Every time I pick up a new vegan cookbook and start trying recipes I think “wow, this is my new favorite cookbook”. Thank goodness we have so many great vegan cookbooks to choose from. It seems that there’s at least one new book coming out each month.
Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan, aka The Blissful Chef, is one of these books. I picked it up, flipped through it and fell in love. The book is full-color, with beautiful photography that makes me want to make every dish, thoughtfully designed and easy to navigate. If I were to design a cookbook, as I’ve dreamed of many times, this is how I’d design it.
Some features I really like: color-coded sections by types of dishes, and then subdivided by season within each section; each section has an introduction and table of contents; there are also “pop-up boxes” throughout the book with quick tips and definitions; an icon system to help identify raw, gluten-free (about 85% of the book is GF), soy-free, low or no oil, quick prep, chef’s favorite and fan favorite dishes; a sample menu section to help with meal planning or as a suggestion of what to take to a potluck; a comprehensive index, listed by ingredient; and most of all, refreshing recipes with a macrobiotic influence that are easy to make and don’t require too many gadgets (although I am a kitchen gadget freak).
The seasonal sections are quite helpful for Mauro and I, since for the past 5 years we’ve been eating mostly seasonal fruit and veggies that we get from the CSA or other local farms. I’ve already bookmarked a few recipes for those veggies I never really know what to do with. Even if you don’t have a CSA share this book will encourage you to get out to your local farmers market and pick up some fresh, local goodies and get cooking. And as Christy points out in her interview, none of the raw recipes require a dehydrator (one kitchen gadget I actually don’t have), so anyone can make them!
Here are a few of the recipes I’ve tried out so far:
- Save a Duck Pâté (not pictured) – a hardy spread made with tempeh. So fresh and yet satisfying.
- Indian pizza (top photo) – which I subbed out a lot of the veggies for seasonal ones I had on hand. I also subbed out the mango chutney for a tomato jam I had canned at the end of summer. I totally butchered Christy’s recipe with my substitutions but the essence of it was still there and it was delicious.
- Tofu Feta Cheese (bottom photo) – tastes very close to the dairy version and was delicious on the Indian Pizza (adulterated version above) and tossed with pasta, spinach and olives.
- Coconut-orange Bread Pudding – absolutely decadent, luscious and divine (yes, all three at once)!
I always recommend new or seasoned vegans buy a good cookbook — I have an average sized library myself, I refer to my books all the time and have learned so much from them. If you’re looking to add a macrobiotic mix to your diet this is a great book to start with. We can’t wait for Christy to start working on her next book!
Disclosure: FromAtoVegan.com received a free copy of Blissful Bites to review.