Monday, 21 October 2013

Book Review - Blissful BItes

This is a pretty book. There are lots of nice photos, there are lots of different colours used on the pages and text (to differentiate seasons within each chapter - which is a nice touch) so it is very eye catching. The recipes are grouped into logical chapters by meal / main ingredient, and then subdivided by season. There are hints and information throughout the book as well as in the introduction, which is quite long and looks at everything from techniques, to equipment and ingredients used (and not used). The book also indicates which recipes in each chapter are the authors favourite, and the favourite of the folks who tested the recipes - this I like, though it didn't really influence my choices of dishes to make.

Blissful Bites is a health focused book, using little or no oil in the recipes. It also uses little or no onions or garlic (all from the Alium family actually) which is great for those who have taste buds accustomed to eating without these vegetables, but to me, in some recipes I found them lacking and would add these in if making again. The focus in many of the recipes is on macrobiotic ingredients, some of which are not easily located where I am so I avoided recipes which used these ingredients.

The recipes I tried -
Page 44 - Roasted Sweet and Yukon Potaotes
Loved the potatoes and sweet potatoes in this but wasn't overly keen on the green pepper. I think red would have been a better choice - for my tastes anyway. I spiced mine with cumin, oregano and chili powder.

Page 59 - A taste of India Artichoke Dip
I was intrigued by the combination of artichokes and chickpeas, and feel they are a combination worth exploring more, however the spices used in this dip didn't work for me - which may just have been the garam masala I have - and it was a little on the bland side. This one I would have added garlic too for sure.

Page 61 - Hearty Lentil Soup
Easy, tasty, a basic lentil soup really. Nice on a cool evening, and very filling. I'd add a little garlic (as it was I doubled the optional onion) if making again.

Page 100 - Not-your-average Cabbage Slaw
I was surprised to see vegan mayo as an ingredient without a recipe for a home made mayo. I did use a homemade mayo (will be in Vegan al Fresco - note the none-too-subtle self promotion) and while tasty I would have liked a little garlic in there. I did use the optional red onion.

Page 102 - Blissed Caesar Dressing
Not so caesar-ish as expected but very good! Lovely dressing and really good with a mixture of romaine lettuce and spicnah leaves.

Page 191 - Baked oil-free Falafel
A little dry after baking, and again I'd have added some garlic, but pretty good with the Tzatziki Sauce. I served over rice to which I added lemon zest and oregano to make it a little Mediterranean-ish.

Page 191 - Tzatziki Sauce
Straight from the blender this tasted a little strongly of tofu to me, however after sitting in the fridge for a while that faded and the sauce was nice. Quite a lot of dill, and I would have liked a little more pickles or fresh cucumber but it was a good addition to the Falafel.

Recommended? Yes, if your health is a main focus for you. If you are looking at trying recipes which add variation to your diet while keeping to a health focus then you'll likely find plenty to try. If not, then you may find recipes which appeal, though you may be inclined to add in onion and garlic to some of the recipes.

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