Sarah Copeland’s cook book, Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for any eater and every appetite is definitely for the Granola set.
The French-Canadian slang expression, “Elle est une granola” translates to “she’s a health-food nut or a hippie-type person.” I’m a granola girl who lives with, and accommodates, a meat-and-potatoes family.
I’ve shared a meal with hundreds of different people. Fewer than ten of them would be consistently satisfied, meal after meal, drawing from only the recipes in this book. Sarah is definitely using this book to promote her food philosophy–that eating a plant-based diet is good for health and good for the planet. I was willing to put up with a little prosthelytizing because the food intrigued me. Plus, she gives the right advice about cooking in cast iron, so I trusted her recipes would be good.
Who will like this book?
- Anyone who wants to accommodate vegetarian eaters, without causing everyone else to feel deprived;
- People who like variety and enjoy trying new foods and combinations;
- Those who like a pretty cook book, with a balanced mix of quick and elaborate, exciting, healthy, tasty recipes.
The book is divided into 9 chapters, with some helpful, interesting cook-y stuff at the front and back–how to stock your pantry; what essential tools you need; and tips and tricks for kitchen prep work. The chapters are:
- Breakfast and Brunch: great ideas for starting your day with whole grains and veggies; a good balance of sweet & savory dishes; eggs; hot cereals; and even from-scratch 4-grain English muffins (make a batch for the freezer!)
- Little Meals: including soups.
- Salads and Sides: I was drawn to the beauty and the flavors of Roasted Carrot, Hazelnut and Radicchio Salad with Honey and Orange.
- Sandwiches and Sides: inventive ways to extinguish your ho-hum.
- Meals in a bowl: My favorite chapter. Want to share a Soba Noodle Bowl with Broccolini and Bok Choy with me? How about some cheese grits with black beans and avocado?
- Platefuls: mostly healthy takes on pasta.
- Meals to Share: for gatherings large and small.
- Sweets: all of which I can eat (!!) because they’re not loaded with refined white sugar and flour.
- Pickles, Sauces and Such: The kimchee recipe isn’t super-authentic, but it tastes great, and keeps for months in the refrigerator.
Who won’t like this book?
- People addicted to salty-greasy, highly-processed International Fast Chain stuff (I can’t call it food).
My one quibble — there is no nutritional analysis in the book. I suppose the marketing plan was to promote the fact that this is scrumptious food (the photos are nearly edible) while minimizing the truth that this food is good for you (because evidently people are naturally down on whatever is good for them?)
I won’t cook exclusively from Sarah Copeland’s Feast, but I’m glad to have found it.
Are you down on what’s good for you? What’s your food philosophy? Do you care about nutritional analysis?