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Customer Review

896 of 984 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Audience?, June 26, 2011
By 
This review is from: Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen (Paperback)
I bought this book because I follow the food blogs and everyone was raving about it. That love continues here on Amazon, where she's got nothing but 5 star reviews. I like the book, but ...

I don't know who she is trying to reach here. You would expect that most people who follow food blogs and know of her would know some basics about cooking, yet she has some pages devoted to things that quite frankly I find condescending. Recipes for fruit salad, pita chips and egg salad seem a waste of space, not to mention pages devoted to making rice, whipped cream, tea (tea! as in boil water - add tea - steep) and compound butter. The two pages devoted to how to poach an egg are kind of insulting. To me. Not to everyone.

That's my problem with the book. I cook a lot. I follow the food blogs too get inspiration and to get some recipes without having to buy the newest cookbooks. I know basic techniques. I figure other people who follow her blog (the people I imagine she hopes will buy this book) would, too. Or at least they have demonstrated their ability to look things up on the internet - google how to poach an egg if you must.

These basic techniques seem more silly when you consider her fancy-pants ingredients lists. "I shop alongside some of the best chefs in the city ..." If you can't poach an egg or cook rice, are you really using harissa and membrillo?

I bought this book thinking it would be a nice inspiration for summer veggies. But this is a pantry-heavy cookbook. Yes, its vegetarian, but it is what my husband calls "roly-poly vegetarian." Lots of beans and pasta and potatoes. There are at least ten recipes that basically dress up a pound of store-bought pasta or a 15oz can of beans.

There are pretty pictures (though many are of flowers and trees and Heidi - not all the recipes have pictures and no pictures accompany her how-tos). I mean, it's a nice book. But I would recommend Kim Boyce's "Good to the Grain" Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours if you want to bake with whole grains over the breakfast and sweets portions of this book. And like I said, the rest is pasta and beans and tea and egg salad.

My recommendation - if you aren't looking for link love from Heidi for your own blog, skip this and just visit her web site, where you can get similar recipes and pictures and chit chat - for free.
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Showing 1-10 of 42 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 14, 2011 7:29:24 AM PDT
Anthony says:
Wow! Talk about honesty and letting it all out! Going to the blog site sounds like good advice. This review has made me rethink purchasing this book. Thank you Erin.

Posted on Jul 27, 2011 7:45:34 PM PDT
Awesome review! And based on that I decided to buy the book you recommended.
Thanks for sharing!
Kathy

Posted on Aug 10, 2011 10:22:04 AM PDT
Nyssa says:
I was so excited when my book arrived and sooooooo disappointed to open it and find a recipe for oatmeal. Actually two recipes for oatmeal. Your review sums it up.

Posted on Aug 15, 2011 11:16:53 AM PDT
emily says:
Thanks for this straight-forward, honest review!! Erin, you just saved me $20.

Posted on Aug 28, 2011 5:10:10 AM PDT
Bundt Lust says:
I concur wholeheartedly; I'm currently reading the library's copy, and although there are one or two recipes that caught my eye (like the poppyseed-membrillo coffee cake), the rest seemed kind of ho-hum. (Plus, membrillo is about $17 a pound where I live, so that would be one expensive coffeecake!).

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2011 7:54:04 AM PDT
Hi Sarah,
Thank you so much for your review. I was thinking of getting this book and I would have been so disappointed. I think most cookbooks have maybe 2 recipes that are keepers and the rest you never use.
I have been so disappointed most times and end up giving the books away. I think I will stick to the internet from now on and see what I can get from each book before I purchase. I love having cookbooks but they are just never what I thought they were.
Thanks again!
Kathy

Posted on Sep 12, 2011 2:50:55 PM PDT
I am so glad I read this- I would have been pretty disappointed, too. Not buying the book based on your review

Posted on Sep 12, 2011 8:59:06 PM PDT
I appreciate you took the time to write such a detailed review, but I have to say I disagree. As someone who has decided in the last 9 months to eat much more vegetarian and is stuck with the same 8 revolving recipes, I am totally thrilled by this cookbook. I have now cooked 4 inventive, extremely healthy meals for my husband, 11 year old son & 8 year old daughter, all of whom have loved everything I've made. I am not a creative cook and totally appreciate the simplicity and ingenuity in the recipes I've tried. I actually flagged about 25 recipes I can't wait to try. So far, I'm 4 for 4 in the delicious category. And as for your comment about not being able to poach an egg but still using harissa, I'm proof of someone who just did that tonight. I've got no clue how to poach an egg (I can't stand the texture) but made my own harissa tonight because my grocer doesn't carry it. I never would have known about harissa without this cookbook. So, I think this book does have many redeeming qualities that may not meet your needs, but it is not a waste of money.

Posted on Sep 17, 2011 2:57:09 PM PDT
A. Cre says:
Erin, Could you suggest some of the food blogs that you read? I'm new to cooking and always looking for more help. Thank you! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2011 9:42:07 PM PDT
I read (fairly regularly): Herbivoracious, Orangette (not vegetarian), Sprouted Kitchen, and C'est La Vegan (kind of Betty Crocker-ish, but good)
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