Reading Fanatic Reviews

Food & Cooking

Vegetarian Diet by Jessica Rose

Universal Book Link

Available at Amazon only
Free with Kindle Unlimited

Vegetarian Diet*

Worst Vegetarian Book EVER

I have been a vegetarian for some years now, so I’m always happy to pick up another book about vegetarianism or vegetarian diets. So I was looking forward to this book when I saw it at my favorite book review site. But, oh my gosh! I have never seen such a mediocre book on so many counts that I feel like I do not know where to start.

When I looked closer at the cover when I opened the book, I could tell that there was definitely something a little off by just the formatting and word choice on the cover. The inside of the book was definitely worse. The book appears to be written by someone for whom English is not their first language and has clearly not been either professionally edited or vetted by a native English speaker. Here’s an example, where the vegan diet is defined: “Vеgаn: A vegan dіеt is nоt eating any foods оr drіnkѕ frоm an аnіmаl оrіgіn.” One paragraph seemed like it would lead directly to a description of the types of vegetarian diets, but the next paragraph was on a completely different topic.

There are so many errors with grammar, punctuation, and usage that I don’t think a single sentence was right. That might be overstating it, but it’s close. Terminal punctuation was left off. Capitalization was random. Words that should have been singular were plural and vice versa. There is no consistency with capitalization, or say, the use of hyphens with concepts like lacto-ovo vegetarianism. Getting past the grammar and punctuation issues, the writing itself seemed like banal generalities that one could pick up from any number of websites for free. The author definitely seems to harp on the concept of proteins and minerals, which just seems odd for someone who claims to be a vegetarian. Any vegetarian knows that there is no issue whatsoever getting vital nutrients like those just mentioned if you eat a balanced diet.

If I thought the part before the nine included “vegetarian cookbook recipes” (as stated on the cover) was a joke, the recipes actually had me laughing out loud at how bad they were. Most were very simple, but some measurements weren’t completely given. For instance, in the first recipe, the author states that you should use a half tin of diced tomatoes, not mentioning the size of the tin; the photo of the soup appeared to show ingredients that weren’t in the dish; this “soup” only uses three TEASPOONS of broth!

The recipes and photos only went downhill from there. The next recipe was a two-ingredient mango smoothie recipe (mango and soy milk), but the picture showed a green smoothie! The recipe photo after that clearly looks like a quiche of some kind, but the recipe was for a mini bread pizza; the photo had sliced tomatoes, not diced, and there was no green vegetable in the ingredient list though one was clearly in the quiche. A recipe simply entitled Chips/Wedges was made from potatoes, but the picture showed either homemade pita chips or tortilla chips! The wrap recipe does not look like a wrap but an open-faced taco that doesn’t appear to have many of the ingredients that are listed in the recipe. The pinwheel recipe is a rather disgusting combination, at least to my palate, of a vegetarian hot dog and pineapple; in the picture, you couldn’t see any hot dog (which might be a blessing). The lentil burger photo looked surprisingly meaty and was dripping with egg plus had an avocado slice, neither of which were listed in the ingredients; however, it did not show tomato slices, beet slices, or alfalfa sprouts that definitely were in the ingredients. A “chili” recipe with lots of avocado on top of very soupy beans had no avocado in the recipe; the author suggests adding more stock to the “soup” if you like it brothy; chili shouldn’t be brothy or soupy—it should be thick and hearty; honestly, this recipe photo just looked like a black bean side dish and not a chili at all. A salad that was supposed to be spinach and tofu with some carrots looks more like a potato salad with some other green that I can’t identify, but it certainly doesn’t look like raw baby spinach. Oh, and no orangy threads of carrot, either.

In looking at the directions of the recipes themselves, there are several issues. The ingredient list is not in the same order as used in the directions. Most directions are quite imprecise. For instance, in one of the descriptions of oven temperature, the author just says “high” and then in parentheses mentions a Celsius temperature but not a Fahrenheit one. Other “parentheticals” in recipes were vital information as well. In the Chip/Wedge recipe, the first instruction is to chop the potatoes. To get a real chip or wedge, you wouldn’t chop; you would slice. The wrap recipe had you pouring mayonnaise over the other ingredients; mayonnaise does not pour!

