I’m one of a small percentage of people that actually eats 12 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. I grew up with school lunch (2 servings of fruits and or vegetables a meal). I was schooled in menu planning (meat, vegetable, fruit, bread and milk) and spent my adult life planning meals for 1-2000. Like other members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, my mission is to advance public health and nutrition.
When asked to review Merrin McGregor’s cookbook, “VegetablesAccidentally”, I was a little leery. Why would I want to camouflage vegetables? But wait-isn’t that what an RD does-translate the science into practical solutions? Yes, I agreed.
The book is fun with nice graphics and clever phrases: “Veggie vault”, “Vegucation”, “Never slaw it coming”, “Beet around the bush” and so much more.
It wasn’t hard to pick out recipes to test. I earmarked more than I do from most cookbooks. I tested eight recipes in seven days. Here’s what I learned:
Warm Pear Applesauce
Misleading Applesauce was easy, perfect for the fall season and made with ready available ingredients.
Fruit and Nut Muesli Bread
Muesli B-read Between the Lines was a delicious dinner, dessert or breakfast bread. I enjoyed it toasted with margarine for dinner and with natural peanut butter for breakfast. I cut the recipe in thirds and made mine in a mini loaf pan. Since I made it after work for dinner, I used rapid rise yeast and only let it rise once. The cardamom spice and apricots were delicious. I used ½ whole wheat flour.
Pulla Fagioli One on Ya. I subbed Italian (Turkey) Sausage for the bacon as I make something very similar to this. Megan’s recipe had white beans and carrots and was very good. I used frozen no added salt Northern Beans, whole wheat pasta and no added salt tomatoes.
Peach Almond Cobbler
Fast-Talking Cobbler was delicious and perfect with the last of the season local peaches. I used ½ whole wheat flour and cut back on the sugar.
Warm Tomato and Feta Dip
Double Agent Dip was the recipe that really fooled me. Pureed chickpeas with tomatoes and cheese. It was delicious. I used no added salt tomatoes and tomato paste and no added salt Northern beans.
Tropical Salad served with Sweet Talk Scone
Tropical Trick Salad compelled me to try something new. Avocados are not something I usually buy. This salad was so tantalizing.
It’s clear Merrin McGregor likes to cook. There are plenty of ingredients, peeling and chopping in her recipes. My grocery list expanded. That’s not a bad thing: I’m a big proponent of whole foods and the recipes I tried were tasty.
I like that she uses dried beans and legumes, soy milk and nuts.
The recipes were family size. Since my husband and I are empty nesters, senior citizens and little people, I cut the recipes in thirds or halves before I tried them.
I enjoyed the side bars with fun facts and notable sources for where to get more help. Merrin’s such a fun writer; I’d love to see her invite kids into her kitchen for cooking classes. She’d be perfect in the classroom and would entice children to try new foods. It’s the adults that might need fooled.
- · The recipes are tasty with inclusion of many colorful fruits and vegetables, dried beans and nuts.
- · The cookbook was easy to read and fun.
- · The ease of preparation moderate.
- · The cost of ingredients moderate to high.
- · Portion size was not listed though servings are. Vegetable portion could range from as little as 2 Tbsp. to 1 cup or more.
- · Recipes are keepers and worth repeating.
The book is available through Amazon.com. A few of the recipes can be viewed on Pinterest where Merrin & I are participating in a make half your plate fruits and vegetables challenge.
Tonight we are eating leftovers. I had thumb surgery today and the carrot peeler might be a challenge. But I peeled and chopped and roasted vegetables and more over the weekend so I'd be ready. Now to let my fingernails grow. . . Enjoy your week!