Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Abundance Diet | Cookbook Review by Mary's Test Kitchen

You know I'm a big fan of Somer McGowan, having shared two recipes from her blog, So of course I pre-ordered her book as soon as I heard about it. I actually didn't realize that it was a healthy living kind of diet book even though it's called The Abundance Diet...dieting is so out of my mindset that it just didn't click. You guys know, I'm no health nut. But since I love Somer, the author as well as the season, I decided to try a bunch of recipes and finally do another video review. If you want more reviews, make sure you thumbs up this video and let me know what other reviews you want to see in the comments below.

So first was the Moroccan Lentil Soup. The main reason? Because I had all the ingredients already. The recipes in this book are oil-free as it focuses on getting all our necessary nutrients from whole foods. So we start with a bit of broth to saute our veggies instead of oil. After the onions are translucent, we add the spices. The spices really make this soup come alive and it smells so good. Then in go the rest of the ingredients. Last, I have red lentils and we'll take it to a boil. And then let it simmer until the lentils are done. Then in goes some lemon and cilantro to finish. Guys! This soup! I don't know if you can tell how huge this pot is but it's huge and this is supposed to be only four servings. But then, this book is called The Abundance Diet. The whole point is to eat a lot which will leave you full and satisfied but not gross. Because it's whole food, you get full on less calories but more nutrients than if you mixed in more processed foods and oils. So how was it? Delicious. Nice and thick, almost stew like, with wonderful Middle Eastern flavours from cumin and the other spices, and the lemon makes all the flavours bright and cheerful. IF a flavour could be cheerful. Why did I take so long to start trying recipes from this book? I don't know. 

Well, maybe because many of the recipes have you making one or two things to go into a main recipe. Like this taco salad. First, we made a roasted red pepper salad dressing. I cheated by using jarred red pepper. Brilliant. It's a bit like the Creamy Red Bell Pepper sauce that I love from Bryant Terry's Afro-vegan cookbook but lighter and brighter. I also made vegan sour cream and the recipe called for homemade salsa but I just didn't want to make another thing from scratch so I got store bought salsa. Then time to start the lentils. We start with sauteeing veggies in broth again. Then in go the rest of the ingredients. Mix it around a bit. And cover. I should've made the sauces during this time since the lentils would take 45 minutes or so. But I didn't think this one through very well. When it was finally time to plate this, I was starving. Good thing the portion sizes are humongous! On the lentil mountain, we add a generous heap of cashew sour cream first. Remember while it's a oil free cookbook, it incorporates moderate amounts of healthy fats from whole foods because we need them for hormones and stuff. I felt like there was so much flavour on this plate already that I might not need the red pepper dressing so I didn't put a lot on. Time to dig in. And this was INCREDIBLE. So good, every part of this salad worked together. I'm not super keen on salads but I could eat this every night, no problemo my friends. Finally, I wanted to make a dessert but sadly, most of the desserts I wanted to make either required a food processor which I don't have or gluten-free flour which I don't use. So instead I tried the the one thing I happened to have the ingredients for: Cherry Garcia. It's basically banana ice cream. And banana ice cream rocks. Especially with cherries and vegan chocolate chips. The sweetness level was perfect and as you may already know, banana ice cream is super filling too. This book is awesome if you want to eat healthy but don't want to diet in a restrictive way. There are meal plans and grocery lists to make things easy but there is some time commitment for sure. I mean, unless you're smart and have time saving equipment like a food processor. I should get a food processor.

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