July 20, 2011
It seems a little silly or ironic to be writing a review on a cookbook whose author is also the creator of this site. But needless to say...I LOVE this cookbook. It is the book I go to first when I have a vegetable or grain that I want to use in a way I haven't tried before. And I've been a follower of Heidi's for long enough now and feel the experience I've gained by trying her recipes has given me the skills and confidence to delve into my own creations. It's not that I'm new to cooking, I've been cooking and doing a decent job of it for years, but have not been as confident in making my own creations. It's nice to finally feel like I can branch out on my own and do it in a healthy, yummy, nutritious way.
Back to the book. Just a glance at this book inspires me to want to try something. I'll open it at the beginnning of the week and pick out 4-5 recipes to try for that week. And somehow I've actually been sticking to trying all the recipes I pick out. There were a couple dishes I tried that I wasn't as crazy about and need to get out of the way first (I like to end on a positive) - first is the kale salad, I'm not sure if it was the tamari I used or the combination of the tamari with the kale, but it just didn't taste quite right. I may also have cooked the kale a bit too long, it had too much of a smoky overtone. When I try it again, I'll cut down on tamari and the time in the oven. I also did not find the cauliflower soup to be all that exciting. It was tasty and hit the spot, but just not over the top like most of the other recipes I've tried.
On to the good stuff. I love the multigrain pancakes (I added blueberries) - buttermilky, fluffy, and tasty. You'd never know that they're "multigrain". The lemon-zested bulgur wheat is a great change for a hot breakfast cereal that both my husband and daughter enjoyed. The millet muffins are moist, not to sweet and crunchy - wonderful topped with some butter and honey. The summer squash soup is lovely and satisfies that craving for thai curry. The shaved fennel salad is so simple and yet so delicious - crunchy, tangy, nutty goodness. The orzo salad is deliciously creamy, crunchy and tangy - a fabulous way to incorporate more broccoli into your diet. The little quinoa patties are so versatile and a great "to go" snack. The spinach chop was just what I needed for a healthy, protein packed pick me up. And finally, the green lentil soup - also satisfies the curry craving, creamy and delicious.
Heidi's recipes are so wonderful because they're quick and easy. Not a ton of ingredients and usually not too much preparation. They're easy enough to throw together on a week night (I think that was the point of this book). And I always feel confident that I'll be eating something that's good for my body.
I look forward to working my way through many more recipes and continuing to create my own concoctions influenced by what I've learned from Heidi and her style of cooking.
Thank you Heidi, keep em coming!
April 21, 2010
I have to admit, I am not super familiar with this cookbook just yet. But I am proud to say that it is the first cookbook I have cooked from since I became a member of this "library".
I was so excited for the opportunity to share with other cookbook junkies like myself, my favorite cookbooks and to hear about others' favorites. I forgot to take into account that I'd recently moved and all my cookbooks were and are still packed. And bound to be so for some time...
So in order to redeem myself, I went out and bought two new books from one of my favorite places in San Francisco, Rainbow Grocery. They have a wonderful selection of cookbooks that include local, sustainable, vegetarian, vegan, ayurvedic and more.
I then had to figure out what to cook. I feel this can be the most challenging part...picking a dish that looks like something my family and I will like, is relatively easy to follow, and healthy. I fortunately belong to a local CSA and had my options somewhat narrowed down by what I had received in my box. Chickpea and chard soup is what I chose. I had some beautiful baby chard in my CSA box that I knew would go wonderfully in a soup...and lots of it.
I made a few adjustments...threw everything into my new slow cooker (needed to try it out), used fireroasted tomatoes (a suggestions from 101 cookbooks), did not add the bread, used green garlic, and added in a rind from some parmesan I had that needed to be used. I put the chard in at the last minute so it wasn't completely falling apart. And the result was super yummy and filling.
The broth reminds me of a Vietnamese or Filipino style soup...a bit sour, but good sour. I couldn't get enough. And I slurped it all up with some yummy cornbread.
This being my first recipe from this book and such a success leaves me enouraged to try some more...