Cookbook Review (part 1): Clean Slate

clean slate 

I was very excited when I found out that the editors from Martha Stewart Living were publishing their new cookbook Clean Slate. I was a huge fan of Whole Living magazine and I’ve always loved their approach to clean, healthy recipes. My copy arrived in the mail a couple weeks ago and now that I’ve had a chance to try out some recipes I wanted to share my review with you.

The Good

  • The cookbook is beautiful and well-organized (would we expect anything less from Martha Stewart and company?)
  • I like the easy, visual presentation of the smoothie recipes and I love the amount of variety them. I especially like at both savory and sweet smoothies are included.
  • I like the way the recipes are organized. Unlike traditional cookbooks that are organized by food group or meal, the recipes in this book are organized by how you want to feel. I talk about this a lot with my clients so I love that they’ve chosen to organize recipes this way.
  • The recipes in this book are healthy.  I know that probably sounds redundant, but I see so many recipes that are labeled as healthy when they really offer little in the way of nutrition. These recipes are high on nutrients and offer a lot of variety as well.

The Not As Good

I’m not a huge fan of the “super foods” trend. I see too many of my clients focusing on eating the so-called “super foods” and then they lose sight of getting variety in their diet. That said, I do appreciate that they list the health benefits of some foods and I think it could be a good reference tool when you want to add variety to your diet.

I’m trying a few of the recipes this week and the first one I’m reviewing is:

Farro and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad (pg. 174)

 Farro and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Confession: The picture looked delicious but when I looked at the ingredients list I thought it would taste a little bland.

Confession #2: I was wrong! This salad is full of flavor.

 

The Good

This recipe is delicious. Anyone who follows me knows that my favorite qualities in a recipe are 1) Easy, 2) Healthy, and 3) Delicious. This recipe met all those requirements with flying colors. In fact, this is a new favorite for me. I was so wrong about the flavors. It is incredibly flavorful and I’m excited to have a new healthy lunch option that tastes great. I also love that this would be a great meal to take with me with I’m on-the-go.

What I Changed

  • As much as I love Martha Stewart’s recipes, I often wonder if they ever use normal people (you know, those of us who aren’t perfect at everything we do) to test their recipes. I don’t own a mortar and pestle so I tried their suggestion of mashing the garlic with a fork. It took me about 30 seconds to decide this was not the way to go so I used a garlic press instead. I’m sure this a major faux-pas in the culinary world but it was faster, easier, and the recipe tasted great so that’s how I’ll be doing it in the future too. Or maybe I’ll use this as an excuse to buy myself a mortar and pestle. 
  • I also used a rice cooker instead of cooking the farro stovetop. I’m far too lazy to stand watch over my grains while they cook when I can get perfectly good results from my rice cooker. I’m sure the culinary purists would be revolted by this, but I like to keep things simple when I can.

Notes

  • If I made this for the meat lovers in my family, I would marinate some chicken in olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, grill it up and serve that on top of this salad
  • This recipe is actually pretty quick and easy but if I were really short on time, I would cook the farro and sweet potato the night before and then throw the rest of the salad together the next day.

 I love this recipe! Too many clean eating recipes are lacking in flavor but that is not the case here. The garlic, lemon, and dill make it flavorful. This was a great introduction to the cookbook and I can’t wait to see how the other recipes compare.

Disclaimer – I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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