I can read a cookbook like a good novel.
I was so excited when my copy of The Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook finally arrived. I had anticipated the release of the book for months, seeing advertisements in my favorite magazines Oxygen and Clean Eating well in advance of the release.
Then I was lucky enough to be selected as a guest blogger, writing about Progress Not Perfection for the clean eating master herself, Tosca Reno, which meant I got an advance peak at a couple of recipes plus a copy sent to me! Once I learned of my good fortune all I could think each day as I checked the mail was, “Is it here yet??”
The day it arrived, I curled up on the couch with a cup of hot tea and started to lose myself in all the creations I could make. I thought about flagging them with post-its, as I often do, until I realized I would be flagging just about every page!
I haven’t been so lucky with Tosca Reno’s previous books. As a vegetarian, a good portion of the recipes have been off limits. Breakfast usually provides many good options as well as the soup section. After that I’ve been limited to a small selection of meat free recipes, like the Black Bean Burgers in her Eat Clean Cookbook or the Vegetarian Chili in The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook. I admit, I was even a tiny bit miffed when I realized that she included a seafood chapter. I really wanted an Eat Clean cookbook were every recipe was open to me.
After reading the cookbook, I did manage to let that go. I was overwhelmed with all the things I wanted to try it no longer mattered that a hand full of recipes contained seafood. In fact, I even made a curry recipe from the From the Sea chapter substituting Braggs for fish sauce. It turned out yummy over quinoa.
My next adventure was the as promised 7 Citrus Salad. While the salad turned out great, making a nice side with an egg white and spinach omelet I had to make a lot of substitutions. Where I live finding ingredients like an Ugli fruit or, this time of year, a blood orange can be challenging.
This has been, and perhaps always will be, my biggest issue with the Eat Clean Diet Cookbooks and recipes. Many ingredients are either foreign to those new to clean eating or very difficult to find in Small Town USA. I am dying to try to the Eggless Egg Salad but have been challenged in finding the black salt listed. It says you can use regular sea salt in a pinch but then indicates this particular salt give it the egg taste. I feel using regular sea salt would leave the recipe lacking. Thus I have yet to make it.
Would I buy this cookbook if it hadn’t been sent to me? Absolutely!! There are still plenty of things to try. Just be ready to for some experimentation, adventure and treasure hunting for some new ingredients.
Do you have a favorite recipe from Tosca? Where do you go for those hard to find clean eating ingredients?