Frankly I am appalled that anybody thought that this book should be written or published like this. It is terrible. There are so many wonderful true vegetarian and vegan authors out there. Skip this book and seek out better options. I recommend Robin Robertson, Crescent Dragonwagon, Heidi Swanson, Deborah Madison, Christina Pirello, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Joanne Stepaniak, and The Happy Herbivore, Lindsay Nixon.

The Visual Guide to Easy Meal Prep by Erin Romeo

Universal Book Link

​Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Thalia, Mondadori, Angus & Robertson, Indigo (Chapters), and Bol.de

The Visual Guide to Easy Meal Prep*

Useful Tips and Healthful-Sounding Recipes, But…

Do you have a hard time getting dinner or other meals on the table every day? In this book, the author introduces her take on the concept of advance meal preparation and gives her five steps for meal prep success. The introductory sections of the book do provide a firm foundation in what you need to consider if you decide to attempt this advance meal prep. I have occasionally done multi-meal food prep, so I know that organization and planning is a key to success (along with sturdy shoes). The author goes into a little about how to grocery shop for healthful ingredients and even do some pre-preparation before your cooking day.

The author espouses what she calls healthy cooking, and for the most part, I would say that it is. Although, when I looked over her “approved food list” (and something about that rankles my independent, don’t-tell-me-what-to-eat mentality), I was somewhat dismayed to find that potatoes were not on it. I am not one who believes that potatoes are inherently evil, unlike some, and I believe they have a place in a well-rounded, healthy diet so long as you are not following a low-carb or anti-inflammatory diet plan.

Speaking of plans, the author does give four meal prep plans that you can follow depending upon your dietary preferences or needs: low carb, vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. For each plan, she gives a couple of breakfasts, mains, and snacks. Each plan has enough for four days of food, with the three main meals and one or two snacks covered. While the author does discuss how to strategize your cooking day in general in the introduction, she goes into greater detail in each of the plans. She tells you precisely which recipes, or parts of recipes, to do and in which order so that you make the most efficient use of your time and resources (like oven or stovetop time). I think both these detailed plans and the more general plan are a fantastic way to get you thinking about how to structure your own meal prep sessions with your family favorite recipes.

The recipe portion is divided into just a few basic sections like breakfast, mains, snacks and sides, and dressings, dips, and sauces. Unfortunately, the author does not give any sort of nutritional information for any of the recipes. I think this is odd for a cookbook that is meant to be healthy. Everybody has a different approach to what they think healthy eating is. Some watch their carbs while others watch fat, amongst other things. It would have been nice to have the macronutrient breakdown as well as the calorie count. Even though she gives meal prep plans for four very specific diets, she doesn’t label the recipes as being friendly to them. Sometimes, of course, this is easy to figure out (no chicken for a vegetarian, no cheese for someone who’s dairy free), but other times, it is more tricky and perhaps even impossible if you are, say, really eating low-carb since she doesn’t give any nutritional counts.

For each recipe that needs to be reheated on eating day, the author gives brief but useful instructions. I will admit I have a hard time imagining some of these recipes being good warmed up, like an omelet. Eggs always seem to be the best right after they’ve been cooked. So I wonder how the egg dishes would actually be on day three or four.

One thing that I found kind of funny is that there is no specific dessert section, but dessert recipes are definitely included in the snacks and sides section. I’m wondering if the author thought that she couldn’t have an official dessert chapter in a healthy cookbook or if she didn’t have enough healthy desserts to warrant an entire chapter. Surely, she is not saying that one should snack on dessert foods? For some reason, in what is meant to be a healthy cookbook, I find that kind of funny.

