Monday, 19 March 2012

Book Review - The Healthy Voyagers Global Kitchen

The premise of this book appeals to me on so many levels. As a pretty well-travelled person it gives me the opportunity to re-visit some destinations I've loved, by revisiting the food I ate there (or a vegan version of it for those pre-vegan travels). This book also gives the opportunity for the expansion of culinary "trips" - without ever leaving home. Its the sort of book where you can say to yourself, "which country do I feel like visiting today", and then head off there. (Maybe after a visit to the store to stock up, of course)

The book is sectioned by country (or region) so all the like dishes are grouped together, enabling your to make a full meal from a country (or region). My only negative with that is that there needs to be an alternate table of contents listing the dishes by a more traditional meal breakdown - "Soups" "Salads" "Desserts" and the like. It is sort of done in the index at the back but it would be nicer it this were more accessible. There is a nice introductory section, including ingredients list, and there are lots of lovely colour photos (if you like lots of photos) and the recipes are easily laid out each on a page.

On to the recipes I made (in page number order as always) -

Page 56 - Quinoa Risotto with Mushrooms and Yellow Peppers

I found the method here pretty time consuming (at least double time stated and using more broth than indicated) without the payoff you get with risotto rice (the creaminess) so if making again would likely cook the quinoa in a less risotto like manner. I did enjoy the finished dish very much!

Page 66 - Plantain Crisps with Garlic Sauce

I loved this one! I used the lleftover sauce as a tofu marinade and that was divine too.

Page 82 - Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas

My husband found the sauce too tart / sour for his tastes whereas I really enjoyed the whole dish - leftovers for me! It came together quicker than many enchilada recipes I have made in the past.

Page 83 - Caramel Flan

This was firmer than I had expected - I thought it would be a less structured texture. It was nice, don't get me wrong just not what I had expected.

Page 101 - Shepherd's Day Off Pie

Nice. Made with reconstituted TVP instead of bought ground "beef". Very much comfort food!

Page 111 - Potato and Egg Frittata

This was didn't work for me. I ended up with a mess in my pan as the crust ripped as I tried to flip and had to be scraped before I could cook the other side.... It all tasted nice in the end and the salsa with it was lovely, but not pretty!

Page 117 - Tres Bien Salad Nicoise

Nice salad. Lots of flavor and while a little time consuming (for a salad), worth it for the result.

Page 124 - Creme de la Creme Brulee

Nice enough, but still not the perfect creme brulee I am searching for....

Page 163 - Greek Salad

I forgot the olives so excuse their omission in the picture. I also found there was no need for the dressing on the salad as their was lots of flavorful marinade which did the job.

Page 182 - Garlic Hummus

I'm a garlic lover but this was too garlicy for me. The 2 tablespoons of minced garlic was 7 cloves, and that with 1 can chickpeas was overpowering.

Page 183 - Falafel

Another which didn't work - I tried to fry them and they completely disintegrated in my oil. I baked the rest. Flavor was not as vibrant as I was expecting.

Page 193 - Sukuma Wiki with Ugali

I didn't make the Ugali - which is traditionally from Manioc not Cornmeal, and I had enough whilst travelling in East Africa! The greens were very good, though I do remember the ones in Tanzania being mainly spinach based.

Page 208 - Chana Masala

Nice. Very tasty, and just as nice the next day cold and mashed and used in a wrap!

Page 209 - Aloo Gobi

Pictured, above. OK but a little on the bland side - maybe my fault for serving with the intensely flavorful chickpeas!

Page 227 - Peanutty Pad Thai

Nice sauce! Would make the sauce to eat as a sauce. Rest was nice enough - but with the sauce - wow!

Recommended? For sure! If you like your food to transport you to somewhere else then by all means buy.

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