Monday, 27 January 2014

Book Review - Isa Does it!

This is a hefty book, hard covered and packed with all sorts of recipes. It is very pretty, with a lot of colour used - the pages are all different coloured which I like, but it does make it quite busy on the eye when you're reading through. There are lots of artfully arranged colour photos of the recipes, and cute hand drawn illustrations. The recipes are all one to a page, logically grouped into chapters, humorously (yet relevantly) introduced, and easy to follow. I'd expected as much! My only negative about the layout etc would be that the font is very small in places and my "old-lady-eyes" have a little trouble. There is a lot of information in each recipe and on all the pages so I imagine the font has had to be small to fit everything in.

The introductory sections explain the theme of the recipes (easy to make, easy to find ingredients, and as quick as possible while still being tasty), look at equipment, ingredients, and swapping for allergens, as well as how to be organised while cooking and a pictorial guide to cutting tofu. This last one is interesting, as describing how to get the shapes needed is not always easy - but I'm not entirely convinced it is necessary. There is a lot of good, and relevant, information int he introduction and you should read it so you're aligned with whats going to follow.

The recipes I tried -
Page 46 Roasted Potato and Fennel Soup
I love fennel, and this soup was lovely. I left it quite chunky, and it really was a meal in a bowl. Thickened overnight so I had to thin with water the next day.

Page 85 Falafel Burgers
This one is a little more time consuming and you really have to start it the next day. It does take longer than the time stated but it is worth it, as we both enjoyed this recipe a lot. It was a little crumbly for me so I added some water to help it hold together. Most likely from my using GF breadcrumbs.

Page 110 Ancho-Lentil Tacos
H enjoyed this more than I did. I found the spices a little harsh and in need of some balance when eaten by itself. I found this less so once the guacamole and other fixings where included. It may also have been my spices. Worth making.

Page 142 White Wine Risotto
OK, but not our favourite. We both found it to be a little on the sour side - there is lots of wine, and then lemon juice too. May have been the wine I was cooking with. I also found the finished risotto too loose for my preference so I cooked for longer, and then my rice was over done. This is just a preference thing and not the recipe! Second day I reheated and added a bunch of nutritional yeast and found I enjoyed it more.

Page 179 Everyday Pad Thai
Tasty. Though I'm not convinced broccoli belongs in pad thai. Will make the sauce and noodles part again for sure.

Page 192 Miso Tahini Dressing
Only make the sauce part of this recipe, but it was very good. A little salty (from the miso) but tasty. Very simple too.

Page 201 Hummus
Only made the hummus not the rest. Nice version with the olives added, so not your traditional.

Page 216 Chandra Malai Kofta
Loved the sauce - rich and mild but very tasty. The kofta balls were also good, but my favourite part was the sauce.

Page 233 Pepes Secret Guacamole
Very nice. Interesting with the orange juice not lime. My little guacamole lover liked it so a winner all over.

Recommended? For sure. There are lots more recipes in the book which I would have liked to have tried. Have you tried any from this one? any favourites?

3 comments: said...

I haven't had a chance to make much from Isa Does It yet but I loooove the Roasted Cauliflower bowl with miso tahini sauce. It's super yummy.

Babette said...

The dish with rosemary dumplings is absulutely amazing; I also made the Sunflower Mac, which get really addictive after a couple of bites; and the soup with gnocchi is delicious.

T.M. said...

I wasn't sure that I was going to buy this but i'm glad I did. I love the mini omelets and the scrambled chickpeas but the best is the chicken seitan. So good and I made the sticky orange chicky stir fry with it...a huge hit! So far I've been happy with everything I made.