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Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining    by Cornelia Guest & Diane Reverand order for
Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures
by Cornelia Guest
Order:  USA  Can
Weinstein, 2012 (2012)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I'm all for the simple pleasures of life so I picked up Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures: Healthy Seasonal Cooking and Easy Entertaining with interest. In the Author's Note, Guest tells us her book is about 'natural elegance, wholesome eating, and effortless entertaining.' She does not eat food that use animal products and recommends the 'health benefits of a plant-based diet.'

Her book (enhanced by gorgeous color photographs) is divided into five parts. Simple Pleasures (tips for Easy Elegance, Wholesome Eating, and Effortless Entertaining) is followed by sections for Spring; Summer; Fall; and Winter. Each season opens on a meal (e.g. Alfresco Summer Dinner), followed by appealing vegan recipes for drinks, starters, soups, salads, pastas, special seasonal dishes, and desserts.

I have to admit that I quickly skimmed through Part I and dived into the enticing recipes, from Sparkling Iced Cranberry Green Tea to Peanut Butter and Jelly Cups. There are so many I want to try that it's hard to know where to start, perhaps with Michael's Chilled Asparagus Soup. Then there's Baked Vegetable Risotto, Grilled Vegetable Salad, Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Roast Eggplant, Zucchini Fritters, Porcini Papardelle with Pistachios, and Spinach Tofu Lasagna. All look yummy! And for desserts, how about Red Velvet Cake, Berry Crumble, Chocolate Mousse Balls (with coconut and dates), or an Ice Cream Bombe?

I dropped red meat from my diet over a decade ago, and have wanted to include more vegetarian meals in the family repertoire ever since. Cornelia Guest's Simple Pleasures - a celebration of life, the seasons and healthy eating - looks like a great place to start. I'm off to start working on Summer recipes. If you have any interest in delicious yet healthier eating, I encourage you to do the same.

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