I have mixed thoughts about this book, I think it comes with the whole “being holistic” thing. On the one hand, I analyzed the Looneyspoons Collection from a nutritionist point of view - which I’m allowed to do because one of the authors has the same designation I have - Janet is an RHN from the same school I went to! On the other hand, I was also able to see this book from a “hungry-hungry-hippo” point of view, because I’m also very much the foodie at heart.
As a nutritionist, I was shocked to find all purpose white flour, bacon, mayonnaise, white sugar and various cheeses just from flipping through the pages. Say what? In what world does a healthy cookbook contain bacon? As I delved deeper into the book, the authors mentioned that these items should be used in moderation *phew*, but it’s still good to indulge once on a while *double phew*. I’m assuming this cookbook was written for people who generally eat out or don’t usually cook and if that’s the case, it’s great! It contains common, easy-to find ingredients compared to cookbooks written solely by holistic nutritionists who include “weird” ingredients like Tempeh or Buckwheat flour. For the “regular person”, I can see how that can be a bit overwhelming compared to this cookbook that just gets you into the kitchen. So, it’s a good book for the transition from a bad diet to something better.
Recipes I tried:
* Satayday Night Fever (Chicken skewers with peanut dipping sauce)
* Mr. Bowjangles (Pasta with broccoli, chicken and sun-dried tomatoes)
I substituted the pasta with a whole grain, sorghum (told you nutritionists use weird ingredients!)
* Welcome Back, ‘Cotta (Lemon-ricotta pancakes)
I substituted the ricotta with plain yogurt. I replaced the white flour with a combination of spelt and teff flour.
* Kinda Nutty Pistachio-Crusted Fish (Baked salmon with a pistachio crust)
I substituted bread crumbs with cracker crumbs.
* The recipes were all very simple to follow and some of the quickest ones I’ve come across (I prepped the pistachio fish crust during 2 commercial breaks - the 1st to gather my ingredients and the 2nd to measure and combine). The flavours and textures meshed really well together - even with my substitutions, so they’re fairly versatile.
* I especially liked the nutrition nuggets and nutrition breakdown of each recipe - breakdowns are something I have yet to learn how to do.
* Full-colour photography and colourful layout.
* Contains a bunch of weird, random facts about food.
* I loved how they included some of their favourite blog posts from the years. Confession: sometimes I like cookbooks for the stories they tell, not just for the meals.
* They included an “indulgence” section in their cookbook which they recommend having on the rare occasion. *Awesome* and realistic.
* I couldn’t find a single reference to all the nutrition studies they pointed out. Having the references increases credibility for holistic nutritionists.
* Not enough variety. In terms of ingredient choices, so many of the recipes call for tomatoes, red/green peppers, and mushrooms. There’s also a bunch of recipes for different pizzas and different chilis. How much pizza should a person really eat?
* The list of recipes at the beginning of each chapter don’t have a direct page linked to it.
Things that can be pro or con, depending on how you look at it:
* Sometimes groan-worthy puns and/or (too?) cutesy recipe names. Example: “Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Coloured Polka-Dot Rotini”…Okay, I kind of like that one :D
* A lot of animal-based recipes. Maybe I’ve just been taught by too many vegan/vegetarian teachers, but they’ve ingrained in my head that healthiest diets are primarily plant based. Since most people buy the conventionally grown meats (pumped full of antibiotics, growth hormones, etc), it might not be the best thing to be promoting so much meat. Also, nitrate meats such as ham and bacon show up in various parts of the book - nitrates have a reputation of binding to other chemicals in your body, producing carcinogenic substances. I admittedly like the taste of meat, so I liked seeing meat in a holistic nutritionist’s cookbook, but it may borderline on “too much” for me.
Overall, not a bad cookbook. I probably won’t be using it as one of my main cookbooks, but it’ll definitely come in handy when cooking for other people who eat more meat than I do.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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