Saturday, June 13, 2015
The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon Cookbook Review
You may know Sara Forte from her popular foodie blog, The Sprouted Kitchen, which focuses on making recipes using whole foods that are also in season. She and her husband have compiled two fabulous cookbooks: the first is called The Sprouted Kitchen after her blog and the most recent one is called Bowl + Spoon. Her recipes are sumptuous, nutritious, and easy to make if you have the ingredients at hand. She doesn't over-complicate anything and uses ingredients that help us get back to eating healthier. Her husband, Hugh Forte, is the talent behind the camera. He photographs all the gorgeous photos on her blog and in her books. They also have a little boy named Curran, who I think has a very adorable name!
When I think of bowl foods I think of; breakfast foods like: hot oatmeal, other hot and cold cereals, and yogurt with fruit and granola; comfort foods like: soups, chili, stews, and chowders; and others like: salads and stir-fries. One of my favorite places to eat out is Chang's Mongolian Grill in Portland, which is a restaurant where you create your own stir-fry in a bowl using a variety of meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables, sauces, and spices. I have come up with many a yummy combination with the ingredients they have on hand. Bowls are my favorite vessel to put food into at home because usually my meals are foods that go well mixed together anyway, in my opinion. I love making one pot meals, casseroles, and quiches that lend themselves easily to a bowl as well. My favorite desserts to make tend to be fruit crumbles, crisps, and cobblers which also are great in a bowl dolloped with ice cream.
The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon cookbook is a hardcover book by Sara Forte which focuses food around the use of a bowl. The bowl has become a beautiful vessel for all types of foods not just the popular ones that come to mind. Sara's take on bowl foods is refreshing and enlightening. She creates meals and desserts that are somewhat unique to the regular bowl food repertoire, yet are easy to fix while also being wholesome, nourishing, and delicious.
The layout of the book is fairly straightforward. Contents of this book start with an overview, a list of tools needed in the kitchen, and pantry staples. After these pages it has categories of bowl foods split into: Morning Bowls, Side Bowls, Big Bowls, and Sweet Bowls with recipes throughout. Then it has a section that covers Dressing and Sauces with recipes for those. The end of the cookbook is a lovely epilogue of thankfulness from the author to people that helped her with the making of the book, an "about us" page that tells about the author and photographer, an index to find things easier and some handy measurement conversion charts on the inside of the back cover.
The ingredients in this cookbook are a menagerie of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and/or lean proteins that are nestled against each other to create a distinctive blend of flavor and texture. This is not a strictly vegetarian or vegan cookbook. There is use of dairy, chicken, turkey, eggs, seafood, etc. in this book. Some of the ingredients are not what I usually have at hand in my kitchen pantry, but I am reassured by the author that I can find them all easily at a "farmers' market, heath food store, or wellstocked grocery store". Put together in a bowl these ingredients are very visually appealing, and perfect to serve to: guests when entertaining or your family while sitting on your sofa.
The recipes in this book are easily executed. The instructions are simple to reproduce and the directions are uncomplicated. Some of these recipes do call for more time than most care to invest, but in my opinion they are worth it because they are a lot healthier than the average food faire. I do wish that all of the recipes were accompanied by the photograph of the completed dish, but not all of them are. Instead some have pictures of the author, her family, entertaining, and/or part of the ingredients of the recipe displayed in a pleasing manner. I do love these photographs too, but having photos of each completed recipe would have been more helpful to people like me who are very visual and love to see what the food should end up looking like before making the recipe. Every recipe in The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon cookbook has a title at the top, how many it serves, a story with tips, ingredient list, and directions on how to prepare and make. I love that Sara puts her personal touch in each recipe with a short story that goes along with each. My favorite yummy sounding recipes in this book are: Baby Potato and Asparagus Tangle with Green Harissa and Eggs, Winter Fruit Salad in Ginger Lime Syrup, Mixed Greens with Beet and Walnut Puree, Za'atar Roasted Carrots, Seared Albacore Niçoise, Coconut Sorbet with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce, & Dark Cherry Hazelnut Salsa. I also love that she adds a Building a Bowl guide to building your own bowl meal from scratch.
All in all I believe this cookbook is a lovely addition to my cookbook shelf. It will be treasured in my kitchen. I am excited to make the recipes inside its pages for my family and friends.
DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Blogging For Books for sending me this book for free to review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.