Cookbook Review: Super Natural Every Day

Now that I'm not working, I have a lot more free time and have started cooking more. I love baking but I am much better at baking dessert than at actually cooking dinner (I am also much better at eating dessert). I have more mixed feelings about cooking. Sometimes it is super fun and delicious, sometimes I make a huge mess of it.

As part of a way to help pick out recipes, I've started picking just one cookbook for the week and trying out several recipes from it. This week was Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson. She also does the blog 101 Cookbooks which I really enjoy and have used before on this blog (Sesame Tempeh Salad).

Overall, I like the cookbook. It is vegetarian and very focused on vegetables. For that reason, and the fact that it is very natural food/health focused, I found the dinners a little unsatisfying. I'm not interested in putting in a ton of work for "Dilled Green Beans with Seitan". The recipes were mostly straightforward but did have a tendency to require atypical ingredients, such as Pomegranate Molasses used in "Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplant with Tempeh".

While not bad, the glaze was a little too sour. I also made a "Chickpea Stew" with saffron and yogurt. It did not turn out well. It may have been because I tried to add a little ground turkey but the broth didn't thicken and the texture was weird: whole chickpeas in a thin broth didn't create a cohesive dish. The flavor was also super mild and didn't come together.

However, there were some gems. The "Open-Face Egg Sandwich" was excellent, and super easy. It uses yogurt instead of mayonnaise. It calls for fresh herbs (I used chives) and rubbing the toast with fresh garlic. I think if you skipped either of these steps, you'd be disappointed as the egg + plain yogurt without them. I bet if you added chives and garlic toast to normal egg salad, it would also make it feel especially fancy.

The other recipe which went over really well was the "Weeknight Curry". I made some modifications to the recipe and added shrimp. I forgot about the rice until after I'd started the curry, so the veggies got a little overcooked but the flavor was amazing and it was a quick and easy meal to make (no picture though, sorry). I'll definitely make it again!

Weeknight Curry

1 1/2 tsps extra-virgin coconut oil or clarified butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
Fine-grain sea salt
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 carrot, sliced
2 tsps Massaman curry paste
2/3 cup coconut milk
10 oz shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 bunch brocolini, chopped into about 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sit in the onion and a big pinch of salt. Sauté until the onion starts to become translucent at the edges, a couple of minutes.
2. Stir in the zucchini and carrot and cook for 1 minute more.
3. In the meantime, in a small bowl, mash the curry paste with a few tablespoons of the coconut milk. Add this to the pot and stir until the vegetables are well coated.
4. Stir in the remaining coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, then add the shrimp and brocolini. Cook until the shrimp is pink and the brocolini starts to lose its raw edge, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the broth, stir and taste. If necessary, add salt a little at a time until the flavors in the curry really pop. The amount of salt will vary based on the saltiness of your broth (or if you used water).
Recipe adapted from Super Natural Every Day
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