By David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl
Photography originally by Johanna Frenkiel
I couldn’t resist choosing this book for my first review. It was gifted to me almost two years ago now. The first of a few bloggers’ cookbooks that I have since collected.
I imagine many of you are familiar with their blog Green Kitchen Stories. It abounds with imaginative and radiant vegetarian fare, captured clearly in all its colourful glory. Their first book The Green Kitchen is a beautiful addition. It contains 100 exquisite vegetarian recipes, many of them gluten free, with plenty of tips for vegan or allergy friendly adaptations.
Starting out, a concise introduction provides a glimpse into their journey toward wholefoods. Similar to many blogger’s cookbooks ‘Inside Our Pantry’ is their list of wholefoods. An absolute bonanza. Extensive yet approachable with descriptions kept to a sentence or two. ‘Healthy Start’ is unique. It describes their approach to introducing kids to healthy food. It’s a refreshing reminder that a little preparation, diligence and integrity can make kids meal times less of a battle ground. In ‘Basic Methods’ you will find a how-to of daily essentials made from scratch: Veggie Stock, Ghee, Yoghurt and Sprouts amoung others. Perfect for those of you trying to avoid ready made supermarket food.
In the ‘Mornings’ there is enough variety to please any palate and meet any schedule. Flowered Granola for those on the run or Blackberry Oatmeal for laid-back weekend brunches. Buckwheat & Ginger porridge for cold winter mornings or Stone Fruit Salad with Creamy Goat’s Cheese for hot summer days. A Frittata and Omelette for the egg-lovers and Flour-Free Banana & Coconut Pancakes for the sweet tooth’s. Best of all these recipes are easily used as a base to build dishes using seasonal on-hand ingredients.
‘Lighter Meals’ I have used less. Ingredients such as Nettles for a pesto or Jerusalem Artichokes for a salad are harder to come by. A Cauliflower Pizza Base is original but a little too alternative even for my tastes. Pizza ain’t pizza without a thin crunchy crust! That said the hearty Tomato & Chickpea Soup and the green and sprightly Baked Herb & Pistachio Falafel always hit the spot.
Encouraging us all to get outdoors is ‘Good to Go’ full of light and savoury picnic fare. Think golden crisped Fennel & Coconut Tart, juicy Beetroot, Apple & Goat’s Cheese Wraps and potent Potato Salad with Dill & Horseradish.
‘Family Dinners’ are the recipes I return to again and again. Inspired by cuisines around the world but with a twist at every turn. A creamy and sweet Apricot & Cauliflower Dal from India, warmly spiced Moroccan Vegetable Tagine, ingenious Japanese Sushi Explosion and a Scandinavian Hash Pan perfect for emptying out the fridge. All smack with flavour yet are simple enough to throw together on busy week nights.
Sides and condiments turn up in ‘Small Bites’. The Red Pepper & Rosemary Spread is incredible and the Sage & Walnut Pâte is impressively that, a Pâte. Don’t mistake it for a dip.
I’ve hardly touched ‘Drinks’. They are not usually something I hunt down a recipe for. However, there are a few colourful pages on juicing and smoothies which are an informative starting point if you are new to it.
Finishing with a bang is ‘Sweets & Treats’. Using natural sweeteners, whole grains and even sneaking in a few veggies they have created an array of healthier desserts. Spirulina Chocolate Truffles and home made Fruit Roll ups delightfully hit the spot when inevitable sugar cravings arise. The Cardamom & Apple Buns are a perfect balance of sweet and spice and the Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake on a Sunflower Crust is an absolute hit.
The Green Kitchen is spirited and refreshing but more importantly educational and accessible. For those who aren’t familiar with a wholefoods lifestyle it will open you up to new ingredients and techniques. For those who are, it will inspire you to continue experimenting and discovering. Best of all The Green Kitchen will warm you with nutritious and scrumptious food. What more could we ask for?
Got a favourite GKS recipe?