Many of you may not know this about me, but I am a complete and utter book nerd! I usually read three to five books per month. Health & wellness, fantasy, contemporary… you name it, I love it. It’s what I do in my free time and I can’t get enough.
Every month I will try to feature a health and wellness book on this blog. I hope the cookbooks inspire you to play around in the kitchen and the comprehensive books spark thought and discussion. And perhaps you may pick up one of these books for yourself!
The first book of the month is Straight From the Earth. My Dad gave this cookbook to me last Christmas and I’m so happy he did. It’s a perfect vegan cookbook to start things off and no matter what diet you follow, I’m sure you will love these recipes. Straight From the Earth is written by Myra Goodman & Marea Goodman, a mother-daughter chef duo. Their family owns an organic farm in Carmel, California.
Myra and Marea were inspired to create vegan recipes that non-vegans would love. They ended up with dishes that are truly satisfying and unique. This is honestly one of my go-to cookbooks when I need inspiration for breakfast or dinner.
This is more than just a cookbook. Between each chapter Myra and Marea highlight certain food groups and discuss their health benefits, how to cook them, how to store them, etc. They value high quality organic food and discuss the harmful effects of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizers. All of which strip the nutrients from our soil, and thus our food. Good health starts with good soil! But I’ll talk about that in a later blog.
Here are some recipes I can’t wait to try: grilled summer vegetables and tofu on sweet corn and farrow, baked falafel pitas with chopped Greek salad and roasted cashew sauce, grilled fig sandwiches with roasted pistachio pesto and balsamic caramelized onions, acorn squash with crispy maple pumpkin seeds, and decadent spicy hot chocolate.
I decided to make a Fall recipe from the book. I chose the spinach salad with maple-roasted butternut squash and pecans. And let me tell you, this is one of the BEST salads I’ve ever had and it’s perfect for Thanksgiving. You will love it!
First you marinate the butternut squash and pecans with a bit of olive oil and pure maple syrup. Then you cook the butternut squash at 400° F for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Add the pecans to the other half of the baking sheet, and roast both the butternut squash and pecans for another 10 minutes. Once done, scoop a generous amount of squash and pecans onto a bed of spinach.
For the dressing, all you need is extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and freshly ground black pepper. It is absolutely delicious. The dressing’s tartness contrasts perfectly with the sweetness of the pecans.
I hope you give this salad a try and love it!