I feel like this book could have been organized better, though I’m not quite sure what should have been done. I’m wondering if perhaps the plans should have been at the back, as I often see in cookbooks, and the recipes clearly marked with what diet(s) they would work with. Perhaps, too, she could have had hyperlinked master lists of recipes for each diet. I just feel like this book needs some better organization since it seems to be appealing to at least four different and distinct crowds as well as the general cook. Maybe the book would have been better split into four separate books based around the different diets, with only the recipes that would be suitable for it. Maybe she could have had a fifth cookbook that was more about the generalities of meal planning with multiple plans to really help the cook-reader get a sense of how to strategize and execute multi-meal cooking, based not just around diets but seasons and holidays as well.

All in all, I think this cookbook shares some good tips and techniques if you want to try prepping and cooking ahead. Some recipes are complicated, which could be hard to do on a big cooking day, but some look relatively straightforward. The organization is a little confusing, and there are issues with the recipe information, as I stated. I would call this cookbook a mixed bag, so to speak, with some good information and recipes but definitely lacking in a few areas.

Modern Sourdough by Michelle Eshkeri

Book Link

Available at Amazon in hardback only

Modern Sourdough*

Expanding the Possibilities of Sourdough Baking

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I know and love sourdough. I was delighted to see this particular cookbook at one of my book review sites, and I knew I had to check it out. The author owns a bakeshop in north London called the Margot Bakery. This book is simply divided into an introductory section which gives you basic skills and techniques required for sourdough baking, and this is followed by the recipe section which starts off with breads before going into other sweet and savory sourdough options (including pastries!). The book ends with a collection of specialties from the bakery that don’t include sourdough starter.

As someone who has worked with a sourdough starter, I found her introductory section helpful. If someone was interested in working with sourdough starters and the resulting goods made from them, this would be a good primer for sourdough baking. In very detailed steps, she tells how to make a starter. Other information includes how to care for and bake with starters and the dough process. After this introductory section, she dives right into the recipes. Most of the recipes in the bread section are the standard and typical breads from various countries around the world as well as favorites of different ethnicities. Probably most cultures that enjoy leavened bread are represented here. Of course, there are a lot of French and Italian breads, like brioche and ciabatta; however, there are a few surprises as well, like Lepeshka (Jewish) and Jachnun (from Yemen).

Things start to get interesting when the book moves on to pastries. In all my time working with sourdough starters, I had never considered making pastries. There’s even a laminated dough recipe that you use to make croissants, pain au chocolat, and several other pastries. There are definitely recipes that will get you thinking about sourdough baking in a completely different way. I love that. There’s a sweet sourdough section separate from the pastries; some interesting cultural staples like babka, panettone, and stollen. The savory sourdough section had more unusual delights, like Pugliese Potato Focaccia and Onion Focaccia Tarte Tatin. Some recipes from the basic bread chapter are repurposed in these later chapters. For instance, the brioche dough is used to make a recipe called Brioche Feuilletée and the focaccia dough is used to make Sourdough Pizzas. The author even gives some ideas to do with day-old breads, like stuffed twice-baked croissants and a bread pudding.

The recipes use only sourdough starter for the leavening. Given my experience working with sourdough, I know that this can be a dicey proposition. If I were making these breads and my starter didn’t look lively after the refreshment stages, I would probably add a little commercial yeast to hedge my bets. Except during the warmer months when my starter would sometimes overflow its container, I always added a teaspoon of regular yeast to my doughs.

After so many sourdough wonders, I was surprised at the Margot Specialties section, but I am glad the author included it. Salted caramel chocolate chip cookies, what’s not to like? And there are also other cookies and yummy sounding (and looking) recipes like Custard Tart with Caramelised Breadcrumbs and Blood Orange Polenta Cake. Fun stuff!

When I initially flipped through the book for my BookTube review, I had noticed there were both Imperial and metric measurements. However, I hadn’t realized that, for the breads at least (not toppings and extras), these are actually done as weights not as dry measures. I will admit I don’t even own a kitchen scale. I am a dump cook most of the time and cup-and-spoon measurer when baking. So, be warned, if you are interested in this book, you will need a kitchen scale and be willing to work with the weights of ingredients. The recipes look so good that I may be upgrading my kitchen tools.

