Cooking with Books

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Today I want to share with you a new cook book that I am using in the kitchen. It is Deliciously Ella Every Day (Quick and Easy Recipes for Gluten-Free Snacks, Packed Lunches and Simple Meals) by Ella Woodward.

I can’t seem to remember where I was introduced to the book, but I like having it in my book collection. Eating a more plant-based diet is something that I strive to do in my life (note the italics). When I discovered this book I thought it would be helpful in giving me ideas for meal preparations.  I must say  the book has aided me in this endeavor. Yet as it is with  life there needs to be a balance with the good and the bad. Here are my likes and dislikes about this cook book:

Cons:

  • Some of the ingredients are tricky to find (e.g. vanilla powder, tamari)
  • Some of the ingredients are pricey (e.g. pine nuts $$$$, almond butter $$$$)
  • I found that some of the recipes were bland, so the second time I made the recipe I would put in some additions (e.g. the banana breakfast bars needed coconut flakes, cranberries and sunflowers seeds… without these add-ins it was dull)
  • You will need a powerful blender to smooth out certain ingredients (I tried the cashew butter with the food processor… I thought I was going to burn out the motor!)

Pros:

  • Great pictures of foods which accompanied the recipes
  • I liked reading about how the author used natural foods to heal her body
  • The instructions are easy to follow
  • The book is a good size to have in the kitchen (I hate those heavy cook books)
  • Introduces you to new ingredients (e.g. vanilla powder, raw cacao powder)
  • Woodward provides substitution ideas for those hard to find ingredients (e.g. soy sauce for tamari or almond butter for tahini)
  • I appreciate that Woodward doesn’t try to force her lifestyle on you
  • Encouraged me to experiment making my own healthy recipes (e.g. overnight oatmeal, 1:1:1:1 tomato sauce… one day I will share my recipes)

Moving from the good and the bad, I’ve made a number of recipes from this book, here are a few examples of what I made:

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Maple Chia Pots

I added  molasses and coconut flakes to this breakfast meal. It was easy to make as the chia seeds get soaked over night and in the morning you top it off with fruit.

 

 

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Carrot, Beet and Sesame Salad

Super easy to make and in no time it is ready to eat. I threw in a couple splashes of balsamic vinegar.

 

 

 

DSC01623 Almond Butter Quinoa

My least favourite meal. There was too much lemon for me in this recipe. I did add some dried cranberries.

 

 

 

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Black Bean Hummus

 A creamy and spicy snack. Love it!

 

 

 

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Pad Thai

Woodward was right when she wrote that readers would like this recipe, I am a huge fan of this meal. I made this for the plane ride when I was travelling to Mexico (yes, I whipped out my Tupperware with no shame!) and I was grateful for this delicious brown rice salad. It is packed with layered flavours and bright colours.

 

Happy reading and eating!

 

 

Ongoing 2016 Reading Challenge

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Hello,

This year I decided to take on the 2016 POPSUGAR reading challenge. I have never done one of these before and I think I’m making pretty good headway. I needed to make some slight adjustments to the list for various reasons (one being that I live outside of the U.S.A.). Here is my progress so far:

A book based on a fairy tale – The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Susan Ocker

A book set in your home state province – The Journal by Lois Donovan

A book set in Europe – The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

A book that’s under 150 pages –  The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli (Children’s Book)

A book that’s becoming a movie this year – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

A book you can finish in a day – Ms. Marvel. Vol. 4: Last Days by G. Willow Wilson (Comic book)

A science – fiction  fantasy novel – A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A graphic novel – French Milk by Lucy Knisley

A book published in 2016 – Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

A book of poetry – All the Words are Yours by Tyler Knott Gregson

A book from the library – Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper

A book about a road trip – Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis

A book with a blue cover – The Gospel Truth by Caroline Pignat

A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with – Counted with the Stars by Connnilyn Cossette

At the end of the year I will share my top five books. Cheer me on as I tackle this reading challenge.

Again check out the full POPSUGAR reading challenge list here:

http://media1.popsugar-assets.com/files/docs/reading%20challenge%202016.pdf

Happy reading!!