Monday, 11 June 2012
Book Review - Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food
The book starts with a nice introduction to the low-cal but full flavour focus of the book, including a look at comfort food and the importance of exercise in any lifestyle. This is followed by a bunch of nutritional info, including portion sizing and control, specifically focussed on the Lo-Cal theme, which is very handy, then there is a run through of ingredients you may not be familiar with. The next section is a menu section, giving alternatives for a variety of calorie-per-day plans to suit individual requirements. All very helpful. If you're one of the people who don't read the introduction sections in cookbooks I would recommend you make an effort to read these sections.
The recipes themselves all have per portion nutritional information, which I would expect from a book advertising itself as "low-cal", are easily followed, nicely laid out, and come with a colour photo insert (for those of you who love that sort of thing).
I did find on some of the recipes I made that the portions were smaller than I would use, however, looking at the menu section, many of these recipes appear to be served as part of a meal instead of as the meal. (So my eating 2 portions of the Caesar Salad with Chickpea Croutons for lunch, instead of as part of a lunch, is not as bad a thing as I first thought.) Just bear in mind that if you have a big appetite, or are serving for someone with a big appetite, or are using the recipes without other recipes alongside, you may get fewer servings than specified.
Recommended? Yes, and not just if you are looking for low-cal food. You may need to disregard the portion sizes if you're not looking to loose weight, but the food is really good so this is a book you should have! I also think that Alicia's writing style has grown and developed as she writes more books and I look forward to more from her in the future.
What I made - in page number order as always.....
Page 52 Almond Granola
Though I had to sub other nuts and seeds for some of the almonds as I ran out. Very nice granola, and I would make again..
Page 101 Chickpea Cheese
I don't know if I would call this "cheese" myself, Its like a differently, slightly chees-y, flavoured hummus. Very tasty and easy to eat, and worth making, but maybe not called "cheese".
Page 106 Five-Minute Garlic Spinach
Page 126 Caesar Salad with Chickpea Croutons
Page 132 Spicy Kale Slaw
Page136 Moroccan Carrot Salad
Page 139 Amaranth-Quinoa Salad
Page 148 Yellow Split Pea Soup
Page 159 Black Bean Burger
Page 169 Ole-Fashioned Chili Beans
I used chickpeas and black beans as it is what I had available. Turned out lovely. Very simple but very tasty and filling.
Page 181 Baked Risotto
Page 186 Chickpea Cacciatore
Page 188 Kung Pao Tofu
Page 201 Vanilla-Almond Ice Cream
The only recipe I didn't like. I think it was due to my yoghurt being quite strongly "bean-y" which leant a similar bean-y taste to the ice cream. I also found it not sweet enough after freezing.
Page 225 Lemongrass Soda
So refreshing and vibrant I will make this often.