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The Engine 2 Cookbook: More than 130 Lip-Smacking, Rib-Sticking, Body-Slimming Recipes to Live Plant-Strong Hardcover – December 26, 2017
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The book is divided up into several main chapters:
* Firefighters -- gives some background on the development of the Engine 2 diet, and how Rip Esselstyn converted his fellow Austin firefighters to begin eating a plant-based diet to decrease their risk of heart disease and quell inflammation
* Getting Your Kitchen into Plant-Strong Shape -- offers tips for those new to plant-based eating
* Breakfast -- contains recipes for things like Sunday Morning Blueberry Pancakes, Sedona Sweet Potato Waffles, and various granolas, mueslis, and oatmeals
* Sauces, Spreads, Salsas, Dressings, Dips, and Hummus -- includes some standard items like marinara and peanut sauces, but also some interesting variations (things like Thai Curry Hummus and Garlic Lover's Hummus)
* Appetizers and Sides -- contains recipes for things like Roasted Cauliflower Steaks, BBQ Eggplant Rounds, Kale Chips, and Beer Biscuits
* Salads and Croutons -- this chapter doesn't have as many salad recipes as other cookbooks I own, but it does contain a few, and has some really interesting recipes for Toasted Pepitas, Homemade Croutons, Hot Chickpea Croutons, and Sweet Potato Croutons
* Soups and Sandwiches -- includes recipes for various soups and sandwiches
* Suppers and One-Bowl Meals -- this section includes a lot of the bowl recipes that are a part of the Engine 2 lifestyle, as well as 12 different Warrior Pocket sandwich recipes, a recipe for homemade pizza dough, and various chili recipes
* Desserts -- includes different baked goods and cookies, as well as Frozen Frosted Fudge Squares, Stones Scones, some breads, and some pudding/parfait recipes
If you're new to the Engine 2 lifestyle, its focus is on whole-foods, plant-based (WFPB) eating, with no use of added oils or refined sugars or of any animal products. I've been vegan/plant-based for almost five years, and find that when I eat this way consistently, I stay at a healthy weight and have a lot more energy. Other books in this genre are the Forks over Knives, China Study, Plant Pure Nation, and the How Not to Die series. (The Engine 2 folks also run a free Seven-Day Rescue Challenge, which is great if you need support in transitioning to plant-based eating. You can find more info about it on their website or by searching for their Facebook page.)
On the The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet: Eat Plants, Lose Weight, Save Your Health book's Facebook page, they lay out the key principles of this way of eating (although the Rescue Diet includes a stricter version of the Engine 2 plan since it's designed to kick-start healthier eating):
"Enjoy the Simple Seven:
1. All Vegetables: Leafy greens, potatoes, squash and more
2. Whole Fruit: Fresh or frozen (thawed - no smoothies!)
3. Intact Whole Grains: Brown rice, oats, quinoa, farro, bulgur etc.
4. 100% Whole Grain oil-free items: Breads, pastas and tortillas
5. Legumes: Black beans, lentils, pinto beans, chickpeas, split peas, oil-free hummus
6. Sparks: Herbs, spices, vinegars, hot sauce, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce
7. Beverages: Water, tea, coffee - black only (For cereal only: Unsweetened almond, oat or soy milk)
8. We do not add sweetener to beverages, cereals etc as an added sweetener at the table. Unless it's in a recipe in the book, please no sweeteners."
The recipes in this particular cookbook are all simple to make and they don't require special ingredients or trips to specialty stores. The emphasis is on hearty, home-style meals that come together quickly. I love making easy one-bowl meals on weeknights when I don't have a lot of time to cook, and this cookbook fills that need for filling entrees that I can get on the table quickly. In keeping with the Engine 2 guidelines, there are only a few recipes (maybe six) that use tofu, but the rest do not include refined grains, vegan meat substitutes, or added salt, or extracted oils.
Each recipe includes clearly broken-down instructions, along with the recommended serving size. I wish that the total prep and cooking times had been included. Scattered throughout are also small blurbs where people who have been following the Engine 2 lifestyle talk about how it has benefited them. Also, there is a thorough index at the back of the book, but I wish that each main chapter section had included a list of the recipes that would be in them or that there was a master Table of Contents that included all the recipe titles at the front of the book to make it easier to find things.
