Let us introduce you to the Yoga Kitchen, by Marlien Wright and published by Jacana Publishers. I must be honest, I was a little nervous of this book to start with, it looked terribly “vegetable rich” for one or two of our fussier folk, and it is packed with nuts and we all have a nut allergy. But I dug a little deeper and then I discovered literally dozens of healthy meals that we could try… far more than our usual se7en+1 recipes per book review. In fact we have had over a week of fabulous feasts thanks to this book and the winning moment was when one of our kids said: “Our fridge has changed personalities, it is over flowing with vegetables.” Not to say that we don’t normally have vegetables, but there were a few days when our fridge was literally popping…
For us the best thing about this book is that the food is beautiful, literally rainbow after rainbow, and everyone, even the fussiest eater of the lot, really wanted to try these new tastes and flavours. And then they liked what they tried – WINNING! I don’t think it was that the food was terribly different to what we normally eat but certainly the food was presented very differently. A lot more raw foods and food combining for good nutrition. I never understood what that meant until I read this cook book. There is a lot of information in this book and there are corners of this book that we didn’t even get to explore, there is a 21 Day Reboot Plan, a meal plan with recipes from deeper in the book, designed to get you back on the straight and narrow of healthy eating.
I particularly loved the layout of this book, I am a recipe per spread kind of gal. Each recipe mentions what “-friendly” it is, if it is gluten free, dairy free, paleo or vegan friendly… yes there are dozens of paleo and vegan meals. Also along with each spread, with the recipe on the one page and a stunning photograph on the opposite page, health benefits for a number of the ingredients were included… I was able to say you want to eat this meal because it has red peppers which are great for healthy skin… this is important in a house with four teens in it. Red onions are great for helping diabetics regulate their blood sugar… so we will be including a lot more red onions in as many meals as we can in the future.
Se7en + 1 Recipes Tried and Tested
- Shakshuka: There are tons of really wonderful looking breakfasts in here, you know that “most important meal of the day,” smoothies, overnight oats and plenty of interesting looking egg dishes. Lots to choose from and we decided to try shakshuka. Hmmm a rich tomato based sauce that you bake your eggs in… just delicious!
- Sweet and Sour Sauce: I loves that this book contained recipes for some of our favourite sauces, where the store bought version is just not a healthy enough option for us. This sweet and sour sauce, has already become favourite… I sized it up and we now stock it in a jar in the fridge. Honestly, you can use this as a dipping sauce for about a million things and that is always a good way to encourage folk to try new things.
- Mexican Black Bean and Corn Salad: We eat a lot of beans, they are filling and so good for you. And this I could eat all day, so many delicious flavours, it is literally like eating a rainbow. I was surprised at how divided my kids were… either they really loved it or they definitely didn’t… there was no half-way for this recipe. I was in the love it department, and it is the kind of recipe you can make in advance, toss in a jar and take to work… totally delicious!!!
- Asian ‘Crunch’ Salad: This recipe is so quick and easy that you have to love it… literally drop the ingredients into a bowl, shake up a little dressing and you are done. And then of course corn saves the day, any of these ingredients on their own might leave one or two of my fussier eaters reeling, but as soon as they saw there was corn they were thrilled and everyone was was well satisfied.
- Summer Rolls: Rice paper rolls are a family favourite already. Kids love having a little autonomy over their meals, so providing them with choices and letting them build their own is a great way for them to meet new flavours and engage in their choices. Not to mention these small looking bites are really filling, even our starving teenage boys weren’t dashing from dinner to find something to eat.
- Carrot and Sweet Corn Fritters: Our guys are really familiar with fritters, fritters of every single kind, they know that I hide all sorts of things in them! Consider me the master of disguise of the fritter variety. Really there are a million things that you can pop into a fritter… these are different, they have no egg or dairy in them, and if you use gluten free flour, then gluten free as well. The flour literally holds them together and they have a lovely crispy texture… I thought my fritter connoisseurs might complain, they have never had carrot fritters before, but again the corn… my kids just love corn, so they loved these fritters.
- Paleo Chicken and Vegetable Roast: We roast chicken pieces, with roasted veggies nearly every Wednesday, my mom-in-law loves a roast dinner and it is her visiting night. When I changed up the flavours and added fennel and asparagus to the roasting pan, everybody loved the new twist and flavours. This recipe could well be called “Gone in a Flash.”
- Carb-free Bacon and Spinach Tart: Well you had my guys at the bacon, they totally and utterly loved this and you could make this for any meal, breakfast, lunch or quick supper and my kids would be happy. This literally took minutes to prepare and a quick kitchen clean up while it baked in the oven meant that we could eat as it came from the oven and supper was quite literally done.
- Chicken and Veggie Skewers (with Spicy Peanut Sauce): Okay, se7en + another one recipes!!! We left the peanut sauce out, because of our nut allergy and it turns out this recipe is another winner. Brightly coloured vegetables threaded onto skewers with chicken thighs, everything to love. I have to ask myself why oh why don’t I make skewers more often, everybody loves them, there is something fundamentally delicious about all food served on a stick. I know it requires slightly more work than usual… but everyone’s enjoyment makes it totally worth it.
We still have lots to explore in this book, sour dough and sprouting, not to mention fermenting vegetables and dozens of recipes that my gang still want to try. If you are looking to improve your diet generally and your trying to eat more healthfully then we would highly recommend this book. It has great recipes that the whole family can enjoy, with easily accessible ingredients… and did I mention eating sensational rainbows!!!
Thank you so much to Jacana Media who gave us this book for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to create it and the opinions expressed are as usual, our own.