Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday Rest Day & Cookbook Review

Taking a Rest Day
My body is telling me to take a rest day today. I am really sore from the weight workouts this week. The weather is getting gloomy too, never good for the mood or energy levels. We're in for a chance of ice overnight and snow into the morning. WIth any luck, we will have a delayed schedule tomorrow and come in late (or not at all). In that case, I can workout in the morning.

We were supposed to be going to members' only event at the arts center this evening. The event began at 6:30, so a workout would have been rushed anyway. Especially trying to squeeze that in between getting dinner on the table early. Tonight was nothing fancy. Sorry, no fantastic new recipes ;-) Just the standard, in-a-hurry go-to of Lentil Burger with Sweet Potato "Fries." Not that I'm complaining mind you. Very little work or clean up involved. I really enjoyed that after my week of recipe testing. I make huge messes.

Talking Cookbooks
So, instead of posting my dinner, I thought I'd talk about one of my new cookbooks: Tal Ronnen's The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat I'm in love with this one. I've been reading it before bed, making notes and such. I'll be honest, I have not made anything from it just yet. However, I do have a couple of recipes earmarked to make possibly this weekend. Very excited about it actually. These dishes are the ones I'd LOVE to have served to me at a fancy restaurant. Since very few restaurants around here would ever make anything so divine, I'll just have to do it myself!

This cookbook is most definitely a foodie, cheffy book. It is for people who really enjoy spending time creating their meals. It is not, nor does it claim to be, a cookbook for quick, easy meals. At first glance, the recipes are rather intimidating. Some are two pages, yes, two whole long pages. However, the key (in my unprofessional opinion) is to thoroughly read through the recipe before discounting it. This is a book to be read, really read.

Tal does an excellent job of breaking down the dish into main components, mini recipes if you will. When broken down and tackled one piece at at time, it's no longer quite so intimidating. Some of the recipes do require some pre-planning. Most of the recipes are not the type you just throw together on a whim. No, these are not Rachel Ray 30-Minute Meals. No Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade either. But don't let that put you off, unless you just really hate to get in the kitchen and cook. First, you'll want to pick a dish out and plan ahead. I firmly believe that if you take the time to study the recipe and plan ahead, then the dishes will come together fairly easily. I think they will most definitely be worth the effort involved.

Additionally, if you look at these mini recipes, you will find fantastic tips and tricks to use with other dishes that you may already be preparing such as vegan ricottas, homemade vegan pastas, sauces, and side dishes.

The photography is fantastic. The dishes just jump off the page and make your mouth water. I also love how he has incorporated interviews that make it more personal. He introduces the book with his personal take on veganism. It's not preachy, fussy, political. He's honest and to the point. He doesn't make you feel guilty if you do eat vegetarian, or even if you are a meat-eater. These are recipes that anyone would enjoy. You don't have to be a vegan to appreciate these dishes or this cookbook.

Do you have a vegan or vegetarian cookbook that you would highly recommend?