If you’re thinking did you just quote Ratatouille in part of that title? Yes, yes I did. Who doesn’t love Disney movies and food!? Also if you read “anyone can cook” in the same accent as the French chef then bonus points for you.
Anyway, its been a while since I’ve been able to post on my blog. Starting a new job, keeping up with the gym and a healthy routine, and making time for friends and family meant that something had to give.
But in a way I’m glad I had the chance to step away from writing since it gave me the idea to write this post. One thing I noticed about my routine is that even when I was running on empty I never compromised on cooking myself and family a healthy dinner.
Despite being terrible about posting on my blog the last month I kept up with posting pictures on my personal Instagram account of the dinners I was able to make. I wish that I was one of these people who just had a natural knack for tossing ingredients together and end up with some amazing new dish. That is just not a talent in my wheelhouse. I need direction and exact measurements otherwise cooking can get ugly, fast. So I thought I would share a cookbook that has become one of my go-to resources.
Trial and error is a good thing
If you read my last blog post, you know that one of the ways I keep any anxiety about food at bay is to make cooking as enjoyable as possible. For me, that means being as creative as possible. The big challenge for me right now is to make sure my healthy meal choices mean that I don’t feel like I’m missing out on foods I love.
I’m currently exploring the differences between vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. So that means a lot of cooking triumphs and whole lot of epic fails *sigh* The failures are especially disappointing when you’ve come home from a long day at work and the meal you made just simply sucks.
So I’ve learned that choosing a great cookbook to follow seems to work a lot better than just printing a recipe off the internet. I once tried a vegan & gluten-free muffin recipe I randomly found online. I never knew that muffins could come out flat on top and soggy in the middle. Let’s all say it together: Eeewww.
To be fair, it was my first attempt so there was probably some of my own mistakes thrown into this recipe too. But since I was making them for a holiday breakfast the night before it was pretty much a disaster.
I think it’s experiences like this one, that label cooking as super difficult; especially when you’re venturing into the uncharted waters of vegan cooking. But with the right guidance you can feel good about how you’re fueling your body and actually enjoy amazing food.
Don’t be afraid to eat your greens
I remember talking about these concerns with a friend of mine who has been vegan for well over a decade. That’s when she gifted me But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan! by Kristy Turner.
Not only do I love the taste of these recipes but the book is great for someone new to plant based cooking. I actually enjoyed reading it too because Turner’s writing is so relatable when describing what it’s like to introduce a vegan diet to your family.
Once I saw section titles like “My parents don’t understand why I won’t eat my childhood favorites” or “There’s no way vegan food can make everyone happy at once” I felt like this cookbook could work for me. I think so many of us who have tried to continue a healthy diet have heard some criticism from an unsupportive friend or family member about “eating rabbit food” or “where do you get protein without meat?”
Not only does this cookbook stomp out those stereotypes, it also has a great break down of what pantry staples you need and how to use them. It also has a great glossary section to explain ingredients like liquid aminos or aquafaba.
Dishes for every diet and deadline
I’m a big believer in using recipes that can be versatile with ingredients. This is important to me because I have several family members who struggle with severe food allergies or autoimmune issues that require a specific diet. You can look at each recipe to see if it can be gluten free or nut free etc.
I’m a meticulous “Type A” planner because I’m juggling a lot in my life. So being able to meal prep is one of the ways I ensure healthy meals are quick and easy. This cookbook will help you with that too. There are labels to point out when you have to plan ahead or which meals make great leftovers.
Feel good food
I have received several messages from people wondering where I get the recipes I use every week so that was a big motivation for me to write this cookbook recommendation. Plus, I truthfully have enjoyed cooking with this book and it’s a great feeling when the end result tastes amazing. I want everyone to feel that good about what they eat and make cooking something to look forward to.
I haven’t been able to try every recipe yet but you can check out the photos below to see how some of the food I made turned out. And with the holidays coming up I’m looking forward to trying more than one dessert recipe at once. I mean, you have to taste test them all before bringing them to holiday dinners right? Can’t say I’m mad about that 🙂
If you’re interested in learning more about writer and recipe developer Kristy Turner or want to get her cookbooks then check out her food blog here.