Pass Me a Plate! | Cooking Reviews

Substantial recipes such as apple ginger muesli, Vietnamese rice noodle salad with seared tofu, and herbed cauliflower steaks with lemon caper lentils; sweet breakfasts and baked goods will find dozens of pancakes, waffles, breads, pastries, and muffins; and Southern dishes a South Indian twist with innovative foods and surprising flavor combinations; no matter your taste buds there is a recipe here for you
Library Journal Reviews starred review Hamshaw, Gena. Power Plates: 100 Nutritionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals. Ten Speed: Crown. Jan. 2018. 256p. photos. index. ISBN 9780399579059. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780399579066. COOKING In her best cookbook yet, blogger-turned-author Hamshaw (Food52 Vegan) shares appetizing vegan meals that won’t leave you hungry. Substantial recipes such as apple ginger muesli, Vietnamese rice noodle salad with seared tofu, and herbed cauliflower steaks with lemon caper lentils offer a delightful balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Delicious main dishes are the stars here—there are no desserts, appetizers, snacks, or beverages. In particular, the meal-sized salads could be welcome weekday lunches or potluck contributions. Hamshaw touches lightly on nutritional guidance, meal planning, and make-ahead techniques (e.g., batch cooking grains and legumes over the weekend), but her advice never feels prescriptive or preachy. VERDICT Hamshaw brings style and substance to healthful vegan cooking. Highly recommended for anyone interested in plant-based recipes. Library Journal Reviews starred review Hernandez, Eddie & Susan Puckett. Turnip Greens & Tortillas: A Mexican Chef Spices Up the Southern Kitchen. Rux Martin: Houghton Harcourt. Apr. 2018. 320p. photos. index. ISBN 9780544618824. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780544618848. COOKING Hernandez is the executive chef of Taqueria del Sol, an Atlanta-based restaurant chain with locations in Georgia and Tennessee. Writing with author and editor Puckett (Eat Drink Delta), he shares more than 125 recipes that highlight the similarities between Southern and Mexican cuisine. As with Asha Gomez’s My Two Souths, which gave Southern dishes a South Indian twist, this cookbook features innovative foods and surprising flavor combinations. Readers will have no trouble whipping up recipes such as Fritos chilaquiles, Creole red beans and rice burritos, tequila-mango smoothie, and sweet potato cheesecake, which are written for home kitchens and rely on readily available ingredients. VERDICT A stellar debut imbued with Hernandez’s infectious excitement for cooking. Iyer, Rukmini. Dinner’s in the Oven: Simple One-Pan Meals. Chronicle. Mar. 2018. 240p. photos. index. ISBN 9781452168593. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781452168715. COOKING First published in the UK as The Roasting Tin, London-based food stylist Iyer’s latest cookbook offers fresh takes on sheet-pan suppers and other one-dish meals. Each chapter begins with an illustrated chart from which readers can mix and match ingredients to create their own recipe. The colorful dishes that follow—including oven-roasted coq au vin, baked egg pasta Florentine, and spiced pears with almond-chocolate creme fraiche—will serve between two to eight people and are generally easy to prepare. A few suffer from vague instructions; it’s up to readers to determine how to clean sardines or select the right-sized “roasting pan or large baking dish” called for in many recipes. VERDICT Bold visuals and wide-ranging recipes are highlights of this low-prep, low-cleanup title.

Kassoff, Anya. Simply Vibrant. Roost. Feb. 2018. 336p. photos by Masha Davydova. index. ISBN 9781611803846. $35. COOKING Kassoff and Davydova (The Vibrant Table) are the respective mother-daughter writer and photographer team behind the blog Golubka Kitchen ( Their stylish new cookbook offers seasonal vegan recipes (e.g., stewed rhubarb amaranth porridge, spaghetti squash ramen with marinated tempeh, sweet potato chocolate brownies) aimed at wellness enthusiasts. Whole foods and fresh produce dominate the ingredient lists, as do items such as purified water, neutral coconut oil, flax meal, and arrowroot powder. All dishes are doable, though it helps to have a blender, food processor, spiralizer, and mandoline. VERDICT Expect demand for this follow-up to The Vibrant Table, especially if your collection circulates many health and wellness cookbooks.

