Monday, 24 June 2013

Book Review - Soak your Nuts.

This is really two books in one. One way up you have a collection of raw recipes, and the other way more traditional cooked vegan fare. The books each draw from Karen Calabrese's many restaurants for their recipes, and the restaurant the recipe is from is noted on each, which I like.

The raw recipes start with an introduction to eating raw, and a list of the recommended equipment, and some ingredients which you may not be familiar with. It is a short introduction, but helpful. The cooked section has similar introductions, but without information on equipment. Karyn really brings a huge amount of experience to the recipes.

The book has a number of full colour photo inserts, showcasing both the food and the restaurants. I would liked less pictures of the restaurants and the author and more of the food. The recipes themselves are clearly laid out, easy to read, short but relevant introductions and grouped into logical chapters (for both halves).

The only thing I didn't enjoy about this "two books in one" idea is that the index for each book is separate and in the middle of the book, and they are upside down to each other. A much better idea (or I think) would have been to have had a combined index where you could search for an ingredient and been directed to either book, instead of having to flip and then flip again. Actually now that I think of it, it would have been nicer to have the two books both in the same direction and really presented as one book with one index, but differentiated from each other with a shading or colouring on the pages. So the raw section could be first and have shading on the top half of the sides of the pages, and the cooked half shading on the bottom half following on. Anyhow, that's not how it is and the layout of the book didn't really stop me from enjoying the food I made from it!

I made the following from the cooked half -
Page 26 - Creamy Sweet Potato-Cashew Soup
Super simple recipe, with a lovely texture and taste.

Page 53 - Falafel with Tahini Sauce
I had problems with these falling apart in the frying stage so I gave up and baked them. They held together much better and I really enjoyed the flavour and the sauce! Writing it off to user error!

Page 56 - Caesar Salad
Interesting dressing, quite unusual, but very tasty.

Page 65 - Mac and Cheese
Quantities for the sauce were a little off for me - I ended up with mac swimming in a too liquid sauce. Taste was great but maybe the recipe has been downsized from a restaurant recipe and not carefully checked that the quantities work for the home kitchen. ??

Page 70 - Gluten Free Berry Cobbler
Good with ice-cream! I wish the flour to use had been specified. Just stating "gluten-free flour" is not really specific enough.

From the Raw side -
Page 27 - Sweet Salad Dressing
Nice over a simple green salad. Not too sweet.

Page 44 - Fresh Corner Gazpacho
Nice and light. Refreshing and really summery.

Page 50 - Almond Pate
Made for the California Roll, this was a nice nut pate. Simple and a little spicy, but good.

Page 54 - California Roll
I do like raw sushi and this one nice. I always add loads more avocado as I love it.

Page 65 - Sesame Lime Hummus
This one was a favourite with carrot sticks to dip. Will make again for sure!!

1 comment:

Lauren H. said...

Good idea about page-by-page critique. I appreciate the effort that went in this project. Thank you!