It’s been said, many times before, food brings us together, and there is nothing better than being able to share a good meal or a tasty dish with our loved ones. Hannah Sunderani knows this ethos well and, when coming up with a name for her blog, she wanted people to enjoy her recipes with others. The idea that, when served a scrumptious dessert at a restaurant, a server will bring the dish with two spoons so that it can be shared, is how Sunderani came to the name: Two Spoons. And now her popular blog has a cookbook for home cooks to enjoy: The Two Spoons Cookbook.
Sunderani’s new cookbook offers a selection of vegan recipes that are inspired by the time she spent living in France. While not all the recipes are rooted in the French culinary tradition, all the recipes are inspired by her passion for vegan cooking. In the introduction she explains to home cooks: “This cookbook is meant to be taken lightly. By no means should it intimidate you. It is not a cookbook for French cooking enthusiasts or masterful chefs. It is a cookbook for the everyday home cook, one who wants to add more plant-based recipes into their diet without compromising taste. In addition, it is populated with recipes that pay tribute to my time in France and that are now on regular rotation in my kitchen, as well as lots of healthy and wholesome dishes…”(2) What I really appreciate about Sunderani’s book is that her recipes are delicious and accessible.
The recipes are organized into 7 chapters: 1) Breakfast and Brunch, 2) Milks and Other Drinks, 3) Sweet Treats, Cakes, and Bites, 4) Appetizers and Nibbles, 5) Soups and Salads, 6) Delicious Mains, Sharing Plates, and Wholesome Bowls, and 7) Darling Desserts. She also offers home cooks helpful guidance at the beginning of the book in the sections: Cooking Tips, Kitchen Tools and Equipment, and Pantry Staples. I was able to shop for the recipes at my local supermarket as well as make excellent use of the beautiful produce from the farmer’s market. At times I found myself wondering (at the last minute — always at the last minute!!) what I should cook for dinner, and I happily found the answer to this question when I opened The Two Spoons Cookbook. Sunderani has done an excellent job of understanding what busy home cooks need and, I find, it’s a bit of magic when you can find a recipe where you have all the ingredients, and you can get it made quickly.
In these last few weeks leading up to the end of school, I’ve felt a bit tired of the routine and, the meals that I’ve gravitated towards are ones that I could make ahead. Classic vegan recipes such as the Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats and the Creamy Chia Pudding with Red Fruits are perfect because you can mix them up ahead so that when everyone is hungry for breakfast, pulling out the container and serving is the easiest thing you’ll do! Also, it feels great to enjoy a cool and creamy dish when the weather gets warmer. These recipes can also be scaled up or down depending on the number of people you need to feed, and a big batch made early in the week can be enjoyed over many days.
One of my favourite ways to enjoy tofu is as a breakfast scramble, and the Veggie Tofu Scramble in The Two Spoons Cookbook is delicious! I made this for my sister who has never had tofu prepared in this way and she loved it! For those wondering — crumbled tofu does have a striking textural similarity to scrambled eggs. Instead of serving it with roasted baby potatoes, as the recipe suggests, I made wraps and served them with a bit of salsa verde. One of the reasons why I love a good tofu scramble is that it’s perfect for any meal.
I’ve found some delicious dinners in The Two Spoons Cookbook that my family loves! Sunderani’s Ultra-Cozy Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Spinach Curry served with basmati rice can be made quickly and I like that you can freeze it too, giving your future self a helping hand with dinner prep. Her Indian-inspired curry bowl is made with coconut milk and warming spices (turmeric, cumin, cinnamon) and, I love the zing of the fresh grated ginger too. The Hearty Moroccan Lentil Soup is another comfort recipe that can be made in a large batch and frozen. The soup makes good use of pantry staples — root vegetables, onions, lentils, and chickpeas. My daughter enjoyed it so much that she requested it for her school lunch the next day!
The Two Spoons Cookbook is full of delicious and accessible vegan recipes and, Sunderani works to encourage home cooks to find the joy in making and sharing tasty meals with loved ones. She has written a book that highlights both her personal journey into vegan cooking, as well as her move to France. Her recipes are crafted with love and, I’m looking forward to trying more from her book (those Classic Flaky Croissants are at the top of my list!).
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Penguin Canada 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.