Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Book Review: Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations

This book is so much fun with a delectable year-full of recipes to keep you going for every single holiday. A healthy and vibrant way to entertain and celebrate while feeding yourself foods that nourish the body and keep inflammation at bay.

What more can you ask for?

Deliciousness? Check.

Easy to follow? Check.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo? Check.

Best food you'll eat this year? Check.

Danielle Walker started her voyage into uncharted eating territory when, after years and years of struggling with her health, she was finally diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 22. An autoimmune disease that attacks an otherwise healthy colon, Walker was determined to find her health again and eat well at the same time. She started her blog, Against All Grain, finding her love and passion for healthy eating that would work for her and others like her.

The blog became a profound success. Not only amongst others suffering from similar conditions, but amongst foodies, health-conscious eaters, gluten-free eaters, paleo enthusiasts, and more. Her blog became something not only for those who have to eat this way, but those who want to because the food is so darn good.

Her newest book, Celebrations, is a celebration of all things celebratory: Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Father's Day, New Year's, Game Day, Fourth of July, birthdays, and more. After Walker spent her first miserable Thanksgiving at a friend's house eating only turkey, salad, and some watery cauliflower that she brought herself, she was determined to make meals that anyone in her friends or family circle would love so that the celebration could be for everyone. This book is the inspiring culmination of that journey - tips, guidance, substitutions, preparations, and straight-up delicious meals.

There is a lot to love about this book. From the recipes to the photos to the helpful guidance all along the way. But, I particularly love the details.

The publisher uses every single page (albeit one colored page in the rear) to highlight aspects of the book. Traditionally, there are blank pages, filler pages, and plenty of empty space due to how the book is bound. Ten Speed Press uses every square inch to its fullest in a beautiful way - the introduction is attached to the inside of the cover; the Table of Contents is on the backside of an already-used front page; About the Author is included on the inside of the back cover. The book is a fairly hefty tome, so using all the footage is not only economical, but earth-friendly as a printed book can get. It kinda makes my heart sing.

So many mouth-watering recipes that will make any heart happy - meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans, picky kids. Easy-to-find ingredients, easy-to-follow recipes, and a format that plans out every single holiday so you don't have to. Genius.

*This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Book Review: Martha Stewart's Vegetables

Back to my beloved cookbooks.

So much love for them.

I am on a kick to eat healthy at every meal and when I saw an offering from Blogging for Books to review this veg-heavy tome, I jumped on it.

Brussels Sprouts. Tomatoes. Zucchini. Salsify.

Salsify? What is salsify?

Well, thanks to Martha Stewart and her crew, I now know that it is a tasty root vegetable.

Fried Chicken with Puntarelle Salad
This book is filled from beginning to end with recipes, tips, and inclusions about all sorts of vegetables and ways to prepare them. Broken into categories such as Roots, Pods, and Shoots, each chapter delves into a single subset of the vegetable kingdom starting with The Basics: seasonality, buying, varieties, storing, prepping, cooking, and flavor pairings. From there, you dive deep into recipe after recipe for each type of veg.

Roasted Beet and Potato Borscht. Salt-Baked Potatoes, Shallots, and Chestnuts. Skillet Pizza with Greens and Eggplant. Egg, Asparagus, and Mushroom Stir-Fry. Rhurbarb Chutney with Pork Roast.

The delectable list goes on.

Each chapter includes stunning photography, easy-to-follow recipes, and little tidbit tips to guide you along your food adventures.
Smoky Brussels Sprouts Gratin

This book is all pros, for the most part. A few cons that don't really diminish the experience, but nonetheless, are noteworthy: many of the plant-based photos don't include the names of what's in the photo, so it leaves the reader guessing if they've never come across something like salsify; a large majority of the recipes feature meats or sweets or pasta, so the veggies aren't always the star of the show - something I had expected with a title like Vegetables. 

But, all in all, a really lovely book filled with recipes to inspire vegetable lovers, adventurous eaters, and those trying to broaden their palate and plate. What a lovely offering. Thanks, Martha.


  • Bulbs ~ garlic, leeks, onions, ramps, scallions, shallots, spring onions
  • Roots ~ beets, carrots, celery root, jicama, parsnips, radishes, rutabaga, salsify, turnips
  • Tubers ~ jerusalem artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes
  • Greens ~ beet greens, bok choy, broccoli rabe, chard, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens
  • Stalks & Stems ~ asparagus, celery, fennel, kohlrabi, rhubarb
  • Pods ~ edamame, english peas, fava beans, green beans, okra, shell beans, snap peas, snow peas
  • Shoots ~ fiddlehead ferns, microgreens, pea shoots, sprouts
  • Leaves ~ cabbages, chicories, endives, lettuces, spinach, spring and wild greens
  • Flowers & Buds ~ artichokes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chive blossoms, edible flowers, squash blossoms
  • Fruits ~ avocados, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers and chiles, summer squashes, tomatillos, tomatoes, winter squashes
  • Kernels ~ corn

Zucchini "Pasta" Primavera

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. I'm totally being honest about always being honest, especially about books.