Ojakangas, Beatrice. Breakfast with Beatrice: 250 Recipes from Sweet Cream Waffles to Swedish Farmer’s Omelets. Univ. of Minnesota. May 2018. 200p. index. ISBN 9781517904951. $19.95. COOKING Breakfast gets a Scandinavian-American twist in this homey, no-nonsense collection from veteran author Ojakangas (The Great Scandinavian Baking Book). Readers who love sweet breakfasts and baked goods will find dozens of pancakes, waffles, breads, pastries, and muffins to sample. Savory items are also included, but the selection is more modest. Classic recipes such as eggs baked in wild rice nests, cardamom coffee bread, and old Virginia cheddar biscuits will delight ­bakers and breakfast lovers, but they’ll be a tough sell for anyone accustomed to lush food photography. VERDICT ­Ojakangas’s simple style and timeless recipes elevate this recipe-focused volume. Recommended for seasoned cooks and bakers looking to expand their breakfast ­repertoire. Olsson, Nina. Veggie Burger Atelier: Extraordinary Recipes for Nourishing Plant-Based Patties, Plus Buns, Condiments, and Sweets. Quarry: Quarto. Feb. 2018. 160p. notes. index. ISBN 9781631593482. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781631595868. COOKING Olsson (Bowls of Goodness) here defines the elements of a perfect veggie burger and presents globally inspired variations such as saffron freekeh burger, banh mi burger, and Bombay burger. Her recipes employ an easy method: ingredients are pulsed in a food processor and shaped into patties, which get cooked and paired with buns and toppings. Condiment recipes are abundant, but somewhat misleadingly, the recipes for buns or sweets are next to none. Exceptions include classic brioche buns (absent from the “B” section of the index) and a sweet date and raspberry treat (a vegan ice cream sandwich). VERDICT Gorgeous photographs, creative recipes, and a timely topic make this worth considering. Editorial errors are noticeable but won’t cause failures. Overhiser, Sonja & Alex Overhiser. A Couple Cooks Pretty Simple Cooking: 100 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes To Make You Fall in Love with Real Food. Da Capo Lifelong: Perseus. Feb. 2018. 272p. photos. index. ISBN 9780738219691. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780738219707. COOKING Married recipe developers Sonja and Alex Overhiser share approachable, scratch-made meals that have helped them maintain a routine of regularly cooking and eating at home. In chapters for breakfasts, salads, sides, mains, and more, recipes are ordered by complexity, starting with the quickest. Many of the recipes—including loaded Mediterranean hummus platter, grilled corn with smoky paprika cream, the best veggie lasagna, and giant Portobelo burgers—are suitable for entertaining and special occasions. VERDICT If you’re trying to eat a healthy vegetarian or flexitarian diet but can’t imagine giving up indulgences such as pizza, pasta, cheese boards, and dessert, this cookbook is a great starting point. Library Journal Reviews starred review Smith, Ed. On the Side: A Sourcebook of Inspiring Side Dishes. Bloomsbury Pr. Jan. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781408873151. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781408873168. COOKING Sophisticated sides abound in this stunning debut cookbook from food writer and former corporate lawyer Smith. They’re incredibly easy to browse and select thanks to abundant cross-references and “recipe directories” addressing key questions: What’s your main dish? Where is the side dish prepared? How long does it take to make? If you’re making roast beef, you’ll immediately find 22 stellar accompaniments to elevate it, including butter-glazed turnips with horseradish, cauliflower cheese, and watercress with pickled walnuts. This is a UK title, so be ready for metric measurements and some potentially unfamiliar terms. ­VERDICT Pair this with Tara Mataraza Desmond’s Choosing Sides and you’ll be well equipped to accessorize any meal. Stauch, Cameron. Vegetarian Viet Nam. Norton. Mar. 2018. 328p. photos. index. ISBN 9780393249330. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780393249347. COOKING Chef Stauch writes poetically about foods he encountered after moving to Vietnam with his Canadian diplomat wife, from breakfast soups pouring forth fragrant steam to salads punctuated with squirts of lime juice. He collects nearly 100 of his favorite meatless dishes from Vietnamese streets, food courts, monasteries, and home kitchens, including turmeric tofu with fresh dill and rice noodles, translucent mung bean dumplings, and stewed jackfruit with Vietnamese coriander. Stauch emphasizes authenticity, and his recipes take planning and effort to execute. To help readers be successful, he provides a pantry guide, ingredient glossary, and menu guidance. VERDICT A highly recommended celebration of Vietnam’s tantalizing vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Woodier, Olwen. The Pesto Cookbook: 116 Recipes for Creative Herb Combinations and Dishes Bursting with Flavor. Storey. Mar. 2018. 224p. photos. index. ISBN 9781612127651. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781612127668. COOKING Woodier (The Apple Cookbook) shows how easy it is to make pestos, purees, and pastes from big-flavor ingredients such as herbs, greens, cheeses, oils, garlic, and nuts. After a thorough introduction to methods, equipment, troubleshooting, and storage, the author brings together 49 recipes for “pestos” (the term is used broadly) and 67 recipes for cooking with pesto. Cooks of all skill levels can prepare classic Genovese pesto, arugula-parsley chimichurri, tomatillo-sunflower salsa verde, and other tasty condiments used in dishes such as late summer gazpacho, fresh green harissa with beans and cheese, and lobster tails poached in basil-cilantro oil with garlic. VERDICT Highly recommended for kitchen gardeners, CSA members, farmers’ market frequenters, and anyone who considers pesto a pantry essential.
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