Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Book Review: Food 52 Mighty Salads

I make the same two salads.  A kale, apple, craisin salad with a lemon vegan honey dressing or a regular lettuce or salad mix salad with carrots, cucumbers, apples, nuts and whatever seeds I have on hand in a basic vinaigrette.  So yeah, not exciting, but good none-the-less.  When I saw this book pop up on Blogging For Books, I thought, hey!  A book about salads sounds boring as all heck, but Food52 always puts out good stuff, let me give it a shot.

There was a big delay in receiving Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad into Dinner--and Make-Ahead Lunches, Too but when it finally arrived I started leafing through it, expecting some amazing outside of the box recipes.  Instead, what I found were salads that were meat and cheese heavy.  I understand this is not a vegan salad cookbook, and perhaps the eggs and meat on the front cover should have been a warning, but really?  Did Food52 not get the memo that dairy and meat is bad for you?  There have been a lot of studies that aren't funded by people being paid by the dairy and meat industry, maybe they should read some of them.  Just saying.

IS IT VEGAN-FRIENDLY?  Eh.  I mean, I can easily convert most of these recipes to be vegan, but that's not the point.  I think Food52 really missed an opportunity to make amazing salads. Throwing meat, cheese, eggs or seafood at something doesn't make it a meal, nor does it make it better.  Just look up salads on Pinterest or heck, just Google it.  There are a million, amazing salads that don't have dairy or meat that are incredibly filling.  A book of primarily here's green with a bunch of meat and cheese on top is not a book of mighty salads.

WOULD I BUY IT?  No.  I might pick up at the library and try a few recipes, but call me unimpressed.  There was nothing in here that made me want to run in my kitchen to make for dinner, or lunch, or whatever.  Maybe if you have no idea how to make a decent salad, this is good.  Or maybe if you can't imagine eating anything without meat or dairy, you'd like this.  For me, this book was pretty disappointing.

**UPDATE:  I'm changing my Would I Buy It to a YES.  While I stand by my opinion that a dinner salad doesn't have to include meat and cheese to be filling, I've just been subbing in plant-based meats and cheeses.  I haven't attempted anything with eggs or seafood, but maybe in the future.  So far everything I have made has been a hit.  It has been a great way to use up my CSA greens.

Hoppin' John Salad with Crispy Cornbread (I substituted with black beans, porkless pork, and rye bread croutons.)

Chard Salad with Garlic Breadcrumbs and Parmesan (I used Field Roast Garden Loaf and Follow Your Heart Parmesan.)

Chicken and Rice Salad with Poached Radishes and Nuoc Cham (I substituted with chickenless chicken, basmati rice, a salad mix and obviously vegan fish sauce.)

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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