How to Get More Plants on Your Plate: A Cookbook Review
Spiralize and Thrive
100 Vibrant Vegetable-Based Recipes for Starters, Salads, Soups, Suppers, and More
By Dalila Tarhuni
Spiralized vegetables have taken the world by storm.
But are they worth another gadget cluttering up your kitchen?
Turning vegetables into pasta, rice and cous cous look-alikes will add variety to the food on your plate, boost nutrition, and speed up dinner prep.
(Some of the links in this post may be “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a small commission. That’s what keeps the site up and running. Regardless, I only recommend products and services I use personally and believe will add value.)
What’s in Spiralize and Thrive
Organized: like a traditional cookbook – by course (i.e. breakfast, dinner, dessert).
Photographs: most recipes include a plated photo – this is helpful because spiralized vegetables lend themselves to gorgeous presentation.
Fast: based on prep/cooking times the recipes take less than an hour – most claim to take less than 30 minutes.
Herbs and Spices: at first glance the ingredient lists seem long – looking more closely I see they feature the star produce, complimented by a wide variety of herbs and spices. If you love using your spice rack and layering flavors…bonus.
Nutrition-focused: facts and special diet annotations.
You will need a spiralizer tool to use of this cookbook.
What it’s missing
I would love to see an index by macro-category in the back of the next addition (i.e. lists of paleo, gluten-free, vegan recipes).
How Spiralize and Thrive is going to improve your life
Variety: it will expand your vegetable eating repertoire.
Reduce Carbs: spiralizing is a boon for low-carb, paleo and keto diets. It will instantly double your options. Pasta and rice become a distant memory.
Charts: there are excellent reference guides in the front, with basic spiralizing know-how and a list of vegetables as substitutes for rice and cous cous.
Ethnic Flavor: if you love cooking with ethnic flavor profiles this is a cookbook for you – it’s a trip around the world.
Who’s going to love Spiralize and Thrive?
Vegan (and vegetarian): Yes, with adaptations you’re probably used to making.
Keto: Yes, with a caveat. Many recipes are tagged low-fat, but most are also low-carb. If you’re comfortable making Keto fat-enhancements to recipes, you will have no problem. The wide array of sauces and vegetable bases will add infinite variety to your meals. If you’re new to Keto or not an experienced cook, don’t start here – you will be frustrated. Also, watch out for the small amount of honey she uses.
10 Example Recipes in Spiralize and Thrive
Persian oven omelet.
Phyllo roll with zucchini, brie, and olive-anchovy tapenade.
Thai crab salad.
Roasted pepper and summer squash soup with avocado.
Veggie Linguine with clams, spinach, and olives.
Cajun chicken tenderloins with black radish, kohlrabi, and apple slaw.
Spanish-style dark chocolate beef stew with root vegetables.
Spicy vegetable and red rice bowl with almond butter sauce.
Vietnamese summer rolls with spicy mango and green tea sauce.
Yam pudding and Matcha plantain custard.
To give you a feel for the style of the recipes…
The recipe I’m trying first:
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2-3 salt-cured anchovy fillets, washed and chopped (optional)
1/4 cup caper, drained and roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cup low-sodium chicken or lamb stock (more as needed)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot powder, mixed with 1/4 cup water
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
A drizzle of honey, to taste
“Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add shallots and anchovies and saute until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in capers and parsley and pour in the stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for about 4-5 minutes, then stir in the arrowroot slurry. Cook for 1-2 minutes, adding more stock if necessary, to get a medium thick sauce consistency. Adjust the taste with lemon juice and a drizzle of honey.
It complements the Citrus and Garlic Roasted Lamb with Parsnip Rice (page 136) nicely, and also works well with roasted or grilled chicken.”
*From Spiralize and Thrive pg 4
Is this a cookbook you want to own?
If you would like to reduce carbohydrates and increase your vegetable consumption? Yes.
If you want to cook inspired and beautiful food? Yes.
If you want to add new tastes and ethnic cuisines to your menu? Yes.
If you want to get dinner on the table, fast? Yes.
In the comments, let me know if you make a recipe from Spiralize and Thrive, include a photo if you can.
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