Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The Whole Smiths Real Food Every Day


The Whole Smiths Real Food Every Day is a cooking and style guide with recipes developed by Michelle Smith. Due out 29th Dec 2020 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, it's 272 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats.

This is an upbeat well written cookbook with a family vibe full of attractive healthy well prepared recipes. The introduction includes a whole-food philosophy which makes a lot of sense. The author makes a good case for eating fewer processed meals for health and well being (sort of paleo, but not fanatically so). 

The book's introduction contains a list of tips and tricks which are really useful covering a range of tasks like pitting cherries, shredding chicken, getting more mileage out of pickle brine after the pickles are gone, and a host of other small tasks. The recipes themselves are arranged a bit whimsically (there's an index, so it's not really a problem): ingredients and make-ahead staples, meal prep recipes, sheet pan recipes, five ingredients or fewer, one dish, 30 minutes or less, instant, leftovers, weekend recipes.

They have their ingredients listed bullet style in the sidebar. Measurements are given in US standard only. There is no nutritional info provided. Special tools and ingredients are also listed, along with yields and step by step cooking directions. Special features such as gluten-free, grain-free, and nut-free are noted in the header.

The ingredients are mostly easily sourced at any moderately well stocked grocery store; not all though (coconut aminos and collagen peptides for example - but as the author notes, those items can be sourced online). Roughly half the recipes are pictured (by my rough estimate). The photographs which are included are clear and appealing and serving suggestions are appropriate. Many of the photos are of the author and her beautiful (and healthy) family, which adds a personal touch.
There's also a useful recipe list with a chart showing dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, paleo, vegan, and vegetarian status for every recipe in the collection individually. There's a useful cross-referenced index which is useful since the recipes are not arranged by category.

This book would make a great gift/housewarming for someone cooking for themselves or family members with special dietary needs,  with appealing recipes, and fans of food-prep planning / batch cooking. These are healthy and appealing recipes.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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