Full disclosure: I have a huge crush on Terry Walters. She is like the Martha Stewart of vegans. Plus she lives in Connecticut and often holds local events! I’ve had her other cookbook, Clean Start, for a year or so and absolutely love it. So when Santa finally brought me this revised, extended edition of her first book, Clean Food, (thanks mom!), I made embarrassing squealing noises and then ran into the kitchen to start making stuff.
A little background – this book is 100% vegan, but not promoted that way, which I like, because it’s kinda saying, “Hey folks, look at these simple, amazingly delicious meals, and.. oh, what? There aren’t any animal products in them? Oh I TOTALLY didn’t even realize that…” Trick ’em into veganism, I say!
The recipes are organized by season, so the ingredients in each are always locally available (and fresh), and most are incredibly healthy without looking or tasting so. Think Tofu and Kale Lasagna, Lemony Artichoke Dip, Sweet Potato and Parsnip Pancakes, Chocolate Lover’s Tart, Chestnut Stuffing, Pad Thai, Pear and Fig Tart, Setain Shepard’s Pie, Tirasmisu, Lentil Apple Walnut Loaf… I could go on, but, seriously I’m getting hungry and I just ate lunch.
The dishes are full of local produce, and the revised version is completely gluten-free, which is great for those who need that, and honestly, the rest of us could probably stand to eat a little less wheat-y stuff, amIright? Instructions are simple, and the photography is beautiful, natural and really mouth-watering. Plus, there’s a lovely intro with information about eating a plant-powered diet, stocking a pantry, cooking with grains and fresh produce, etc. etc., which makes it a great gift for someone who might be considering the ol’ compassionate switcheroo.
I was forced to wait a WHOLE DAY to make something from this book, and promptly chose the Sweet Potato, Kale, and Corn Chowder because we all know I’m obsessed with soup, it contains pretty much all of my favorite foods AND gave me the chance to use my fancy new immersion blender (thanks mom again!) and pretend that I was on Top Chef. Which Terry Walters should totally be on, and show all those meat-freaks who runs shit.
Guys, the soup…was… insane. So so delicious. Creamy, perfect flavors, satisfying, and healthy. The omnivorous boyfriend (yeah, I know, we’re working on him) went back for seconds, and I enjoyed the leftovers today for lunch and I’m really really sad it’s all gone. I would reprint the recipe with my slight modifications but I’m not totally sure how legal that is and I don’t want to do anything to make Terry mad at me, as that would probably hurt my chances of being invited to cook with her in her home kitchen, after which we would ride our bikes to get pedicures and chat about gardening over tea.
In conclusion, I love Terry Walters and am probably now banned from coming within 35 feet of her in any public place but it was worth it because I needed to let you guys in on the glory that is this cookbook. Grab those Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift cards and get your hands on one.
PS – I was not compensated in any way for this review, nor am I actually friends with Terry Walters (yet). My mom really bought me the book, and then told me she was going to steal it from me because of how amazing it looks. SEE?!
(all photos courtesy of terrywalters.net)