Sunday, May 13, 2018

Book Review: Meals Made Easy: Fat Man's Essential 40 Plant Based Recipes.

 Whew Hoo!  It's time for a cookbook review!  

A few weeks ago I was thrilled to receive a review copy of Fat Man's Essential - 40 Plant Based Recipes.  The subtitle explains the purpose of the book :  Quick and Easy Plant Based Food.  I have a LOT of cookbooks on my shelf.  This one stands out from the rest, because it is chock full of recipes that work in real life, are easy to follow, and don't take a lot of time.  Every single recipe that I have tried has been unanimously voted a "make again" by all of my boys!

Author, Tim Kaufman shares with the reader his story of being told by his doctor to "get his affairs in order".  Approaching middle-age, he had young children and a long list of medical disorders. He was obese with out-of-control blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides.  It was a "change or die" situation.  He chose to take control of his health, beginning with his diet.  You will not believe the transformative photos in the cookbook!

Here is the best part of this cookbook: You all know that I am the queen of stretching my food dollars to the utmost.  I don't like to waste a penny, prefer to eat seasonally, and consume a whole food/plant based diet.  This cookbook is masterful at allowing the reader to do exactly that!  It is not a large book.  But, you won't be disappointed with your purchase.  Every recipe has been equally delicious and is comprised of easy-to find ingredients and easy-to-follow directions.  There is a full page color photo of each recipe.

Here are a couple of photos of my versions of some of Tim's recipes.

In the Smoky Cauliflower Chili recipe Tim noted,"Do not be afraid to substitute and experiment.  It's hard to screw up."  I did.  And he was right.  I had a bag of Normandy vegetables - which was a mixture broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and summer squash. Although the recipe called for just cauliflower, I made the substitute and the finished product was fantastic!  His choice of herbs and spices is spot on!  Like most recipes in the book, the portion sizes are very generous.  This recipe filled my pressure cooker to capacity and lasted us for several meals.

Smoky Chili before pressure cooking

Finished soup - thick, spicy, and delicious!

The Fat Man's BBQ Meat Ballz are hands-down the BEST vegan meatball that I have ever made or eaten!  (And I've made quite a few.)  The texture felt identical to ground beef when I was forming the "meat" balls.  They cooked up beautifully, froze perfectly, and were very versatile.  I made a double batch, which made nearly 60 "meat" balls.  They lasted my family of five for several meals.  Even my grown son, thought that 4 balls covered in sauce was a generous and filling portion.  I served them with some of Tim's BBQ sauce (recipe included in the cookbook).  You could add a bit of nutritional yeast or vegan cheese.  My non-vegan kids added a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  With a side of roasted beets and sweet potato, our meal was complete!

The quinoa corn fritters were very unusual, tasty, and were actually about the size of burgers when I made them.  The recipe made 15 generous-sized fritters.  We actually served them on buns for a couple of meals like a burger.  The kids loved them!

Quinoa Corn Fritters with Cheesy Onion Tater Cubes

Tim's Cheesy Onion Tater Cubes were divine!  They crisped up perfectly on parchment paper without a bit of oil.  My kids topped them with ketchup and then begged for them to be served again. 

As I mentioned, I have a lot of cookbooks on my shelf.  Fat Man's Essential has already become one that I will go back to again and again.  Well done, Tim!  I can't wait for the sequel, scheduled to come out in a few short months. 

Fat Man's Essential - 40 Plant Based Recipes is available as a Kindle download for the amazingly low price of $2.99.

Here is the link from Amazon to get your copy.