Another thing that I noticed is that all of the sourdough recipes require either two or three refreshment stages before the bread (or good) can actually be made. The first refreshment stage is done with the entire starter that you have. Then 8-12 hours after that, there are one or two other stages. It seems that most of the sweeter breads had two refreshment stages, the second stage being one in which sugar was added to the starter. So making any recipe from this book would be a time commitment. It takes mere seconds to do a refreshment of a starter, but timing it around busy lives and schedules is what makes it tricky. And, of course, there is something about our modern human nature that wants results NOW!

The book is well photographed. If you love bread, you’ll be wishing you could jump on a plane to London and try some made by the hands of the author who created the recipes.  Every recipe has a photo and truly gives a sense of what these breads and other baked goods look like. The author also included some detailed photos of more complex techniques, like braiding challah.

If you are already an experienced sourdough baker, you will be thrilled with the possibilities that this book opens up for you. If you are new to sourdough baking, this book provides good foundations and explanations as well as recipes that you can use in the early stages of learning as well as ones that will challenge you later.

The Vibrant Life by Amanda Haas and Erin Kunkel

Universal Book Link

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, 24 Symbols, Thalia, Mondadori, Angus & Robertson, Indigo (Chapters), and Bol.de

The Vibrant Life*

Great Cookbook for Reading… and Cooking!

If you are one who likes to sit and read cookbooks as I do, this is the perfect cookbook to do that with. The author has expansive headnotes for most recipes, which I always love, and occasionally breaks up the recipes with small essays on topics like massage and taking care of your skin. (There are even chapters on yoga and strength training.) The author adheres to an anti-inflammatory diet and has some personal preferences which are definitely reflected in the book. She uses dairy very sparingly, preferring alternate milks and even sometimes making her own. She believes in eating a lot of green vegetables and lean protein but completely avoids gluten. The recipes I looked at seemed inventive yet refreshingly simple. These two adjectives do not always go hand-in-hand with recipes! The book has a typical organization, starting with breakfasts and drinks, moving on to veggies, then looking at dishes based around different protein choices, and her twelve staple recipes before ending with dessert. The recipe titles essentially say what the ingredients are. Ones that sounded particularly good to me include Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Toasted Pepitas, and Raisins; Chai-spiced Cashew Milk; and Late Summer Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes, Stone Fruit, Goat Cheese, and Pistachios. Before the recipes, there’s an introductory section that includes her food philosophy, favorite ingredients, and must-have tools. If you’re looking for a cookbook that’s a great read as well as filled with healthful recipes, this book might be right up your alley.

Air Fryer Cookbook for Beginners by Elena Rose

Universal Book Link

Available at Amazon only
Free with Kindle Unlimited

Air Fryer Cookbook for Beginners*

Yummy-Looking Giant Collection of Air Fryer Recipes

As someone who eats vegetarian and sometimes vegan but has a family of omnivores, I love a cookbook that has recipes for everyone. This book certainly fills the bill. It is a collection of over 600 recipes. It has the standard division by type of protein or ingredient, but I was delighted to find a specifically vegan section. Vegetarians will actually find quite a lot in this book even though it starts off with a parade of meat dishes. For vegetarians, there are sections on vegetables and sides, appetizers and snacks (many of which are vegetarian), rice and grains, and the vegan one I talked about. There is, of course, also a section for desserts as well as an “Air Fryer Favorites” section. Before the recipes, the book starts off with an introduction, with a couple of paragraphs of tips, mistakes to avoid, and benefits, etc. I thought the introduction was ordered kind of strangely. For instance, the second-to-last topic is the benefits. To me, that would seem like something to lead the intro section off with. But that is a minor quibble. The recipes that I looked at seemed relatively simple and straightforward, and some of them sounded quite tasty. The author does explore some international cuisines as well as healthful spins on American classics. The recipes I looked at appeared to be in proportion, which is always so important in any recipe but especially important when you’re dealing with a fixed-sized appliance like an air fryer. If you have an air fryer and are looking for inspiration, this could be just the ticket.