AAlso, while I love the Engine 2 recipes I've made in the past, I tend not to cook from those prior books that often since I like photos to inspire me to try out recipes, and those previous books only contained the recipes at the very end, with no photos. While there aren't photos for every single recipe, there are quite a few.
Since I subscribe to the Engine 2 newsletter, I've already had the chance to try out two of the recipes from this book -- the Magnetic Rice Salad (which I brought to Christmas Eve dinner this year -- and which was a total hit!) and the Hot Shot Biscotti. I'm including photos of both recipes from the book so you can see how lovely the photos are, as well as photos of two other pages so you can see the overall layout.
Here's to a healthy 2018!
UPDATE ON 12-29-17: Last night I made the Yummy Yam and Split Pea Soup (see third photo). I couldn't find yams or split peas (yellow or otherwise) at my local store, so I made it with sweet potatoes and red lentils in my Instant Pot. It came out good; it did lack the richness of similar recipes I've made that use coconut milk or oil, but was still hearty and delicious.
For everyone else, you might want to read some of the other books out there first to better understand why this is a healthy way to eat/live. Using this book to "jump in" without understanding "why" will be disappointing at best. Going low/no-salt, low-fat, low-sugar means your tastebuds WILL adjust and these recipes WILL be flavorful but it takes time and if you don't WHY you're doing this, you'll most likely give up on cooking/eating this way.
What IS lacking in this book is an estimated prep and cook time. You need to read through the recipes to make sure you have the time (e.g. Terrific Teriyaki bowl is yummy but plan to spend 45 minutes to an hour cooking/baking before you can eat -- or prep in advance!)
I have found wonderful recipes in every chapter but the chapter Sauces, spreads, salsas, dressings, dips, and hummus is the best. Since I enhance the taste of greens with Rip's delicious sauces (like OMG Walnut Sauce or Beet Butter or Kale Butter 3.0), my family and friends fell in love with greens.
Every recipe is super easy to make and I can find every ingredient in my local store. The photos in the book are totally mouth-watering and natural and you get what you see every time.
I strongly recommend to also buy the Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook from Jane and her mother Ann, you and your body will love these fantastic recipes too. If you want to improve your athletic performance I recommend Plant Victorious: How Athletes can push their Performance Limits with Plants. In this book, you find powerful plants which enhance your athletic performance.
Top international reviews
I wanted a cookbook to help me transition away from oil and this is not helpful, just says cook onion and garlic until done, with no explanation of how you would actually do that in a pan with no oil or liquid.
I think if I was American and had health problems it might appeal , but certainly not to me as a reasonably healthy English vegan.
Yes, it's American so it is slanted towards that audience, but I have had no trouble finding the ingredients used here in the UK.
And yes. It is a health promoting plant based recipe book, not a vegan junk food recipe book. There are plenty of those kind of books already available.
This is a beautifully bound hardback with lots of colour pictures to help inspire you.
I feel the previous reviewer was a little unfair to literally judge the book just by looking at it and not by trying the recipes! To cook without oil you... Well, stop using it. There are a few products that can help and you can easily learn how to do this from Jane Esselstyn's YouTube channel.
Each to their own, but if you are interested in healthy plant based home cooking then there are lots of good recipes in this book.
If you are not sure if it is for you, look at the Engine 2 Plantstrong website as you could look at (and try!) some of the recipes there to see what sort of book this is.
The Esselstyn family is an institution in this area. Look up who Rip Esselstyn is. Super healthy plant strong athlete, healthy lifestyle advocate and one of the producers of The Gamechangers film.
Was Geschmackssache ist: Mir sind zu wenig Bilder im Buch. Ich liebe es, zu jedem Rezept ein Bild zu haben, auf dem ich erkenne, wie das Gericht am Schluss aussehen sollte/könnte.
Insgesamt ist das Kochbuch von Dr. Greger m.M.n. nach besser. Optisch besser, keine rotstichigen Bilder, alle Zutaten ohne Probleme beziehbar und keine Pseudo-Rezepte, wie Maiskolben und zerdrückte Banane.