'The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook' certainly lives up to its title. With over 200 pages of content it covers pretty much everything when it comes to cooking, and baking!, with Quinoa. The pictures of the recipes, all by the author herself, are gorgeous and give you a good impression what the finished meal will look like. The recipes themselves are easy to follow and have all nutritional information included.
A nice touch are the recipe variations for people that follow a special diet, like vegan, gluten free or eating clean. Each recipe follows a clear set-up with list of ingredients needed, a photo (or more!) of the finished meal, cooking and baking directions, the necessary additional steps to make it vegan, gluten-free or cleaner and the relevant nutritional information. The directions are easy to follow, detailed without getting boring and there are also some useful general cooking and baking tips interspersed, like how to make perfectly brown pancakes.
A well thought out index, the food photography and some beautifully designed transitional pages make this book real eye candy, but its true value lies in its recipes that prove over and over again that healthy food can be yummy and doesn't have to be boring at all. This Quinoa cook book really made me run to the next health store to stock up on my Quinoa supply and start out to try some of the recipes!
If you care, like me, for healthy eating AND don't want to compromise on taste and visual appeal of your meals, this cook book is right for you. Whilst the book is aimed mostly at vegetarians, there also a few dishes included for 'meat eaters' and obviously, all the side dishes, salads and so on can be easily combined with a nice steak or healthy steamed fish. Healthy food has never tasted so good! Here a few of my favorite recipes so far:
Quinoa Black Bean Soup
Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese, Raspberries and Balsamic Walnuts
Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Butternut Squash Gratin (that one especially made my hubby's mouth water, served with a nice steak of course!)
Lentil, Chickpea and Quinoa Burger with Cilantro Garlic Cream
Chocolate Chip Cherry Quinoa Cookies (try to say this five times fast in a row ;-))
Sorted from breakfast to dessert, it would be easy to prepare a whole menu based on Quinoa with this cookbook without it getting boring. If you are looking to add one more 'healthy cooking book' to your collection and / or if you are looking for a gift for a 'health nut', this is the book for you! And seriously, even if you are not into healthy living, this book's recipes are just too yummy to miss.
As no review is truly complete without mentioning also some negative points and caveats with a product, here they are:
Whilst the book concentrates mainly on cooking from scratch, what I am a big fan of, a few recipes involve using pre-made food like 'tubes of Quinoa Polenta'. Not a great deal for some, but I thought I mention it. Nothing else, really, sorry, this cookbook is as perfect as you could wish for.
Oh yes, one more, you will develop a healthy appetite by just looking at the images of the prepared meals ;-)