So far, this summer has been about snacking – on various leftovers from versions of hummus or salsa verde kept in an ever growing collection of jars in my fridge. After months of sustaining myself on the results of recipe testing I’m happy to report we’ve almost wrapped up that phase of writing this cookbook and have moved on to the writing prose, taking photos – and making meals.
Since my brain needed a chance to refresh its creative, culinary, juices, I turned to my pile of new cookbooks awaiting a review and without hesitation pulled Salad Samurai right to the top.
This book has everything I’ve been craving, interesting, healthful meals made from reliable recipes – that I don’t need to develop, and that won’t take hours to prepare. I’ve been seeing a bit too much of my kitchen lately.
Like many of you, I’ve been a fan of Terry’s work since the early PPK days, and even did some recipe testing for Viva Vegan! (which solidified my support), but this book is my new favourite – because I can see myself using it ALL THE TIME. The collection of recipes is incredibly accessible, I can actually see myself making these dishes every week.
I already like to eat a salad or two a day – but I get stuck in a routine, based on efficiency (bowl, add leaves, mash avocado, eat) which works but is not as enjoyable as it could be. Terry’s new book has reminded me that life is just too short to skimp on salads. Salad Samurai is a salad celebration, where all the most awesome ingredients show up to the party.
And it’s easy. I did have to remember to buy tomatoes at the grocery store – but that was the biggest change. That’s what it took to move from my predictable salad routine into something pretty spectacular.
I’m about to share with you all the incredible meals I’ve already enjoyed out of Salad Samurai, but first here are 5 more reasons why I love this book:
1. Potlucks and Picnics – I never know what to bring, but this book just gave me 100 ideas of fantastic options to bring to any event, especially outdoor summer parties where I don’t want anything I need to warm up.
2. Meal Planning Prep – Terry outlines what to make each week to have on hand all the hearty toppings that can be sprinkled or drizzled onto your salad to make it more fun and more flavourful.
3. Entertaining Ideas – I like to serve healthful meals to my friends and family, but my everyday eats have become really focused on “easy”, so much so that I’d be kind of embarrassed to share it with anyone else, but Salad Samurai is full of nourishing salads that are an impressive meal all on their own.
4. Interesting Dressings – Most days I add a quick lemon and tahini dressing to my salads, grains or veggies. I love it. But over the past couple of weeks I’ve been playing with Terry’s dressing recipes and remembering how awesome is to experiment with different flavours. Siracha and shallots and miso have just been too sparse in my routine. Plus a great dressing can enhance any meal – not just salads my friends.
5. Fun – Every time I made something in this book I remembered – I love salad AND I love to cook. Writing a cookbook is a lot of work. It is fun, and interesting, but also tiring sometimes. This book reminded why I wanted to do it in the first place. Terry has always been an inspiring ambassador of amazing vegan food. It was the perfect time for me to pick up her next book. (Maybe the perfect time for you too).
So far from Salad Samurai I’ve tried:
I plan to live on food from this book (and a couple of others) for the next month. Made possible by the fact that I’ve already added copies of Salad Samurai to my Mom’s place, my boyfriend’s place and my brother’s place. I’m a girl with that plan – and spicy lentils.
I’ve been thinking about trying the Coconut Samosa Potato Salad next – and lucky for you the recipe is up on Terry’s site.