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First of all let me say I'm a big fan of the "clean eating" philosophy. I think it's an important message: to get back to the roots of REAL, whole foods, not the processed junk that makes up 60% of the modern American diet. However, "clean eating" is somewhat more difficult for vegetarians like myself since many Clean recipes seem to rely on meat/fish products. Needless to say I was overjoyed when I found out about this cookbook and I pre-ordered it without hesitation. When it arrived in the mail I was at first very excited as I flipped through for a preliminary scan. The dishes looked exotic, flavorful, and not too complicated to prepare. However it didn't take long to scope out some MAJOR downsides to this cookbook. First of all, it is NOT strictly vegetarian--it includes a chapter on seafood. Seeing as this is a total waste to ovo-lacto vegetarians (the most "mainstream" kind of vegetarian in terms of connotation) I feel this cookbook shouldn't have been titled the way it was, but rather perhaps "The Eat Clean Pescetarian Cookbook," seeing as that's what it actually is...oh well. When I tried to prepare a recipe for the first time, what seemed simple and straightforward at first turned out to be anything but. Even a "safe" looking recipe, when in the supermarket, proved impossible--I couldn't find the ingredients ANYWHERE! And I don't shop at a corner store, either. For example, one recipe alone called for whole cumin seeds, cherry peppers, and black quinoa; I couldn't find any of them at the 3 supermarkets I visited (one of them even being an organic health-food store). HUGE drawback. This seems to be the way a lot of these recipes turn out, in fact.Read more ›
I pre-ordered this cookbook a few months ago, as soon as I heard it was coming out. I have four of Tosca Reno's previous eat-clean books, and have enjoyed them all. About five or six years ago, I used Reno's original version of the The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged: Lasting Fat Loss That's Better than Ever! to shed about sixteen pounds, moving from a size 6 to a size 0/2. Ever since I started using the principles of clean eating, I've been able to keep the weight loss off, and feel like, at the age of 40, I'm in the best shape of my life.
As much as I love Reno's other books, however, I mostly eat a vegetarian diet, so I've found that I can only use a portion of the recipes contained in Reno's previous books, which is why I was so thrilled to order this one. From looking through it, it looks like another nice addition to my library of other books, with a few drawbacks.
Since the clean eating movement emphasizes non-processed foods, all of the recipes call for fresh, natural ingredients. Whole grains are included, and the focus is on using healthy ingredients that nourish your body.
The book contains 150 brand-new recipes, and is divided into the following chapters:
--Chapter 1 A Healthy Start -- focused on breakfast --Chapter 2 Snack Break --Chapter 3 Simple Salads --Chapter 4 Savory Soups and One Pot Meals --Chapter 5 The Main Course --Chapter 6 From the Sea -- seafood chapter --Chapter 7 Vivacious Vegetables and Sides --Chapter 8 Fast Foods --Chapter 9 Sweet Treats --Chapter 10 Vegetarian Holiday Feast --Supportive Recipes -- for yogurt cheese, wheat pizza dough, etc.Read more ›
I have to say, I have really nothing bad to say about this book. It's got a wide variety of recipes, they are very well organized, the photos are beautiful, the ingredients are real, and the food is delicious. The recipes are not that tough to make for someone who has average cooking abilities.
First of all, Tosca makes it a point to tell her readers that she is not a vegetarian. For someone who is not a vegetarian, she (or her research team...) has done a fantastic job of learning about vegetarianism / veganism. She has looked into clean sources of veggie protein, and she even includes a section on how to get vital nutrients and vitamins in which a veg-head might be deficient (B12, D, you get the idea).
While there might be some recipes that have hard-to-source ingredients, I found that most of the recipes have very basic ingredients, most of which I already have in my vegelicious kitchen. For example, the brown rice breakfast require brown rice, soy milk, and clean sweetener. While you may not have every single ingredient right there waiting for you in your cupboard, I suppose that's to be expected. And, as others mentioned, if something is too hard to source, it's usually not too hard to sub something.
One feature I really liked about the book was the little coding system that tells you specifics about the food. The legend explains the various symbols to mean the following: vegan, lacto-ovo, ovo, lacto, pescetarian, gluten-free, kid-friendly, quick and easy, ovo optional, vegan optional, and gluten-free optional. I found it super-easy and convenient to use these as I quickly skimmed through the recipes.
And now... the moment you've all been waiting for! The dreaded pescetarian aspect!! OK, here's the thing...Read more ›
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