Vegan Mac & Cheese by Robin Robertson

Universal Book Link

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, Thalia, Mondadori, Angus & Robertson, Indigo (Chapters), and Bol.de

Vegan Mac & Cheese*

Vegans Can Get Their Mac Back

I will admit that it was harder me to switch from vegetarianism to veganism than from omnivore to vegetarian. (Something I still grapple with!) The reason? Dairy… and more specifically… cheese. One of the things it is so easy to miss when you go vegan is the creamy meltiness of dairy. It is hard to replicate, and it is a common component of many comfort foods. Well, at least now with this cookbook, vegans can have their mac and cheese back. Or, as the author says,  “mac uncheese.” However, for simplicity, I will just be going it mac and cheese in this review.

The book is divided into several chapters, starting with basic recipes and ending with some creative ideas for leftovers. In between, the author travels the globe mac-n-cheese style, highlights vegetable versions, and provides some dishes that may in some way mimic people’s previous meaty favorites. The book is full of inspired mac and cheese recipes. The sauce recipes I found to be quite fun. The author is very creative, mimicking the flavors and textures reminiscent of dairy mac and cheese. Nutritional yeast is in most recipes, and miso is common as well. As I have made the Happy Herbivore’s vegan nacho cheese, I can attest to the fact that these two ingredients impart flavor and complexity that is reminiscent of dairy cheese. The author often incorporates vegetables in the sauces, too, which would give both body and flavor. Vegetables used in sauces include red bell peppers, carrots, rutabagas, and potatoes.

The basic chapter is just what it sounds like–several basic sauces highlighting different approaches to vegan uncheese sauces (tofu, nutritional yeast, or cashew based) and even an allergen-free sauce. She even had a powdered version you can pre make to have on hand so you could whip up a homemade mac and cheese dish almost as quickly as that little blue box you get at the store. By the way, she doesn’t use store-bought vegan cheeses in these recipes, though she does talk about them in the introduction. If you like them, though, she recommends adding some to your sauce for another flavor/texture note.

What’s fun about a lot of these sauces (the basics and the other in the book), I think, is that you could mix and match them. Once you find a couple of sauces that you like, you could experiment with them. Use different add-ins, use different pasta shapes, or even use the sauce in a completely different recipe. When I experimented with vegan cheese sauces before, I actually found them very versatile. They make an excellent base for a pizza or something to toss vegetables in.

I thought the global cheesy mac chapter was a lot of fun. Some recipes don’t really come across to me as real mac and cheese type recipes, like the Greek Spinach Orzo Bake or the Blushing Baked Ziti (but it does sound tasty!). However, this is just a minor quibble. I thought that the aforementioned Blushing Baked Ziti and Salsa Mac and Queso sounded particularly good. The next chapter is about incorporating more vegetables into your mac and cheese, both into the sauce and added into the dish. There was even one creative dish that uses spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Where I think the author got the most inventive was in the final chapter, where she gives some fun ideas about what to do with pasta leftovers. She does provide some more “normal” suggestions in the introduction, but in this chapter, she gives you ideas of how to use your leftovers to make mac and cheese balls, mac and cheese pizza, and mac and cheese quesadillas amongs other yummy-sounding delights. I love a cookbook that pushes the boundaries of expectations like that and fires the imagination.

I’ve enjoyed this author’s cookbooks for years, and this book will soon become another favorite, I’m sure. All my family, even the confirmed omnivores, loves the chili recipe from one of her slow cooker cookbooks! I wonder if I could find another such recipe in this cookbook?

If you’re vegan and have loved mac and cheese, this book will be right up your alley. If you’re a mother who would like to add more vegetables to her children’s diets, you may very well appreciate the sauces that incorporate vegetables right into them. If they’re whizzed into a sauce, the kids may never know. Of course, if they’re like some of my younger relations, they don’t want any mac and cheese unless it’s from that little blue box!

