As a nutritionist, reading and testing recipes is a big part of my job. I peruse other blogs, scroll through Pinterest, flip through magazines…but sometimes there’s nothing better than the real thing; flipping through the pages of a juicy cookbook.
I was recently asked to write a review on a new cookbook called, “Nourish – Whole Food Recipes featuring Seeds, Nuts and Beans” so I had a good excuse to sit down with a tea while my son napped, and flip through the beautiful photos and mouthwatering recipes.
Nourish is written by registered dietician Cara Rosenbloom and chef Nettie Cronish – what an awesome combination. Just because nutritionists and dieticians know a lot about food, and love to eat doesn’t mean we’re chefs! I would love the opportunity to give a chef some of my favourite healthy ingredients and watch him or her work their magic.
The introduction is a quick and simple message from Rosenbloom on nutrition. As I mentioned in my last post, there are so many messages out there these days about health and nutrition that it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to start. Rosenbloom keeps it really simple, and recommends cooking at home from scratch most of the time, using whole foods (foods that are as close to nature as they can be). Packaged foods that have been slightly altered (ie. whole-wheat pasta) are fine to use and have health benefits, while processed foods such as, candy, soda and deli meats (radically changed from how they once appeared in nature) should be avoided most of the time. Rosenbloom goes on to give some awesome nutritional information about seeds, nuts and beans and different methods for cooking and storing them (a great reference guide to have in the kitchen!).
Now onto the delicious food. Just because the recipes focus on seeds, nuts and beans doesn’t mean it’s a strictly vegetarian cookbook. The recipes also feature eggs, fish, shrimp, chicken and beef. That being said, if you’re interested in experimenting with cooking more vegetarian meals using ingredients like tempeh (fermented tofu) or legumes, there are plenty of vegetarian recipes to try.
It was really hard to narrow down, but here are my favourite recipes from each section:
Breakfast & Brunch
Most packaged granola available at the grocery store is high in calories and refined sugar. This recipe for Apricot Ginger Granola is a great source of healthy fats and protein from the nuts and seeds, and is naturally sweetened with real maple syrup and dried apricots.
The Quinoa Crunch Cereal is so easy to make and has a delicious, comforting flavour from the maple syrup and roasted almonds. It’s quite crunchy, so I enjoyed it as a cereal topper; adding it to a bowl of bran flakes, and as a crunchy, protein-packed topping on my plain Greek yogurt.
Quinoa Crunch Cereal
2 cups quinoa, rinsed
1 cup sliced raw almonds
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp organic canola oil
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together quinoa, almonds, sesame seeds, maple syrup and oil. Spread on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until toasty and fragrant, 10-12 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.
- Store cereal in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Serve atop yogurt or with milk.
*I made a couple substitutions because I didn’t have all the ingredients, but it still worked out great! I used hemp seeds vs. sesame seeds and grapeseed oil vs. canola.
I love a good appie, but I don’t like filling up on something heavy and unhealthy before dinner. The Picante Black Bean Dip on Corn Tortilla Chips stood out to me right away. Who doesn’t love nachos? This recipe includes all the flavours from the classic favourite, but with less calories, bad fats and more fibre and nutrients. Win-win!
Isn’t it true that salad just tastes better when someone else makes it for you? I think it’s because we tend to use the same veggies and salad dressing, and it gets boring. I made the Thai Peanut Noodle Salad the other night, and it was awesome. It was more of a stir-fry and ate like a main meal than a salad, but I enjoyed it just the same. If you have a craving for Thai flavours, this is the perfect recipe for you.
Soups & Stews
The Almond, Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup features some of my favourite ingredients and is seasoned with my favourite spice – curry! Can’t wait to try this one!
Ok, all the entrees looked amazing, but one of them stood out to me because I love sushi, but I usually shy away from making it because the process of rolling your own seems too involved. This recipe for One-Bowl Sushi incorporates all the amazing flavours of sushi, but instead of rolling, just throw all the ingredients together in a bowl! What a great idea!
Vegetable Side Dish
I’ve made roasted butternut squash so many times, but never thought to add dried cherries and mint! This recipe for Butternut Squash with Dried Cherries & Mint takes a typical side dish to another level. This one will be on the menu at our next holiday dinner for sure, and the addition of green and red make it perfect for Christmas too – how festive!
Snacks and Desserts
Similar to packaged granola; it’s hard to find a truly healthy granola bar out there. Most of them are really high in sugar and contain preservatives – heck they’re usually in the same isle as the cookies! The best way to avoid all that added sugar is to make your own. This recipe for On-the-Go Granola Bars is easy and is basically a combination of nuts, seeds and naturally sweetened with banana and dates. Yum!
The dessert that really stood out to me was the Best-Ever Salted Chunk Cookies. I’ll admit that I would substitute a couple of the ingredients (ie. whole-wheat flour vs. white, less sugar and substitute coconut palm sugar vs. refined sugar), but otherwise these cookies are absolutely mouth-watering.
If you’re interested in incorporating more seeds, nuts and beans into your diet in an easy and delicious way than I would highly recommend this cookbook. Many of us can cook meat no problem, but it’s the vegetarian options that we have a hard time making taste good. Taking a break from animal protein, and adding one or two vegetarian options into your diet each week gives your digestive system and your wallet a break.
Thanks to Whitecap books, and an amazing group of bloggers we are offering you a chance to win your own copy of Nourish!
Click on the box below for your chance to win this fabulous prize! Make sure you leave a comment (mandatory for entering) telling me which recipe you’d like to try first from the ones I featured in this blog post (Oh and don’t forget to read the legal).
For multiple chances to win make sure you visit all the participating sites. These brilliant writers and photographers are also cooking their way through Nourish and can’t wait to share what they think as well:
Heather Lang from The Tasty Gardener
Kelly from Kelly Neil Photography
Tiffany from Eating Niagara
Regina from Leelalicious
Redawna from Nutmeg Disrupted
Gwen from Devour and Conquer
Hilary from Cocoa Bean, the Vegetable
Erin from How to Eat
Jo-Anna from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs
Stephanie from Kitchen Frolic
Caroline from Do it All Working Mom
Libby from Libby Roach
Katrina from Kitchen Trials
Laureen from Art and the Kitchen
Emily from Best of this Life
Zannat from Food for Happiness
Sarah from Kiwi and Bean
Charmian from The Messy Baker
This giveaway is open to all legal residents of Canada who have reached the age of majority at the time of the contest in the province or territory in which they reside.
No purchase necessary to enter.
Giveaway will run from Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 12:01am to end on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 11:59pm. Winner is chosen at random via Rafflecopter. Winner will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to respond. If not, a new winner will be chosen. Winner selected MUST correctly answer a skill-testing mathematical question. Winner’s name will be displayed on Rafflecopter widget. Email address will never be given out to any third party or anyone for that matter.
Prize value is approximately $30CDN.
Disclaimer: I received this cookbook free from the wonderful folks over at Whitecap Books.