Friends often laugh at my assortment of coffee table books, as most would keep my collection closer to the kitchen. While most pile up art and design books, filled with gorgeous photos and fascinating anecdotes, my table tops hold an assortment of cookbooks with photos and stories just as sensational, if not more so.
I’ve recently fallen for ‘Wholesome Kitchen’ with lip-smackingly scrumptious recipes by Ross Dobson and photography by Peter Cassidy that is positively flavorful!
The book boasts recipes made with ‘beans, lentils, grains and other natural foods’ …which could run the risk of sounding too ‘health food’ and less ‘food food.’ Let’s be clear – this is not a health food cookbook, or a diet book, or a fad. This is a collection of delicious meals, sides, soups, snacks and desserts that you will be drawn to week after week. Yes, the book is based around wholesome ingredients …but, shouldn’t all meals?
Granted, I type that as I polish off the last of Johnny’s Easter basket (a holiday we don’t even celebrate, mind you, but who could live on this planet without receiving an Easter basket each year?). But, when it comes to real meals, focusing the ingredient list around beans, lentils and grains is a good way to go. Especially for vegetarians, which I often pretend to be – hey, sometimes a girl can’t resist a good slice of bacon.
Although there are several meat recipes throughout this book – ones in which the author stresses the importance of getting ‘good’ meats (no antibiotics, humanely treated, grass-fed, sustainable, etc.) – many of the recipes don’t include animal proteins. But, before you carnivores go discounting this book, realize that many of these yummy dishes are things like ‘spicy cornbread’ or ‘cilantro fritters’ or ‘risotto’ …items that wouldn’t really call for meat anyway. Thus, it’s not removing ingredients, it’s simply providing a recipe that wouldn’t include them anyway.
For you meat lovers, the meaty recipes in this book are exciting and unique. This is not just steak and potatoes, this is luscious marinades and bright, fresh accompaniments that leave the dish succulent and satisfying.
There’s also a lovely collection of sweets. Everything from your typical fare, like banana bread, to dishes that provide a little more flair.
I found my copy at a big box book shop, but it’s available online and it’s wonderful. The photography is mouth-watering in its own right, the recipes are simple to execute and extremely flavorful and packed with good-for-you goodies.
What’s your favorite cookbook?