Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Got a Bowl? Grab a Spoon!

Sara Forte's second cookbook, Bowl and Spoon, is a visual feast chocked full of sumptuous bowls of vibrant fare tempting even the pickiest eaters to try a taste.

Forte is a blogger (her husband Hugh is a photographer who enjoys his wife's cooking and capturing said food for the beautiful illustrations in Bowl and Spoon) to whom I was introduced to via this book. She fully admits she is simply a home cook with an interest in good food that is simple and nutritious. She has no culinary school training. And I find that truly inspiring! I figure if Sara has no special, "insider" foodie knowledge and can put together such comforting and wholesome dishes which are loved by her family and friends, then--by golly--so can I!

Another reason I love this book is because the impetus behind Forte's cooking style is a "farm to table" mentality. She uses what is available at the time from her own garden, the local farmer's market, or the local produce section. I am trying to do this more and more in my own cooking as well. Forte's Bowl and Spoon does it in a helpful way, allowing for regional differences and growing seasons. She offers up options, basically saying this is what's available where she lives--you might try this or that if it's what you've got where you live! I love it when a recipe's author is willing to allow (or even encourages!) the user/cook to stray from the recipe and make it their own.

The book is divided into different "bowls" . . . breakfast bowls, small/side bowls, big bowls (main dishes), and dessert bowls. Don't let the title fool you: this is not a book about soup or other "traditional" bowl foods. Forte's recipes will surprise and delight you in the way she combines grains, lean protein, veggies and sauces. And who doesn't love being able to serve the whole meal in one vessel? There is something very comforting about eating something from a bowl!

If you are a person who needs to have definitive nutritional information for the food you make, make note that Bowl and Spoon doesn't include such info with the recipes. Each recipe does have a brief introduction and is easy to follow. Most are accompanied by large, rich photographs of the finished dishes. I love the photos, the layout of the book, and the typeset. Bowl and Spoon has the look and feel of a coffee table book, but take it to the kitchen as I do believe you will want to try the recipes within!

I received my copy of Bowl and Spoon from bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for this review.

From the Publisher . . .

In this follow-up to her successful first book, The Sprouted Kitchen, blogger and author Sara Forte turns her attention to bowl food, which combines vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in one vessel to make a simple, complete, and nutritious meal.

The bowl is a perfect vessel in which to create simple, delicious, and healthy meals. When gathered together in a single dish, lean proteins, greens, vegetables, and whole grains nestle against each other in a unique marriage of flavor and texture. This is how Sara Forte, beloved food blogger and author of the James Beard Award–nominated book The Sprouted Kitchen, cooks every day—creating sumptuous recipes colorful enough to serve guests, simple enough to eat with a spoon while sitting on the couch, and in amounts plentiful enough to have easy leftovers for lunch the next day. In this visually stunning collection that reflects a new and healthier approach to quick and easy cooking, Sara offers delicious, produce-forward recipes for every meal, such as Golden Quinoa and Butternut Breakfast Bowl; Spring Noodles with Artichokes, Pecorino, and Charred Lemons; Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce; and Cocoa Nib Pavlovas with Mixed Berries.

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