By Veronica Bosgraaf
Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers
ISBN# 978-0-8041-3795-9
224 Pages

Back Cover: Bring more whole, real ingredients into your kitchen and replace processed foods with the 120 plant-based recipes in Pure Food.

A busy mother of three who was frustrated with trying to find healthy, organic snacks for her kids, Veronica Bosgraaf decided to make one herself, the Pure Bar. Now nationally available and widely beloved, the bar kick started a nutrition overhaul in Veronica’s home. Clean foods and a new, simple way of cooking and eating replaced anything overly processed and loaded with sugar. Organized by month to take advantage of seasonal produce, Pure Food shares Veronica’s easy vegetarian recipes, many of which are vegan and gluten-free, too.

   • January: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Winter Garlic and Vegetable Stew, Chocolate Rice Pudding
   • April: Asparagus with Turmeric-Spiced Almonds, Egg Noodles with Wild Mushrooms and Spring Greens, Roasted Cauliflower with Quinoa and Cashews
   • July: Watermelon Mint Salad, Grilled Garlic and Summer Squash Skewers with Chimichurri, The Perfect Veggie Burger
   • November: Caramelized Pear Muffins, Parsnip and Thyme Cream Soup, Wild Rice and Pecan Stuffing

With 18 color photographs and tips for "cleaning" your kitchen and lifestyle—from drying your own herbs to getting rid of chemical cleaners—Pure Food shows the simple steps you can take to make your cooking and living more healthful.

REVIEW: The author states, “Pure Food is not a “fancy” cookbook. It’s an approachable guide to help you quit fast, frozen, processed foods and get back into the kitchen... My recipes are simple and wholesome, and use really, seasonal foods that hopefully will help others rediscover cooking, and do it within their schedule. Granted, there are some more challenging recipes in the book because we all need to be pushed out of our comfort zone, but even those are recipes for real people who don’t think they have the time or confidence to cook. “

The author starts out talking about a “Pure Pantry-"The most important rule I have for cooking is to use real ingredients: fresh items not found in a can or jar or box. Real foods is free of synthetic additives and has been spared manufacturing processes that break down or extract beneficial nutrient. There is less packaging waste as well. It is simple better for our bodies and better for the environment to buy this way.  I also try to buy local, seasonal and organic.”

This is a small paperback book filled to the brim with 120 recipes broken down into months; rich with tips and hints for cooking and eating clean. Each month features 10 recipes ranging from Breakfast to dinners, snacks and more. I like how the author describes each month and what is happening outside; which prompts cooking inside.

The author has helpful information mingled among the recipes. Some of the topics are: Why you should invest in a juicer; Choosing the right oil, Processed Veggie Meat, Composting, Best indoor herbs, Curry, Local Creameries and Community supported Agriculture; Natural Pest Deterrents, Sea Salt vs Table Salt, Garden herb Sun Tea, Vinegar, Veg Broth, Pumpkin puree Then there are Homemade items, Laundry detergent, Mayo, Cleaning Cleaners, Green lawn care, Homemade lip balm – just to name a few.
There are 18 full color pages folded into the middle of the book. Here are some of the recipes I’m looking forward to try: 

Starting with
JANUARY:  Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Cacao Chip Banana Bread;
FEBRUARY: Dill Havarti Couscous with Rainbow Chard; Chocolate SoufflĂ© with Grandma’s Chocolate Sauce; 
MARCH Warm Pear Crumble; Vegan Orange Pops, Irish Hash
APRIL Egg White Scramble with Curried Goat Cheese and Dandelion Greens, Asparagus with Turmeric-Spiced Almonds, Garlic and Thyme Mashed Potatoes,
MAY Cheddar Artichoke Dip; Linguine with Tomatoes and Avocado Pesto, Asparagus Risotto;
JUNE Hummus Pizza with Arugula and Wild Mushroom; Veggie “Sushi” Roll, Strawberry Ice Cream Pie;
JULY Pistachio Couscous with Orange Zest; The Perfect Veggie Burger; Cherry Chocolate Mousse; 
AUGUST Peaches and Cream Amaranth Porridge, Egg and Spinach Phyllo, Eggplant Bruschetta, Lemon Dill Potato Salad,
SEPTEMBER Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque; Heirloom Tomato and Walnut Pesto Wrap, Eggplant Lover Lasagna,
OCTOBER Apple Walnut French Toast, Pear and Spinach Salad with Maple Pecans; Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes, 
NOVEMBER Caramelized Pear Muffins, Eggplant and Chickpea Stew; Wild rice and Pecan Stuffing, Sweet Potato Stuffing;
DECEMBER Polenta with Currants and Allspice, Parsnip and Thyme Cream Soup, Walnut-Stuffed Squash, Vegan Eggnog.

I can’t wait to dig into this book to learn not only about great recipes with easy to understand instructions with ingredients I can get anywhere! But I look forward to putting into practice the bonus features in the tips and hints to try each month. I’ll be referring to this book often.

I received a free copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest opinion. There was no obligation to give a positive review. I'm a tell-it-like it is kind of person. This holds true to my review.

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book fun Begins!
Book Fun Magazine


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