It’s a fantastic year for plant-tastic cookbooks, and last week saw the debut of another: Whole Bowls: Complete Gluten-Free and Vegetarian Meals to Power Your Day by Allison Day, nutritionist, food stylist, photographer and creator of the award-winning blog Yummy Beet. These are wholesome, satisfying meals and desserts you can assemble as quickly or leisurely as time allows, preparing components in advance to have at the ready or building all at once like I did (and maybe nibbling as you go). Use Allison’s whole bowls formula to adapt the recipes to your taste and/or what you have on hand and discover the plant-iful pleasures to be had in a bowl brimming with flavour, colour and texture.
The book opens with a detailed vegetarian pantry guide, followed by preparation and cooking tips (if a dish is to be served hot, always warm the bowl first!) and the whole bowls formula (suggested portions of grains, protein, starchy and non-starchy vegetables, condiments, crunch or garnish and cheese). The tone is upbeat, casual and inviting with options for every kind of eater, cook and appetite. Breakfast skipper? Whole Bowls might change your tune. Not only for the palate-pleasing photography, but for the descriptions therein. “If you choose the nursery coziness of warm grains, satisfy your inner epicurean with a cherry hazelnut pesto swirled into a snow bank of yogurt, or get your taste buds to stand at attention with a heady, crimson shakshuka,” Allison writes, “I do hope you’ll find they’re worthy of at least one meal of your day, be that at sunrise or sunset.” Oh I do, I do!
I made Allison’s yogurt bowl with cherry pesto and hazelnut oil-toasted oats for breakfast Saturday morning, swapping extra-virgin olive oil for the hazelnut because I couldn’t be bothered to look for it at the store. Like most of the recipes, it serves two or more, but it’s easy enough to adapt for one. The pesto is a cinch to whizz together in the food processor (I keep dark cherries in the freezer year-round) and a scrumptious sweetener for the plain Greek yogourt. And with the oats for the crunch, mmm! We have a winner. Next to try: pear muesli with figs; breakfast waldorf with millet porridge; and the toasted coconut chia pudding.
Sunday was sunshiney and I felt like a salad so we supped on south of the border bowls with walnut meat and grilled avocado. Only I didn’t grill the avocado (lazy!) and substituted tzatziki for sour cream because we had some in the fridge. Like the yogurt bowl it was super quick to throw together and adapt for two. This recipe would also be delicious as romaine roll-ups or stuffed in a pita. Next time we’ll try the patio bowls with sweet potato wedges, grilled lettuce and sticky bbq tempeh; curried falafel with kale salad; or the wine country salad with wild rice grape pilaf and halloumi. (Filling dishes with lots of greens that won’t leave you hungry an hour later like lighter fare.)
And for dinner Friday night: roasted vegetable bowls with fried eggs and goat cheese. I swapped cauliflower for broccoli because I forgot my list when I went to the grocery store (duh!) and didn’t remember about the goat cheese until we were nearly done so we’ll just try that next time. The roasted vegetables and rice both took 45 minutes to cook and I liked that you could just leave them to their own devices and putter for a while before frying an egg to slide on top at the last minute. Next time I’ll make extra rice and throw it in the freezer to have on hand (who knew you could freeze cooked rice? Allison, that’s who!). And I can’t wait to try the peanut tofu curry and the emerald bowls with mozzarella and pea hummus.
I didn’t make any of the dessert bowls but there’s all kinds of deliciousness like peach buckwheat crisp and the big bowl of cookie dough made healthy with chickpeas or white navy beans.
I’ve got a whole lot of love for Whole Bowls and I think you will too, so let’s get to the giveaway!
To enter to win a copy of Whole Bowls courtesy of Thomas Allen & Son, tell me which of the recipes mentioned in this post you’d make first.
For additional entries, feel free to tweet the following once per day, just leave the url for your tweet in the comments.
#Win a copy of @allison_day’s Whole Bowls from @thomasallenltd & @trysmallthings CAN 4/26 http://wp.me/p4xBed-1tF #wholebowls
The giveaway is open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) 18+ and ends at midnight on April 26, 2016.
Update April 27, 2016: Congratulations Suzanne B!
Thomas Allen & Son sent me a copy of Whole Bowls in exchange for a review. All opinions are mine, all mine!