5 reasons I love this book:
The recipes are normal
As in I don't have to travel outside of my small town grocery store to find what I need. Have you been to a Super Store lately? If I can't find what I need in town ("IN. TOWN." - Gawd I sound like my grandmother - who did not live in town BTW - but just outside of town. She had to go "in town" to go to the store. What would she think of the Super Store anyway? - I can't even...)
So... what I mean is, if I can't find an ingredient in town, I don't make it. It's that simple. One trip the Super Store over the holidays and I swear I am never. ever. going back.
So so many actually useful tips
This book if full of really great tips and tricks to eat healthy and economically. Not just for vegans. We are talking real practical things, like how to shop the big box, and use coupons and buy healthy foods, staying on a food budget. Tips you can actually use. There is a misconception that eating healthy costs more. It doesn't have to. With a little planning and effort in the kitchen (not necessarily a lot of effort, just more than "heat and serve" level of effort) healthy food can be down right cheap!
I'm an accountant so I relate to numbers. The Shannons provide estimated cost per serving with each recipe. It's a lovely thing. For those that are also going on a "financial diet" in the New Year (It happen's. The holidays. I can relate) these tips might be really important.
And while I have never checked their numbers and I feel that in Canada our costs are just higher -- and I'm shopping at that small little store in town so apparently everything is more expensive there (although I don't believe it) - I find this information really eye-opening. When compared to a filling one-pot-meal that costs $1.52 per serving, that frozen small pizza doesn't seem much of bargain anymore. Especially when you consider you will need two to feed a family of four - and you will feel all the guilt if you do not also serve some sort of vege to round out the meal.
Beyond Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Yes, the usual or routine chapters always found in food cookbooks are here, but we also have a chapter dedicated to leftovers! Recipes that serve for a meal and another recipe or two that uses up the leftovers to make something complete different. That folks is cooking once to eat twice (at least)!
And! - there is a special occasion section here that will help with all those social situations where having something to eat feels just a bit awkward when you are trying to stick to a new diet.
This box at the end of each recipe
After each of the recipes in the book there is a little box that has suggestions for using any leftover ingredients. Like say you needed half a green pepper for a dinner recipe - in this little box there would be a list of a few other recipes where you could use what's left of that pepper - making meal planning and shopping so much easier. No more half used up pieces produce lurking in the bottom of crisper.
The book feels a little old school. Its unusual these days to pick up a cookbook that does not have a gorgeous food photo with every recipe. But back in the day,cookbooks focused on recipes not photos. I'm not complaining. I do like photos in my cookbooks - but there is something refreshing about getting a book that has more recipes than photos. And that to me is a good thing. Makes the whole thing feel that more practical,don't ya think?
A reminder there is a major vegan cookbook giveaway going on here. Five prizes open to Canadians.