Make Your Own Rules Cookbook, by Tara Stiles

15 Sep
FIVE of FIVE stars

FIVE of FIVE stars

It’s going to be a great season for new vegan cookbooks, and right now I’m putting Make Your Own Rules on the top of my list.

It can be hard for vegans to find recipes that are truly new, delicious AND easy to make – pick any two, you can’t have all three. And there are only a few vegan cookbooks that truly bring something new to the table and are worth shelling out money for.

Make Your Own Rules Cookbook is chock full of some really new and interesting recipes, using simple ingredients with exactly enough spices for flavoring, and very simple instructions.  The majority of these recipes involve mixing everything in a bowl, pot or pan, cooking up, and combining with rice, beans, or more veggies.  Or simply “Blend and drink”. “Blend and spread on bread”.  The ingredients are easy for any cook to find, even non-vegans won’t have any trouble locating nutritional yeast, tofu or coconut milk. Many recipes contain some combination of ginger, hot sauce, red pepper flakes and/or coconut milk, so you won’t find bland food but you also won’t find rare, expensive spices either.

This is one of those great books that are not just for vegans. These recipes are for anyone who wants to start eating clean, to get away from processed foods without spending hours in the kitchen, or who just enjoys simple, refreshing food.

One of my favorite breakfasts is a big dose of roasted red pepper hummus on toast with sliced tomatoes, baby spinach and pepper. Tara Stiles has a new version called “Red Pepper Posh Toast” and it’s going to become a new staple breakfast food in my house.

You’ll find other new twists on ordinary foods, such as Olive Guacamole and Grilled Coconut Corn. Her recipe for Beet Crisps contains the perfect blend of sweet and salty goodness, and you’ll find yourself buying bushels of beets just to keep these around. You’ll be munching on these like Doritos, but they are 1000% better for you. Remind me to ask for a mandolin for Christmas.

She has a new recipe for vegan Cheesy Sauce which has the perfect hint of heat to make it great for nachos. Her Creamy Spinach-Radish Sandwich is fresh enough for summer lunches but hearty enough for winter too. There’s a recipe for Easy Pesto and Shells using crushed pecans instead of those terribly expensive pine nuts. And she promises a Not-Mushy Veggie Burger, which is baked. I have not verified her “not-mushy” claim yet, but the ingredients make it sound plausible, and I always like to try new baked veggie burgers.

Is your mouth watering yet? She has a super simple recipe for Spaghetti Oh Yes! Made with coconut milk. A recipe for Grilled Pineapple and Rice. And also… LIME CAKE.  (OMGYUMYUMNOMNOMNOM)

What more could you ask? Well, how about page after page of beautiful photos, one for just about every recipe. There are long sections explaining how to arrange your kitchen for clean cooking, and instructions for stocking a clean pantry. And for fans of Tara Stiles, plenty of ideas for meditation and living in your Happy Place.

This book would make a great gift for a new bride, someone moving into their first apartment, anyone who wants to learn how to eat clean or switch to a healthier life, and of course for vegans, vegetarians and people who love good, homemade food but don’t have a lot of time.  You don’t have to “know how to cook” to use this book, anyone can follow these instructions and build a new healthy life for their family.

This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, and this was easy-peasy:  FIVE full stars, and someone please get me this for Christmas!!

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2 Responses to “Make Your Own Rules Cookbook, by Tara Stiles”

  1. Madeline Johnson September 15, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

    Grilled coconut corn. Insane. Thanks for the review.

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