Tuesday, June 28, 2022



Smorgasbowl is a fun and convenient collection of tutorials and recipes for customizable one-bowl meals written and curated by Caryn Carruthers. Released 10th Dec 2021, it's 130 pages and is available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats. 

The general idea is a simple one: provide ingredients for DIY bowl meals, and allow people to build their own bowl based on taste, preference, and/or dietary restrictions. The bowls themselves are beautifully colourful and appealing. The author makes an effort to make recipes which combine a variety of textures, tastes, and temperatures. I'm a huge fan of "grazing" type dining and love the casual twist this book brings to the table (sorry, not sorry). 

The bowls are arranged thematically: an introduction with examples of how-to-build selections & tutorials, followed by breakfast, soup & salad, entree, and sauces. Recipes are formatted with a title and introduction in the header along with yields and coded labels (gluten free, dairy free, paleo, vegan, etc), followed by ingredients in a bullet list. Measurements are in imperial (American) only. Instructions are easy to read and understand. Recipe ingredients will be generally easy to find at any medium to large grocery store in North America. Some few fresh ingredients (jicama for example) might require a trip to a farmers' market or whole foods type store.

The book is beautifully illustrated throughout. Photographs are abundant and "instagram-worthy", with well styled, attractive, appetizing food. All of the recipes are accompanied by one or more photographs. The book is, admittedly, full of diet/culture advice. It's clear that the author is well-meaning and earnest in her exhortations against sugar, processed ingredients, and grains, but for most people, unnecessary. The recipes can, of course, be easily adapted to fit a more mainstream diet. 

It would be a 5 star read without the grain-phobia, and as it is, a 4+ star read even with it. Lots of interesting and appetizing recipes here.

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


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