Celebrating the art of eating well.
This is the type of cooking I’d like to do; the type of cooking I’d do if I wasn’t cooking for children who, when presented with a Sunday roast dinner with all the trimmings (and plenty of organic locally grown vegetables!) say, “Mum, why do you only make yucky stuff?” (true story! These words were said to me not too long ago!). The kind of children who look at a plate of wholesome pulses and vegetables and actually physically cry real tears of devastation before finally being coaxed to try a single bite and then instantly make faces, declaring that it’s the worst thing they’ve ever tasted.
This is the type of cooking I’d do if I had markets on my doorstep selling exotic ingredients like burdock root, Jerusalem artichoke, daikon (what is that?!) etc. etc. The type of cooking I’d do if I had nothing else to do but prepare gorgeous produce and not have to go to work, sort the kids out, the laundry and the housework. The kind of cooking I’d do if I didn’t have the kind of husband who, when casting his eyes across the painstakingly prepared vegetarian dinner I’ve just made and asks, half-jokingly: “Where’s the meat?”
I browsed through this book with a mixture of “Oh my goodness this looks so incredibly good!”, to “Look how long that list of ingredients is!” to, “What is that ingredient? I’ve never heard of that before!” and “I’d love to make that but my family will never eat it!” to just feeling downright guilty for being a failure of a cook compared to the author.
I have recipe developer envy. Scratch that, I think I might actually be a teeny bit jealous.
Amy Chaplin has worked as a vegetarian chef for over 20 years, so she certainly knows her stuff. It’s all about wholesome foods and the art of eating well. She’s the former executive chef of New York’s vegan restaurant Angelica Kitchen, she’s a recipe developer, a teacher and a private chef for celebrities such as Natalie Portman and Liv Tyler.
There are over 150 gorgeous vegetarian and vegan whole food recipes in her book, and everything you need to know in order to stock your pantry and make the best of your whole food ingredients.
This chunky hard cover book is divided into sections covering pantry essentials, recipes (breakfast, soups, salads, snacks, nibbles & drinks, whole meals & desserts) and some extra musings on cleansing, organics and the author’s fondness for tea.
Everything – absolutely every single recipe – looks incredibly mouthwatering and good for you. They often look time consuming (cooking times are not included), and they involve quite a few uncommon ingredients (at least uncommon in my rural markets) so I don’t know how practical a lot of them would be for busy families and midweek dinners, but for special occasions and entertaining with style – this is your book.
One particular recipe caught my eye, a roasted Autumn vegetable cannelini bean stew with spelt berries and kale. I may have to substitute a few of the ingredients for things I can obtain locally, but I really like the sound of this recipe.
The book publishers, Quarto Books, have kindly given me permission to reproduce the recipe for my readers.
Book: At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen
Author: Amy Chapin
Publication Date: 18 June 2015
RRP: £25.00 (UK)
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