It’s no secret here that I have a deep respect and admiration for David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, the authors of the Green Kitchen Stories blog as well as countless (well, almost countless) books and two apps. Having reviewed two of their previous books (to read my review of Vegetarian Everyday click here and to read my review of Green Kitchen Smoothies click here) I could barely wait for the publication of their newest bookGreen Kitchen at Home to see what they had in store. Quite honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever made a recipe from any of their sources (blog, book, or app) that hasn’t turned out spectacularly. Their ability to transform humble ingredients into truly colourful and nourishing meals borders almost on art (and if you’ve seen any of their GKS videos you know the types of beautiful imagery they’re capable of).
When this book arrived in the mail a friend stopped by to borrow another cookbook from me and when she saw Green Kitchen at Home she couldn’t believe how big this beautifully hard covered book is (and quite heavy too!) Her first experience with GK was their smoothie book, which is compact and wonderful in it’s own way but their newest book is big — full of amazing recipes and some of the most gorgeous food photography around! It’s the kind of cookbook that I’m happy to invest in because I know the returns will be significant (who wouldn’t agree that a wonderful cookbook adds to one’s enjoyment of cooking??)
At the heart of their work lies a blueprint for healthy vegetarian eating. While they do use eggs in their recipes most of the dairy (either milk, cheese, or yogurt) can be easily subbed out for their plant-based counterparts. To be honest some of their recipes, such as their Rainbow Flatbread, really can’t be made satisfactorily vegan because the eggs bind in a way that chia (or flax) eggs cannot. When they shared this flatbread recipe on their site, after trying the original recipe I did try to substitute chia eggs but unfortunately the resulting flat bread didn’t hold together. But this is no worry because there are more than enough recipes to satisfy any diner in their newest book.
There is something truly charming and honest about the Green Kitchen — after reading: We have a confession to make. And a promise in their introduction I was a bit worried. But their confession — all of the recipes they love don’t always get remade in their kitchen (with the volume of testing they do it’s difficult to revisit recipes — even great ones, which is something I can understand since I am constantly testing and trying new cookbooks). Their promise: a book full of recipes that are family favourites in their household, recipes they know by heart. What could be better? Sharing a blueprint for delicious, home cooked meals that their family enjoys.
What I can really appreciate about their cookbook is that the recipes are quick to make. Keeping this in mind they totally helped me out of a jam because a dinner I had planned to make wasn’t going to happen (somehow all my potatoes turned green!) so at the last minute I quickly flipped through and found the recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup w/ Goat’s Cheese Yogurt. Since I already had some roasted squash puree on hand (thanks to their page on this in the chapter Fridge Favourites) that soup was quickly put together and enjoyed without having hungry people rooting through the cupboards because dinner was late.
At seven chapters — Fridge Favourites, Breakfast, Handy Meals, During the Week, At the Weekend, Spreads and Sides, and Desserts — no matter what your culinary need is you’ll find this cookbook to be an excellent kitchen companion. Maybe one of the reasons I keep returning to and using their recipes is because what they offer is really different from other vegetarian books and blogs out there. Any recipe I have made (check out the ones I’ve made on #gksse or on my Facebook page) have been delicious and memorable. Last week I shared these Spinach Crepes with Creamy Chickpeas and Mushrooms with a friend and she found the texture of the crepes to be light and fluffy and the filling to be the perfect change from hummus (it seems that chickpeas don’t get as much attention and are often consumed as hummus). It really was a fantastic spring lunch!
Now that I’m cooking for three instead of two, it’s always a challenge to find recipes that appeal to everyone, even my most “discerning” foodie. The fact that the recipes presented are enjoyed by David and Luise’s own children really encouraged me and as I’ve cooked from their newest book I’ve found that even my most discerning dinner guest has been enjoying everything that she’
s been offered. From the crepes that can be enjoyed in myriad ways (and also the crepe recipe can be made ahead of time and the batter stored in the fridge which is a bonus!) to this Millet and Butternut Winter Salad we’ve had harmonious meal times. Speaking of the salad, when I served it I gave my three-year-old all of the salad except for the kale (sometimes she’s turned off by the bitterness), which is another reason why I like these recipes. They’re easy to customize — maybe you want to use ingredients you have on hand so it’s simple to swap items in or out. Even when they’re served you can make one meal but plate it according to preference — as I did for my daughter when I served the salad. I mean, who wants to run a restaurant? Not me.
What family cookbook worth it’s salt is complete without some sweets to indulge in? Last Friday we had our own Doughnut Friday — the Baked Va-va-voom Doughnuts are quite remarkable because the doughnut batter contains no refined sugar but is instead sweetened by dates and a bit of maple syrup. So topping them with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon wasn’t a big deal because the doughnut themselves were not sugar-laden.
I feel like I’ve only just begun to really try out Green Kitchen at Home — I keep eyeing the Turmeric and Blueberry Muffins w/ Granola, Spectacular Rye Slices, A Trio of Warm and Creamy Oats (just to name a few) and can’t wait to continue sharing these delicious dishes with my family and friends! With the promise they started this book with they have more than fulfilled it.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hardie Grant Books and Raincoast Books for providing me with a free, review copy of this book. I did not receive monetary compensation for my post, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.