When we are teenagers, we want to be different. We want to be the best . It’s all about us and showing off.
Who has never tried to runaway from home, carrying only a backpack with some clothes?
Who, as a teenager, did not go to a flea market to sell their old toys?
Who hasn’t spent the night in a beach with friends?
Who hasn’t tried to stitch their own clothes?
And… Who has never tried to be a vegetarian?
Well I am lucky to say I have tried all of the above. Failed in some (stitching), still trying others (to be a vegetarian).
Well in fact, I don’t want to be a real vegetarian. I don’t have the arguments. Do I feel sorry for the animals? Not really. Do I hate meat? No, not yet. I am starting to get sick of it but I can still have it. Do I know the meat business is not environmentally friendly? Yes I do. But…cars aren’t either.
Anyway, I digress. Enough of rhetorical questions Let’s go straight to the book I want to talk to you about: Super Natural Everyday.
I am a bit of an impulsive buyer when it comes to books. I read some reviews first and get to know what I am really going to find on the book but I don’t wait 1 week to make the decision. This book was bought following this model. It was also easy and quick to make the decision of buying the book because I already knew the author, Heidi Swanson, from her blog, 101 cookbooks.
Heidi likes to shop in farmer’s markets. She likes to buy seasonal, fresh produce and sourdough wholemeal bread. Who doesn’t? Not so easy if you live in a big city like London where this kind of things are a luxury and they’re not everywhere so if you have a job that keeps you enclosed in a lab for 12 hours, the task gets even more difficult. Occasionally she also buys stuff that are not in season. She likes stuff like soba noodles, cilantro, arugula. and millet and bran muffins.
The book I am refering to is “Super Natural Everyday- Well Loved Recipes from my well loved kitchen“. It is divided in chapters for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, drinks, treats and accompainments.
I find it really original and useful to have a section on snacks. I really struggle to find a good snack to have in between meals. Something that is filling and healthy. Not the cookies that we all have, not the fruit which we also should have but it’s boring, not the cereal with milk. Snacks that would be great to take to work and would make the day much shinier: little quinoa patties, things to put in bread like white bean spread or honeyed feta cheese, or a dip for vegetables like her raita are just a few examples that can be found in this little pearl that her book is.
The first recipe of her I tried was…You got it, something that involved baking. I tried the millet muffins. I had to go and buy millet first because I had never used such thing in my life and I am still not quite sure of what that is. It’s a cereal. A grain. And it gives the muffins a very nice crunch that makes you thing there are nuts on them but no, it is just the millet. The flour was wholewheat and the sweetness came just from the honey. So far so good, great simple recipe!
The next was another bake. This time a bread (the only bread in this book). An irish rye soda bread. I never thought this bread would actually look and taste like a bread because the kneading is minimal, ingredients are buttermilk, flour and salt and there is no time for rising. But, surprisingly, it is a nice bread. Not my favourite but great if on a rush.
I did not stop in the baking dishes. I ventured into the the rice salad I showed you before , two ravioli dishes, one with pesto made with cilantro and the other with broccoli pesto, both containing heaps of olive oil .
The lunch section is my favourite. The recipes are light, exactly what you want in your lunch time if you don’t want to fall asleep in front of the computer after you had a very large and heavy meal. This is where all the yummy, inventive and healthy salads can be found, like the black bean salad with oven roasted tomatoes, almonds and feta cheese and orzo salad, amongst other very colorfoul and tasty ones. My favourite is a salad made with dessicated coconut and kale: both put in the oven to cook! How cool is that? I would never think of baking kale but it’s genius! It comes out so crunchy and it is delicious with the coconut flakes!
I still haven’t tried the recipes that include tofu, seitan or tempeh. I have to go to the shop where I could get lost in for hours first. I am talking about Whole Foods, the place where all the unimaginable ingredients live…(a side note: I hear they are opening one new shop right by my doorstep…this is not good!!! Or is it???).
If you follow this book recipes, you will be a very happy vegetarian, won’t get bored AT ALL, the variety is impressive. The only least positive thing I’ve noticed is that the constant use of olive oil, full fat greek yogurt and cheese makes the recipes a bit fatty (hence the deliciousness). But you can always cut on those I suppose, however, if there is no sauce, the recipe can turn out quite bland.
So, buying books following your instinct is not a bad thing in the end!
Mark Awarded: 8/10
Who did not try to