I have been meaning to tell you all about this wonderful book, for the past week. I seriously have been getting all excited about, however, anytime I have been getting ready to write, I have been looking all over for the book. What does this tell you that I am a scatterbrain? Well, not quite, if you know me, actually, that is a good thing. When I like a book, and start reading it, I sneak reading it between games, train rides, practice and the whole gamut, the problem with that carry the book with me approach, is that the book also ends up all over the place. And yes, I had truly enjoyed browsing through and reading, The Passionate Vegetable.
There are many ways to cutting the healthy food circuit and no matter how you slice it at the core we are talking about a good amount of vegetables. The key to note is that vegetables are colorful and exciting. To feed my family, I am constantly looking for new ideas to bring by way of healthy eating, sure I have a few of my own, but it never hurts to have diversity.
This is where a book like The Passionate Vegetable comes in handy. A nicely styled substantial volume, this book is bursting with colorful and enticing recipes, the kind created with possibly a family in focus. Actually, Chef Suzanne Landry in her acknowledgements mentions that her sons were the reasons that started her on the healthy cooking journey. Some of her inspiration also came from her father who suffered for over 17 years of recurring cancer.
The book is filled with thoughtful notes on whole grains, legumes, lifestyle choices such as, “when to” or “when not to go gluten-free”. The recipes inspired by an assortment of global influences, ranging from Thai style coconut chickpeas, Indian seasoned curries, Mexican Black Bean and Corn Salad, Marvelous Minestrone, ensure that there is absolutely no chance of getting bored on the dinner table with these recipes. The general use of ingredients is very practical, mostly working with stuff you are likely to find in a regularly stocked (ok a well-stocked) pantry. The point being, I have tried three recipes so far and was able to do so without actually venturing out for anything special. The recipes are fairly adapatable, since they have lots of suggested substitutions.
Today’s recipe that I have pictured here is the Chinatown Sweet and Sour Bok Choy. I have listed the recipe as is, from the book but will tell you that I did make two variations to make this work with my pantry. I used more cabbage than bok choi, since that is what I had on hand. I also reduced the amount of honey in the recipe. Now, that is again a personal preference.
Overall, I am really excited to have a book like this just in time for summer. If you are looking for new ways to introduce some healthy goodness to your life, my recommendation is that this is the book for you. If you read through the instructions, you will see how detailed and complete the instructions are. Take for instance in this recipe, she even tells you how to chop the Bok Choi.
Recipe from The Passionate Vegetable, Suzanne Landry
- 1 head bok choy
- 2 tablespoons light sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup carrots, cut into thin matchsticks
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot or organic cornstarch
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 cup honey (1 used 11/2 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons raw apple cide vinegar
- Separate the leaves of bok choy and discard outer leaves that might be bruised or pithy. Rinse bok choy thoroughly. Cut away bottom white secon of bok chou for the grean leafy tops. Place 2 stems of the white bottoms on top of each other and slice down the middle lengthwise. Cut into 1/2-inch diagonal slices. Place the leafy green tops on top of each other and cut in half. Fold over and cut again in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Keep separate for now.
- Preheat sesame oil in frying pan and sauce ginger for 30 seconds. Add red cabbage and carrots and saute for another 2 minutes. Add bottoms of boy choy and salt. Cover and simmer on low heat for 3 minutes.
- Prepare sauce by dissolving arrowroot or cornstarch in the cold water. Add soy sauce, honey and vinegar, and mix. Pour on the vegetables and stir until dressing thickens and becomes clear. Now place the greens on top. Do not stir in. Cover and steam for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.