Spring Gourmet Mag, Palermo Issue by Claudia Rinaldi

Universal Book Link

Available at Amazon only
NOT with Kindle Unlimited

Spring 2019 Gourmet Mag, Palermo Issue*

A Historic and Gastronomic Tour of Palermo

I wasn’t sure what to expect about this “book” that is named after the now-defunct magazine. What I found is a curious combination of travelogue, history, and recipes, with plenty of pictures of both the recipes and Palermo. This is an intensely personal book. In the early parts of it, she takes you on little day trips around the vicinity, seeing both places of historic interest as well as foodie places. There aren’t many recipes in the first part of the book, but as the book goes on, more and more recipes show up. I absolutely loved the photographs as well as her descriptions of Palermo and the recipes. I felt like I was walking the streets with her, which is certainly fun for an armchair traveler. The recipes themselves are written in both metric and Imperial measure, though I am always leery of Imperial measures that have been derived from a metric source. The collection of recipes I would call quirky, some that are specific to Palermo or Sicily and others that are more pan Italian in nature. There are lots of fun ideas in here, from main dishes to snacks and even offbeat things like digestivos. If you like a little bit of food with your armchair traveling, you may very well enjoy this book.

By the way, I think this ebook is best enjoyed on a tablet or computer, not a standard Kindle. You’ll lose the effect of all the lovely photographs on a black-and-white Kindle.

The World Sauces Cookbook by Mark Stevens

Universal Book Link

Available at Amazon only
Free with Kindle Unlimited

The World Sauces*Cookbook

Get Your Sauce On!

I love sauces in cooking, whether store-bought or ones that I make myself. So when I saw this book at a book reviewer site, I was very curious to see what it would have. The book is broadly divided into two sections: sauces of the world and recipes with which you can use the sauces. Both of these sections are further divided, the sauce section into continents and the second section into basic main ingredient types like meat, seafood, and vegetables.

Flipping through the section on the sauces, I found it to be an intriguing collection of 75 recipes. The ones you would expect to see are here like tikka masala, barbecue sauce, romesco, and chimichurri. It also contains some things that I don’t really consider sauces like baba ganoush, fondue, and hummus. Other sauces are ones that I would not consider to be a signature sauce for a country or region. Even a brief glance shows you, unfortunately, that so many sauces have been left out. For instance, the French and Italians are well known for their sauces but not many are presented in this book. (Note: Look for a couple of French classics in the Introduction, like bechamel, hollandaise, and mayonnaise; this section also has a basic tomato sauce.) I would have loved to have seen more sauce recipes. Frankly, I can’t get enough. In this section, each sauce recipe refers to recipes in the second section to pair it with.

The second section, on using the sauces for everyday recipes, is a lot of fun. Some basic everyday recipes are given like pan-roasted vegetables, fish in parchment, and couscous. What makes these interesting is some of the accompaniments they have with them as well as the suggested sauces. Some of the combinations suggested are unusual, but I bet they’d be good. It gets you thinking more about how to creatively combine sauces with simple recipes to really elevate a meal rather simply. There is much here for inspiration.

If you enjoy cooking with sauces, this book would be a great one to add to your library.

From Freezer to Instant Pot by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarborough

Universal Book Link

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, Thalia, Angus & Robertson, Indigo (Chapters), and Bol.de

From Freezer to Instant Pot*

Nice Book for Meat-Loving Instant Pot Users

I am still relatively new to the Instant Pot, so when I saw this at one of the book review sites that I use, I was curious. Unfortunately, for me the book will be pretty useless as I am a vegetarian, and the book offers very few vegetarian options. However, if you are a meat eater, there are tons of ideas here for you. After a section that introduces you to the best tactics to use if you want to cook in your Instant Pot straight from your freezer, the book is divided into chapters based mostly on the meats involved. The first two recipe chapters, though, are about soup and noodles. The chapters that follow are about chicken and turkey, beef, pork, and fish and shellfish.

