I'd been feeling like our meals were more filler than nutrient-dense powerhouses of nutrition. We hadn't been eating anything particularly unhealthy, I think it was just an end-of-winter culinary malaise. Tired of things in the brown spectrum: grains, beans, potatoes, bread etc., I wanted a rainbow on my plate, a whole assortment of healthy vitamins and minerals. I get feeling like this at the tail-end of winter, like a sailor looking at the last orange in the barrel.
And so, to provide some inspiration for more colorful and exciting fodder, I picked up the book Power Foods. So far we've tried a really fabulous Asian-inspired shitake and soba noodle soup, quinoa granola bars, rice bowls, mushroom and nori wraps and I'm about to make a walnut and olive oil cake tonight. I haven't delved into the dessert section too much yet, but I'm excited about it because they look like the kind of desserts we make around here, and we wouldn't even have to adapt the recipes. Generally we halve the sugar, replace the white flour with whole wheat etc. But these desserts look delicious and like they won't leave you with a sugar hangover.
Sometimes I need a little inspiration to shake things up in my cooking routine and this book has been providing just that. Often I get a cookbook and abandon it after a recipe or two simply because the recipes aren't that outstanding and it just doesn't hold my attention. But it seems to me like a lot of work went into really refining the ingredient lists and proportions. The flavor combinations are just right. They're often surprising and I find myself wondering if I shouldn't adjust something, but when I just forge ahead and trust the recipe I've had wonderful results. And each successful meal leaves me wanting to return to the book for another go around with a new recipe. That's a successful cook book in my book!
images from Whole Living.