Category: Cooking

New Cookbooks for the New Year

I want to share a couple of new cookbooks I recently received.  They were both gifts from my oldest son this past Christmas.  He usually asks me what books I would like, especially after last Mother’s Day when he bought me two juicing – smoothie books I already owned.  I have learned it is best to give him a list of a few and just tell him to pick one or two.  This past Christmas he bought me Meat Free Monday and Inspiralize Everything.

Meat Free Monday cookbook

Inspiralize Everything cookbook

I really like both of the cookbooks a lot.  I have already tried many of the recipes from the Meat Free Monday book.  The idea of this book is to go meat free for one day each week, specifically Monday – even if you are not a vegetarian.  This campaign was launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009.

There is a whole menu for each of the different seasons:  Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter with 13 weeks of meat free recipes for each season.  The recipes are fairly easy to follow and the book has a lot of really nice photos of the recipes.  There is a recipe for breakfast, lunch, sides, snacks, dinner-main course, and a dessert for each week.

So far I have tried these recipes:

  • Winter Fruit Salad
  • Lentil, Chickpea, Cheddar and Onion Burgers
  • Black Eyed Bean Casserole
  • Apple Cake
  • Roasted Vegetables and Miso Dressing with Sesame Seeds
  • Bircher Muesli with Apple

I have only tried one recipe from the Inspiralize Everything book.  I have intentions to try a lot more I just haven’t put them in to my weekly menu plans yet.  Also, it seems like my husband likes everything I make with the spiralizer but getting my 3 teenage sons to try it is another thing.  They are not big on trying “new” things.  They like the spiral potatoes – fries that I have made a few times and baked in the oven.

The Inspiralize Everything book is nice to have if you own a spiralizer of some sort.  It gives an A to Z list of different fruits and vegetables you can spiralize and at least 2 to 4 recipes for that particular fruit or vegetable.  I purchased the Kitchen Aid Spiral attachment for my mixer a few months ago.  You can look in my blog archive for a post I did about the Spiral attachment.

In my opinion both of these books are a great addition to my library of cookbooks.  If you are looking for some good vegetarian recipes that are healthy and taste good I would definitely recommend getting the Meat Free Monday book.

Have a great day!



New Kitchen Gadget

Well, I finally decided to get with the spiralizing craze.  I know that spiralizers have been popular for a while now but I was reluctant to buy another gadget that I would have to find room for in my kitchen.  After picking up a book from the library about a month ago on spiralizing foods I got motivated to do some research on them and figure out which one would work for me and my needs.  The book I found and really liked a lot of the recipes in was called Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci.  Inspiralized book from library

So, the book (above) actually inspired me to get my spiralizer.  The one I choose to purchase was the attachment for my kitchen aid mixer.  I watched a couple of videos on YouTube about the attachment then went to Bed Bath and Beyond with my 20 percent off coupon and bought one.  I looked at a couple of other ones that were manual (and cheaper) but this one that operates with the mixer motor seemed like it would be much quicker and easier to spiral certain things like sweet potatoes that are kind of hard.  kitchen aid spiralizer attachment

Above is a photo of the attachment – it even has an optional peeler that will peel your fruit or vegetable as it spirals it.  The whole thing works really well in my opinion.  I have been using it at least 4 or 5 times a week since I bought it about a month ago.  This is a really great way to eat more fruits and vegetables.  I really like how it spirals everything very uniform and it is fun to cook with zucchini or yellow squash noodles.  It also makes fun curly fries – regular or sweet potato – that you can bake in the oven.  My husband and I love the sweet potato strings or fries.  I have made those a few times now.

kitchen aid spiralizer with apple

kitchen aid spiralizer with peeled apple

Above photos are of the attachment spiralizing an apple and it will peel it at the same time.  This is perfect for apple crisps or pies.  Once they are spiraled you just cut them into fourths and use them in your recipe.  I have also made a wonderful cranberry applesauce in my crock pot twice and these apple are great for that recipe.

There are lots of great recipes on pinterest using spiralizers and you can find several books as well.  I found a few books at my local library and have told my son I would like the book Inspiralize Everything by Ali Maffucci for Christmas.  I like the recipes in that book a lot and it explains how to spiralize fruits and vegetable from A to Z.  I am also taking some of my existing recipes and converting them to use spiraled fruits or veggies – it is a fun way to cook and increase the amount of nutrition in your diet.

So, overall I really love this new attachment.  If you are thinking of buying one I would recommend it.  It is easy to use, easy to clean – the 4 blades it comes with are dishwasher safe, the main attachment that goes on the mixer you just wipe off but it really does not even touch the food items that much.  Also, it comes in a very nice box that all the pieces fit in and can be stored in a cabinet or your pantry.

I hope everyone is having a great December and has a Merry Christmas!