Despite the seeming simplicity of being able to take food straight from the freezer and cook it in your instant pot, the introductory section certainly shows pitfalls and things to be aware of. It is not as easy as you would think. But the convenience of it could sway you, and of course, you will learn how to circumvent many of the problems with this method, especially with the tips and hints that the authors give. I definitely see “soupiness” as a problem, as thawing foods do give off a lot of moisture.

The recipes themselves are mostly what I would call common recipes like tortilla soup, beef lo mein, chicken fajitas, chili, and pot roast. There are a few surprises, like Tater Tot Soup. One of these things I liked is that some of the recipes are what they call “roadmap recipes”; they don’t just give you a list of single ingredients to use for a particular dish. Rather, they give you a list of ingredients where some have options, like different seasonings, different types of meat, different sauces, etc. That way, you can make many different versions of a basic recipe. The roadmap recipes include bean soup, ravioli, chicken stew, roast chicken, pot pie, and several others.

If you want the convenience of being able to cook straight from your freezer using your Instant Pot and you are a meat eater, you’ll most likely find recipes as well as tips and techniques that will help you get a meal on the table.

When Mediterranean Mindset Meets DASH Diet by Marcella Palmer

Universal Book Link

Available at Amazon only
Free with Kindle Unlimited

When Mediterranean Mindset Meets DASH Diet*

Good Book that Looks at the DASH Diet and Mindset

You can tell when you read the early parts of this book that the author is very passionate about the DASH diet as well as what she calls the Mediterranean mindset. She has blended these two concepts in this book. First she gives an overview of the DASH diet and its origins; she also explains how she came up with seven tenets of Mediterranean mindset. She then looks at the benefits of the DASH diet from a medical perspective. The next chapter seeks to bust myths about the DASH diet, like cost and restrictions. She does talk at some length about the foods that are best on this diet, and she even gives some recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At the end, she has a further tip section about how to incorporate the Mediterranean mindset with the DASH diet with very specific action plans to help you with meal planning, activity, and other concepts that support weight loss.

I’m a registered nurse, so I thought that some of what was stated in the medical section was not wholly accurate but would probably be good enough for the general reader. The book is a little repetitive in parts and could have been condensed some. Sometimes her enthusiasm overwhelms the idea she is trying to get across. In general, I agree that the DASH diet is a good one to follow as it is basically about eating whole foods. I disagree with a few of her statements. One was actually nonsensical to me. At one point, she talks about not adding sauces, salt, or other seasonings to your food—just try them as the chef intended. Well, if you’re the home chef, you will most likely be using some seasonings, or the food is going to be pretty bland and you won’t stick with a diet! There is certainly nothing wrong with most sauces or seasonings; you might need to watch for a few ingredients in sauces, but herbs and spices like oregano and cinnamon zazz up a dish. While salt isn’t strictly prohibited on the DASH diet, it is recommended to be consumed in small quantities and in balance with other minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. This actually shouldn’t be a problem if you eat home-cooked whole foods that have only been lightly seasoned.

The recipes seemed straightforward, and most appeared to be simple to do. I liked how the author emphasized vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options within the diet. Indeed, the DASH diet is very friendly for non-meat eaters as well as those who are omnivores. I thought the tip section at the back was fantastic. I love the idea of mini action plans. They would definitely all be helpful to the would-be dieter as he or she tried to live a more healthful life, whether that’s through your food or lifestyle choices.

Disclosure

The asterisks (*) by the book title denote the source of the book copy.

One star = I received it as a free advance/review copy or directly from the author.

Two stars = I borrowed it through my Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Three stars = I purchased the book outright (sometimes for free).

The Amazon book links on this site are affiliate links, which means I make a tiny percentage if you choose to buy a book linked from this site.

Used To Build My Websites

Writing Improvement Software

DreamHost

Divi WordPress Theme

Try Grammarly!Try Grammarly!

Jamie's Profile

Professional Reader

Reviews Published

25 Book Reviews

%d bloggers like this: