It’s the last week of summer — where did it go? With warm days and increasingly cooler nights I’m totally getting the “Fall Feels.” I may have even baked a gingerbread cake last week — my mouth is craving Autumn what can I say?? For many of us with kids going back to schoolthis means that those relaxed, carefree days are going to be gone and we’re going to need to get our shnit together. I think this is where Anna Jones‘ A Modern Way to Cook is going to fit in. For some, her name may not be as familiar as it is “across the pond” where she is a celebrated food writer, stylist, and cook (if you have a few, click on the link to read her bio — she’s an inspiration). Her passion for delicious vegetarian cooking is evident in each of her recipes (even though her books are mainly vegetarian, she does provide a separate vegan and gluten-free index of the recipes at the back of the book).
So how is any of this going to help out busy families or even just plain busy people? Well, the entirety of A Modern Way To Cook revolves around being practical and making delicious and nutritious food quickly. With her first chapter of recipes — in the time it takes to set the table — I was sold. I mean, look at that first picture of the Kale, Tomato, & Lemon Magic One-Pot Pasta!? It’s probably one of the tastiest pastas I’ve ever made — the sauce, that sauce! Even thinking about that sauce is making my mouth water and if you look at the photo of my kitchen sink you’ll see that it produces a minuscule amount of dishes. On any given crazy-busy night you can have supper on the table and minimal clean up. Come on! Who doesn’t love that? Although in all honesty this recipe took me 28 minutes to get on the table — I was curious if I could do it in 15 but I didn’t. Maybe my kettle didn’t boil fast enough, idk. But I was
happy overjoyed with the results and so was my family. We ate that meal in a contented pasta-induced bliss. Even my 2 year old slurped her noodles quietly — a nice, relaxing (I might even say Zen) end to a hectic day.
Feeling quite invincible the day after trying her magic pasta I made her Smoky Pepper & White Bean Quesadillas for lunch. Just have a look at what can happen in 10 minutes…
After making this I felt like her book is full of recipes that are quick, adaptable, and delicious. I say “adaptable” because even if you don’t have a jar of roasted red peppers or white beans you can use almost any bean and veg to achieve a similar result. In fact, even on day when I knew I’d better get to a grocery store I still had enough ingredients to pull off this recipe. Anything that helps to take the pressure of mealtime off my shoulders is welcome.
Since starting to Instagram food, one of the things I love to make are crackers. I find that most grocery store crackers have too many unpronounceable ingredients and one of the simplest ways to eat something healthy is to make it myself. One of my most favourite cracker/crisp/flatbread recipes comes from Sarah B. at My New Roots click here to view. I though it was a be all, end all recipe but after making Jones’ Amazing Crackers I’m not so sure. Full of seeds and oats (I even slipped some rye flakes in for good measure!) they’re sooo beyond amazing. Perfect on their own, with a spread/dip, or even crumbled on a morning parfait this cracker gives a little something to everyone.
Just logging onto WordPress I’ve discovered it’s been a year since I created this blog and words cannot express how happy I am that this review will mark that milestone. I just want to say thank you for stopping by to read Shipshape Eatworthy — it means so much! This review also marks another first — this review is the first one I’ve written for a book that I didn’t purchase first. 10 Speed Press and Net Galley kindly and generously provided me with a free e-copy to preview and review (if you’re going to purchase it, I’d totally recommend buying a hard copy, I’m not an e-book cook — gets a bit messy in the kitchen). Please keep in mind that the opinions reflected are entirely my own and any links found on my site are done for interest-sake. I make no money from any of the links or my reviews.
10 Speed Press is publishing a North American version of A Modern Way to Cook complete with a new cover. Since beginning to preview my free copy, I purchased an International version. Between the two versions there aren’t many differences save for conversions (toss the scale, they’ve used cups — jk don’t actual toss your scale) and some language idiosyncrasies (i.e. puddings to desserts). Also if you get an International copy take note that ovens set for Celsius need a Fahrenheit conversion for North American cooks.
As I alluded to earlier, ingredients are easy to find and aren’t too expensive (the pasta was dead cheap to make however things like Goji berries can be $$$. Keep in mind that they are used sparingly so the price might be easier to accept) and I’ve noticed that where appropriate Jones provides alternatives if an ingredient is tricky to source. I know from experience using this book that many of the recipes can stand easy ingredient substitutions — for example those quesadillas taste perfectly fine even if you use black beans. She also uses fresh lemons quite often but I think limes can be subbed (even pre-juiced in bottles would be OK especially if you’re finding lemons to be a bit on the pricey side).
Thought I’d end my review on a sweet note — just look at this Tahini-Drizzled Super Fruit! Just the type of
dessert fresh breakfast that I’ve been yearning for — sweet, nutty, and satisfying. Creates quite a spectacle on the plate and makes any ordinary day feel like company just came over. In fact, I would totally serve this to company for dessert! As an ingredient, tahini has been getting a lot of love lately because people are realizing it’s not just for hummus!
For those of you who enjoy my personalized hashtags here’s one for this review: #amodernwaytocookse. There are currently only a few photos but as I continue to cook from A Modern Way to Cook I’ll keep adding pics.
Hope you all had a great summer!