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The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook: Cook Once, Eat All Week with Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes Paperback – May 19, 2015
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Pamela A. popper, Ph.D., N.D., featured in Forks Over Knives and president and founder of The Wellness Forum
"Another delicious winner from the talented Chef Del Sroufe. This delightful, step-by-step recipe collection makes it easy, tasty and totally doable for anyone to adopt a plant-based diet. . . . Fun, filling, fabulous and festiveThe China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook will make a welcome addition in everyone’s kitchen!"
Laura Theodore, "The Jazzy Vegetarian"
About the Author
In 2006, Sroufe joined Wellness Forum Foods as co-owner and chef, where he continued the tradition of delivering great tasting, plant-based meals to clients in Columbus as well as throughout the continental U.S. Sroufe also joined The Wellness Forum as a member where, after a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, he has lost over 200 pounds on a low fat, plant-based diet. He continues to teach cooking classes at local venues like Whole Foods, Community Recreation Centers, and The Wellness Forum. Sroufe is the author of Forks Over KnivesThe Cookbook, a vegan cookbook companion to the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives.
LeAnne Campbell, PhD, lives in Durham, North Carolina. She has been preparing meals based on a whole-food, plant-based diet for almost 20 years. Campbell has raised two sonsSteven and Nelson, now 18 and 17on this diet. As a working mother, she has found ways to prepare quick and easy meals without using animal products or adding fat.
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1. Simple recipes with many under 5-6 ingredients which is exactly what I wanted to make tracking meals/calories online super easy. However, some recipes do involve using ingredients from other recipes like dressings and sauces. It's important to read ahead and see all the ingredients you need before diving into a recipe.
2. 3 meal plans are presented which gets you accustomed to the concept of reusing key ingredients in several recipes throughout the week. This makes shopping easier, cheaper, and creates less food waste at the end of the week.
3. I love that most recipes don't use tofu/tempeh/mock meats. As much as I love tofu, it's much simpler to make the veggies and beans stand out on their own. I think this also makes it much easier for beginners to delve into a plant based diet while recreating flavors they may miss from an omnivorous diet.
1. As helpful as the meal plans are, they do seem a bit hastily put together. I am starting the first meal plan tomorrow, and I realized when I was putting together the shopping list that many of the additional ingredients listed were actually the ones needed for the recipes for that week. If I had purchased the ingredients in the additional list and from the recipes, I would have doubled many of them! The list should be edited to consolidate everything needed in one list.
2. Speaking of the meal plans, since there are only 3 plans, that clearly doesn't cover using every recipe in the book. Additional plans to incorporate each of the recipes would really make this book stand out as a great meal planning guide.
3. The pantry list isn't beginner friendly. Many people starting may not know that nutritional yeast is a great stand in for cheese, or that arrow root powder works as a thickener. Tips included with WHY the ingredients should be a staple would not be amiss.
4. It would be great if the recipes included nutritional information!
5. No savory breakfast recipes. What gives?
As mentioned above, I started out with the recipes from meal plan 1 and have made most of them already. The falafel, tomato corn and fresh basil soup, apple pie granola, and basil pesto hummus are delicious and were quick to put together. However, after my experience with the seasoning for the basil pesto hummus and green sauce, I am very cautious about the amount of salt the author recommends.
Let me just preface my recipe review with the fact that I find it annoying when people change key ingredients in a recipe and then proceed to complain how it turned out terrible. With that said, oh my good sweet baby Jesus I think the author may either have an issue with typos, or just wants sauces to taste like licking a block of salt. When I made the basil pesto hummus, I measured exactly 1 teaspoon of sea salt as recommended. To be fair, the recipe does say "more or less to taste", but my taste is definitely less salt. I know vegan food gets the nasty "bland/no flavor" stereotype, but it doesn't need that much salt! Thankfully, that was salvageable unlike the green sauce. After my experience with the hummus, I was skeptical of using 2 teaspoons of sea salt for 1 3/4 cups of sauce, but I went with it. Dear mother of god was that a mistake. It was absolutely wretched. The salt completely overpowered all the wonderful fresh cilantro and well, pretty much everything else. I threw it out and made a new batch using just 1/2 teaspoon and added half a cucumber to add some freshness/sweetness to it. It was IMMENSELY better. I will now be extremely cautious of the seasoning measurements in all the recipes now! I may come back and edit my review once I get through trying more recipes from the book.
All in all, the book is solidly average. If you are a beginner and want a cookbook that gives you tips, has a great starter pantry list, and really gives you great recipes you'll want to share with everyone, I highly recommend the Thug Kitchen series.
First of all, I do the majority of my shopping at a farmer's market so I come home with quantities of seasonal vegetables and then figure out what to make with them - kind of the opposite of the prescribed menu plans at the beginning of this cookbook but it works well either way. When I get home from the market I look in the indexes of my cookbooks and flag recipes containing the specific vegetables I brought home. Of the four cookbooks I use most, this one has the most thorough and usable index. One of the other cookbooks only indexes ingredients that are named in the recipe title or the introductory paragraph, not the actual recipe ingredients! Really. Since I don't read cookbooks like novels, that book doesn't get used much, but this one does!
The second reason I love this cookbook is because it covers a wide spectrum of flavor exploration without requiring spices I've never heard of. Most of the interesting flavors come from imaginative pairings of herbs and vegetables. I can't tolerate (digest) more than a whisper of anything from the allium family (onion, garlic, shallots, etc.) and many cookbooks rely almost exclusively on loading up their unimaginative recipes with nothing but onions and garlic for flavoring. To be sure, there are plenty of recipes in this cookbook that call for onions and garlic but most of them include other primary flavorings so the dish still tastes great when I just leave out the allium.
Other positives: the cookbook is printed on a sturdy coated paper stock and also includes photos for about three quarters of the recipes. Pictures really help me to understand a recipe before I even read the ingredient list.
My favorite vegan cookbook so far!