Cookbook Review: Isa Does It! (exclamation point added by me)

Let me begin by saying that I, like about a zillion other people, am a HUGE fan of cookbook goddess Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  I own and love every one of her books and am thoroughly grateful that she’s on the planet, generously creating wonderful recipes for the rest of us to enjoy.  So when she releases a new book, it is cause for celebration, indeed.

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With this book, she has once again managed to create something special that everyone who loves preparing delicious food is going to want to get his or her hands on.  With her track record, I expected the recipes to deliver super tasty results, and that is certainly the case.  What she has done here that’s new, however, is present those recipes in a spectacularly photo-filled, gorgeous, hard-bound book.  What a treat!  And this book’s focus on “amazingly easy, wildly delicious vegan recipes for every day of the week,” makes it a great addition to every kitchen, whether you’re a newly transitioning vegan or a seasoned veteran or somewhere in between.  The recipes are geared for people trying to get real food on the table in a reasonable amount of time.  Yay!  There are wonderful tips and lots of fun notes, which make it feel like you have a super fun, cool friend in the kitchen with you.

And now for some of the food I’ve made from the book.  I’ve only had the book for less than a week, but I’ve made five recipes so far, all with great results.  While it’s a close call, I’d have to say that the family favorite was the Chickpea-Rice Soup on page 32.  It’s a simple and homey recipe that is truly great.  The flavors come together beautifully, and the dish feels centering and nourishing.  Queenie had two bowls the night I made it, and then a thermos of it in her lunch the next day.  When she got home from school, she asked if there was any more.  It was a hit!

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Queenie and I also enjoyed the Roasted Potato and Fennel Soup on page 46.  I had received both fennel and a variety of potatoes in our CSA box this past week, so when I read this recipe, it seemed the perfect way to play with these ingredients.  This soup was SO easy.  By roasting the ingredients, there’s very little active time, with the oven doing all of the work.  And roasting brings out wonderful flavors.  Super tasty and hearty.    It was really thick, and I’d probably thin it a little more next time, but definitely a tasty addition to my soup repertoire.

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There are some great-looking recipes for bowls, and while I have a long list that I’m looking forward to trying (including the Chimichurri-Pumpkin Bowl next week!), so far I’ve only made one bowl:  the Spinach & Black Bean Burrito Bowl on page 196.  Sadly, we dove into these bowls so quickly that I didn’t end up taking a photo of them, but I can tell you that it’s a really filling, balanced bowl of food that’s super quick and easy to make.  Definitely check it out!

Now, on to pasta…  I’ve made two of the pasta recipes from this book so far, and they’ve both been divine.  Last night, I made the Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Penne on page 124.  Oh my.  Heavenly.  A tomato cream sauce made with sun-dried tomatoes and cashews blends with penne, red onion, broccoli and more sun-dried tomatoes to make a scrumptious dish.  Loved it.

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I also made the Goddess Noodles with Chickpeas & Broccoli on page 136 (which is actually entitled Goddess Noodles with Tempeh & Broccoli, but chickpeas are a suggested substitute, and I went that route on this particular evening).  I absolutely adored this filling, quick dish, with its lemon-tahini sauce.  YUM.  One caveat:  you need to like tahini to love this dish as much as I do.  Mr. Man and Queenie aren’t big tahini fans (something I can never quite get my mind around), and they weren’t as enamored with it as a result.  More for me!

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This book clocks in at 311 pages, so I have barely scratched the surface here.  My hope is that I’ve inspired you to want to pick it up and start working your way through it, too.  In addition to the soups, bowls and pasta sections I’ve mentioned, there are mouth-watering recipes for salads, sandwiches and wraps, stews, chilis, curries, stir-fries, breakfasts, desserts… and more!

Final happy note for my Seattle-area friends:  the author will be speaking tomorrow night at The Book Larder in Seattle at 6:30!  http://www.booklarder.com/events/info/isa-does-it

Enjoy!  xo

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3 thoughts on “Cookbook Review: Isa Does It! (exclamation point added by me)

    • I like that book a lot, too. We can chat more directly, if you want, but it’s definitely possible to be a super healthy vegan or a less-than-healthy one. I’ve been both over the course of my life, including a junk-food veg in my 20s. And I know for me, portion control is always something to think about. Even when the food is super healthy, if I eat too much of it, that isn’t! Oh, and there’s that whole exercise thing I need to get into! But my blood work, cholesterol, etc., are always perfect, which I attribute to the vegan lifestyle. xo

  1. Wow. 5 recipes in one week. That’s impressive! I just got my book in the mail yesterday and it is eye candy for sure! Can’t wait to get started 🙂

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