The Great Life Cookbook ReviewAug 17 2012 by
This summer I had the amazing opportunity to get my certification in Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell. I absolutely LOVED this class and learned so much more about the benefits of plant based nutrition. The course is based off of the book The China Study by Dr. Campbell and I highly recommend you pick up this book. It is eye opening and will change everything you think about animal proteins (milk, meat, etc).
For the first part of my course I had an amazing instructor – Lewis Freedman. Lewis and his wife Priscilla have been eating a whole foods plant based diet for many many years and recently published their very first cookbook – The Great Life Cookbook. For over 15 years Lewis and his wife have been hosting Friday Dinners. People come and gather at their house and are served a delicious whole foods plant based meal. It’s a wonderful tradition that celebrates not only healthy, whole food, but friends and family as well. In The Great Life Cookbook they share with us their favorite Friday Dinner recipes.
While the recipes are based on serving sizes of around 20-24 people, all of them can easily be adjusted to fit your needs. I have long been a fan of corn muffins and couldn’t resist whipping up a batch as soon as I saw it in the book. I cut the recipe in half and also made them into mini muffins and couldn’t believe how moist and delicious these were. Seriously the BEST corn muffins EVER!!! I’ve enjoyed them almost everyday with my Krunchy Kale Salad and my husband has been having them with his Fiery Mexican Soup. I probably should have made the whole recipe since they didn’t last very long.
One of my favorite parts of this book is that each section features seasonal recipes. Every month has recipes dedicated to the seasonal produce that is available during that time. Each section is color coded for a specific month and the recipes are listed at the beginning. You’ll find tons of photos of not only the recipes but of the many people that participate in Friday Dinners. With over 95 recipes to choose from you’ll never have to wonder what’s for dinner again. Each month also has recipes for each course. The book is laid our perfectly to help you host your own dinner party or to spoil your family with an amazing meal!
I’ve already tried a handful of recipes and so far I’ve loved them all. If you’re a fan of desserts you have got to try Theresa’s Blueberry Crunch Cake (page 146) – it was amazing! Although it’s technically a March recipe I couldn’t help but try the Millet Almond Balls (page 64). I added some minced garlic and did half parsley and half chives – I could have eaten every single ball myself! They would be a great starter for a dinner party. They will definitely be going on my list of recipes for Thanksgiving this year.
I’ve always believed that if you take whole, natural foods you can make amazing meals that are full of all the flavors the earth has blessed us with. This cookbook does exactly that. It takes whole foods and creates delicious gluten free meals that are perfect for the whole family. You’ll also notice that most recipes are either very low in oil or contains none at all. Even though there is a lack of oil, you won’t be missing out on any flavor.
A lot of cookbooks that are geared towards those on a plant based diet are somewhat advanced and require a lot of specialized ingredients. The Great Life Cookbook has recipes that are perfect for those just starting out as well as the veterans out there that are looking to expand their daily meals with some variety. Most of the recipes require simple, everyday items that you’ll already have in your pantry and for those that need a little more help or background knowledge, the last chapter is an apprentice guide that shows you the basics. You’ll find tips for working with vegetables, cooking styles, thickeners, sweeteners and host of other information all in one place. It’s a valuable guide and so helpful for those that are just starting out on a plant based journey.
For more information on this amazing book or to purchase a copy of your very own check out their website – The Great Life Cookbook. It’s truly a fantastic cookbook and one that you’ll love having as a part of your collection.