Family is a vegetarian cook book based on the belief that at the heart of every family there is a complex story of food. Chef and author Hetty McKinnon believes in the importance of family influence on who we are and what we eat and she shares her new family classic recipes that are drawn from her multicultural background and are healthy, comforting, and delicious. The dishes are not fancy or complex but they have new and unique flavor profiles with with great textural contrasts.
Th recipes are organized into 7 chapter: Salad Days, Soupy Salads, Pasta Night, Great Bakes, Asian Roots, The Good Egg, and Sweet Talking. Some of the recipes are old favorites while others are healthier variations on popular comfort foods. The most extensive chapter is Salad Days with 23 recipes. Among the most fetching are the deconstructed falafel salad, the charred Greek salad with feta and mint dressing, and the shitake chips used as garnished for the massaged kale with quinoa, ricotta salad. The Soupy Salad chapter includes turmeric chickpea soup with charred brussel sprout, lettuce and broken rice soup, and roasted chestnuts and cremini mushroom soup. Yum! The carmelized onions and cashew cream sauce and herbed tahini and peas sauce are standouts in the pasta chapter while the one pan sweet potato mac and cheese and tomato cobbler with buttermilk parmesan biscuits are palette pleasers in the Great Bakes chapter. ‘Salt oil” rice with Coconut-stewed spinach and tofu in the Asian Roots chapter, chilaquiles with baked eggs in the Good Egg chapter, and the orange and rosemary olive oil cake in the Sweet Talking chapter offer outstanding healthy flavor treats without hassle or exotic ingredients.
Each chapter opens with an introduction to the concepts behind the recipe choices and each recipe includes an introduction explaining the use of the dish in the author’s home, a list of ingredients, step-by- step instructions, substitutions where possible, and a full color photograph of the completed recipe. The ingredients are easily sourced in neighborhood grocery stories and the instructions require no complicated or advanced techniques. In some of the chapters the author spotlights the family of home cooks around the world and includes a recipe from that cook. Other valuable inclusions are the midweek cheats (quickie sauces for vegetable meals), 6 ways to serve canned beans, and directions for making compost vegetable stock. There is a lot going on in this cookbook and even a newbie can can profit from the lessons taught.
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