me to eat something this delicious, bring it on!
Even not having tried a main meal, I’m completely sold on this book. Everything was easy to make and incredibly delicious, especially given the simplicity of the ingredients. Highly recommend.