Sunday, March 1, 2015


Let me start by saying that I love the concept of Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide.  It's how we cook here...less processed, more homemade, vegetable based, healthier eating.  The problem is we're not always good, I do a decent amount of deep frying...mmm French fries.  The Hubby is also having a hard time wrapping his head around meals without meat being a real meal and not just an appetizer.
This book starts with a bit of info on the how's, why's and importance of eating better.  It's just enough information to be helpful without being so much that you feel like you're getting a boring lecture on nutrition.  Included in part one, was a 3-day action plan.  Basically, the same three meals for three days.  The three recipes you need are written as three servings, which makes it easy to cook it all at one shot, and then your set for three days.  I thought about jumping right in and doing it, but I realized I should probably test drive some of these recipes first.

Now I am an adventurous cook.  I use a lot of spices and techniques that maybe the average home cook would not be interested in.  This book is not for weirdos like me, it's really set up for the regular home cook.  The recipes are pretty simple, most having ten or less ingredients.  While I don't normally have arugula or watercress, the pictures in here are so appealing, I may actually go out and buy some.  I had tofu sitting in the fridge and a whole wheat ciabatta loaf in the bread box, so I thought this grilled tofu recipe would be a good place to start.

The chimichurri recipe was easy.  I did substitute dried oregano for fresh since my oregano is currently hiding under a layer of snow outside.

While the tofu was marinating, I got to thinking that the super simple avocado and cucumber salad that made up the second part of this recipe was not grabbing me.  And I knew if the Hubby came home to tofu on toast for lunch, he'd say thank you and eat it; but, then he'd quietly make himself something else because this was not going to be enough food.  Plus, honestly, while I like tofu, the idea of eating it on grilled bread...well, I wasn't sold on it yet.

Well, guess what?  Everyone liked the finished product...although it did feel like it was missing a little something.  I know my version looks like way more chimichurri than the picture in the book, but there are a bunch of videos on youtube that correspond with the recipes in this book.  In that video, they pile it on, so I did too.
In lieu of the avocado and cucumber salad that went with this recipe, I tried out the salad that's part of the 3 day action plan. You start with a beet slaw, then mix it with arugula (I used romaine, since like I said, I never have arugula) and top it was sunflower seeds and avocado.  Honestly, I could have used a handful of dried cranberries for some sweetness, but this was a tasty and incredibly filling salad.  I used to think beets tasted like dirt.  This recipe changed my mind. 

None of us were super hungry come dinner time.  I guess a salad with more than romaine and a handful of random veggies can actually be filling!  Since the salad worked out so well, I figured I'd roll the dice with the 3 day action plan soup, carrot, spinach, and green bean soup with dill. 

This actually has a ton of carrots, but they sunk to the bottom, hence you can't see them in the picture.  This soup was so easy, completely vegetarian, and really good.  I never would have thought to make such a carrot and string bean heavy soup.  Especially with water and no stock.  Much like the salad, it was a surprisingly satisfying soup.  Full disclosure, I did make a small piece of London broil, sliced thin with some grilled bread and chimichurri on the side; but honestly, I didn't need it.

WOULD I BUY IT?  Yes, actually I would.  I like that it uses vegetables that I buy every week in a way that I would never think to do.  I also like that it includes recipes with vegetables that I don't normally buy like beets and watercress, and it shows you easy ways to incorporate them into your diet.  I am a white pasta and rice girl, so the amount of recipes in here with grains like quinoa and brown rice has inspired me to go out and actually buy some to try at home.  There are even quite a few juices and smoothies, all that look worth trying out.  I'll be pulling out my Juiceman Jr. for sure.  There are recipes with meat, but I like that the focus was showing people healthy, meatless options.
The pictures are just stunning and the recipes are doable for everyone from novices to seasoned cooks.  Seasoned cooks might think these recipes are too basic, but I think that's the point.  If these recipes were complicated, people who aren't having success at healthy eating wouldn't try it.  This book is a great starting point.  What did I like best?  I was impressed at how beyond full I felt after eating these vegetable based dishes.  Certainly, if you thought a vegetarian diet could not possibly be filling, this book could change your mind.
I received a free copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.  There was no obligation to give a positive review, and if you read my blog, you know I'm a tell-it-like it is kind of girl.  I mean what I say and say what I mean, that holds true for my review.

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