Sprouts and Other Healthy Stuff

The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon

I’m a big fan of breakfast. A day just won’t do without it. But breakfast can often become monotonous: boxed cereal, oatmeal, boxed cereal…That’s why my mouth dropped when I first opened up the pages of The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon. My eyes met yummy delights.

Baked eggs with barley creamed greens and mustardy bread crumbs.

Flourless stone fruit breakfast crumble.

Winter fruit salad in ginger lime syrup.

Need I say more?

My mouth dropped even more when I continued to thumb through the book. Of course, there were more tantalizing recipes. But then there were also the photographs. The author, Sara Forte, partnered with her husband, Hugh Forte, to put together a book that holds not only appeal for the tongue but appeal for the eye, as well.

Not many people will probably be attracted to the concept of putting sprouts in daily dishes. (I, for one, am not.) But this book reveals recipes that even bean sprouts can’t ruin–recipes like strawberry tabbouleh (page 141), grapefruit lillet sherbert (page 186), dark cherry hazelnut salsa (page 194), and Thai lemongrass sauce (page 205).

Who will like this book? Why, anyone who likes food, I think. While small children may not like the mixture of flavors in some of the recipes (cherry salsa might not sound right to their ears), more mature tastebuds will.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

I realize that I have been on a steady diet of cookbook reviews recently. If you have any book recommendations or requests for reviews of other books, comment below. I’m always ready to discover a new book. 🙂

Time-Tested

Simply Ancient Grains

First it was MSG-free. Then it was gluten-free. Now it’s non-GMO.

Food rages come and go in stages. It seems that one study follows another, disproving all studies before it and wowing the health food connoisseur with all the potential problems inherent in the food he eats.

While I typically do not follow these trends–perhaps simply because I cannot keep up with all the changing research–I do like simple, hearty food that both time and tradition have proven is good for me.

Enter Simply Ancient Grains by Maria Speck. Simply looking at the photographs of the food in this cookbook assures me that the recipes are healthful. (Whether or not I will try to cook and eat them is another matter.) There is something appealing about cool summer salads like “Minted Summer Couscous with Watermelon and Feta” (page 100) and something woodsy and quaint about “Warm Wild Rice Salad with Herb-Roasted Mushrooms and Parmesan” (page 112) and something comforting about “My Mac and Cheese with Greek Yogurt and Leeks” (page 177).

Given that most cooks I know do not keep couscous, wild rice, bulgur, barley, or buckwheat as staples in their kitchen pantries, however, I would say that this cookbook is not for the average kitchen. I do not recommend that the average Jane go to the bookstore and try to pick up a copy. Monday night dinners and Friday night pizza are not a highlight of Speck’s cookery.  Instead, this cookbook is for the health-conscious cook or the experimental chef. (Take the recipe for “Buckwheat and Beet Soup with Spicy Horseradish,” for example.) And, while I am not that above-average chef, I bet that those who are will appreciate the time and thought and ideas that went into this book, evidenced in the “Make Ahead” tips and recipes for desserts using ancient grains (now that takes some thinking!). They won’t be shortchanged when it comes to instructions for preparing ancient grains; there are 25 pages dedicated completely to listing ancient grains and describing how to cook them.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Modern. Clever. Beautiful. Delicious.

A Modern Way to Eat

Jamie Oliver got it exactly right: A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones is “a simply brilliant book–modern, clever, beautiful, and full of delicious recipes.”

Modern. While vegetarianism itself (the topic of this cookbook) could be said to be modern, the modernism of Jone’s book does not end there. Every page bears the mark of modernity, with its spare decorations, purposefulness and practicality of design, block spacing between titles and text, and beautiful blending of photographic colors and textures.

Clever. On pages 14-15, Jones presents a diagram to describe the way that she puts a recipe together. It’s quite practical, and I’m sure that my math-minded friends would find it amusing. Jones includes recipes for all occasions: breakfasts, soups, light meals, salads, desserts, and hearty dinners, to name a few. People from all types of vegetarianism can find something to enjoy here in this book’s clever innovations.

Beautiful. This book exudes a beautiful modern elegance. The spare decorations and subtle colors of the pages themselves lend an understated style that does not detract from the beauty of the foods themselves.

Full of delicious recipes. No one can deny that the photographs in this cookbook are not only gorgeous but appetizing. Some of my favorites include “Sweet Tomato and Black Bean Tortilla Bowls” (page 85), “Raw Thai Citrus Crunch Salad” (page 122), and “Double Greens and Phylo Pie” (page 203). Each of the recipes is unique, and I can’t imagine thinking of it on my own but am sure glad that someone else did.

I recommend this book for any connoisseur of delicious food and any vegetarian wanting to eat healthfully. (And, yes, it is supposed to be healthfully, not healthy. 🙂

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.